Morning glory sweet potato: the secrets of growing an ornamental vegetable
Morning glory Batat, traditionally known to us as a vegetable crop, has recently been increasingly used as an ornamental plant that adorns gardens and flower beds. And some daredevils do a good job of growing this plant, even as a pot culture. The intricacies of growing sweet potatoes will be discussed in today's article.
Description of the variety
Ipomoea Batat belongs to the bindweed family, like the garden morning glory we are used to, however, there are a number of differences between the plants. For most of the peoples of Central America, our heroine is one of the most important food products, and not only root crops, but even young leaves and stems are suitable for eating. The culture is grassy and undersized. Each plant grows to about 30 cm in height. But the sweet potato is actively growing in breadth - each bush can spread 1.5-2m. The culture forms gramophone flowers of white, pink or light lilac color. But in Russian realities, it will not be possible to admire the color of this morning glory - modern varieties are cultivated mainly for the purpose of obtaining a harvest, and decorativeness is achieved due to beautiful leaves. The latter are large in the plant, and, depending on the varietal variety, can be painted in a variety of colors - from bright salad to purple and violet.
From the video you will learn many new facts about the sweet potato morning glory plant.
Planting a plant
Morning glory Batat feels equally good both in open sunny areas and in partial shade. It is possible to plant plants on an open bed from the moment when the danger of night frosts has finally passed - in the Middle Lane this period begins by the end of May. As for the soil, it should be moderately moist, slightly acidic and pass moisture and air well.
The culture is characterized by active growth, therefore it is often used as an ornamental ground cover plant. Another cultivation option is indoor, in hanging pots - then the stems of the morning glory hang down beautifully, forming an attractive decorative composition. In order for the plant to form a lush, leafy head, it needs regular pinching.
Like any culture, morning glory sweet potato requires care, and you need to remember about certain features of agricultural technology for this plant:
- stick to regular watering - for morning glory, both a drying earthen lump and an excessively moist one are equally harmful. Therefore, you need to water the plant regularly, but in moderation;
- wintering - in open conditions the plant will not survive the winter. With the arrival of autumn, move the pot of morning glory to a room where there is enough light and heat - the air temperature should be at the level of 20-25 degrees;
- spring care. At the end of the cold weather, carefully examine the plant, if some shoots are stretched out, cut them off, giving the bush a neat look (by the way, such shoots can be used for cuttings);
- pruning regularly - remember to remove any shoots that look weak, dry, or diseased.
Fertilization and feeding
Morning glory Sweet potato is especially in need of nutrients during active growth. When feeding a plant for the first time, use ammonium nitrate, and in the future you can alternate various types of mineral fertilizers, the main thing is that the nutrition of the crop is regular.
There are several ways to propagate Ipomoea sweet potatoes:
- grow from a root crop - the growing process is very similar to working with ordinary potatoes: as soon as seedlings begin to appear on the tubers, plant them in the ground;
- root the stalk - this method is the main one in the propagation of decorative morning glory. Cuttings collected from the shoots are rooted in water for several days, after which they are transferred to the ground.
Diseases and pests
Given the sensitivity of the culture to excess moisture, it can suffer from a fungal infection. Often, minimal manipulations are enough - just remove the damaged shoots, and treat the sections with any fungicide. It's another matter if signs of root rot are seen on the plants, then you will have to get rid of all bushes without exception, destroying them along with the roots.
Sometimes gardeners notice that disgusting white blisters appear on the leaves of the sweet potato. Reduce watering immediately - this happens when the plant is suffering from excess moisture and low temperatures. As a rule, such a nuisance more often overtakes the morning glory that grows indoors or indoors.
Well, how can it be without insects. Of the pests, the main danger to the sweet potato is the common aphid and the notorious spider mite. And if you can defeat aphids with soapy water, then spider mites will have to be fought with insecticides.
Ornamental sweet potatoes are dearly loved by gardeners for their decorativeness and versatility: compositions from multi-colored varieties of the morning glory itself or a combination with other garden crops look really amazing.
