Sweet Potato Treasure Island™ Tahiti (Ipomoea batatas)

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Features

Deeply lobed, purple-veined foliage is very ornamental in the landscape or trailing from a pot. The edible leaves can be harvested to add interest and flavor to salads. At the end of the season, dig up the roots to harvest five or more sweet potatoes, of varying sizes, from each plant. Treasure Island™ Tahiti produces unusually beautiful purple-skinned potatoes with sweet purple flesh. An excellent source of vitamins and minerals! Purple potatoes are a popular “super food” because they contain an abundance of antioxidants.

Uses

Edible foliage adds color and flavor to a salad or sandwich. A good substitute for spinach; fresh or cooked. Prepare tubers by cooking or eat raw by blending into a smoothie, juicing, or grating into a salad or slaw. Perfectly sized for growing in a window box or potted in containers for decks, balconies and small space gardens. A decorative companion plant for sun-loving flowers, herbs, and vegetables.

Plant Feed

Apply a granulated slow release feed in spring or apply a liquid feed spring through summer, according to package directions.

Watering

Water when top 1-2” (3-5cm) of soil is dry. Water daily in hot weather.

Soil

Needs well-draining mix of sand and compost. Containers must have drainage hole.

Basic Care Summary

Water and feed plants regularly through the season. In summer, don’t harvest more than a third of the foliage at one time. Harvest potatoes in fall after the leaves turn yellow and wither. Carefully dig up the plant and remove the tubers.

Do not wash potatoes before storing simply brush off dirt. To increase sweetness, cure potatoes by placing in a warm location (80-85° F, 27-29° C) with high humidity (85-90%) for 6 to 10 days before storing. Store in a cool, dark, dry location for up to 2-3 weeks or in the fridge for 1 month. Wash sweet potatoes before use.

Planting Instructions

Start with a good quality, commercial compost, soil and sand. Mix can be up to half compost, one quarter soil and one quarter sand.

If planting in a pot with other flowers or vegetables, position the plant where its trailing foliage can cascade over the side of the container.

Watering Instructions

Consistent moisture is the key to growing a great crop of potatoes. In the ground potatoes do best with 1-2” (3-5cm) of water per week. In the confines of a container the soil may dry out more quickly depending on the weather so it is important to actually check the soil moisture.

Check the soil with your finger or gently lift some soil with a small trowel to observe how moist it is. If the top 2-4” (5-10cm) of soil is dry, or plants are starting to wilt, it is time to water. Keep in mind that the potatoes are growing underground and will not do well in soggy wet soil. Even if the plant foliage looks okay, if the soil is noticeably waterlogged this could cause problems with the development of the potatoes. Take care not to overwater.

Fertilizing Instructions

Apply a granulated slow release feed in spring or apply a liquid feed spring through summer. End fertilization approximately two weeks before harvest. Choose a fertilizer that is high in phosphorus and potassium and lowest in nitrogen. This nutritional balance will encourage the best root (sweet potato) development. A granulated 5-10-10 fertilizer or liquid equivalent should do the job. Be sure to read package directions for any special precautions and information on the best method of application.

Pruning Instructions

The edible foliage can be harvested throughout the growing season. Cut or pinch off leaves by the leaf stem, just above where the leaf joins the main stem. Don't harvest more than two-thirds of the foliage at one time so that plenty of foliage remains to support the growth of the plant and the tubers.

Harvest in fall when the leaves turn yellow and wither. Carefully dig up the plant and remove the tubers. Do not wash potatoes before storing; brush off dirt. To increase sweetness, cure potatoes by placing in a warm location (80-85° F, 27-29° C) with high humidity (85-90%) for 6 to 10 days before storing. Store in a cool, dark, dry location for up to 2-3 weeks or in the fridge for 1 month. Wash sweet potatoes before use.

Plant Details
Category: Annual
Available Colors: Grown for foliage and roots
Bloom Time: Grown for foliage and roots
Height Range: 6-13” (15-35cm)
Space Range: 2-3' (.6-.9m)
Lowest Temperature: 30° to 40°F (-1° to 4°C)
Plant Light: Full Sun
Companion Plants: Patio Tomatoes, Herbs, Flowering Annuals, Patio Peppers
USDA Zone: 10-12

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