There’s something uniquely magical about morning glories. When their trumpet-shaped flowers open in the morning to greet the sun, it feels as though the entire garden has come alive. As a gardener, I’ve long admired these vibrant vines, watching them twine effortlessly around trellises and gates. Learning to grow morning glories has been an enriching journey and through this article, I’ll share everything you need to know about planting, caring for morning glory, and most importantly, how to get these enchanting flowers to bloom.

Overview of Morning Glory

morning glory
Morning glory

Morning glories are easy-to-grow vines known for their strikingly beautiful, trumpet-shaped flowers. They are largely annual, but there are also perennial morning glory species, especially in warmer climates. Many gardeners often ask how morning glories grow and the answer is, up! These vigorous climbers can easily reach 10 feet in a single growing season, and their heart-shaped leaves add a charming green touch to the foliage. This vine truly knows how to put on a show in the garden!

Getting Started with Morning Glory

Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a novice looking to plant morning glories for the first time, know this: morning glories prefer plenty of sun. So pick a sunny spot in your garden. If you live in a colder region, you can even consider growing indoors or growing in containers. If you wish to grow from seed, it’s best to sow seed in early to mid-spring, after the last spring frost. But if you’ve procured a young plant, you can plant it after the danger of frost has passed.

Understanding Morning Glory Care

Understanding morning glory care is pivotal to successfully grow morning glories. These vines are not particularly fussy, but they do have some specific requirements. A combination of full sun, well-drained soil, and regular watering can ensure that your morning glory plant thrives. It’s also important to remember that while morning glories usually do well with some neglect, too much could lead to more foliage than flowers, which I learned the hard way!

Choosing the Right Light for Morning Glory

Morning glories are sun-lovers. They need plenty of sunlight to bloom at their best, hence their name. As a rule of thumb, ensure that wherever you plant your morning glory, it should receive at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. I’ve found that my morning glories will grow towards the light source, so I usually have to turn my indoor pots regularly. Also, be careful not to mistake bindweed, which has smaller flowers and grows like a weed, for your much-desired morning glory flowers.

Understanding Soil Requirements

Morning glories are flexible when it comes to soil. While they prefer well-drained, moderately fertile soil, they can grow in poor soil too. In fact, too much fertility may lead to more leaves and fewer blooms. Always make sure to add a bit of compost or organic matter to enhance the soil’s fertility. From my experience, slightly acidic soil works wonders, but don’t worry too much if your garden soil isn’t exactly in this range. These resilient climbers can adapt quite well.

Watering Morning Glories

Morning glories require regular watering, but be cautious not to overdo it. These plants are prone to root rot if left in waterlogged soil. Consistency is the key when watering. During hot, dry spells, you might need to water more frequently, but always let the top layer of soil dry out between waterings. As a rule of thumb, it’s always better to underwater than overwater when it comes to morning glories.

Temperature and Humidity Considerations

Morning glories are summer flowers, and they love the heat. They can withstand high temperatures quite well but can be sensitive to frost. If you live in a cooler climate, you might want to start your seeds indoors and then transplant them outdoors once the danger of frost is over. As for humidity, morning glories are fairly adaptable. They can grow well in both humid and dry environments, but remember to adjust your watering accordingly.

Fertilizing Morning Glories

While morning glories aren’t heavy feeders, a little balanced fertilizer at the beginning of the growing season can give them a good start. However, be careful not to over-fertilize as it could lead to lush foliage but fewer flowers. If your soil is naturally rich, you might not even need to add any extra fertilizer. Personally, I’ve found that adding a bit of compost or organic material at the planting stage is more than sufficient.

Training Morning Glories to Climb

One of the unique features of morning glories is their ability to climb. These vine plants will naturally twine around anything they can reach, which makes them perfect for decorating fences, trellises, or even walls. If you’re growing them in pots, you can provide a bamboo stake or a small trellis. As your morning glories grow, gently guide the vines in the direction you want them to climb. It’s a delightful sight when the flowers start to bloom and cascade over the structure they’ve climbed!

Battling Pests and Diseases

Like any other flower in your garden, morning glories are susceptible to certain pests and diseases. The most common pests are aphids, leaf miners, and spider mites. Regularly check your plants for signs of these invaders and intervene as needed. On the disease front, morning glories can suffer from fungal infections, especially if the conditions are too moisture humid. Regular pruning and good air circulation can help prevent these problems. Remember, a healthy plant can better resist pests and diseases.

Propagating 

The most common method to propagate morning glories is from seeds. You can collect seeds from your own plants once the seed pods have dried up and turned brown. Alternatively, you can purchase morning glory seeds from a garden store. If you choose to grow from seed, remember to sow them in early spring. For a head start, you can sow the seeds indoorssix weeks before the last spring frost, then transplant the seedlings outdoors once the weather warms up.

