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Late Summer Ivy & Sweet Potato Vine Planters

These sweet potato vine planters are huge compared to where they started a few months ago. See the amazing before and after, plus get tips on growing sweet potato vine.

When I first shared these planters with you a few months ago, I focused more on the SunPatiens that the other plants. I thought the SunPatiens would be the star of the show, but I was wrong. It was the sweet potato vine that grew like crazy, and it made the planters really show up from the street. The image below is how the planters looked in mid-May.

See the porch in May

summer planters and layered hello doormats

And here is how they look now!

sweet potato vine planters on porch

I’ve actually had to trim the sweet potato vine a few times when it was getting out of hand. I love the lime green color, and how it pops next to the darker green of the ivy. Truth be told, I am a bit disappointed in the SunPatiens. They grew and filled out, but I didn’t get many blooms. The planters get full sun all morning, but it was clearly not enough. 

sweet potato vine ivy sunpatiens in galvanized planter

Other than using fertilized potting soil, these planters have not been fed. All I did was water them…and sometimes I forgot to do that! Even during the times when our temps were in the 90’s, I never watered them every day. A good watering two or three times a week was all it took for the sweet potato vine to take off and grow. Another growing tip, if you want to plant sweet potato vines in containers, is to make sure you have good drainage. These planters drain well, which kept the sweet potato vines from rotting in moist soil. 

hello doormat and sweet potato vine planter

I’m happy with the way the ivy has filled out as well. I plan to leave the ivy, and possibly the sweet potato vines, in the planters for fall. I am not sure if it’s going to work, but I want to lift out the SunPatiens, and add mums. I would like to nestle some small pumpkins around the mums, but I’m not sure there will be room. That will happen at the end of the month, so stay tuned for that.

pretty garden long graphic

planter with ivy, sweet potato vine, sunpatiens

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Summer Front Porch Sources

front porch with sweet potato vine planters

I feel as though we are in a sort of lull between seasons…it’s definitely still summer, but I’m thinking about autumn. Even though we are limited due to the COVID restrictions, if feels good to look forward to the days ahead. That first chilly and crisp morning, soup simmering on the stove, and pumpkin bread coming out of the oven. Until next time…

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24 Comments

  1. Claudia Bassano says:

    If you want those “sunpatiens” to bloom you need to fertilize. Use one specifically for flower blooming not sweet potato vine growing
    I think Miracle Gro makes one.
    Looks amazing!

  2. Hi Ann, I started on one post and ended up at Home Depot following those galvanized planters!
    Love your front porch! laura in Colorado

  3. Beautifully lush planters! I planted a potato Vine in a hanging basket but the leaves had holes in them. I guess some bug had a few good meals!

  4. Jeannie C Crownover says:

    Your pots look fabulous as always! I had my first sweet potato vine this year and it finally took off and looked awesome! Then the deer found it and chewed it to the ground. I was heart broken, but it is coming back! I have sprayed it this time with “Deer Out” and hopefully they will leave it alone now.

  5. Surprised the impatiens did not do more. I planted some along my shady driveway and water them with a gallon milk jug with Miracle Grow water as I go up to the mailbox! Works for me! Maybe you could implale your pumpkins (artificial ones) on skewers and stick them into the pots so they would be raised up out of the foliage???

  6. Your planters are pretty now, and always, Ann! Thanks for all the lovely ideas you pass along in your blog! I planted SunPatiens in a planter this year, too, in a spot that gets full sun all day, and they have grown like crazy! Under the full sun all day, they definitely need watering at least every 2 days, and really they can use it everyday. I put some fertilizer in the water every 2-3 weeks, or so. (Blooming plants must have fertilizer.) Due to the pandemic, I haven’t traveled this summer, so I’ve been able to stay on a steady watering schedule. However, I see that if I were to be away from home for more then a couple days, I would need to arrange for someone to water my SunPatiens.

  7. Next time plant a Begonia in the planter with the ivy and sweet potato vine and add some Creeping Jenny. I love this combo and it is really a striking set of plants together. My Begonia is 4 ft tall this year! Best year for them!

  8. All those exquisite hues of green. So fresh and beautiful. Amazing to see the growth. 🌿

  9. jane Lund says:

    I always love seeing your front porch!

  10. You need to fertilize annuals, especially those that bloom. It is not too late. I planted for the first time this summer and they are stunning. They should still the show. Never go wrong with sweet potato vine English ivy.

  11. Mary Early says:

    My Sweet Potato Vines look the same! What an awesome plant! No fuss plant for sure!
    Did you know that if you snip off the growing tip of the plant and put it into a little water(I use a shot glass) it sprouts roots in about 2 days! I take this little new plant and pop it into another planter. The vine also grows well directly in the garden. It can add a punch of lime green color anywhere! Your front porch looks really great!

  12. I put gords around and laying around my sweet potato vine for fall if the vine goes down the steps lay gords along the vine

  13. I love sweet potato vines. They look so good in your pots. I may try planting them next summer to climb up the trellises my husband built. I am always inspired by you!

  14. Your planters look great. I use alot of sweet potato vines in my planters. I love how the bright green pops with any other color in the pot. But they really do get out of hand. I am finding that they are crowding out everything else that is in the pots. I have geraniums and petunias that I can’t even see anymore. I guess I need to do some trimming. I was thinking that next year I might try using creeping Jenny instead, just for the bright green color and the fact that they don’t get so big. But then you really can’t beat sweet potato vine for visual impact.

  15. The planters filled out nicely and look so pretty, they complete the look of your porch.

  16. I love sweet potato vines in a planter. They grow like crazy and create such a lush addition to any other plants. Your planters have filled out beautifully. I planted sunpatiens for the first time this year. Mine are red.

  17. HI Ann, Gorgeous sweet potato vines. Are they perennials?
    I have two boxwoods on my front porch and they do not like their planters.
    Learning as I go… laura in Colorado

  18. Love the sweet potato vines…. they come in a dark purple color as well.
    Take some cuttings and root in vases over the Winter and then you’ll have starts for Spring. They love the heat!

  19. Hi, you just highlighted my favorite plants. We have at least 10 potato vine plants. I’m going to try and save the ‘potatoes’ over the winter and see if I can start them in the greenhouse in Spring. Only detriment is the bunnies like them, and keep some of ours trimmed. LOL. Lovely photos!

  20. I have always had great luck with sweet potato vine, no matter where I plant it! I have had a very disappointing experience with sunpatient’s this year as well. At first, beautiful. After a heavy rain one was waterlogged and never recovered. It will go to the plant graveyard today. The others are OK, not full despite much care. Oh well, next year!

  21. I saw your post in May And copied your idea. Mine did the same thing! My sunpatiens have finally begun showing up, but the sweet potato vine has been growing like a weed! I really like their color as well, and maybe I will try the same thing with mums this fall.

  22. Your planters look great. This is the first year I did not use Sweet Potato vine in my planters somewhere in my yard,due to much restricted nursery shopping. Be aware they have a large root system and even form a real sweet potato or two. You may want to remove them before doing your fall containers as they tend to get a bit raggedy even with pruning. I love using the lime green variety with red begonias or caladiums.
    Looking forward to cooler autumn weather.

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