Fertilizing Sweet Potato Vines

Sweet potato vine is an annual that responds well to fertilizer. It may survive without being fertilized but will grow slowly and never reach its full potential as a trailing, spreading specimen. Add fertilizer or compost when initially planting this vine and regularly fertilize container-grown plants for best results and plant health.


How to Fertilize Sweet Potato Vines

If you’re planting a sweet potato vine in the ground, mix compost or a balanced, granular, slow-release fertilizer into the planting hole to encourage healthy roots to grow deeper. One application of a slow-release feed is enough to support the plant for the year. 

If growing this vine in a container garden, apply a balanced fertilizer at planting time. Either mix a slow-release granular fertilizer into the potting mix or add a water-soluble fertilizer after planting. If you choose a water-soluble formula, continue applying it once a month when watering your container garden. Be sure to follow directions on the package to avoid applying too strong of a solution.

Overfertilizing can burn the plant’s roots and potentially kill the plant. Avoid splashing the fertilizer solution on the plant’s leaves and stem unless the package specifies that it can be used as a foliar feed.

Best Time To Fertilize Sweet Potato Vines

Sweet potato vine should be fertilized regularly whether it is growing in a container or in the ground. Fertilize it at planting and every other week thereafter. If applying a slow-release feed, only one application is needed to support the plant all growing season.

Sweet potato vine is a perennial in zone 9 and warmer. In these warmer climates, stop applying fertilizer during the winter months. The plant will naturally grow more slowly when the amount of sunshine declines. Begin a regular fertilizer regimen in the spring.

Best Fertilizer For Sweet Potato Vines

Sweet potato vines grow best with a balanced (e.g. 10-10-10), slow-release fertilizer. Use either an organic or non-organic fertilizer since this plant will not produce an edible crop. Use a granular fertilizer at the time of planting and a water-soluble fertilizer to boost growth during the growing season.

Sweet Potato Vine Fertilizing Tips

  • Use a balanced fertilizer and avoid high-nitrogen formulas
  • Remember to fertilize at planting time
  • Water after applying a granular fertilizer
  • Follow the directions on the package
  • Over-fertilizing is worse than not applying enough fertilizer


-Always wear protective gloves and a face mask when handling chemical fertilizers.

-Closely follow all directions and storage guidelines that are on the fertilizer label.

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 Author Maureen Farmer - Published 12-16-2021