A wonderful tandem creates a sweet potato morning glory with green chlorophytum, pink petunia or even cereals. We are sure that fantasy will definitely tell you the best combination.
Video "Growing sweet potatoes"
From the video you will learn how to grow this plant.
Large eggplant harvest in the greenhouse: from planting to harvest
It is believed that eggplant is a capricious culture and is difficult to grow. This is not entirely true when it comes to growing this vegetable in the southern regions. In the south, every summer resident easily grows eggplants on his site, the weather conditions allow this to be done.
However, a completely different matter is to grow a purple handsome man in a cool climate, central Russia, or even in Siberia. Here the gardener will have to apply all his knowledge and skills so that the eggplants will please him with a large and high-quality harvest. Outdoors, this is especially difficult given the unpredictable weather conditions and frequent temperature fluctuations.
Therefore, it is preferable to grow eggplants in a greenhouse in areas of risky farming.
And first of all, you need to prepare a greenhouse for planting plants.
There are several ways for fast germination of morning glory seeds:
The seeds are effectively frozen in the top compartment of the refrigerator for two weeks. This happens in winter at low temperatures. Then they take it out and put it in the root solution.
Ipomoea is placed in the vegetable compartment, previously wrapped in newspaper.
Having taken out and processed with zircon, wrap it with a wet rag. When the roots appear, they are planted.
Hot water treatment
Ipomoea seeds can be pierced with a needle, and then put in a thermos filled with water at about 60 degrees overnight. They will swell.
Morning glory sweet potato: features, varieties and their cultivation
Previously, morning glory sweet potato was cultivated as an edible plant, and only recently gardeners have started growing it for decorative purposes. This amazing plant with leaves of different shades creates a picturesque landscape at the summer cottage.
Description of culture
The roots of the morning glory sweet potato can be eaten, but today this plant is grown for indoor and garden landscaping. Also, the plant often decorates balconies, loggias and terraces.
The plant belongs to the Bindweed family, its homeland is Mexico and the lands of the central part of the American continent - it is there that you can see almost two-thirds of all existing varieties of this flower.
The leaf plates are well spaced heart-shaped lobes. The size of the leaf plates is approaching 15 cm. A distinctive feature is the color gamut, represented by the most interesting shades of green, purple, scarlet and yellow. Feathery plants are also found.
The sweet potato grows up to 30 cm, but the lashes can reach 2.5 meters, and the total length reaches 5 meters. It blooms with pretty beautiful axillary flowers, however, some recently bred varieties do not produce flowers.
In southern latitudes, plants are used as a ground cover crop and decorate flower beds - they prefer well-lit areas and a sufficient amount of their air.
In Russia, it is mainly grown as a loach that adorns arches, fences, walls and windows. Ipomoea sweet potato is very fond of landscape designers, as it allows you to successfully hide any flaws in the garden plot, since this flower grows very quickly and covers the support in just a few weeks.
Among the popular varieties and varieties of decorative leafy morning glory, the following should be distinguished:
- Ligth green - decorative loach with light green leaves, visually reminiscent of 5 elongated and pointed at the ends of the blades
- Sweet caroline bronze - another plant with leaf plates of five sharply broken blades of a light bronze shade
- Sweet caroline purple - a variety with large carved leaves of a rich lilac-purple color
- Sweet heart red - the leaf plates of this morning glory resemble maple ones, the color has a green-purple tint, and the young leaves are rather brown.
In most cases, morning glory is grown outdoors. But there are several varieties adapted for home life.
- Kumara Ed. This plant has lush large leaves, oval yellow tubers. This variety requires warmth and good lighting, so it needs additional lighting at home.
- Burgundy. It is one of the earliest species of morning glory. The tubers are bright red, and the large leaves are green. The inflorescences have a pleasant aroma.
