What do morning glory plants need?
These climbing plants will grow in nearly any type of soil, and they seem to prefer soils with low fertility. Soil that drains well and is kept moist but not soggy is preferred. The vines like full sun but will tolerant some light shade. The flower seeds are easy to grow, and they can be started both indoors or directly outside once soil temperatures have warmed and frost danger has passed.
Here are some morning glory traits that will win you over!
- If given a structure to climb, the vine can reach 6 to 10 feet.
- If not given a structure to climb, the vine will spread like a ground cover 6 to 10 feet.
- The flowers can begin blooming in early summer and will continue right up until the first frost.
- The varieties are numerous with the trumpet-shaped blooms available in colors of red, blue, violet, white, and pink. Some even have “star” markings on the inside and others have white edges.
- The flowers are there to greet you every morning, and they will remain open on cooler, overcast days. During the hot, daytime sun the flowers shrivel, but new flowers are produced daily.
- The vine is attractive to humming birds who like to visit the blooms.
- The vine is deer resistant.
- The annual self-seeds easily for a display next season.
How to grow morning glory seeds:
- The outer seed coat is hard, and germination is improved if the flower seeds are soaked overnight in tepid water or even nick the seed with a nail file before sowing.
- Start the seeds indoors about 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost day is expected.
- Use a seed-starting soil mix and pre-moisten it in a large bowl, and then fill peat pots with the pre-moistened soil mix.
- Press the seed into the moist soil and cover the seed with ¼ inch of soil. It is helpful to cover the peat pots with clear plastic wrap or place in a tray with a dome lid to help keep the moisture in.
- Morning glory seeds germinate in 4 to 21 days. As soon as the sprout appears, remove the plastic and set them in a sunny window where they will receive good light throughout the day.
- When the spring days are warming, begin to harden the seedlings off by putting them outside in a protected area for a few hours each day. Gradually, after several days, leave them out longer and longer. By about the 10th day, leave them out overnight.
- After being hardened off, the seedlings are ready to transplant.
- Prepare the soil in the flower bed or garden where the seedlings are being transplanted. Add some organic matter while you are working the soil.
- Dig a shallow hole large enough for the transplant. It's nice to keep the seedlings in the peat pot, but tear the peat pot down an inch or so before planting. Cover and fill in the hole with the soil. Make sure the soil covers the peat pot completely, and press the seedling in, firming the soil around it.
- Have a trellis ready at the time of transplanting. The seedlings will be twining up the trellis shortly. It may take a few days of helping the seedlings onto the trellis, but then they will be off and running!
Remember, nothing beats waking up early in the summer and being greeted by a gorgeous display of morning glory!