By Erin Marissa Russell
Some morning glory varieties are annuals, while others are perennials. You’ll need to know which variety of morning glory you have and do a quick Google search, or check the packaging and product description, to determine which type of morning glory you have. Some morning glories will die back as soon as frost hits, while others will happily bloom all winter long.
If you have a perennial variety of morning glories, you’ll also need to be in the right region in order to keep the plant alive all winter. For example, the common morning glory (Ipomoea tricolor)  is winter hardy in zones 10 and 11. Moonflowers (Ipomoea alba) are winter hardy in zones 9 through 11.
Wondering how plant hardiness zones work? Find out more in our article A Guide to Planting Zones. Or if you would like to learn more about annuals and perennials, see our article What’s the Difference Between Annual and Perennial Flowers?
Check the seed packet or product description of your morning glory seeds to determine whether the plants are annuals or perennials. Even if the morning glories are perennials that come back year after year, you must live in one of the listed plant hardiness zones to keep the plants alive all winter. In zones outside those listed, you can grow the morning glories as annuals that die when winter weather arrives. Here’s a selection of popular morning glories and related plants, with information about their growing zones and whether they are annual or perennial.
- Beach Morning Glory (Ipomoea imperati): Perennial in zones 8 through 11; frost tender annual in other zones. Other name is Ipomoea stolonifera.
- Blue Morning Glory (Ipomoea indica): Perennial in zones 9 through 11; frost tender annual in other zones. Other names include Blue Dawn Flower, Koali Awa, Oceanblue Morning Glory, Ipomoea acuminata, Ipomoea learii, Ipomoea learii alba, and Pharbitis learii.
- Cardinal Climber (Ipomoea x sloteri): Annual suited for plant hardiness zones 2 through 11. Other names include Ipomoea x multifida, Quamoclit multifida, and Quamoclit sloteri.
- Common Morning Glory (Ipomoea purpurea): Annual suited for plant hardiness zones 2 through 11. Other names include Tall Morning Glory and Convolvulus purpureus.
- Grandpa Ott Morning Glory (Ipomoea nil ‘Grandpa Ott’): Annual suited for plant hardiness zones 2 through 12. Other names include Grannyvine ‘Grandpa Ott, Japanese Morning Glory ‘Grandpa Ott,’ Heirloom Morning Glory, and Ipomoea tricolor ‘Grandpa Ott.
- Heavenly Blue(Ipomoea tricolor): Perennial in zones 10 and 11; frost tender annual in other zones. Other names include Grannyvine ‘Heavenly Blue’ and Ipomoea rubro caerulea.
- Moonflower (Ipomoea alba): Perennial in zones 9 through 11; frost tender annual in other zones. Other names include Belle de Nuit, Moon Vine, Tropical White Morning Glory, Calonyction aculeatum, and Ipomoea bana-nox.
- Railroad Vine (Ipomoea pas-capre): Perennial in zones 8 through 11; frost tender annual in other zones. Other names include Bayhops, Beach Morning Glory, Goat’s Foot Vine, and Goat-Foot Morning Glory.
- Scarlet Creeper (Ipomoea hederifolia): Annual suited for plant hardiness zones 8 through 11.
- Scarlett O’Hara Morning Glory(Ipomoea nil ‘Scarlett O’Hara): Annual suited for plant hardiness zones 2 through 12. Other names include Grannyvine ‘Scarlett O’Hara,’ Japanese Morning Glory ‘Scarlett O’Hara,’ and Ipomoea tricolor ‘Scarlett O’Hara.’
- Sweet Potato Vine (Ipomoea batatas): Perennial in zones 9 through 11; frost tender annual in other zones.
- Tievine (Ipomoea cordatotriloba): Perennial in zones 8 through 10; frost tender annual in other zones. Other names include Coastal Morning Glory, Pink Morning Glory, Purple Bindweed, and Tie Vine.
- Wild Potato Vine (Ipomoea pandurata): Perennial in zones 6 through 8; frost tender annual in other zones. Other names include Man of the Earth, Manroot, Wild Potato, Wild Sweet Potato, Indian Potato, American Bell-Bind, Batata, Man in the Ground, Mechameck, Potato Vine, Wild Jalap, and Ipomoea pandurata var. Rubescens.
Even if a morning glory variety is frost tender in your area, you can keep it alive over the winter by growing it in a container and moving it to a protected location, such as inside your home, when cold weather strikes.
Potted morning glories need a trellis or other support that they can twine along and climb up. Their container must have drainage holes in its bottom. (You may have heard some gardeners recommend broken pottery, stones, or gravel in the bottom of a container to help with drainage, but these techniques are not effective.)
Feed indoor morning glories every two weeks with a bloom-boosting liquid fertilizer. Make sure to read the directions on the packaging and follow them carefully. Most fertilizers will call for a teaspoon of the plant food mixed into a gallon of water.
As we’ve learned, some morning glories are annuals and some are perennials. Perennial morning glories must be grown in the appropriate plant hardiness zones in order to survive the winter. However, perennial morning glory plants can be grown as annuals in other zones. You can also move morning glories to containers (or plant them in containers to begin with) and bring them indoors or to a protected spot like a patio or shed to help them survive the cold winter.
The most important thing for you to know in order to determine whether your morning glories are annual or perennial is exactly what type of morning glory you have. You can usually find this information on the plant tag, seed packet, or other packaging, or if you order online, the product description. We’ve provided you with planting zones and annual versus perennial information for the most common varieties of morning glories and their relatives in this article, so all you need to know is the name of the plant in order to match it with one on our list and get the information you need.