Does your Southwest Florida landscape need a rampant groundcover to blanket a large area fast? Consider the eye-catching ornamental sweet potato vine (not to be confused with the invasive air potato vine) with its brilliant chartreuse or dark purple leaves. Yes, it will grow edible potatoes, but they’re not very tasty and besides, it’s the showy foliage you’re after, right?
One of the most versatile plants around, you can grow this Florida perennial just about anywhere — in container gardens or garden beds and in sun or shade. Just remember that it fairs best in moist, well-drained soil (it can rot in wet soil) and may struggle in our hot summers if the soil dries out. Sweet potato vine‘s random, soft lavender flower looks similar to a Morning Glory (they’re cousins), and even our mild winters can leave the plant looking a bit frazzled until the temps warm up.
Mix sweet potato vine‘s vivid varieties for striking contrast, or choose just one color to accent your landscape. Just don’t be afraid to prune it whenever it starts getting out of bounds. Other than that, your sweet potato vine will be fairly undemanding and will let you know when it needs water by wilting (full-sun locations need good irrigation). Hardy and drought tolerant, it quickly springs back from a frost or freeze and doesn’t really need any fertilization unless you want it to grow even faster.
Hungry for some bright color in your landscape? Ask your landscape designer to whip up a plan that includes sweet potato vine. Or, call ArtisTree Landscape Maintenance & Design at 941.488.8897. artistree.com.