Growing morning glories is so easy and rewarding. They can easily cover a fence, pergola or trellis with beautiful blooms in a few weeks. I share how to grow morning glories so you can enjoy their beauty without worrying about them becoming the pest many claim they can be.
How to grow morning glories. It is so easy that in some areas they are considered invasive. They easily come up from seed, reseeding themselves all over your garden if you don’t keep them in check. But that is the blessing of easy to grow flowers but also their curse. Any avid gardener has no problem though and neither will you if do it right.
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This lovely variety named Flying Saucer, is so fun, each bloom is uniquely striated and splashed with color.
Why grow morning glory?
If you are looking for a great, fast growing climber that will knock your socks off with an abundance of blooms, give Morning Glories a try. They can quickly and easily cover a trellis or fence you may wish to use as a privacy wall.
Want to add some summer blooms to a climber rose that only flowers once? Add some morning glory seeds at its feet and enjoy the morning glory blooms climbing up the rose canes for all summer color.
Climbing an obelisk or trellis they add height to the garden and vertical interest. Perfect for the small garden since they take up very little ground space.
How to Grow Morning glories from seed
I get my seeds from Botanical Interests or Renees Seeds and I have no trouble in getting them to grow. I begin by soaking the seeds in warm water overnight, I don’t bother with nicking the seeds, the soaking seems to do the job just fine.
For an early start plant them inside 6 – 8 weeks before you last frost date, when starting them inside I use poo pots. Morning glories do not like their roots disturbed so starting them in biodegradable pots that you just place in the ground when it is time is the way to go. Just fill the pots with potting soil and place the seed in the soil. Press down gently. You don’t want the seed too deep, about half an inch is great. Water well and keep in a warm place.
Many of these reseed themselves vigorously and come up in droves, Grandpa Ott seems to like it here and is abundant in my Secret Garden.
It covers my back fence and the trellis that hides the untidy underside of my back deck. These were all volunteers that came up from seeds dropped the previous year.
When to plant morning glories
I already shared about indoor planting of morning glories but they readily grow from direct sowing in the garden. Wait until 1 to 2 weeks AFTER your last frost date. Morning glories do not tolerate the cold.
Morning glories like full sun and well draining soil. They will tolerate some shade and pour soil but won’t flower as much.
The white with stripes is called Milky Way and is as prolific as Grandpa Ott..though the folks at Swallowtail Seeds call it Blue Star.
Now I had a really neat thing happen, Milky Way and Grandpa Ott have cross pollinated and now I have this sweet beauty in my garden..this has no name that I know of but it is pretty all the same and another heavy self seeder here.
How to Care for Morning Glories
Morning glory plants are very easy to care for. Just keep them moist but not soaking. In full sun they many need watering once or twice a week. If grown in containers they may need watering more often.
To keep them from sprouting up all over your garden just dead head the spent blooms before they go to seed.
One of my very favorite colors of Morning Glory is Heavenly Blue, it is a blue color that is hard to come by in the flower world and I just love it, though it takes a long time for mine to finally bloom, I always give it a spot in my garden.
NOTE: Heavenly Blue flowers are larger than the others and never fails to make me smile. Heavenly Blue is a bit more finicky than other morning glories. It likes it HOT and we don’t get that much dry hot weather. I won’t get blooms from Heavenly Blue morning glory until nearly Fall but warmer areas that have longer summers they will give you all summer blooms. Other varieties blooms much earlier and longer for me but I always want Heavenly Blue, the color is unmatched.
How to Keep Morning Glory plants from becoming Invasive
Many will read this article and immediately respond how invasive or out of control Morning Glory becomes, some states have banned growing them. But as with any easy growing plant that readily reseeds the way to keep them in line is not that hard.
Weeding will always be a necessary evil of gardening. We know we will have to weed any ground left bare. Mulching is a fantastic way to keep seeds from coming up where you don’t want them. Mulch in Fall for a good ground cover over winter and again in Spring before seedlings sprout. This will smother a good portion of volunteers. I also will merely skim the surface with my trowel or little shovel when an area starts to sprout up seedlings that I don’t want. This cuts them off at soil level and they die.
These came from the La Vie en Rose collection at Swallowtail Seeds.
Earlier I mentioned that morning glories do not like their roots disturbed but I have successfully dug them up in the garden and transplanted them. I will include a video soon of how I accomplished that but the short version is I take a shovel, dig deep under the seedlings, scoop up a mass and move to a new location.
What Morning Glories are you going to grow this Summer?
Just a final FYI, most parts of the morning glory plant and seeds are poisonous if ingested.