I discovered the "Blackie" sweet potato vine about a year ago when I purchased several, simply because they were so lovely, to decorate my patio when we held a large pool party for my husband's family. My sister-in-law has two green thumbs and her yard & patio are always beautiful. She had never seen them and was very impressed with how beautiful they were in my many container plantings. I used them in large pots with rudbeckia, calibrachoa, a lime green coleus, and a low-growing, compact orange zinnia. They were awesome! This year I have planted more - some in containers with zinnias, hibiscus, and vinca, and I also have some in containers by themselves. They have helped transform my patio from just a pretty place to a real show place this year. I even had some deer come up 6 steps onto the patio and eat a number of my plants this year, including one pot of the potato vine (which they ate down to the root, leaving only very short stems). Fortunately, that one pot has come back even fuller and prettier than ever. I cannot recommend the sweet potato vine high enough! They are totally awesome plants that look great anywhere you plant them!
Proven Accents® Blackie Sweet Potato Vine Ipomoea batatas
- Part Sun to Sun
The optimum amount of sun or shade each plant needs to thrive: Full Sun (6+ hours), Part Sun (4-6 hours), Full Shade (up to 4 hours).
FeaturesI express YOUR style.
Stunning dark purple, almost black, cascading foliageAward WinnerFoliage InterestHeat TolerantDeadheading Not Necessary
CharacteristicsPlant Type:AnnualHeight Category:ShortGarden Height:4 - 10 InchesTrails Up To:72 InchesSpacing:18 - 24 InchesSpread:48 - 60 InchesFlower Shade:NoneFoliage Colors:PurpleFoliage Shade:Black/PurpleHabit:TrailingContainer Role:Spiller
Plant NeedsLight Requirement:Part Sun to SunMaintenance Category:EasyBloom Time:Grown for FoliageHardiness Zones:11a, 11bWater Category:AverageUses:ContainerUses:LandscapeUses Notes:
Use in hanging baskets, beds, borders and window boxesMaintenance Notes:
Ipomoeas are great additions to combination planters, but they can sometimes overwhelm less vigorous plants. If you are like me you can let your combination plants duke it out Darwinian style, however, if you prefer to keep a more balanced look to your combination planters, you can cut back or remove stems at any time.
Ipomoeas also make great annual groundcovers in the landscape. They love the heat and humidity (growing up to 36" a week in the Deep South), cooler temperatures and low humidity cause them to stay more compact.
While Sweet Potatoes all come from the same parent material out of Southeast Asia, there is a big difference between the Sweet Potato you buy in the store and the tubers produced by the Sweet Caroline and the Illusion plants. Commercial sweet potatoes have been bred for over 100 years selecting for those with the best sugar to starch content (hence the name SWEET Potato), the ornamental have been bred to produce good leaves and no tubers, though they do form, they are composed of almost pure starch and no sugar; making them a poor choice for eating. So yes you can eat the tubers, but don't expect anyone to come back for seconds! Also always be careful when eating any ornamental plant unless you know how it was grown, and if pesticides or fungicides were used on it before you got it; a tuber is a storage root, and yes they store chemical as well as starch.
An application of fertilizer or compost on garden beds and regular fertilization of plants in pots will help ensure the best possible performance.
The only surprising thing about the sudden popularity of Sweet Potato Vines is why it took so long to happen. Not nearly as wicked as its name implies, this Sweet Potato Vine has a trailing habit & deep purple leaves. "A Real Simple magazine Top 10 goofproof Plant"
The only surprising thing about the sudden popularity of Sweet Potato Vines is why it took so long to happen. Not nearly as wicked as its name implies, this Sweet Potato Vine has a trailing habit & deep purple leaves.
"A Real Simple magazine - Top 10 goofproof Plant"
5743321Browse reviews from people who have grown this plant.
Kat McGrew, Texas, United States, 9 years ago
Russell Studebaker, Texas, United States, 11 years ago
Blackie grows as a perennial in my area of the country, lovely addition to mixed containers.Lin, Florida, United States, 11 years ago
Unbelievably strong grower. I had one in a container and one in the garden. The one in the garden eventually grew five feet wide. Great color, too.Sandy, Pennsylvania, United States, 11 years ago
Simply devine! Combine with Celosia ‘Fresh Look” Series and Lysimachia nummularia 'Goldilocks or your choice of Proven Selctions eye popping Coleus and Lysimachia nummularia 'Goldilocks . Thank you, Proven Winners, for your fantastic website!!Sharon, Nebraska, United States, 11 years ago
excellant in every way! I will grow much more this year.red montgomery, Georgia, United States, 11 years ago
Did great with several hot days in full sun. Fast grower.LT, California, United States, 11 years ago
Award Year Award Plant Trial 2005 Top Performer University of Illinois-Champaign County Master Gardeners 2005 Top Performer University of Illinois-Champaign County Master Gardeners 2005 Top Performer University of Illinois-Champaign County Master Gardeners 2005 Top Performer University of Illinois-Champaign County Master Gardeners 2004 Annuals of Note Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden 2004 Annuals of Note Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden 2004 Annuals of Note Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden 2004 Annuals of Note Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden34 More in this series6 More Recipes