Propagating Sweet Potato Vine

My sweet potato vine is growing like stink in my container garden and I’d like to start my own

Next year I would like to start my own sweet potato vine — — how do I go about this?

Some of the ones you buy are lime green, while others are a reddish colour. Can you tell me more about these vines.
Thanks so much.


Sweet Potato Vines In Containers
Sweet Potato Vines In Containers: Image Doug Green

Doug Says

The different colours are simply different varieties and these range from the light lime-greens right through to blackish leaves. They are stunning plants for sure in hanging baskets.

Not Grown From Seed

To begin with, sweet potato vines are not grown from seed but rather from cuttings or rooting up sections the tuber. So in order for you to have your own — buy the varieties you like right now. Grow them on this summer and plan on overwintering them.

Here’s what you need to know.

Tip cuttings are best

Home gardeners are going to have the best luck with taking tip cuttings

Or, some gardeners have success by taking an 8–12 inch long section of a side-shoot (a growing vine off the main stem) and rooting this up in a glass of water. This is going to be a variable success rate but hey, it’s really easy to try.

Use warm water! Cold water will kill the shoot.

Tuber propagation

The other thing you can do is grow them, and propagate from the tuber itself. Treat it as you would a regular sweet potato and produce your own vines. You do this by:

  • Laying sweet potato roots on their sides in hotbeds (temperatures between 75–80F) and cover with 2 inches of moist sand.
  • The sweet potato will sprout and you remove each of these slips with a bit of a twisting motion to pull it away from the main root.
  • Pot each slip up as you remove it from the mother plant and keep it very warm until new leaves and shoots develop.
  • Leave the mother plant in place to continue producing baby shoots.

Click here for more information on plant propagation

sweet potato vine growing wild
A sweet potato vine that escaped from a garden in Georgia. They can be weedy! where frost is a stranger. Image: Doug Green

Glass of Water

I have also seen home gardeners stick toothpicks into the tuber and suspend it in a glass of water (bottom in the water, top out) and the eyes will sprout new vines.

We’ve done this on our kitchen window — suspend the tuber so the bottom is just in the water by using toothpicks to stop the tuber from falling into the glass.

But you have to keep them warm to do this — chills kill

When the roots are well developed and tops starting to grow…

Once the roots are well developed and the tops are growing well, take out of the water and pot up into a 6-inch pot of soilless mix.

You have to give them

  • full sunlight,
  • lots of water (for at least the first few weeks keep the soil damp at all times and then back off to regular watering) and
  • warm temperatures. (nothing less than 70F — remember this is a tropical plant)

It’s not hard — it just takes a bit of attention to keeping the tuber in the water and keeping it warm.

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Get Stunning Petunia Blooms In Your Full Sun Garden

There are several tips I’ll pass along about getting petunias to bloom very heavily and expand to their full potential. I’m also going to review some of the plants I’ve grown on trial in my garden.

The Growing Details

  • Sun: Full sun or very light shade
  • Bloom time: most of the summer
  • Propagation: seed from older varieties and cuttings from newer
  • Soils: almost anything other than heavy clay that holds too much moisture and rots them
  • Distance apart: for the Supertunia types – 30-inches to 48 inches.
  • Hardiness: not frost tolerant (they might take a degree of frost if they’ve been hardened off but don’t count on it.)
  • Varieties: literally hundreds to pick from based on your favorite colors.
Supertunia ‘Really Red’ from Proven Winners

Petunia ‘Supertunia Royal Magenta’ by Proven Winners. Goodness, I hadn’t grown this one before but it acted as all those other silly plants. It grew like stink and bloomed its head off. Bright color! Understand the key to success with these super petunias (from any source) is to feed them regularly. They demand a ton of food to support all that growth and blooming. If you fail with this plant, it’s likely because you didn’t feed it enough. I’d grow it again in either containers or the full sun garden if I wanted this bright magenta color. Good plant.

Petunia ‘Double Dark Blue’ I must be holding my mouth wrong when it comes to these double flowering petunias. Others get great growth. Mine is just-OK. The singles in this class of plants outgrow the doubles in my garden but… Then again, I’m not a double flower fan so perhaps this is the problem. Your results may vary.

Petunia ‘Blue Wave’ see the above comments about growing these fast-growing plants and this dark violet-blue flower is equally good in my opinion. It’s really a matter of choosing your color as to your preference. “Waves” or “Supertunia” are both good plants but different marketing companies. I love all the ‘Wave’ colors and it’s tough to beat them in the open sunny garden.

The Trick To Getting The New Petunias To Bloom Heavily

The new petunias need a lot of feeding if they’re going to really perform in your garden. I’d consider feeding weekly, or every second week if you have decent soil, with a fish emulsion or other organic liquid fertilizer to enable them to perform to their optimum level.

Do You Like This Color Of Petunia

If you do like this Supertunia ‘Picasso In Purple’ from Proven Winners, I’d say go and grow it. It grew really well in my trials and filled a pot completely all by itself.

Black Petunia

This black petunia won two awards at the Evening of Excellence at OFA Short Course, earning the Industry’s Choice and Reader’s Choice awards in Greenhouse Grower’s Medal of Excellence program.
‘Black Velvet’ edged Punch Superbells calibrachoas from Proven Winners and ‘Suntastic’ scaevola from Westhoff for the two awards.
And this means of course that it’s going to be coming to a garden center near you next spring for sure. 🙂

Last but not least, there is some thought that some insects don’t like the smell of Petunias

You can read other tips for growing annual flowers here.

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