Return to the Annuals Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Over-wintering sweet potato vine

Posted by RyseRyse_2004 5 (My Page) on
Sun, Oct 6, 13 at 14:02

I have the purple and it is flowering. It is planted in the ground and has become a huge lovely ground cover. If I take starts - root them - plant and bring indoors for the winter, will it keep growing?

I am thinking that once the foliage freezes, I will dig up the roots and see if there are any little potatoes. I hope so because that would be the easiest way to over-winter. Next year, I want to put bits of it all over the gardens to fill in bare spaces.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Over-wintering sweet potato vine

if it literally freezes.. i wouldnt bother digging it up ...

plus.. there will be too much shock.. on a huge root mass .. i would bet my shiny nickle it wont work ...

i would have probably dug and potted it a month ago.. to get it over shock.. and used a systemic to make it bug free.. outdoors .. thereby separating it from the next shock .... in the next sentence ...

also.. anything dug will need to be hardened off.. to going in the house ... you cant take something that is favoring cold nights.. and take it into a hot house .. without some tempering ...

IF cuttings root.. that is your best option .. i am not researching it...but will just intuit for you ...

the biggest issue in z5 .. in winter.. is lack of humidity in the house ...

you have a hot zone plant.. meaning it favors a more tropical setting.. i think rain forest ...

and the trouble in our zone.. is that .. especially with a forced air furnace.. is that house humidity.. in the dead of winter ... is 20 to 30 % ... as compared to a rain forest ...

this is the variable.. i have the hardest time dealing with in winter.. in MI ...

then there is the light intensity issue ...

potting media..

fungus gnats if you dont water properly ...

do sterilize your potting media before bringing it in the house... see link ...

and this is not going to work.. with dirt in the house ...

and the only downside with rootings.. will be they probably wont bloom until very late winter ...

i am all for experimenting.. so go for it.... but dont expect much.. and be pleasantly surprised if you succeed ...

ken

Here is a link that might be useful: link


 o
RE: Over-wintering sweet potato vine

The cuttings I took a few days before my post already have nice roots so today I will transplant them into a long planter and put in the basement window (south facing). If I can just keep them alive, I will be happy.

Will dig up the huge mound this week to see if there are tubers.


 o
RE: Over-wintering sweet potato vine

i knew i wasnt going crazy ... lol ,... well.. i was pretty sure.. actually .... hoping .. lol ...

you should link the two posts.. for others ...

ken


 o
RE: Over-wintering sweet potato vine

The only reason I sometimes post on two different sites is that some are not very active. Obviously you get around - as I do!


 o
RE: Over-wintering sweet potato vine

It's fairly standard practice to let frost kill the above-ground parts of warm-climate bulb/tuber entities, such as as Colocasia, Canna, Calla, Gladiolus, Caladium, then store the dormant bulbs in a cool, dry place until spring. Excavating for possible potatoes seems like the same thing to me. One wouldn't need to keep all of the roots, just any potatoes. Since the cuttings take root so easily, it might be a one-time thing out of curiosity. I've never excavated a significant potato from SPV after one growing year, but I'm sure it's possible if conditions/fertility permits.

I have 4 kinds and LOVE this for ground cover, in hanging pots.

A discussion about SPV in house plants.


 o
RE: Over-wintering sweet potato vine

Did you make an attempt at cuttings or potato excavation, Ryse?


 o
RE: Over-wintering sweet potato vine

I dug the whole thing up that first week of October since the leaves were wilted from the frost. There were no potatoes - not even tiny ones. The plant just couldn't make them with just one season in the ground, I guess. Fortunately, I had already taken cuttings before the frost that were rooting.

I planted them in several pots - some to just overwinter in the south facing sliding doors in the basement and one to use as a house plant over the winter. (That one is full of lilac blooms right now and is just lovely. As long as I can keep them alive (and there is no reason why I shouldn't) I will have plenty of 'Blackie Sweet Potato' vine to use as ground cover next summer.

Our Z5 zone is just too cold to have little potatoes I guess.


 o
RE: Over-wintering sweet potato vine

Fascinating! Maybe after winter in the pot, then summer outside in the ground, you'll get potatoes next fall, IDK. Sending good vibes & look forward to an update in the spring.


 o
RE: Over-wintering sweet potato vine

Maybe it's because of my long growing season...but I dig good sized potatoes from my sweet potato vines every year. The ones this year were as big as the edibles you would buy at the grocery store. I usually get bigger ones from the plants I have in pots. They tend to form along the walls of the pots. I have them in my basement and will take slips from them later on.

