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Ornamental Sweet Potato

September 2007

QuestionThis spring I bought a small sweet potato vine, the large leafed light green variety. It has filled the hanging basket and grown to unbelievable proportions, hanging down 6 ft., and is really a beautiful plant on our deck. I hate to lose it to frost and am wondering if I could save it inside in our sunroom, then cut it back a bit to go outside again in the spring?


AnswerThe ornamental sweet potato is not going to thrive indoors this winter, but you can save the tuberous root that it is growing from. Often the ornamental sweet potato forms what looks like the edible sweet potato underground. While they are edible, the quality is not very good. You can save the tuberous root and start new slips from it next spring, just like you would for the edible varieties. These plants are annuals and not overly expensive to buy should you choose not to dig it up. Make sure if you are going to try to save the plant, you must do so before or immediately after a killing frost--they rot quickly once frozen. Directions on how to grow slips can be found in our fact sheet on sweet potatoes which is on our website at