My Sweet Potato Vine Blackie is Green instead of Dark Purple? - Knowledgebase Question

Kirkwood, MO
Avatar for mricks8
Question by mricks8
May 9, 2005
I was so excited to find this site. I hope you can help my poor plant. My store bought sweet potato vine blackie has turned green and a few of the leaves are quite bumpy. The underside still seems somewhat purplish and the veins and the edges as well. My neighbor said that maybe the chunks of tan clay in the soil are ruining it. I just used what I had in the yard and tried to mix in the clay parts with some other soil as best I could. Or Maybe I've watered it too much or not enough. If there is anyway you can help me figure out how to get my plant back to it's original purplish color it will make my pot on my front porch much more impressive.
I also have another question. Can I start a new plant sweet potato vine plant from one of the leaves in a cup of water in the house? I heard you can do that with some vines and I wondered if you could tell me if it's possible and how much of the original plant I need to take off.

Answer from NGA
May 9, 2005
The sweet potato is a heat and sun loving plant, it also needs a rich and evenly moist yet well drained soil, meaning not sopping wet or saturated, to do its best. For a container plant it is best to use a commercially formulated potting mix formulated for container plants rather than garden soil.

I would suggest you check with your local county extension to get a diagnosis of what is happening. It could be a matter of the soil being too cold, overwatering causing oedema (the bumps), lack of strong direct light, or a combination of problems.

While it is possible to start new plants using tip cuttings rooted in water, I would make sure the plant is healthy before propagating it. The cutting should be long enough to have several nodes, remove all but the top leaf and submerge the stem in water. Keep it in a warm sunny window until well rooted, then plant into clean soilless potting mix formulated for houseplants.

Good luck with your plant.

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