Here is a link that might be useful: Taking slips from sweet potatoes


 o
RE: Over-wintering sweet potato vine

Donna, you might be able to leave them in the ground. I've also had them survive in pots sitting on the ground, waiting to be 're-done' for spring.

I'm looking forward to more productivity in the coming years, in general. The spot where we grow most of the edibles was reclaimed from lawn just a few years ago.

Ryse, excellent soil with great tilth and fertility takes time and the periodic additions of organic matter. If you don't have enough leaves in your own yard, and people bag them where you are, get more bags and pile 'em high on your beds for winter. If you have worms, the leaves will be gone by spring. After doing that for a few years, you'll be shocked at the improvement - in texture, color, productivity, drainage while retaining moisture. In the summer, spread cut grass from mower bag (as long as you've mowed before the grass/any other lawn plants make seeds.) The exception is walnut trees/leaves (look up juglone toxicity if you happen to have a walnut tree in your yard.)

Donna, I wonder if your pots tend to stay cooler? I'm sure it gets just as hot where you are, but most of my pots (that I put SPV in) are the dark green smallish (10"?) hanging baskets, so not a lot of room in them. They hang from the roof of a south-facing porch too, a hot situation, lots of extra heat radiating from the sun shining on the floor which is painted a dark gray color for some reason. I don't fertilize much either, for potted plants, and not at all for ground plants. That could be a definite factor.

It can definitely cover some ground. I had to hack most of this away about every 2-3 weeks to keep it from eating the whole yard in this spot. I love looking at it, but I've developed an allergy to the latex sap. It would be best if none of it came back this year.


 o
RE: Over-wintering sweet potato vine

"the exception is walnut trees'. HA!!!! Our property is 58 acres of black walnut trees. The good part is we get good income from the sales of our timber --- the bad part is the juglone. Actually, there are very few plants in my experience here that are adversely affected by the walnut trees fortunately. Tomatoes and peppers don't like being planted near them but I have extensive gardens and the trees are everywhere.

My hosta gardens absolutely thrive under them.


 o
RE: Over-wintering sweet potato vine

That IS hilarious! I bet you were cracking up when you read what I wrote!

So how does Ipomoea get along with juglone?

I'm sure you know, but for whoever else might read, after composting, the juglone should be gone, though this is only something I've read about. Discussed fairly often in 'soil' and 'difficult places' forums.


 o
RE: Over-wintering sweet potato vine

purple, I have had sweet potato vines freeze in pots in the winter. So, if it's a vine I really want, I always dig them up and bring them inside. I have never had one survive winter in the ground. I rather think it's because our winters are so wet and this clay soil around here gets very wet. Our ground never freezes solid, but it certainly is cold. Wet and cold is a bad combination for a lot of plants.

Interestingly, I had a pot on the porch this year with crotons in it. They were so pretty that I decided to dig them up, repot and bring them inside to overwinter. There's a sweet potato vine coming up in them! I guess a piece of root or bulb was left in the croton roots.

It doesn't look particularly happy. I guess because it's only getting weak light. Still, I am trying to encourage it.


 o
RE: Over-wintering sweet potato vine

This is officially my winter for being a "cheapo". I had bronze, chartreuse and black sweet potato vines in pots on my patio last summer and I don't want to buy more next year if I don't have to. So I dug them all up, tossed all the little spuds, (dozen or so) into a pot and covered with dirt. This I put in the shed (stays just above freezing) and I noticed a few days ago that a few sprouts are starting to poke up above the dirt now. The plants I pruned and root-pruned severely and re-potted. They pouted for awhile but soon started growing again. I rooted all the prunings in water and potted them as well. (Took 3 weeks) I've already pruned my cutting-plants because I'm trying to make them branch more. Its now January and I have more SPVines than I know what to do with. (Plenty to share with friends in spring.) Next year I'm not even going to mess with digging them up. I'm just going to take cuttings. Ken is right. Humidity is the key. Keep soil very moist at all times or else spider mites will attack.


 o
RE: Over-wintering sweet potato vine

Fun to hear, Runs! Good luck!

Donna, that sounds right, too much moisture while cold would probably rot the potatoes. This winter it's unlikely any of my potted potatoes will still be alive too. Crazy weather! If I'd known what was coming, I would have put some pots in more sheltered spots. It would probably be best if all of this stuff is killed this winter. The latex sap gives me a rash anyway, I really shouldn't be messing with it.

I had terrible clay at my last place in OH. In a housing development where they remove all of the top soil (to sell) before building. After a few years of adding periodic OM, the improvement was amazing. Also doing amazing things for the sandy soil here.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Annuals Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here