Purple. This variety is considered early. It is adapted for keeping in apartments. The leaf plates have a deep green color, the bush is quite powerful and strong. The plant is characterized by resistance to most infections - it is for this reason that quite a lot of hybrids have been derived on its basis, which can be conditionally divided into several categories:
- dessert - this includes such varieties as Amish Red, as well as "Chestnut" and "Purple Korean"
- vegetable - represented by a series of varieties Beauregarde, California Gold and "South Queen"
- fodder - the most popular were the "White Bouquet" and the Ipomoea variety "Brazilian".
The dessert group includes sweet potatoes, which have a pleasant taste reminiscent of pumpkin, banana and melon. These varieties are widely used in the preparation of all kinds of desserts and preserves, as well as in winemaking.
A group of vegetable varieties can easily replace potatoes in any dish, and sweet potato fodder Ipomoea is grown to feed farm animals.
Indoor morning glory requires a water and air permeable substrate. She is suitable for universal soil for indoor crops, which is sold in any flower shop. If you wish, you can make a suitable mixture of different soils yourself. To do this, you need to take ordinary garden soil, disinfect it by calcining in a pan and add a little humus, as well as potash and phosphorus fertilizers. If the usual soil turns out to be too acidic, then it must be additionally mixed with crushed ash or a little lime added.
Ipomoea loves lush soil, but it is worth noting that even if you plant it in the most ordinary soil, it will grow and give flowers, but not as abundantly as we would like.
Most often, morning glory is grown from seeds. This planting material retains a high germination capacity for about 3-4 years. The seedlings must undergo stratification and lie in warm water for 24 hours - during this time the seeds will swell. If this does not happen, then they need to be pierced with a needle and sent into the water for a few more hours.
Seeds can be planted in containers for germination in late February or early March for seedlings, or you can plant them directly in open ground. In the latter case, planting should be carried out in the second decade of May, when the threat of return cold has passed completely, and a consistently high day and night temperature will be established.
Plants are planted at a distance of 20-25 cm from each other. It is advisable to make a light frame over the flower bed, which future vines will use as a support.
How to care?
Morning glory is a rather unpretentious plant, but for its full flowering it is necessary to create a favorable habitat.
Sweet potato prefers well-lit and windless areas, but it is undesirable to grow it in the shade - the plant, in search of light, will begin to stretch, fade and lose its decorative effect. Planting is carried out in the spring, and in the fall the bush will dry up naturally.
If a perennial variety grows, and it is necessary to preserve it in winter, then shortly before the onset of frost, the top of the lashes should be cut off, carefully dug up and transplanted into a pot, then brought home and left in a warm room. It is very important at this moment, so that the morning glory is located as close to the window as possible - she needs fresh air. At the same time, cold drafts should not be allowed - with a significant decrease in the temperature in the room, the sweet potato sheds its leaves.
This flower is rightfully considered a godsend for too busy or simply forgetful owners - it does not require regular watering at all. Moreover, morning glory is very afraid of waterlogging - frequent irrigation is required only in the very first weeks. If the plant is planted on a balcony or in the open field, then it is watered only in extreme heat twice a week. During the rains, watering is excluded.
With excessive moisture, blisters of a light shade appear on the leaves of the sweet potato - this is how the plant reacts to excess water. If such a symptom is found, watering should be stopped until the blisters come off.
When kept at home, watering is preferable, in which water is added to the pan - the plant itself will take as much moisture as it needs.
Spraying for morning glory is not recommended, but once every three months, you need to wipe the sheet plates with a soft sponge dipped in settled water to clean them of dust and dirt.
At low temperatures, the plant dies rather quickly, so you can take out a container with a flower outside only after the temperature at night stops at around 20 degrees and above. This fully applies to planting in open land.
Morning glory sweet potato can reproduce in two ways: vegetatively and by seed.
The first option involves cultivation with tubers and cuttings. In this case, the tubers must be dug up in the fall, even before the onset of frost.
This process should be done carefully and then stored in a cool, dark place.
Usually, in the month of December, kidneys appear on them. Then the tuber needs to be moved to a nutritious substrate - usually peat is mixed with river sand. However, regular flower primer will work as well.
