Purple sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas) is an ornamental and belongs in the family Convolvulaceae, which includes the morning glory. Its nickname is "Blackie." It is fast growing, multiplying by underground tubers. Native to the tropical Americas, purple sweet potato vine grows as a perennial outdoors in warmer zones 9 and 10. Cooler regions of the U.S. will need to treat it as an annual, as it will die back in cold temperatures. Planting and growing purple sweet potato vine is quite easy and it is a hardy plant once established.
Select an area in your garden that receives full sun to shady conditions. Purple sweet potato vine is tolerant to a wide range of light conditions.
Allow enough room for the plants to spread and not be invasive to other plants surrounding them. Vines can grow up to six feet in length upon the ground. Space individual plants approximately one foot apart.
Remove any weeds or grass from the planting site by hand pulling or spraying with an herbicide. If you use an herbicide, delay planting for one to two weeks to allow the poison to wash from the soil.
Amend the existing soil with organic material such as compost, peat or manure. Work it into the soil to a depth of approximately eight inches. Be sure the planting site drains well, as purple sweet potato vine will not live in flooded conditions.
Dig a hole two times larger than the purple sweet potato's root ball. Remove the plant from the container and loosen the roots if they have become root-bound and twisted.
Place the plant into the hole at the same depth it was growing in the container. Cover the area with soil and pat down around the plant with your hand.
Water the purple sweet potato plant well. Keep the planting site slightly moist by watering regularly. Foliage will begin to wilt when plants need water.