Propagate Sweet Potato Vine

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Propagate Sweet potato vine (ipomoea batatas) to easily get more of this fabulous foliage plant.

There are many varieties and colors to choose from. You can also overwinter Sweet Potato vine from cuttings and create new plants.

Ornamental Sweet potato vine is easy to propagate from cuttings. Not only can you get more sweet potato plants throughout the summer but you can overwinter cuttings in a sunny windowsill.

With proper care you can have plenty next year without spending more money. Sweet potato vine stem cuttings make a beautiful houseplant, in winter or year-round.

My favorite ornamental Sweet Potato vines are Margeurite and Sweet Caroline. The chartreuse color, large heart-shaped leaves, and vigorous growth make them both winners in my book.

I do have other varieties that I enjoy growing as well and will share some photos of those here too.

At the end of this post is a step-by-step video of the best way I have found that works so be sure to check that out.

Related: Planting Sweet Potato vines in White Metal Tubs

Magarita Sweet Potato vine plant in container, Propagate Sweet Potato Vine

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Sweet Potato Vine Propagation

Sweet Potato vine propagation is so easy that beginners will find it a perfect first-time project. For the best results start with healthy plants and some sharp garden snips or pruners. All you need is a Sweet Potato vine plant to take cuttings from and a glass of water.

These simple steps should be taken a few weeks before the danger of frost or late summer. To take cuttings from the parent plant, follow a vine back to a leaf node and cut to the length you wish. (where leaves emerge from the vine)

Sweet potato vine stem for cutting

Remove Leaves from Vine

Next, it’s a good idea to snip off the lower leaves of the vine on the portion you wish to place into the water to root. The top of the vine should still have leaves left on it.

cutting leaves off sweet potato vine stem

Cut enough off for the stem to reach the bottom of the container you will use to get new roots on the sweet potato slips. (this helps keep them from falling out)

Sap will begin to ooze out of the cut ends. Gently swish the stem in water to clean this off before plunging it into your container of water.

This will keep the water cleaner from the beginning.

ipomoea batatas stem with leaves removed

If keeping outdoors for a while place the container in a warm place that gets bright light but not direct sunlight.

Change out the water in the container holding the cuttings weekly or by-weekly to keep it fresher. Use room temperature water.

I like using a clear container so I an see the developing roots but you can use one that is not clear. It is a matter of preference.

Avoid submerging any leaves in the water, they will rot and cause problems.

placing sweet potato vine cuttings into a container of water to root

Use as a Houseplant

Over the winter keep your container of cuttings in a spot that stays above 50 degrees. Sweet Potato vines are tropical plants and grow best in about 70 to 75-degree temperatures.

You can also bring potted specimens into your home but I have found that more challenging than just taking cuttings and bringing them inside. I am trying again this year and will let you know how that goes.

pam with vase of sweet potato vine cuttings rooting in water
See the roots in the water? These were cut just two weeks prior.

Different Sweet Potato Vine varieties

Over the summer I rooted many cuttings from pruning my Sweet Potato vines and used them in many of my container gardens. To keep them in check I would leave them in the smaller pots and prune them as needed.

The bottom Sweet Potato vine is called Tri-Color as is such a gorgeous mix of green with a touch of white and pink. It colors up even better with more sunlight.

Propagate Sweet Potato Vine cuttings to make more plants

Some Sweet Potato vines are purple or nearly black. I have even had purple flowers bloom on one of my darker-colored vines. They are just beautiful plants!

Plant Sweet Potato Vine

When the time comes and you wish to plant your new vines, add potting soil to the container. Place the rooted cutting into the pot and fill it within 1/2 inch of the top of the pot with well-draining yet moist soil. Water well.

If the new growth of the rooted cutting is top-heavy then prune it back as needed.

If planting outdoors in the garden there is no need to prune. Plant in a garden bed well amended with organic matter. Well-drained soil is best to prevent root rot.

Sweet potato vines can be planted in full sun to partial shade. You can use them as a pretty ground cover through the warm growing season. Some like to use a slow-release fertilizer but I prefer to just add compost to my garden soil.

There is a new 2024 ornamental sweet potato vine that will produce tasty edible sweet potatoes. I think it will be fun to try it. You can try and eat the tubers of other ornamental varieties but I have heard they are not that tasty.

tricolor sweet potato vine in white enamel tub

See the video:

link to video

Hi, I’m Pamela

I am a 40-year master gardening enthusiast who loves to share the simple tips, tricks, and inspiration I have learned from personal experience.
My goal is to cultivate the love of gardening and help make your gardening life more enjoyable!
a Garden Friend!

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  1. MaryCarol says:

    Our sweet potato vines are at their very best right now in early September. I’m hoping to propagate now so I can save some for next spring. We’re in Texas and it’s been so hot but apparently great for the Margarita variety.

  2. I am not sure if it is the same but my dark one that is nearly black did bloom the sweetest little purple flowers. The green ones have not done that for me but I have read that if they don’t get frozen back in winter the green ones will bloom too.

  3. Sydney Ducham says:

    My mother in law had a beautiful vine in her yard, many years ago, with a purple flower on it. I was told this was a potato vine. I never knew they had flowers, just vines. are these two different plants? I live in Winlock, WA and wonder if I can successfully grow this in my garden? Do you know? Jeannie (sYDNEY DUCHAM)

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