Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sweet Potato Vine Container Garden Ideas

Sweet potato vine is an annual vine that has lime or dark green leaves that look eye appealing cascading down the sides of a hanging container or window box.   You can grow sweet potato vine as a single container arrangement or you can plant it with annual flowers, ornamental grass or happy returns yellow lily, the potato vine will add interest to your sunny balcony, deck or outdoor living space.

Here is a zazzle.com photograph card that will show you a sweet potato vine

Blank Card with Sweet Potato Vines
Blank Card with Sweet Potato Vines 
Create custom greeting cards at Zazzle.

Grow sweet potato vine by planting the potato or you can buy a nursery grown plant.  For seed, you will need to start growing indoors under artificial grow lights or next to a southern exposure window.  The seedling will germinate in 30 days and as it grows the vine will need a stake to support it.  Transplant the seedlings into outdoor containers when the temperature has warmed to an average of 70 degrees.  

Vine growing requirements:
Full sun- part sun
Well drained soil
Water so that soil is evenly moist but not wet

Container Tips:
Choose a container that has good water drainage.  Many pots have small holes and these holes tend to get blocked with soil so the water does not drain properly. Remedy this with your drill. Enlarge the holes if you intend on planting in a deep container it’s helpful to fill the bottom of the container with an inch of pea gravel then top the gravel with plastic water bottles.  On top of the bottles add your potting soil; fill to one inch below the rim of the container.   By stopping one inch below the water will stay in the container and not run off the sides.

Planting a Container Garden
Dig a hole in the center for your accent plants; flowers, ornamental grass or lily. Choose a plant that is a repeat bloomer or a grass that has a flower so your container is eye appealing.  Plant the sweet potato vine along the rim of the container.  Then water the container until the water drains from the bottom of the pot.  

Caring For Container Garden
  1. Apply one inch of water retention mulch around all of the plants in the container.  The mulch will help retain moisture and will deter weed growth.
  2. Set your garden nozzle to mist.  Hydrate the sweet potato vine and feature plants in the morning and mid to late afternoon if the weather is hot and the soil is dry to the touch. 
  3. Water plants in afternoon four hours before the sun sets.
  4. Move sweet potato vine to a part sun area during the hottest time of the day.  This will prevent the leaves from wilting.  Morning sun or late afternoon sun is agreeable to the sweet potato vine.

A healthy vine will fill in quickly and will grow from late spring through summer.  If your autumn weather is warm the vine will continue to put out new vines.  Move sweet potato vine indoors or to your greenhouse or hang next to a southern exposure window when the weather turns cool.

I planted sweet potato vine in an antique baby bed.  This design was for a client of mine. The bed was a feature garden in her yard.  I planted red dahlias in the center of the bed and the lime green sweet potato vine grew along the edges.  This bed container needed to be misted and watered daily as all plants were grown in compost and moss planter box that was 8 inches deep.  I also planted the vine in the basket of an antique bike.  These antique container gardens made my client's yard more inviting.  Her guests were drawn to unique gardens.


Sandy KS said...

I like the idea of water bottles in the bottom of the containers. What a clever idea.

Susan Zutautas said...

Is that ever pretty. I may have to try this myself.

Caz Taylor said...

Very pretty and what a great tip about the water bottle a very good idea especially where I live..Thank you :)