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November 14, 2012

About Morning Glories

- by Debra Anchors

Morning glories in marvelous shades of blue, purple, pink, red, and ivory bring visions of old-fashioned romance, whether wrapping a mailbox, cascading over a picket fence, or camouflaging a compost bin. Wildly popular in Victorian times, morning glories formed living curtains around verandas and porches, offering welcome shade on leisurely afternoons.

Although they are tropical natives, growing morning glories couldn't be easier.  Full sun, average soil, and plenty of water are all that’s needed. Opening at dawn, blossoms dazzle until the heat of the day shuts them down. Creative gardeners sow seeds in window boxes, and then train the vines up the sides of windows to form outdoor draperies. And, morning glories are great substitutions for roses on arbors and trellises. Above all, gardeners can depend on morning glories to provide splashes of color from midsummer to frost.

Tips for growing morning glories successfully:

Wait until the soil warms before sowing seeds. Morning glories are tropical plants, flourishing only when temperatures climb and nights consistently remain above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Seeds sown too early will rot.

Soak seeds for several hours to soften hard seed coats, or nick the seed to hasten germination.

Don’t overfeed. Too much nitrogen will encourage lush foliage at the expense of flowers. Soil should be no more than moderately rich.

Water, water, water. Thirsty vines should be watered daily during heat waves; container-grown plants may need water twice daily.

Direct-sow seeds, or plant seedlings started indoors, away from sources of artificial light such as street lamps and porch lanterns. Morning glories are photo-periodic  requiring uninterrupted darkness for set periods in order to flower abundantly.

Be patient. In northern zones, flowers may not appear until well into August.

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  1. Replies
    1. I'm so pleased you do, Sally - Thank you! -Debra

  2. Hmmm. i have never seen pink morning glories before. Too bad! I am such a pink fan!

    Lighting Crystal Lake IL

  3. I love how they seem to glow, as if they have a tiny pen light tucked inside! And in the morning, when they have a bit of dew on them...irresistible!

    1. I agree on all counts Becky! I also love the fact that they are one of the longest lasting blooms in my Midwest garden, usually lasting well into October. Do you have a favorite color? I love to combine them.


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