Whether you want to hide an unsightly wall, have a large frame to cover, or just want a burst of color in your yard, morning glories are a definite must-have. Learn more about when to plant these flowers and how to get the most out of their beauty.
When to plant morning glories: Morning glories are annuals and only last for one season. However, in that one season, they will grow prolifically, sometimes getting up to 10 feet tall. These climbers need warm conditions and plenty of suns. Start the seeds in late May, once the threat of frost is completely gone and the soil is warm enough. Provide a trellis or lattice for your morning glories as they need room for their tendrils to grow onto. Fertilize once a year, in the spring, but you don’t need to perform too much maintenance. Morning glories need some water but not a lot, so only water if it is very warm out and there is no rain in the forecast. The blooms will last until early fall and while some varieties may self-seed, you will most likely have to plant them again the following spring.
Planting Morning Glories in Different Climates
Morning glories do not like a lot of moisture, so a tropical climate may not be the best for them. However, they do like sun and heat, so you may be able to try some varieties.
Morning glories may be ok in a dry climate. They like soil that drains well and as long as there is sun and some water, these flowers will grow.
A temperate climate will do well for morning glories, as long as it is not too wet. You can start morning glories earlier in a temperate climate as the winters are usually mild and short.
Morning glories will do well in a continental climate but you do want to be careful about starting the seeds too early. As excited as you may be, don’t start the seeds until the soil is warm, which may be late May or even early June.
A polar climate will not provide enough warmth for morning glories to grow.
Choosing Morning Glory Seeds
You can decide to plant just one variety of morning glories, or if you have a large space, plant a few varieties for a unique look.
Blue Morning Glory
With a deep blue color that fades into a soft purple at the middle. Blue morning glories are large and will attract both butterflies and hummingbirds.
If you want a more petite variety, consider the Cardinal Climber. With vivid red flowers, the blooms look like delicate, five-pointed stars.
Another blue favorite, Heavenly Blue has a small yellow part to it. They can easily grow up to 10 feet tall on a vine and are perfect for pollinators.
If you want a touch of purity in your garden, you will love the stark white color of the Moonflower variety. As a bonus, it smells lovely although interestingly, it blooms at night before closing up for the day.
Beach Morning Glory
With a gorgeous purple-pink coloring to it, Beach Morning Glory is pretty and amazing to look at. This variety is natively found around the edges of beaches, so if you have sandy soil, this is a good consideration.
How to Plant Morning Glory Seeds
Morning glories are annuals and they do not do well with the cold. You want to plant your seeds in the spring but wait until the threat of frost has passed.
For the best results, wait until the soil is at a warm temperature and aim for it to be at least 64 degrees Fahrenheit. Colder and your little seedlings might not survive.
Aim to plant your morning glory seeds in late spring or even early summer. The ideal time is May or June.
Lots of sun
Morning glories thrive in the sunshine. The sunnier the better, so pick an area that won’t be in any shade.
You will also want to find a location that will protect these tender flowers. Grow them in an area that is protected by the wind.
Not only will a sheltered area allow your plants to thrive but it will stop the plants from becoming too cold. Too much wind can also dry out the plants and the soil, so make sure your morning glories are nice and protected.
Morning glories are a climbing plant. They want to climb but they will need some support to start off with.
Right when you plant your morning glories, provide a trellis or lattice for them to move upwards. Morning glories move fast so you want this support to be there right from the moment they start sprouting.
Instead of simply tossing your morning glory seeds into the soil, if you do a little preparation it will really help out. Take the seeds and file the point back just a bit, so that the outer coat is broken.
Then, take your seeds and soak them in water for 24 hours. You should see a tiny root stick out of the top before planting.
Morning glories need soil that drains well and is moderately fertile. These plants can grow up to 10 feet in one season, so the more nutrient-dense the soil is, the better they will be able to grow.
When digging a hole, it does not need to be very deep. Use your finger to make a small indentation in the soil and then place the seed in, before covering it with a ¼ inch of soil.
You should plant a few morning glory seeds in the same area, spaced out 6 inches apart. This will create denser-looking plants and also provides a backup if some of the seedlings don’t take it.
How to Water Morning Glories
Morning glory flowers need some water but not a lot. If you live in a very hot climate, be sure to water daily.
If you live in a more temperate area, you probably only have to water every few days. Just pay attention to the weather forecast and adjust your schedule accordingly.
How to Grow Morning Glories
While morning glories need some fertilizer, you can definitely over-fertilize the plant. The result of this is a lot of foliage growth but not a lot of flower blooms.
After you plant your morning glories, apply liquid fertilizer. This will allow the nutrients to be absorbed into the soil.
To keep the soil nice and moist, you can apply a layer of bulk mulch after the morning glories have sprouted. Mulch will retain moisture and keep the soil cool in the hot summers.
With careful maintenance, your morning glories can last for quite a while. After their blooms start to fade, gently pinch them off to encourage new growth.
Older blooms have the potential to self-seed for the next year. If you don’t want this to happen, be sure to remove all the spent flowers before they fall to the ground.
For the most part, you don’t have to worry too much about pests with morning glories. They grow very fast and are not prone to disease.
You may want to periodically check the backside of your morning glories to see if aphids or spider mites are visible. If they are, gently spray the plant with a hose or use a soapy water mixture to get rid of these bugs.
How long does it take to grow morning glories?
Amazingly, morning glories will grow to their full size in just one season. They are annual so all the growing is done in one season.
After you plant the seeds, you can expect growth to emerge from the soil in just one week. Then, by mid-summer, your morning glories will be trailing up their climbing supports.
Morning glories are in full bloom during all of the summer. They will start to bloom in early summer and if you keep deadheading them, will produce new blooms until early fall.
What is the best month to plant morning glory?
The best month for planting morning glories is May. You want to make sure the threat of frost has passed and the soil is above 64 degrees Fahrenheit.
Morning glories are delicate at the beginning and do not do well with the cold. Don’t worry, however, about their growth as they grow very fast and will have gorgeous blooms by June.
Are morning glories invasive?
If you’ve been hesitant about introducing morning glories to your garden, it could be that you’re mistaking them for a similar plant. Bindweed, which is also known as creeping Jenny, is a cousin to morning glories and is incredibly invasive.
Bindweed has white flowers and is also a climbing plant. However, morning glories are not invasive.
They do grow very fast and have the ability to self-seed, but morning glories are annual plants. They will die at the end of the summer and won’t come back on their own unless their seeds take hold.
Morning glories are fast-growing vine flowers that are wonderful to behold. With bright shades of color, you can bring instant beauty to any wall or fence.