How to Grow an Ornamental Sweet Potato Vine

Views: 30764 | Last Update: 2009-02-04
Growing an ornamental sweet potato vine can be done from seeds or from the root, and they thrive in well-composted, well-aerated and well-drained soil. Grow sweet potato vines in the shade to avoid sunburned vegetables with helpful advice from a... View Video Transcript

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Yolanda Vanveen

Video Transcript

Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen. And in this segment, we're going to talk about how to grow the sweet potato vine. It's a beautiful plant that has gorgeous flowers, but it also produces sweet potatoes. Now, the sweet potato, or kumara or ipomoea batatas, is from Central America and the Pacific Islands. So it's found naturally in very tropical areas, whether it's the Central America or all the way into the Pacific and French Polynesia and Tahiti, Samoa, Tonga, all the way over to Fiji. So all of these areas, the sweet potatoes are native. And when the pirates and the discoverers traveled the world, they learned about the sweet potatoes and lived by eating them. Now, the sweet potato, or ipomoea batatas, is from a tropical climate, so it can only go down to zone nine. So you can start it by seed or by root and protect that root every winter or just restart it if you live in a colder climate. But they're really easy to grow. They're related to morning glories. Now, they like the coastal areas very much, and so I would say you put them in full, hot sun if you live near the coast or in real mild climates. Whereas if you live in a really hot climate, they will actually sunburn sometimes if it's too hot in the direct sun, so you can put them under the tree or more of in a tropical situation, under the eaves so that they get a little bit of shade when...in the hot morning or the hot...if they get a little bit of shade in the hot afternoon, then they seem to do a little bit better and they won't sunburn. But they are a vine and they will produce flowers that will turn into potatoes. They like good composted, good aired, good drainage, and you start them from the little tubers. This will start another sweet potato plant. And so you can get the seeds from the seed pods on the flowers, start them by seed or take pieces of the sweet potato and start them just like any other bulb in the ground. They're an easy plant to grow and a real reward in your garden.