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Native alternative(s) for Ipomoea batatas:
Ipomoea pandurata Ipomoea pandurata on fence
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Petunia x hybrida Petunia x hybrida
Cucurbita pepo Zucchini Plant Top View
Impatiens balsamina Full plant
Ipomoea batatas has some other problems:
White-Tailed Deer

Sweet potato Ipomoea batatas

Phonetic Spelling
eye-poh-MEE-a bat-TAT-as
Description

Grown for the foliage, Sweet potato vine is frequently used in mixed containers for its vibrant colors.  The tuberous roots are edible, though not tasty, when cooked and can be stored over the winter in a cool dry space covered in a dry medium. It is susceptible to frost and considered an annual, but can be propagated from tuber cuttings planted after the last frost.  This plant needs training if grown as a vine but can also be grown as an annual ground cover spreading quickly by runners. It is frequently damaged by deer.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious problems though fungus can become an issue.  Be sure to rotate crops if you are planting in the same area each year as flea beetle and thrips populations can build up. For more information see Ornamental Sweetpotatoes for the Home Landscape.

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Annuals, Perennials, Vines, and Groundcovers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens. 

More information on Ipomoea.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Fence Planter
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Blackie'
  • 'Goldfinger'
  • 'Illusion Emerald Lace'
  • 'Illusion Midnight Lace'
  • 'Margarita'
  • 'Midlight Lace'
  • 'Pink Frost'
  • 'Sidekick Lime'
  • 'Sulfur'
  • 'Sweet Caroline Bewitched After Midnight'™
    Reddish purple leaves
  • 'Sweetheart Purple'
  • 'Sweetheart Red'
  • 'Tembele'
'Blackie' , 'Goldfinger', 'Illusion Emerald Lace', 'Illusion Midnight Lace', 'Margarita', 'Midlight Lace', 'Pink Frost' , 'Sidekick Lime', 'Sulfur', 'Sweet Caroline Bewitched After Midnight'™, 'Sweetheart Purple', 'Sweetheart Red', 'Tembele'
Tags:
#water garden#annual#drought tolerant#container plant#wildlife plant#purple leaves#apvg#hanging baskets#window boxes#fast growing#cpp#vines#vegetable garden#ponds#tropical vine#rock walls#dry soils tolerant#apvg-a#warm season vegetable#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Blackie'
  • 'Goldfinger'
  • 'Illusion Emerald Lace'
  • 'Illusion Midnight Lace'
  • 'Margarita'
  • 'Midlight Lace'
  • 'Pink Frost'
  • 'Sidekick Lime'
  • 'Sulfur'
  • 'Sweet Caroline Bewitched After Midnight'™
    Reddish purple leaves
  • 'Sweetheart Purple'
  • 'Sweetheart Red'
  • 'Tembele'
'Blackie' , 'Goldfinger', 'Illusion Emerald Lace', 'Illusion Midnight Lace', 'Margarita', 'Midlight Lace', 'Pink Frost' , 'Sidekick Lime', 'Sulfur', 'Sweet Caroline Bewitched After Midnight'™, 'Sweetheart Purple', 'Sweetheart Red', 'Tembele'
Tags:
#water garden#annual#drought tolerant#container plant#wildlife plant#purple leaves#apvg#hanging baskets#window boxes#fast growing#cpp#vines#vegetable garden#ponds#tropical vine#rock walls#dry soils tolerant#apvg-a#warm season vegetable#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ipomoea
    Species:
    batatas
    Family:
    Convolvulaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Ground cover
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Mexico
    Climbing Method:
    Tendrils
    Bulb Storage:
    Tubers overwinter
    Edibility:
    Edible leaves, tuberous roots, and stems. Sweet potatoes are a popular vegetable. Ornamental cultivars are not as tasty.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 6 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 8 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Edible
    Ground Cover
    Vine
    Habit/Form:
    Climbing
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
    Appendage:
    Tendrils
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Funnel
    Flower Petals:
    fused petals
    Flower Description:
    Pinkish morning glory like flowers; sparingly produced
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Variegated
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Heart-shaped lobed colorful leaves 6" long
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Edible leaves and stems
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Water Garden
    Attracts:
    Pollinators
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil