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How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Morning Glory Flowers

A true old-fashioned beauty, annual morning glory vines with their large, trumpet-shaped flowers are easy to grow from seed.

Morning Glory

Morning glory flowers are a true old-fashioned beauty! Home flower gardeners are growing morning glory (Ipomoea) for their vibrant colors including purples, reds, pinks, and blues.

This vigorous vining plant (up to 15 feet) is often found covering country fences where their delicate flowers greet you with the morning sun.

Perfect for covering walls, privacy screens, and lattice, so give these hardy annuals support and watch them grow! Dwarf varieties, with their multi-colored blossoms, are especially unique!

Try them in containers set against a trellis. Since these climbing beauties are self-seeding, you’ll probably get them coming back in the same spot year after year. Birds and bees love their large fragrant blossoms.

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Morning Glory

Morning Glory Seeds

A true old-fashioned beauty, morning glory yields large, trumpet-shaped blossoms.

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Botanical Name: Ipomoea purpurea

Common Name: Morning glory, common morning glory

Family: Convolvulaceae

Plant Type: Annual

Hardiness Zones: 2 – 11 (USDA)

Sun Exposure: Full sun

Soil Type: Moist, well-drained soil

Soil pH: 6.0 – 6.8 (neutral, acidic soil)

Maturity: 75 – 110 days from seed to flower

Height: 6 to 15 feet if grown on a trellis

Spacing: 4 to 6 inches apart in all directions

Bloom Time: Summer, fall

Flower Color: Purple, pink, red, blue, white

Quick Guide: Planting, Growing & Caring for Morning Glory Flowers

  • Colors range from bold purple to pink, red and blue
  • Self-seeding annual; climbs 6-18 feet high if supported
  • Direct seed after last frost, but seed must be prepared for best results
  • Needs full sun and consistent moisture
  • Blooms in late summer to early fall

Plant Care for Morning Glory Flower

The common morning glory is adored by gardeners around the world and for good reason. The low-maintenance beauty of the morning glory vines speaks for itself. Plus, they can be grown from seed in early spring and don’t require any pruning or deadheading as they grow.

The flowers of morning glory grow on slender stems. They have trumpet-shaped flowers and heart-shaped leaves in different colors ranging from blue, purple, and pink, to reds and even white.

These blooms are not only pleasing to the eye, but they also attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Morning glories are versatile, working well either as a ground cover or as a vine over an arch in your backyard.

They’re fantastic in pots and containers with trellises or hanging baskets.

Light

When planting your morning glory plant, pick a sunny spot! This plant requires full sun in order to bloom at its best.

The flowers will only bloom if they are exposed to direct sunlight, therefore getting plenty of daily exposure to the sun, meaning at least 6 to 8 hours each day, will ensure the flowers bloom for the longest possible period of time.

If they are in a location where the sun doesn’t rise until the afternoon, don’t count on seeing many morning glory flowers, as the same suggests they bloom in the morning.

Soil

Morning glories thrive in moist yet well-draining soil. Morning glories prefer a neutral soil pH of 6.0 to 6.8, although they will grow just about everywhere.

However, they bloom more effectively on soil that is not overly rich in organic matter. If the vines appear to be having trouble, you can always add amendments to the soil later.

Water

Water your morning glories regularly, about one inch each week, and mulch their roots to maintain moisture. The plant has the greatest need for water during its growing phase.

You can reduce your watering frequency once the plant is established and during winter, if your zone is warm enough to grow the plant as an annual.

Temperature and Humidity

Morning glories are hardy plants that may survive the first frost and continue to bloom in both cold and warm climates.

In places with temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, they are grown as annuals, although they are perennials in tropical and subtropical regions. Plus these easy-to-grow flowers don’t have any specific humidity requirements.

Fertilizer

Throughout their growing season, treat your morning glory plants with a low-nitrogen fertilizer every four to five weeks. If flowers fail to appear, try a mixture of fertilizer that is heavy in phosphorus.

Different Varieties and Species of Morning Glory

The common morning glory isn’t the only Ipomea species you can grow; there are many other species of morning glories that you might want to consider:

  • Heavenly Blue (I. tricolor): This is a popular cultivar that features large, flue flowers and heart-shaped leaves.
  • Moonflower (I. alba): It’s also known as ‘belle de nuit’, meaning beauty of the night as it’s a night-blooming species with stunning 6-inch-wide white flowers.
  • Cardinal Climber (Ipomoea x multifida): This is a hybrid with relatively small but deep red flowers resembling morning glory blooms.
  • Star of Yelta (I. purpurea): This variety features deep purple flowers with dark red stars and small white throats.
  • Kniola’s Black (I. purpurea): This is another beautiful variety featuring purple flowers but with blooms even darker than those of the Star of Yelta variety.

How to Plant and Grow Morning Glory Plants

Site Preparation

Select a planting site that has full sun and moist, well-drained soil. Work organic compost or well-aged animal manure into the ground prior to planting to help retain moisture and prevent plants from wilting during the heat of the day.

Read our article on garden soil preparation for more information.

How to Plant Morning Glories

Growing morning glory from seeds is simple. The y require a long growing season, so sow seed in early to mid-spring.

Soak seeds in warm water overnight to soften the hard seed coat before you plant them. Sow them 1/2 inch deep in moist seed compost pots and place them in a warm area to germinate.

Similarly, when planting outdoors, sow seeds 1/2 inch deep after the last frost, and keep them moist while germinating. Seeds will germinate in 5-21 days.

Seeds can be nicked and soaked in water for 24 hours before planting for better results. Thin seedlings to 4-6 inches apart. Provide support so the young plants can climb.

If you have trouble getting morning glory started, make sure the planting site is in full sun and that the seedlings never dry out until they become established. Provide an organic bloom fertilizer two or three times during the gardening season.

Seed Saving Instructions

Morning glories will cross-pollinate. Gardeners should only grow one variety at a time to save pure seed or isolate varieties by 1/4 mile. Seeds are ready to harvest when the seed capsules are completely dry and brown. Read our article Saving Heirloom Flower Seeds to learn more.

Common Pests and Plant Disease For Morning Glory Plant

Morning glory vines usually aren’t bothered by insects or diseases, but a couple of garden pests including aphids and leafminer may be found attacking morning glory. Monitor your plant weekly and if you notice any pests try the following:

  • Remove weeds and other garden debris to eliminate alternate hosts.
  • Discard severely infested plants by securely bagging and putting them in the trash.
  • Release commercially available beneficial insects— ladybugs, lacewing — to attack and destroy insect pests.
  • Spot treat pest problem areas with neem oil or another organic pesticide.

Foliage and flowers, on the other hand, are susceptible to fungal problems including leaf spot, thread blight, white blister, rust, and Fusarium wilt, especially if they experience a lot of wet weather consistently. To reduce these plant diseases:

  • Avoid overhead watering whenever possible (use soaker hoses or drip irrigation)
  • Properly space plants to improve air circulation
  • Apply copper or sulfur sprays to prevent further infection
  • If problems persist, remove and discard infected plants

 

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