Sweet potato vine problem

(Question)

All the sweet potato vines in my hanging baskets seem to be suffering from the same problem – the edges and veins of the leaves are turning purple, and now holes are starting to appear as well. What’s wrong?  They flourished last year on my patio.

(Answer)

There are several possible reasons your sweet potato vine is having problems.  The purple edges could be due to a nutrient deficiency, possibly a lack of phosphorus, or it could be a high pH level in the soil mixture you are using. Depending on your location, the discolouration may also be the result of cold temperature stress.

Sweet potato vines prefer warmer weather. A plant under stress is subject to a  variety of illnesses, and I suspect that a fungus has taken advantage of the weakness, and that is the reason for the holes. Review what you have done this year that might be different from last year when you planted the vines. If everything is the same, you may have inherited the problem from the nursery where you purchased the plants. If the plants are given ideal growing conditions, you may be able to nurse them to health. Pinch back the affected parts, and see what the new growth looks like.