A Sweetie

“Check Those Containers”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

One of my favorite summer plants is the ornamental sweet potato vine.  I grow three varieties of this plant – Margarite, Ace of Spades, and Sweet Caroline.  It is getting to that time of year when these vines will soon be going dormant.  I am lucky that they have returned each spring from the roots and/or tubers.  The other day while watering the garden, the sunlight hit Ace of Spades, and this really made me stop and notice it.  I think Margarite gets more attention because of the bright chartreuse color, but Ace is just as pretty in its own way.

The dark heart-shaped leaves twining through the garden makes for a nice contrast with the usual green of other plants.  Mine grows where it only gets about two hours of sun, so the leaves stay a nice dark burgundy almost black color.

ace-of-spades-redu

While watering the area where these plants are, the stream of water from the hose exposed the underside of the leaves.  The lighter purple that was shown was so pretty, it made me wish that there was a variety this color, too.

ace-leaf-redu

So, while just doing a routine task like watering, an opportunity presented itself to notice a little more closely a very ‘sweet’ summer vine.

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7 Comments

  1. Brenda Kula said,

    November 12, 2008 at 8:56 am

    These plants have stunning color. Unmatchable really. Mine seem to die out before fall, unfortunately. The purple one reminds me of my hearty Black Mondo grass with its dark shiny leaf. I did not get the chartreuse one this year. And have been kicking myself all summer for not having done so!
    Brenda

  2. Randy said,

    November 12, 2008 at 10:38 am

    Jamie and I have always put ours in a container. Maybe next year we will plant some in the ground.

  3. Anne said,

    November 12, 2008 at 11:05 am

    I love these vines too, esp the lavender flower contrasted against the purple leaves.

  4. Jan said,

    November 12, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    Next year, Brenda, you have to remember to get some of these vines. I am surprised yours doesn’t last through fall. I do water mine if it is dry, but mine last until the first freeze.

    Randy, you really need to try it in the ground. I love the way it trails through the other plants. Around here, many places use only these vines in a bed which can look really lush and colorful.

    Anne, I agree that color combination is lovely.

  5. Darla said,

    November 13, 2008 at 7:50 am

    I just planted the sweet potato vines this year, I have been wondering if the will return next spring. They still look decent right now. I have some in the ground as ground cover, growing up a trellis and in hanging baskets mixed with other things. Great plant and easy to gorw!

  6. Jean said,

    November 13, 2008 at 10:24 am

    I too, love all the sweet potato vines. They’re perfect for filling in the gaps in a bed, so long as you guide it to where you want it. I’m anticipating the demise of my Margarita soon, maybe after the freeze we’re supposed to get this weekend. Then my bed will look very lonely!

  7. Jan said,

    November 13, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    Darla, the ones I have growing in the ground have returned for the last four years. I just put some pine straw mulch over them. Of course, I am in zone 8, but I have read that you can dig up the tubers and replant in the spring if you are in a colder area. I agree, they are great plants.

    Jean, I am a little warmer than you, so I expect mine will last a little longer. Last year, some of the stems stayed green through the winter and resprouted in the spring. I am hoping it does that again this year.


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