Morning Glory

Morning Glory Overview

Description Morning glory is a classic cottage-garden annual that’s long loved for its constant display of colorful, trumpet-shape blossoms all summer and into fall. ‘Heavenly Blue’ is a classic variety with sky blue flowers, but there’s a wealth of other selections to choose from that produce flowers in a whole range of colors, including red, orange, pink, purple, and white. Some even have playfully variegated foliage. Most morning glories are vines with rich green foliage and a plethora of flowers that grow fast in hot weather and cover structures like fences, trellises, and arbors. Note: Some varieties of morning glory have a tendency to self-seed and can be a little weedy in the garden.  
Genus Name Ipomoea mauritiana
Common Name Morning Glory
Plant Type Vine
Light Sun
Height 3 to 8 feet
Width 5 to 20 feet
Flower Color Blue, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, White
Foliage Color Blue/Green
Season Features Fall Bloom, Reblooming, Summer Bloom
Special Features Attracts Birds, Good for Containers, Low Maintenance
Zones 10, 11
Propagation Seed, Stem Cuttings

Growing Morning Glory

There are many ways to utilize these colorful, carefree vines in your yard. Use them to quickly cover up an unsightly chain-link fence, for example. Or grow them on a trellis to provide a living privacy screen for your deck, patio, or balcony. They also create a lovely backdrop for the back of the border.

Morning glories are delightful by themselves but create an especially magical quality when different varieties are mixed. Don't be afraid to try growing them with other fast-growing annual vines, such as mandevilla, black-eyed Susan vine, scarlet runner bean, hyacinth bean, or passionflower.

Morning Glory Care

Morning glories grow best—and blossom most prolifically—in full sun, so be sure to plant them where they'll get at least 8 hours of direct light per day during the growing season. Once established they're somewhat drought-tolerant, but the plants look best if watered regularly. Otherwise, their large, heart-shaped leaves have a tendency to wilt during the heat of the day.

Spreading a 2- to 3-inch-deep layer of mulch over the soil after you plant them will help keep weeds at bay and allow the soil to stay moist longer so you have to water less often.

If you live in an area with short summers, it's helpful to plant morning glory seeds six to eight weeks before your last expected frost date in spring to help give them a head start on the season. Otherwise, purchase transplants from your local garden center and put them out after all danger of frost has passed.

Morning glories don't usually require pruning except in fall after frost has killed the foliage. But if the plants start to grow larger than you want and get out of hand, you can prune them back during the growing season without harm.

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