Mastering the Art of Growing Morning Glories: A Step-by-Step Guide
Morning glory flowers are a popular and beautiful addition to any garden, with their vibrant colours and unique trumpet-shaped blooms. In this 2,000-word article, we will explore the different aspects of growing morning glory flowers, including how to grow morning glory from seeds, how to plant and care for them, the duration of their bloom, and the varieties available. By following our comprehensive guide, you can enjoy these enchanting flowers in your garden throughout the growing season.
Morning Glory Varieties
There are numerous morning glory varieties to choose from, each with its own unique colours and characteristics. Here are some popular options to consider for your garden:
- Heavenly Blue (Ipomoea tricolor): One of the most popular varieties, Heavenly Blue morning glories feature stunning sky-blue flowers with a white center. This variety can reach a height of 10-15 feet, making it an excellent choice for covering trellises, arbours, or fences.
- Pearly Gates (Ipomoea tricolor): Pearly Gates’s morning glories have large, delicate white flowers that create an elegant and serene display. They can grow up to 10 feet tall, making them versatile for various support structures.
- Scarlet O’Hara (Ipomoea nil): With their striking, deep red flowers and contrasting white throats, Scarlet O’Hara morning glories add a bold and dramatic touch to any garden. These vigorous climbers can reach up to 12 feet in height.
- Grandpa Ott’s (Ipomoea purpurea): This heirloom variety features deep purple flowers with a magenta star in the center. Grandpa Ott’s morning glories can grow up to 15 feet tall and are known for their long-lasting blooms.
- Moonflower (Ipomoea alba): A close relative of the morning glory, Moonflowers open in the evening and bloom throughout the night, releasing a sweet fragrance. Their large, white flowers create a stunning nighttime display and attract nocturnal pollinators like moths.
How to Grow Morning Glory from Seeds
- Choose the right seeds: To grow morning glory flowers, you’ll first need to select the appropriate seeds. There are many varieties of morning glory, each with unique colours and characteristics. Some popular options include Heavenly Blue, Pearly Gates, and Scarlet O’Hara.
- Prepare the seeds: Morning glory seeds have a hard outer shell, making germination difficult. Soak the seeds in warm water for 24 hours before planting to increase the chances of successful germination. This will help soften the seed coat and allow water to penetrate more easily.
- Plant the seeds: Once they have been soaked, they are ready to be planted. Choose a location in your garden that has at least six hours of sunlight daily and has well-draining soil. Plant the seeds about 1/4 inch deep and 6 inches apart. If you’re using a trellis or another support structure, ensure it is sturdy and tall enough for the vines to climb.
- Water and germination: Keep the soil consistently moist during the germination period, which typically takes 7-14 days. Once the seedlings emerge, you can reduce the frequency of watering.
How to Plant Morning Glory
- Choose the right location: Morning glories thrive in full sun and well-draining soil. Make sure to select a spot in your garden that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. Additionally, morning glories are climbing plants, so providing them with a support structure, such as a trellis, fence, or arbour, is essential.
- Prepare the soil: Before planting, prepare the soil by tilling or loosening it to a depth of 8-12 inches. This will promote good root growth and drainage. If necessary, amend the soil with compost or well-rotted manure to improve its fertility.
- Planting seedlings or transplants: If you started your morning glories indoors or purchased seedlings from a nursery, gently remove them from their containers and plant them in the prepared soil, spacing them about 6 inches apart. Ensure that the support structure is already in place before planting.
- Watering: Water the newly planted morning glories well, ensuring moist soil. Continue to water regularly during the growing season, especially during dry spells.
Morning Glory Care
- Watering: Morning glory plants are relatively drought-tolerant, but they will perform best with regular watering. Keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy to avoid root rot.
- Fertilizing: Morning glories are not heavy feeders, so a balanced, slow-release fertilizer or compost can be applied at planting time. Too much fertilizer can result in excessive foliage growth and fewer flowers.
- Pruning and training: Prune the vines regularly to maintain their shape and encourage branching. Train the vines to climb the support structure by gently guiding them in the desired direction.
- Pest control: Morning glory plants can attract pests like aphids and spider mites. Monitor your plants closely and treat any infestations with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Common Questions Answered
When Do Morning Glories Bloom
Morning glories typically bloom from early summer to the first frost in fall, with flowers opening in the morning and closing by afternoon.
How Long Do Morning Glories Bloom
Morning glories typically bloom for several months, from early summer to the first frost. However, individual flowers only bloom for one day, opening in the morning, releasing their fragrance, pollinating, and then closing in the afternoon before withering away.
To encourage a longer blooming period, follow these tips:
- Deadheading: Remove spent flowers regularly to encourage new blooms. This prevents the plant from setting seed, which can cause it to stop producing flowers.
- Regular watering: Consistent watering helps ensure the plant remains healthy and vigorous, leading to extended blooming periods.
- Fertilizing: Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer or compost at planting time to support healthy growth and continuous blooming.
How Tall Do Morning Glories Grow
Morning glories can grow up to 10-15 feet (3-4.5 meters) tall, depending on the variety and growing conditions. Some varieties, such as dwarf morning glories, are more compact and grow to only 1-2 feet (30-60 cm) tall. The plant can climb and twine around supports, such as trellises, fences, and arbours, making it a great addition to any vertical garden or landscape.
Learning how to grow morning glory flowers can bring a touch of charm and beauty to your garden throughout the growing season. Following our comprehensive guide on how to grow morning glory from seeds, plant and care for them, and understand their blooming period and the different varieties available, you can enjoy these stunning flowers in your outdoor space. With their vibrant colours, unique blooms, and climbing nature, morning glories will surely become a favourite addition to your garden.