The Q&A Archives: Sweet Potato Vine

Question: I have some questions about the common annual component plant, the sweet potato vine. We sell varieties green(chartruese), black(purple) and tricolor varieties. I know that the potato vines are in the same family as morning glorys. Occasionally we will get the black vines and they have flowers just like morning glorys that are lavender color. Will all of the vines get this flower or is it rare? If I feed them a high phosphate food will it encourage profuse blooms? And are the potatoes they produce edible?

Answer: Your sweet potato vine is Ipomoea batatas and it is in the monring glory (Convolvulaceae) family. There are many varieties of sweet potato vine. 'Blackie' has deep blackish purple leaves and lavender colored flowers; 'Marguerite' has golden green foliage; 'Tricolor' and 'Pink Frost' have green leaves with white and pink variegation. They will produce inedible seed pods. These plants grow from tuberous roots but, the tubers are not edible.

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