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Anyone know about potato vines? Planted one this past spring. Was thriving. Nice green leaves and beautiful blooms. Grew like a weed. All of the sudden it is dying. Can’t figure out what’s going on. Watering schedule hasn’t changed. We are in southern CA. Thx

  • Is it the end of the growing season , as far as the potato is concerned ?. Oct 26, 2018 at 16:34

1 Answer 1


I think you have a fertilizer or rather a chemistry problem. Have you ever fertilized?

The only other cause would be pH. Too far off the pH scale one way or the other, some plants are unable to take up chemistry they need. There could be plenty of nitrogen in the soil for example and if the pH is off, the plant is unable to use that nitrogen for example.

There are pH testers that are inexpensive.

I think I am seeing in your photos, plants growing in a 3" gap in the concrete patio. Is that right?

The heat during the summer collected and transferred to the soil by the concrete could kill fragile feeder roots.

Have you used any cleaner or chemicals on your patio? Washed down into the gap with the roots?

Have you ever added fertilizer? A balanced all purpose fertilizer with N P K? Concerning fertilizer; Less is Best, More is Death and None is Dumb. Kind of silly ditty but very important to remember.

Update: I advise use of Osmocote 14-14-14 at half the amount and applications directed on label.

Testing of pH. Ipomea loves acidic soils; neutral 7.0 down to 6.5

Ipomea needs a dappled or light shade. Will not do well in full sun or full shade.

  • 1
    Thanks Stormy, I have fertilized the plant twice since planting it last April with chicken manure, which I guess is more of a soil amender. I will investigate getting a PH tester. If ph is the issue, do you know how I should proceed; perhaps replace the soil? You are correct. It is planted in a soil bed cut out of concrete so the extreme heat we’ve had could be affecting the soil and roots. I don’t believe we’ve had any cleaners or solvents wash into the bed. Thx for your help.
    – Leshav
    Sep 25, 2018 at 23:27
  • Chicken manure is not fertilizer. If it is not decomposed it is considered hot and will harm plants. Fertilizer needs to at least start out as a balanced formulation with N, P and K. If I were you I would use Osmocote 14-14-14 extended release fertilizer. Only use it once per year not their recommended 3 to 4 applications per year. Your plants look a bit stressed but the biggest issue is lack of fertilizer. I know, it is weird, but chicken, horse, cow, steer, bat poop has to be decomposed first and then it is great for the soil organisms, doesn't help plants with chemistry they need.
    – stormy
    Sep 26, 2018 at 6:28
  • Find out the pH and I will check out your plant's specific needs for pH.
    – stormy
    Sep 26, 2018 at 6:30
  • public.asu.edu/~camartin/plants/Plant%20html%20files/… One article but doesn't really infer correct pH.
    – stormy
    Sep 26, 2018 at 6:33
  • This is a great exercise for you to do. I have this obscenely expensive pH meter that is 35 years old. I still use at least 2 other methods to check the validity of this pH meter. If I am unable to get all three to agree then I find a fourth. The best way is to get a soil test done by your closest Cooperative Extension Service, your closest major university should have this service. Stack Exchange G & L needs to save some of the printouts of these soil tests or at least make them readily available so others can see what is NOT in some of the best darkest soils.
    – stormy
    Sep 26, 2018 at 23:49

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