When seedlings appear, you can divide the tubers into 2-4 parts with a sharp knife and plant each in a separate container for growing. With the onset of heat, the planting material moves into the pots.
This method is only good if the plant has developed tubers. In this case, up to 15-20 young plants can be obtained from each bush.But the fact is that in most varieties of tubers develop very slowly, so in the first year it is not possible to get high-quality seed material.
Ipomoea can be propagated by cuttings, which can be obtained from sprouted tubers. They are washed under running water so that all the milky juice comes out, dried in the open air for two hours and sent into the water for rooting.
You can also get cuttings from purchased seedlings. In this case, a shoot of 10-15 cm is cut off, while it is imperative to capture several leaf nodes.
Rooting is carried out in a warm, well-lit place. During this time, the shoots are stretched, so after a while they are re-pruned, stimulating the growth of lateral branches - this is already a seedling that can be transplanted into open ground at the beginning of summer.
A characteristic feature of morning glory is a rather rapid formation of the root system - you can get full-fledged roots already on the fifth day, so there is no need to use Kornevin and other drugs of a similar effect.
Ipomoea can also be propagated by seeds.... But this method is used quite rarely - they germinate for a very long time, so you can enjoy all the beauty of this plant no earlier than in the second half of summer.
Diseases and pests
Morning glory sweet potato belongs to very resistant plants - it rarely gets sick, and insects hardly attack it.
However, due to improper care or due to infection from neighboring flowers, it can pick up such a dangerous disease as root rot.
If this happens, then you should immediately pull out the morning glory from the container, clean off all the soil from the roots and tuber, then cut it off with a knife to the affected area, and treat the remaining parts with copper sulfate or Bordeaux mixture. The drug "Cytoflavin" also has good efficiency.
Of the pests of morning glory, it is susceptible only to spider mites, which are impossible to get rid of with folk remedies, such as a concentrated solution of laundry soap or tincture of tobacco. Only chemical insecticidal preparations "Actellik", "Oberon" or "Envidor" can help the plant.
Use in landscape design
By planting several varieties of morning glory in one flowerbed, you can create a very bright and effective color composition that will decorate any garden plot. Morning glory sweet potato grows rather quickly, so it has found its application in landscape design as a ground cover crop - its stems can take root at the points of internodes. If you wish, you can always lift the sweet potato from the ground and fix it on a high support.
More popular ampelous cultivation of morning glory... In this case, it is planted in decorative hanging pots and flowerpots.
For the care, rooting and cultivation of the morning glory sweet potato, see the following video.
Growing sweet potatoes from "A" to "Z". All secrets.
In this article I will tell you in detail how to grow a sweet potato with your own hands and, having read it to the end, you can easily do it yourself!
First of all, what is a sweet potato? This is a plant of the bindweed family, a herbaceous liana with whip stalks up to 5 meters long. Yam is grown because of its tubers, somewhat similar to potato tubers, but much sweeter in taste and healthier in many other respects.
Sweet potato leaves are like bindweed leaves, and flowers are like bell flowers.
Sweet potato tubers come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, from the smallest to over 30 centimeters in length. The largest tuber that we managed to grow on our site was about 30 cm long and weighing more than 1 kilogram! This is not a very bad result for the first cultivation - believe me!
The record-breaking tuber that we have grown!
Friends, I will talk about how to grow a good harvest of sweet potatoes on my own experience, so all the tips will be tested in practice.
We had the sweet potato tubers for planting quite by accident - they were sent to me by my subscribers from the city of Dnipro, before that we were not familiar with the sweet potato, but, as it turned out, growing it is not at all difficult, if you observe some nuances when growing.
With varieties, I think, each of you will be able to decide on his own, and with time and experience you will understand which of them are right for you, because, as they say, there are no comrades for taste and color! The only thing I can say on this issue is that basically all varieties of sweet potatoes have a sweetish taste, but some of them are sweeter, and some are less.
