Morning glories are hardy annual viners known for their trumpet-shaped blooms that open each morning to pay homage to the sun. Blooming from mid-summer until mid-fall, morning glories spread quickly and are especially attractive growing up a trellis or arbor. Though morning glories can grow up to 15 feet in their season, they can make a colorful ground cover when left to their own devices.
About Morning Glories
Named because they open their blooms in the morning as the sun rises, a morning glory's flowers close again in the afternoon. They add a fragrant aroma to the garden and attract essential pollinators such as butterflies, bees and hummingbirds.
Morning glories are easy to grow and care for and make attractive container plants.They appreciate full sun but won't balk at a little shade. Avoid planting them in partially to fully shaded area. Deer love morning glory, so it's best to plant them in an area where deer aren't prone to feeding.
Morning glory seeds are poisonous. Keep them away from plants and animals. Though morning glories are annuals, they are also self-seeding and have the potential to come back in the next growing season from seeds that have fallen to the ground.
Planting Morning Glories
Plant morning glory seeds directly in the ground after there is no more danger of frost. For best results, lightly file the seeds with a nail file and soak in water for 24 hours before planting.
Choose a sunny spot with little or no shade. Morning glories like to spread out, so grow near a trellis or with enough room for them to spread out into a ground cover. Though morning glories prefer well drained soil, they're quite hardy and do well in almost any dirt.
Work some compost into the ground and use a finger or dowel to plant two to three seeds in a hole about 2 inches deep. Space seeds about 6 inches apart. Cover the seeds with soil and water thoroughly. To get an early start, plant morning glory seeds in indoor containers about 4 to 6 weeks before the the last frost. Once there is no more danger of frost, plant the seedlings in a sunny, well-drained spot, about 6 to 8 inches apart. Water well to establish roots.
Top both seeds and plants with mulch to keep soil moist and control weeds.
Caring for Morning Glories
Fast-growing morning glories are hardy and prolific and require little care beyond regular watering. Adding compost to the soil is helpful at the time of planting, but over-fertilized morning glories will produce more vines than flowers.
Morning glories appreciate moist soil, but will rot if overwatered. Water twice a week if there's no rain. Root bound container plants may require more frequent watering.
Deb Ng is a freelance writer and published author with over 17 years of experience in creating content for the web. Prior to her freelance career, she worked for over 12 years in traditional (print) publishing. In her spare time, Deb is an avid gardener who loves nothing more than bringing flowers and vegetables to life. She doesn't have as much time to spend outside as she'd like, however, because she's also assisting her husband with the DIY projects needed to complete their family home. See Deb's gardening and home improvement articles at LoveToKnow, Wisegeek, and Alloy.