Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Morning Glories

Could there be anything so easy to grow as a Morning Glory (Ipomoea)? Once a seed sprouts the vine will happily climb whatever structure it lies adjacent to whether it be a tree, shrub, trellis or post. It's not picky!

Of course there is the issue of Ipomoea invasiveness. Morning Glories are rapid growers and self seeding phenoms. They can quickly overtake trellises and arbors which makes them a good choice to use for an annual vine to cover your structures. Use them with care becasue they will spread. To help control your Morning Glory plant it in a pot then keep a watchful eye on where the vines travel. You could also pinch off the spent blooms before they go to seed. Another idea would be to collect the seed when the flowers turn into brown pods, then store the seeds so that you may put them where you want them and not where Ms. Ipomoea would like to grow.

If by some chance, OK really a 100% chance, you miss a few seeds and a new plant sprouts that you don't want in your garden pull it up quickly before the roots are too deep. They can be controlled with vigilance. This particular morning glory was transplanted into a pot from somewhere else in the yard. I made sure last fall to collect as much of the seed as I could and I've had very few seedlings appear.


As you can see I've been training our Morning Glory to grow around our front porch railing. As it grows I'll continue to weave the ends of the vines around the rails. Occasionally I'll pinch the growth tip to encourage more branching for thicker coverage.


The heart shaped leaves and light blue flowers of the Morning Glory can be a welcoming site to greet visitors to our home.



I've noticed that the hummingbirds seem to like sipping nectar from morning glories. Morning glories come in quite a few colors and are related to other plants like the moon flower which only blooms at night. The two blooms in the picture below are volunteer morning glories that are very common around our yard.


I know a lot of gardeners view morning glories as invasive weeds. I think of them more as invasive flowers. Fun to look at but in need of a watchful eye.

14 comments :

  1. They really are beautiful, and such a true blue. :) They would make a perfect climbing cover for the sheet of latticework that closes one end of our balcony! I must remember that!

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  2. They are beautiful Dave, but they really are too prolific. I'm still pulling seedlings from two years ago. At least if you catch them early they are very easy to remove.

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  3. I haven't any Dave, just never thought about planting them! I love the deep blue ones and then I love the Moon Flower Vine! That one I have!

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  4. It is a gorgeous vine in the right spot. I don't grow them though. Can't find the spot so I enjoy them on others fences and arbors. They really catch my eye!

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  5. I too think Morning Glories are worth the extra vigilance they require to keep them in check! They are so beautiful and the foliage is pretty too.

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  6. I haven't grown them but that BLUE, that blue is so nice. I saw some other pictures of Morning Glory this year and may have to try and find the right spot for next year.

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  7. Hi Dave, thanks for the warning, I think you made the good point about their potential for world domination. We still let some of them grow, sometimes we don't even notice them until a bloom shows up. The mailbox posts are the perfect place for them, a couple are even blooming inside the mailbox!

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  8. Hi Dave, Those are just beautiful flowers, the blue is magnificent. Perfection! I also like that it does grow up trellis and such. I wonder if I could plant it around an ugly tree and it would climb up the trunk of it. Hmm... `

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  9. My Morning Glories are growing well but as yet have no flowers. Will they come? I'm in the UK and would appreciate if someone can let me know when I should expect the flowers.

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  10. I had Morning Glories about 5/6 yrs ago. Volunteers for a couple yrs. Then nothing. All of a sudden I have Mornig Glories all over the place. They are covering everything in sight. Blue flowers which are pretty but sure is a mess to pull off all that it covers. Thought at first it was wild potato vine. I don't like that stuff at all.
    Yours are very pretty. Which color is more predoninate?

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  11. I have planted seed the past two years but with a drought and not water to germinate them, I Have yet to see a vine or bloom. There is always next year or put them in pots so I can control the germination process...

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  12. Nancy,

    Morning glories are quite nice as climbers. It's fun to watch their tendrils twirl around the balusters of our front porch railing.

    PGL,

    I have quite a few volunteers in the yard but not nearly as many in the beds. One particular one is using my Oak leaf hydrangea as a trellis. I need to take care of that one, but they've been manageable so far.

    Gail,

    I didn't think about planting ours. It just kind of popped up one day in our back yard. It was blue and unlike the others everywhere so I transplanted it into a pot. I dropped seeds form it into the pot last fall and they came up again this year. No need to purchase seeds. I can send you a few later if you want.

    Tina,

    they can be problematic, but we like them and the hummingbirds like them so we manage them. Fences are good places for them!

    Frances,

    While I don't think they will ever rival kudzu they could be annoying if left untamed! The mailbox is a good place for them.

    DP,

    I think that tree might be sporting some fancy new flowers and foliage next year!

    Margaret,

    The flowers should come eventually. You might have extra nitrogen in the soil that is making them grow foliage rather than flowers. Just keep them happy and you'll get flowers. Ours took a couple months of growing before significant blooming occurred.


    Lola,

    Here white is predominate in our yard but I think it varies from location. There are quite a few colors of morning glories to choose from.

    Skeeter,

    That drought hasn't been to friendly to anyone. There are two more tropical storms/hurricanes on their way. Maybe we'll get a little more of the wet stuff soon!

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  13. I love morning glories. They are such lovely things. But oh, oh, oh so invasive. I put in one little plant hoping it would cover a certain ugly wall (with a nice trellis for it to climb). It did a bit of covering on the wall, but mostly it climbed everything else in the garden. It especially likes to creep along the garden floor, snaking it's way across to the other side of the garden before climbing up a distant cherished Salvia and choking it to death. I spend more time "weeding" the morning glory from the garden than most anything else. But despite it's bullyish behavior, there really is no denying how pretty it is - even when it's bright blue flowers are intermingled throughout the orange Tacoma alata blooms LOL.

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  14. I finally found seeds for the big blue Morning Glories and want to try again. I was successful once growing them and they were gorgeous huge blue flowers then all of a sudden I lost the entire plant to this black sticky spots that killed the entire plant. I have since tried growing them again and they just barely break ground and then disappear. Do you have any suggestions.

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