Sweet potato does not belong to the nightshade family, like potatoes and, accordingly, is not damaged by diseases and pests that prevent us from growing potatoes - on sweet potatoes you will not meet the Colorado potato beetle and late blight and, accordingly, during its cultivation, you do not have to treat plants with pesticides!
How to sprout sweet potatoes?
Obtaining planting material for planting sweet potatoes is fundamentally different from actions with potato tubers. The main difference is that sweet potatoes do not have eyes, like potatoes, and sprouts develop from hidden buds. From one tuber, you can get 25 or more pieces of ready-made seedlings - not very bad!
In order to get shoots suitable for planting, you must proceed as follows:
We take some kind of box - preferably plastic, moisture resistant and suitable in size, cover the bottom with a plastic film (we make drainage holes in the film in case watering is allowed during watering) in order to avoid spilling the soil and fill it with soil that is loose in composition - in our case, we used independently prepared soil from the constituent parts of river sand, cow humus, peat and black soil - all this was mixed in equal quantities and we got light, moisture and air permeable, fertile soil with an average acidity of about 5.5-6.5, suitable for growing most plants. You can read how to prepare a suitable soil for growing sweet potatoes here.
The layer of soil in the box, sufficient for high-quality germination of tubers, should be about 8 centimeters. Then we lay out the sweet potatoes horizontally on the soil surface, deepening them no more than half.
We spread the sweet potato horizontally over the soil surface, burying the tubers halfway into the soil.
Leave the distance between the tubers 1-2-3 cm and water thoroughly so that the lower part of the tubers in the soil is well moistened. But you should not water to such an extent that puddles appear in the box - waterlogging can lead to rotting of tubers.
Water the tubers thoroughly for good germination.
It is advisable to add some kind of root formation stimulant to the irrigation water, we added a very effective and inexpensive stimulant that helps the accelerated development of root-succinic acid at the rate of 2 grams per 5 liters of water.
On average, the whole process of germination of sweet potatoes and the appearance of shoots suitable for planting in the ground takes from two to four weeks in time - a lot depends on the temperature regime,
Landing time and scheme
Eggplant bushes in a greenhouse
It is customary to plant eggplants in seedlings, so you can get a harvest more efficiently, more productively and faster. It is very important to choose a variety that is suitable for growing in greenhouse conditions. The timing of planting eggplant seedlings in the greenhouse depends on the regions, climatic conditions and weather. There is an early warm spring, or prolonged cold weather can last, which will not allow the soil to warm up. Eggplant seedlings are planted in an unheated greenhouse when the soil warms up to 15 degrees Celsius and a fairly stable positive temperature is established at least 18 degrees Celsius. In greenhouses with heating, seedlings can be planted much earlier.
For full-fledged growth and development, eggplants need enough space, and in order to avoid an outbreak of fungal diseases, good ventilation is necessary. Therefore, it is important to follow the eggplant planting scheme. Seedlings are planted in a greenhouse at a distance of 35-40 cm from each other and there should be at least 70 cm between rows. The higher and more spreading the variety, the more you need to spacing between plants. Then it will be convenient to take care of them and the risk of various diseases will decrease. Next, read about caring for eggplants in the greenhouse from planting to harvest.
Planting eggplants in the greenhouse
How to care?
Morning glory sweet potato will not give special trouble to flower growers. Caring for her is simple and consists in the following procedures:
- Abundant watering at first (for about a month), and then moderate. In constant moist soil, morning glory begins to ache.
- The introduction of ammonium nitrate during the period of active growth, complex fertilizing (without nitrogen) during the budding phase, and potassium fertilizing - at the end of summer, when the tubers ripen.
- Installation of support for curly lashes.
- Periodic pruning of weak and diseased branches. Garden morning glory, wintering in the ground, needs to be trimmed before winter and again in spring.
In regions with cold winters, morning glory bushes growing in a flower bed are dug up for the winter, having previously cut off the aboveground part, and brought into the room or they are grown as an annual flower, sowing seeds annually.