Morning Glory: Growth and Care

Al Ardh Alkhadra > Blog > Gardening > Morning Glory: Growth and Care

morning glory

Do you know that there are a number of colors o morning glory that you can have in your garden?

The common morning glory is often the first gardening vine that gardeners become familiar with.

These fast-growing annual vines come from the name botanical family as sweet potatoes though they do not produce edible tubers.

In fact, all morning glory species tend to be toxic to people and to pets even.

Moreover, these highly colored trumpet-shaped flowers of the common morning glory have a slight fragrance and are also popular with butterflies and hummingbirds.

The bugs tend to be twirled up tightly and unfold when the sun hits them in the morning, thus giving them their unique name,

Keep on reading.

Morning Glory

Native to Mexico and Central America, common morning glory vines tend to grow by climbing by nearby supports with tendrils, rapidly growing to 12 feet or more during the season.

You can either plant them from seed coat about one month before the last spring or they can self-grow effusively, making them very likely to come back the following year.

Though some gardeners find them too aggressive, unwanted seedlings can be pulled out easily.

Botanical Name Ipomoea purpurea
Family Convolvulaceae
Plant Type Annual
Mature Size 6–10 ft. tall, 3–6 ft. wide
Sun Exposure Full
Soil Type Moist, well-drained
Soil pH Neutral, acidic
Bloom Time Summer, fall
Flower Color Purple, pink, blue, white
Hardiness Zones 2–11 (USDA)
Native Area North America
Toxicity Toxic to people,toxic to pets

Learn more aboutClimbing Plants: 8 Best Plants and Taking Care of Them here.

Morning Glory Care

The morning glory is a favorite plant among many gardeners for a good reason.

The eye-catching vines are very low-maintenance you can easily start from seed in the early spring and you will not need to prune or deadhead them as they grow.

Moreover, you can have a trellis or other support in place whenever you plant your seeds, and vines with soon find the support and train themselves to grow on it.

morning glory 1

With the help of regular watering, morning glories can begin to bloom by mid-summer.

However, in most cases, they are slow to begin setting flowers, earning them the nickname: “back to school vine”.

Thus, if you want to try and speed up the flowering time of morning glories you can seed yourself and try sowing the seeds even earlier in the spring.

You can do this by scattering them on frozen ground and even on snow.

Light and Soil Requirments

Planting your morning glory in a spot that tends to get full sun, is especially important.

The flowers of this plant will only open when they are in direct sunlight, so daily exposure to full sun, at least 6 to 8 hours a day will give you the longest amount of bloom time.

However, if they are in a spot that does not get sun until the afternoon, do not expect “morning” glories.

Moreover, these plants will do best in soil that is moist but well-draining.

A neutral soil pH of 6.0 to 6.8 is best, but morning glories will thrive in just about any soil.

However, they do bloom in soil that is not too rich in organic matter.

Thus, you can always amend the soil later if the vines look like they are struggling.

Water, Temperature, and other Requirments

You will need to provide your morning glories with regular water, about one inch per week, and mulch around the roots to retain moisture around them.

The biggest moisture need comes during the growing period of your plant.

Once they establish, and in winter, if your zone tends to warm enough to grow the plant as an annual, you can sow the watering cadence.

Moreover, morning glories can tolerate both cold and warm temperatures, as they are hardy and can even make it through the first frost and continue to bloom.

watering them

You can also grow them as an annual in areas where the temperature drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit and can also be perennials in tropical and subtropical climates.

They have, however, no special humidity needs.

Furthermore, you will need to feed your morning glories with a low-nitrogen fertilizer every four to five weeks throughout the growing period.

However, if notice a lack of blooms, you can try a fertilizer blend that is high in phosphorus.

Morning GLory Species and Varieties

In addition to cultivators of the common morning glory, there are other Ipomea species with similar appeal.

These are:

“Star of Yelta” I. purpurea

Deep purple blooms with dark red stars and small white throats.

“Kniola’s Black” I. purpurea

This one is another purple-flowered cultivator with blooms even darker than those of the “tar of Yelta”.

“Heavenly Blue” I. tricolor

A popular cultivator with large azure flowers and heart-shaped leaves.

I. abla

This one is also known as moonflower, or belle de nuit, a night-blooming species with 6-inch-wide white flowers.

Ipomoea x multifida

Also known as a cardinal climber, a hybrid with relatively small, but deep red flowers tend to resemble morning glory blooms.

