Last Updated on July 7, 2022
Morning Glories spread cheer around the world. If you want to capture some of that, there is no reason why you cannot sprinkle these flowers around your own garden. Suitable for outdoor beds and containers, these trumpets are easy to care for. Our guide is packed with the best tips for beginners to grow these stunning flowers for years to come.
Table of Contents
- The Benefits of Choosing Morning Glory Flowers
- Origins and Appearance
- How to Sow Morning Glory Seeds
- Temperature and Humidity
- Watering and Feeding
- Soil and Repotting
- Pests and Diseases
The Benefits of Choosing Morning Glory Flowers
- Deer resistant.
- Exotic appearance.
- Very colorful.
- Attracts hummingbirds.
Origins and Appearance
This is not your average garden flower with a dull history! The morning glory was greatly revered by the ancient Maya, Aztecs and other peoples of Mexico. The plants were believed to have had great spiritual properties. They eventually spread from Mexico and Central America across the world and today consist roughly of 1,000 species.
The most well-known morning glories are shaped like trumpets. The petals are fused, which creates their iconic funnel-like flowers. They are also available in several colors. These include bright blue, white, magenta, pink and red. The leaves are also gorgeous. Depending on the species, some are heart-shaped while others resemble smooth-edged maple leaves.
As a vining flower, your morning glory can also be trained to grow on a trellis. Under optimal conditions, it can reach a height of roughly 10 feet (3 m).
How to Sow Morning Glory Seeds
The right time – 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost. Sow them indoors in seed trays.
Preparations – Nick each seed with a nail file and soak overnight.
Planting depth – ¼ inch (6 mm.) deep.
Care: Keep the seeds warm and moist until they sprout. This might take a few weeks.
Temperature and Humidity
Full Sun is Perfect
Morning glories worship the sun. Indeed, when they are not soaking up enough rays – between 6 to 8 hours a day – the flowers are not going to open. Indeed, many gardeners who try their hand at growing morning glories for the first time experience this unfortunate fact. They plant their seedlings somewhere too shady and the flowers refuse to unfurl.
Besides needing a lot of sunshine, your morning glories are pretty relaxed about the weather. Humidity does not bother them and they thrive in both warm and cold climates. These tough nuts can even battle the first frost.
Amazing abilities aside, one thing does affect their lifespan and that is temperature. In colder areas, morning glories are mostly annuals but they tend to live as perennials in tropical and subtropical regions. If you live in a colder place, don’t worry. Those garden glories will seed themselves and grow again the next year!
Watering and Feeding
You should base your watering routine on two things – the time of year and how quickly the plant dries out. Establishing a safe routine is essential as overwatering is never a good idea with this plant. When you feel it’s time to offer a drink, push a finger into the soil to determine whether the soil is dry or soggy. When dry, give your leafy friend a nice tall glass of H2O!
You can also place mulch around the plants to keep the earth moist for longer. This will reduce the number of times you have to water which, in turn, protects this precious resource. You can also slow down the frequency during winter. However, keep an eye on your glories during the growing seasons when they need more moisture. It’s all a balancing act but you’ll get the hang of it quickly!
A good fertilizer is a must when you desire plenty of trumpets. For the best results, use a low-nitrogen feed during spring and summer (about once a month). You can also use a liquid organic fertilizer like fish emulsion, which will keep the foliage and blooms looking amazing. You can also give fish emulsion weekly without burning the plants or contaminating the soil.
Soil and Repotting
Most Soil Types Are Fine
Another reason why morning glories are so popular is their adaptability. They will literally put down roots anywhere. But if you want to give your plants the best opportunity to bloom like a champion, then certain soil conditions can improve your odds.
- Keep the soil most but also, well-draining.
- Avoid soil that is too rich in organic matter.
- Neutral pH of between 6.0 and 6.8.
Low Repotting Needs
If you plant your morning glory seedlings directly into the garden, then there is no need for repotting (obviously!). But how often do you need to repot your container glories? Seeing that this is a vining plant, it’s best to plant each seedling in a pot that is big enough to last a lifetime. After all, if you are going to train the glories up a trellis, it might be unnecessarily difficult later on to repot the plant.
Get all the best tips on how to re-pot your house plants.
When to Prune a Morning Glory Plant
When left to its own devices and under optimal conditions, a morning glory vine can grow taller than you. Some people don’t mind when their morning glories fill out the flower bed or creep skyward on a trellis, reaching their maximum potential.
But if you want to keep your vine contained, you can prune back any unwanted branches. Avoid cutting back too hard as this can sometimes stunt the plant’s health and flowering ability. Besides the removal of wayward limbs, morning glories do not really benefit from pruning like roses and some fruit trees do.
Pests and Diseases
By now, you already know that morning glories are tough customers. When it comes to bugs and diseases, you can look forward to the same hardiness. Even though you can expect years of infestation-free crops, sometimes a problem appears. Let’s have a look at the known issues that can affect your lovely blooms.
Morning glories are not the best option for rainy gardens. Too much moisture is a big problem with these plants. When consistently drenched, they develop fungal problems and the devastation can jump to your other plants. For this reason, also avoid giving your potted morning glories too much water.
Some of these diseases include stem rot, root rot, leaf spot, white blister and thread blight. You can use an organic fungicide to combat the early stages of a fungal attack (only above ground as root rot is pretty much the end of the line). You can also regularly apply fungicide as a preventative if you know your morning glory is at risk.
Some wild animals love to nibble on the leaves of morning glories. You can protect your plants by fencing them off securely or elevating the pots to bring them out of reach. These adorable thieves include rabbits, deer and other herbivores to name just a few. If you love these visitors but don’t appreciate the damage, why not create a feeding station? Fruit and vegetables will be more appealing to them than leaves!
Q: Is morning glory plants safe around pets and children?
This is a big no. Morning glory plants are considered toxic to both humans and animals. If you have pets that regularly sample your plants or young kids that put leaves in their mouths, then you might want to reconsider getting morning glories.
Q: Is it true that ancient people used morning glory as a hallucinogenic?
The ancient people of Mexico and South America used the plant in mind-altering spiritual ceremonies. However, it is highly dangerous to consume this plant today. You can become violently ill. Some people also consume the seeds, unaware that they have been treated with toxic fungicides and pesticides.
Q: Is my morning glory an invasive species?
That depends on where you plant it. Morning glories can propagate themselves via seeding and they do so prolifically. When morning glories grow in pots on a wooden deck there is little chance of unchecked seedlings. But when they grow in the garden, they can quickly overpower other plant species.
Q: When can I expect my morning glory to flower?
When grown from seeds, it can take several months for the plants to bloom for the first time. But generally, morning glories are in full flower during the summer and fall.