Height x width: ½ to 1 foot tall and 8 to 10 feet wide.
Growth habit: Trailing.
Foliage: Heart-shaped to palmately-lobed, up to 6 inches long. Purple, chartreuse and variegated cultivars are popular. The plant spreads by trailing stems that root at nodes as they grow.
Flowers: Rarely flowers. Species plants produce pale pink or violet trumpet-shaped flowers.
Culture: Full sun to part shade and well-drained soil. Drought tolerant once established—leaves wilt when the vine needs water. Grow as an annual or dig tubers in the fall and store in a cool, dry location in the garage, basement or cellar. Sprouting tubers can be cut into sections with at least one eye per section and planted outdoors after the last frost date. Ornamental sweet potato vines grow slowly in the spring but are fast-growing when the soil warms up.
Other facts of interest: Sweet potatoes are also I. batatas. Ornamental sweet potatoes are also edible but not as flavorful as the vegetable (which has green foliage). Archaeological evidence places early cultivation of the sweet potato back as far as 8,000 BC in south coastal Peru.
Propagation: Division or planting sprouts that arise from eyes (nodes) on the tubers.