Growing Indoors

If you’re like me and can’t get enough of morning glories, why not grow them indoors? With plenty of sun, a good-sized container, and a small trellis or stake for climbing, you can have a blooming morning glory plant inside your home. Make sure your indoor morning glory gets at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. If natural light is insufficient, a grow light can be a good substitute. Remember to adjust your watering and fertilizing practices, as indoor plants can be slightly different from their outdoor counterparts.

Morning Glories in Winter

Unless you live in a warm climate where morning glories can be perennial, most morning glory vines will die back with the first frost. However, they leave behind numerous seeds that can sprout and grow the next season. If you wish to preserve a particular plant for the next year, consider taking cuttings during the summer and rooting them indoors.

Morning Glory Varieties

There are several species and cultivars of morning glories available, each with its own charm. From the common morning glory with its bright blue flowers to the heavenly blue morning glory which boasts a vibrant azure hue, the options are abundant. The Grandpa Ott’s morning glory presents deep purple flowers with a red star in the throat. Each variety can add a unique aesthetic appeal to your garden, fence, trellis, or even your indoor spaces. Choose the one that speaks to you, or like me, fall in love with them all.

Growing Season of Morning Glories

The growing season of morning glories usually extends from early spring to the first frost in the fall. These vigorous climbers can grow up to 10 feet in a single season. The bloom period, when the flowers open in the morning to greet the sun and close in the evening, can last from early summer to the first frost. Morning glories bloom best in full sun, so choose your planting location wisely.

Care for Morning Glory Flowers

The beauty of morning glory flowers lies not only in their trumpeted shape and vibrant colors but also in their low-maintenance nature. Water them regularly but be careful not to overwater, as they prefer well-drained soil. Morning glory care includes the occasional application of a low-nitrogen fertilizer every four to six weeks during the growing season. Prune as necessary to control their growth and to keep them in your desired space.

The Downside: Invasive Growth

Be warned: morning glories can become invasive, particularly in warm climates where they can grow year-round. Their vigorous growth and self-seeding habits can lead them to take over other plants in your garden. Regular pruning and removing old flowers before they form seed pods can help control their spread. Despite their potential invasiveness, the beauty and charm of these flowers make them a popular choice among gardeners.

Harvesting Morning Glory Seeds

If you want to grow morning glories in another part of your garden, or share the seeds with a fellow gardener, you can collect the seeds once the pods dry and turn brown. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place until you’re ready to plant morning glories in the new location. Soak the seeds overnight in warm water to soften the hard seed coat and enhance germination.

The Conclusion: Morning Glories in Your Garden

Whether you choose to grow morning glories in your garden, on your fence or trellis, or even indoors, these enchanting climbers are sure to add charm and beauty. From the moment their heart-shaped leaves start to unfold, to the daily spectacle of their flowers opening to greet the morning sun, growing morning glories can be a joyous adventure. This journey from seedling to stunning vine is a fulfilling experience every gardener should embark upon.

FAQs about Morning Glories

How long does it take for a morning glory to bloom after planting?

After you plant morning glories, you can expect blooms in about 8 to 12 weeks depending on the growing conditions and care.

Can morning glories grow indoors?

Yes, growing indoors is possible. However, they need plenty of sun, and a trellis or support structure to climb.

Are morning glories annual or perennial?

Morning glories are typically grown as annuals, but in warmer climates, they can persist as perennials.

Do morning glories need a lot of water?

Morning glories prefer well-drained soil and do not need a lot of water once they are established. Overwatering can lead to more foliage than flowers.

Can I grow morning glories in a pot?

Yes, you can grow morning glories in containers. However, ensure that the pot is deep enough to accommodate their vigorous root system and there is a support for the vine to climb.

How to care for morning glory flowers?

Morning glories are low-maintenance plants. Water them regularly, but do not overwater. Apply a low-nitrogen fertilizer every four to six weeks during the growing season and prune as necessary to control their growth.

How do I manage morning glories if they become invasive?

Regular pruning, and removing old flowers before they form seed pods, can help control the spread of morning glories. Also, be sure to pick up any fallen seeds to prevent new plants from growing where you don’t want them.

When should I sow morning glory seeds?

The best time to sow seed in early to mid-spring, after the threat of the last spring frost has passed. If you start seeds indoors, aim for six weeks before the last expected frost date.

What do morning glories symbolize?

Traditionally, morning glories symbolize love, affection, and mortality due to their daily cycle of life, death, and rebirth.

Can I use regular garden soil to sow morning glory seeds?

Yes, you can sow morning glory seeds in regular garden soil. However, it’s best to ensure that the soil is well-draining and not too rich in nutrients, which could lead to more foliage than flowers.