The Morning Glory Flower
Fill Your Trellis with Fragrant, Fast Growing Blooms
The morning glory flower (ipomoea nil) is also known as Tricolor or Purpurea. Its twining vines are endowed with big, aromatic bell-shaped flowers up to 3 inches in diameter, and dark green, heart-shaped foliage.
The flowers are fragrant that interestingly unfurl when kissed by the morning sun, then curl up again in the afternoon. Morning glory comes in variety of vivid colors such as white, pink, red, blue and purple. Some varieties have vibrant multicolored blooms.
Morning glory is a famous annual vine because it is colorful and easy to grow. In fact, this vining plant can grow rapidly to 10 feet or more in just two months! So if you want to cover unsightly areas in your lawn or garden then try growing morning glories.
They do beautifully on fences, trellises, pergolas, and lampposts. You can even surround your porches, patios and windows with eye-catching walls of morning glories. Just so you know, covering up eyesores without spending much is possible with stakes and twine. Other varieties can be used as trailers from window boxes and hanging baskets.
The most popular variety is the Heavenly Blue because of its revitalizing azure color. Other well-known varieties include Scarlet Star, Pearly Gates and Early Call Mixture. However, take note that morning glories self-seed each year, which make them a type of “noxious weeds” in some regions. In fact, these beautiful vines are prohibited in Arizona.
Propagating Morning Glories
Morning glory self-seeds readily. But if you’re in colder regions, it’s best to start the seeds indoors. Follow these simple steps:
- To speed the germination process, carefully chip the thick seed coat then soak seeds in warm water for 24 hours. This will soften the seeds and also increase the germination rate.
- Scatter the seeds in peat pots 4-8 weeks before the last frost date in your area. Cover lightly with soil. Place the pots in full sun. An average and well-drained soil is best for these vines. But for most I. tricolor cultivars, choose soil that is not too rich, or you’ll get copious leaves and few flowers.
- Germination takes about 5 to 7 days at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Transplant the peat pots outdoors when the weather warms up. At this point, your plants should be 6-week old. Space them 8 to 12 inches apart. Make sure not to disturb the roots.
How To Grow Morning Glories
Morning glories grow abundantly with little care. Before transplanting morning glories to their permanent location, make sure they will get full sun and good drainage. Morning glories are not water lovers and will not tolerate soggy soil. Water them once or twice a week during hot, dry periods.
Additionally, provide support to climb on. Morning glories are twiners and will eventually seek out something to grab hold of. They grow upward so it’s best to insert twigs for initial support. Again, watch out for the roots.
Add organic fertilizer rich in phosphorous twice or thrice throughout the growing season for optimum growth. Mulching around the plants is a good idea. This will keep the weeds down, hence will improve their appearance.
Morning Glory Diseases
Morning glories are not often bothered by diseases, insects and pests. Nevertheless, you may check for aphids, slugs and powdery mildew. If these problems occur, treat with organic fungicides and natural pest controls.
Morning glories, however, are susceptible to freezing and will not survive hard frost.