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where can I find this plant?

(10 Posts)
StillRunningWithScissors Sun 17-Jan-16 12:57:30


I'd really like to use sweet potato vine (ornamental, not a sweet potato plant) in pots/tubs this year. My mum always grew the bright green and dark purple ones together, like these and it looked lovely.

I've had a look online, but they seem to be elusive in the UK.

Anyone know?

Thank you

MyNightWithMaud Sun 17-Jan-16 15:49:49

I bought some last year from my horticultural society (who in turn got them from a bedding plant wholesaler). They didn't thrive, but that's beside the point. Anyway, have you checked (or can you check nearer the time) with local nurseries/garden centres?

StillRunningWithScissors Sun 17-Jan-16 18:43:03

Thanks Maud, I will check closer to the correct season :-)

shovetheholly Mon 18-Jan-16 08:02:51

I know nothing about growing these ornamentally - but I just wanted to raise a question that maybe others can answer: how hardy are these in the UK? I worry that they'd be extremely difficult to grow, but that's largely based on stuff I've heard about the vegetable plant, and obviously this is different!

MyNightWithMaud Mon 18-Jan-16 08:20:17

For me, the problem was that they never really took off - possibly because last summer was quite cool and they were in pots in quite a shady spot - but if I can brave the cold in the garden I'll report back on what they look like now! (The begonias, for example, have already been turned to pulp by the frost).

DoreenLethal Mon 18-Jan-16 08:24:02

I believe they are pretty tender perennials in the UK.

So if you dig them up and keep them in a greenhouse or somewhere sheltered they may survive the winters.

StillRunningWithScissors Tue 19-Jan-16 16:40:11

Hmm, my mum always grew them just for the summer (no over wintering), probably as it was in Canada. A lot of plants that keep going here are treated as annuals there.


shovetheholly Wed 20-Jan-16 14:23:04

There's an article by Sarah Raven in the Torygraph that recommends them as foliage plants, so maybe they're about to take off in popularity here as annuals?

I had a look for varieties on the RHS plant finder. I searched for Ipomoea batatas 'blackie' and came up with one UK supplier, Swines Meadow Farm nursery. I wonder if it's worth ringing them to see if they could send you some little slips later in the spring?

NanTheWiser Thu 21-Jan-16 12:41:29

These are usually sold as summer bedding tender annuals, not always easy to find. I have a local nursery (not a garden centre) that always has these in stock in the Spring, so you might have more luck in a few months' time. Good garden centres might stock them in April/May.

StillRunningWithScissors Thu 21-Jan-16 22:34:59

Thank you!!! Will definitely see what I can find once the frosts have passed.

Very frustrating, as you see them all over in my parents area in the summer, and they're lovely.

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