Growing Morning Glory from Seeds

You can begin seeds indoors about 4 to 6 weeks before your last frost date, however, it is not necessary.

Morning glory does well when you directly sow them in the ground as well.

If you want to plant your seeds straight into the soil, you will need to wait until the soil is able to be worked on and has warmed to at least 64 degrees Fahrenheit.

Moreover, morning glory seeds have a very hard seed coat and germination will be faster with scarification.

morning glory 2

You can do this by rubbing the seeds between two pieces of coarse sandpaper for a few seconds and then soaking them overnight.

You will notice they are a lot plumper in the morning and look ready to sprout.

Sow the seeds about 1/4 inch deep, spacing them a few inches apart.

However, if you are planting a row of morning glories, the six-inch spacing will be enough.

If you are planting them on a trellis, you will not need to be too particular about spacing.

Water the seeds well and keep the soil moist until they sprout.

Are Morning Glory Vines Invasive?

People often mistake morning glories for their aggressive and invasive cousin, field bindweed, Convolvulus arvensis.

These are also known as Creeping Jenny. However, these are two different species.

Morning glories come from the family Ipomoea and yes, they can also be hard to handle and stubborn.

Moreover, they grow quite rapidly and will aggressively self-seed if you do not prevent them by cutting back and removing seed pods.

And some varieties have also been declared invasive in certain areas.

Field bindweed, on the other hand, tends to send out deep roots that make them nearly impossible to get rid of.

These deep roots also allow it to overwinter in colder climates to return again and again.

Field bindweed will bloom in white or pink flowers and often has smaller leaves than morning glory.

Common Pests and Diseases

Morning glory vines are seldom bothered by insects or disease, though they can contract different fungal problems.

These include leaf spots, stem rot, thread blight, and white blister if they experience a lot of wet weather.

However, a bigger problem is wildlife that loves too much on morning glory without ill effects.

Moreover, deer, rabbits, and groundhogs can do a lot of damage to the lower vines of the plant, especially while plants are young.

You can prevent critters from getting to your morning glories by fencing around the lower three to five feet of the vines.

growing them

The vines will eventually grow through the fencing and disguise it all together.

At this point, if animals do a little browsing, it should not kill the whole plant.

Pest/Disease Type Symptoms Control/Prevention
Aphids Insect Misshapen/yellow leaves; distorted flowers; leaf drop; sticky “honeydew” (excretion) on leaves; sooty, black mold Knock off with water spray; apply insecticidal soap; inspect new plants carefully; use slow-release fertilizers; avoid excess nitrogen; encourage aphid predators such as lacewings, ladybugs, spiders
Fusarium wilt Fungus Plants wilt (sometimes one-sided) in the daytime; later, the entire plant wilts/dies; stunting; yellow leaves; poor flowering; roots rot; stem cross-section reveals brown discoloration Destroy infected plants/ roots/surrounding soil (do not compost); remove plant debris regularly; disinfect tools; resistant varieties; avoid excess nitrogen; in acidic soils, raise pH to 7.0; weed; 3- to 5-year rotation
Leaf miners Insect Meandering blisters in leaves caused by tunneling larvae Remove infested leaves; weed; use row covers; till soil early in the season; rotate plantings
Leaf spot (fungal) Fungus Varies; leaf spots on lower leaves enlarge and turn brown/black; fuzzy growth or pustules in lesions; disease progresses upward; leaves die Destroy infected leaves/ severely infected plants (do not compost); remove plant debris regularly; disinfect tools; resistant varieties; good air circulation; avoid overhead watering
Rust Fungus Varies; orange pustules on undersides of lower leaves/stems; spots on upper leaf surfaces; foliage distorts/ dies/drops; stunting; poor flowering; plants weakened Destroy infected parts/severely diseased plants; remove plant debris regularly; disinfect tools; resistant varieties; good air circulation; avoid overhead watering; weed

Final Thoughts

Morning glories are tender annuals that are sensitive to cool temperatures and late frosts. Given their rost sensitivity, make sure to avoid sowing the seeds too early o somewhere else and wait until the danger of spring frost is over.

Morning glory comes in different colors like blue morning glory, and you may see it with mike Pomeroy during worth watching morning show.

Once you sow them from early summer to the first of the fall, they will grow rapidly. With slender stems and heart-shaped leaves, their trumpet-shaped flowers will come in colors pink, purple-blue, magenta, or white. While these fragrant flowers are not only attractive to the eyes but also to butterflies and hummingbirds.

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