Sweet Caroline Sweetheart Jet Black™ Sweet Potato Vine Ipomoea batatas
- Hardy Zones
- 11 - 11
- Part Sun to Sun
- Mature Size
- 6 - 16 Inches
Great foliage component plant in combinations; excellent heat tolerance and good vigor.
Works great in landscapes as an annual ground cover, as well as in combinations and containers by themselves. The plant is very adaptable, working in both sun and shade conditions, atlhough the colors are deeper and brighter in full sun than they are in shadier environments where colors are tinged with more green.
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.