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Common Name:

Ornamental Sweet Potato

Scientific Name:

Ipomoea batatas

Family Name:



Ornamental Sweet Potatos are cultivars of the Common Sweet Potato selected for their attractive foliage coloration or form. I. batatas 'Sulfur' has chartreuse cordate leaves and is also known as 'Margarita'; 'Blackie' has deeply lobed purple-black leaves; 'Black Beauty' has two-tone black-purple and green cordate shaped leaves; 'Tricolor' has green, pink, and white variegated foliage. Most selections can be used as seasonal groundcovers, potted plants, hanging baskets, or cut foliage.

Plant Habit or Use:

Warm season annual, perennial, groundcover, tropical, vine


sun, partial sun, shade

Flower Color:

Not ornamental, seldom produced

Blooming Period:

Summer, fall

Fruit Characteristics:

Not ornamental


6 inch to 8 inch



Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Medium Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Medium Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: Medium Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

8, 9, 10, 11

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

A tropical sprawling vine used as a herbaceous perennial (USDA zone 8 or 9) or summer annual. Subject to similar insect problems as with edible Sweet Potatoes, movement may be restricted in commercial Sweet Potato production regions.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.