Sweet Potato Vine and Purple Perilla Flowering Herb

A sweet potato vine is one of my favorite plants. Its hardy, little bothers it and it is easy to care for.

It’s also easy to start new plants from. Just snip a piece of the new growth off and put in a glass of water. It will look great sitting in a window as part of a windowsill garden while it roots.

You will notice roots in a week or two. You can re-pot it right away or wait a bit. With this plant it doesn’t seem to matter.

Sweet potato vines come in several different colors. I usually get a few of each plant. Light green, dark purple and a variegated colored leaf are the most popular varieties here in NW PA.

They make great hanging baskets and look fantastic mixed in with other plants.

One year I made a metal abstract design out of wire and put near the sweet potato vines. They grew up the metal and made a great living sculpture. I mixed annual flowers at the base and had a fast garden art focal point in my yard.

Purple Perilla is an herb that grows from seed. Its considered an heirloom seed and harder than some seeds to find. Its easy to grow and takes little care.

The plant can be used as a seasoning or for crafting purposes. I used to dry it for floral arrangements and use it when I made handmade paper. Some people add it to teas, use sparingly in salads or make a herbal vinegar. The plant has a licorice taste.

Perilla can spread and for that reason some people don’t like it. I didn’t have that problem here. But when I do have a plant that likes to spread I grow it in hanging baskets or over cement. I perfect example is Morning Glories. I love the plants but they take over a garden so I always have beautiful morning glory baskets handing on the back cemented porch.

There is also a red perilla and green perilla which I have not grown yet.

I enjoy finding new plants and trying them out. It just makes everyday in the garden fun.

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Denise

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