Nothing brightens up the day like being greeted by morning glory. Morning glory is a beautiful vining annual that blooms before the heat of the day. Its blossoms can be found in all shades of purples, blues, pinks, and whites. The heart shaped leaves just add to the lovability of the morning glory plant. The vines and leaves create effective living screens when supported properly on fencing or trellises.
Morning glory was introduced to the U.S. from Mexico where it has a rich history as an ingredient used to make rubber in ancient American cultures. In other equatorial locations across the globe, morning glory has been used for medicinal purposes. During the Victorian Era in Europe, morning glory was a symbolic representative of love and affection. Morning glory has made a place for itself in most regions today mostly as an ornamental.
How to Grow and Care for Morning Glory
Morning glory is sun-loving even though its flowers are shy during the day. So, make sure to choose a sunny location for your morning glory plant. Plan ahead for a support system for this quick vining plant, too. A few simple strands of twine stretched between posts are sufficient. A trellis or fence is perfect, too.
Morning glory prefers damp soil conditions, so plan on watering this plant often. However, it won’t tolerate soggy feet. Plant your morning glory in soil that drains well and contains an average amount of nutrients. Regular garden soil is fine.
Start morning glory from seed indoors in early spring. They should be started close to 2 months before the last frost in the spring. Nick the hard shell of the morning glory seed with a knife. Soak the seed in water overnight. Then, plant your individual seeds in peat pots. Cover with good garden soil, and place the pots in full sun. Keep the pots damp at all times.
Transplant your seedlings outdoors a week or two after the last frost. Give each little plant about 10 inches of personal space to grow. Your established seedlings will quickly grow and vine up to 10 feet. Hummingbirds and butterflies will thank you.
Morning glory will self seed in many regions. So, once you’ve started it in your yard, you may be pleasantly surprised to find some coming up again next year. In colder areas, you will probably need to start your morning glory seeds year after year.
Morning Glory Pests and Problems
Morning glory plants are resilient. They are most often challenged by spider mites when conditions are dry. Treat spider mites with a strong spray of water. More importantly, water your plant often during dry spells. Be sure to provide plenty of sunshine to keep the foliage of your plant dry. This will help to prevent a fungal infection.
Another potential problem you want to be aware of is identifying morning glory. There is a weed that closely resembles morning glory. Some even have mistaken it for morning glory, but it is actually called bindweed.
Bindweed is not the friendly annual that goes away with a frost each season. Bindweed is a hardy and persistent plant. It spreads through seeds and through underground runners and it can be very difficult to eradicate. Many consider it an invasive weed. Don’t make the mistake of transplanting this deceptive weed.
Morning Glory Varieties
‘Chocolate’ is a smaller variety growing between 6 to 8 feet tall. What sets this morning glory apart is its enormous showy blooms that are rosy colored with a border of white edging. They are stunning!
‘Blue Picotee’ is a cultivar from Japan. Its exquisite star-shaped flowers are more complex than a typical morning glory bloom. Its vibrant blue color with white edging makes this morning glory a showstopper.