There is something magical about morning glories that makes many gardeners grow them, but are morning glories annuals or perennials.
These flowers bloom gloriously in the morning then swirl closed at the end of the day. That’s what makes these flowers different from others and irresistible.
Morning glory vines bring an old-fashioned charm and a quaint cottage feeling to any home or garden. These flowers are not for every garden – they are best for someone who will take care of them because they can be quite aggressive. These vines will come to your windows and doors if you let them but to keep these vines in check, prune them up to 3 feet tall each year in January.
If you have a place where they can run wild over an arbor, a fence, or a pergola, it’s best to grow them there. If you are up for the challenge of growing them, let’s learn how to grow these flowers.
Are Morning Glories Perennials Or Annuals?
Morning glories are grown as either annuals or perennials. The moonflower (Ipomoea Alba) are perennials in the USDA hardiness zones 9 through 11. The common morning glory (Ipomoea Tricolor) is hardy and does well as a perennial in USDA zones 10 and 11.
So Do Morning Glories Come Back Year After Year?
In USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11, these flowers grow as perennials. During winter or early spring, cut back your morning glory vines as perennials up to about 6 inches above the ground. The cutting removes old and tired growth and encourages them to come back strong and vigorous.
What If They Don’t Grow Back?
If your morning glories are annuals, remove them at the end of their blooming period in summer. To start new plants, sow your morning glories seeds in the same location after the danger of frost has passed. Cutting the vines after blooming opens up the garden for other plants to take center stage.
Medicinal And Ritual Use
Did you know morning glory is used as a laxative in Asian and Mesoamerican countries for ages?
It is used in making tea concocted from its roots as a diuretic and expectorant. Tea is also brewed from the dry leaves and used to treat headaches used by herbal healers.
Seeds from this plant are consumed as a hallucinogenic substance due to a compound called LSA similar to LSD. Mesoamerican Indians use the seeds to enter trances and alter ritualistic purposes.
Planting Instructions For Morning Glories Perennials Or Annuals
Sowing. Morning glories easily grow from seed. You can start them indoors at least 4 to 6 weeks before the last spring frost. If you sow them directly into the garden, plant them after any threat of frost has passed. Ensure the ground is warm at least up to 64 degrees F.
Planting site. Choose a planting site that gets plenty of sun. The morning glory plants tolerate partial sun and shade, but they have to bloom in full sun. Because they grow so fast, please choose an area that you can allow them to grow up to maturity. These flowers will self-seed if allowed to do so, be sure to grow them in a place where you can access them before cutting back spent blooms before seeding. Also, consider your neighbor’s yard or garden before planting to ensure seeds do not fall in their garden.
How To Plant
If Growing From Seed – File your seeds to break the outer shell before planting and soak them for 24 hours; this helps with germination. Cover lightly with soil at least ¼ to ½ inch soil and water thoroughly.
When Transplanting – Be careful not to disturb the roots when transplanting. Water them deeply after transplanting for several days to help the roots get established in their new home. Use peat or other disintegrating pots planted directly in the soil to eliminate stress on the root system. Once established, morning glories grow very fast, up to 12 feet tall or more in one season.
Morning Glories Perennials Or Annuals Care
The Soil. Morning glories thrive in moderately fertile, well-drained soil that is consistently moist until the plant is well established. Adult plants are not as picky about their soil and can withstand poor, dry soil, unlike the young ones.
Watering. Water your plants freely during the growing season. Water once or twice a week during dry periods, but adult morning glory plants can tolerate drier conditions. Cut back watering during winter.
Amendments & Fertilizer. Although not necessary, you can apply a balanced liquid fertilizer each month during the growing season. Ensure you don’t over-fertilize too much, as this can produce more foliage than blooms.
Pruning: These flowers do not require pruning. But, to prevent unwanted self-seeding, you should remove old flowers before they form seedpods.
Diseases and Pests
These flowers are not generally affected by disease or pests but can occasionally be attacked by rust, white blister, fungal leaf spot, stem rot, or wilt. They are also bothered by leaf miners, aphids, spider mites, and caterpillars.
Best Places To Plant Your Morning Glories
- They are best to grow to cover arches, trellises, pergolas, and fences.
- Use morning glories to cover an unsightly area or create a colorful wall.
- Grow them as a fashion in a living fence, porch, or deck railing.
- Plant your vines in containers and add a supporting trellis.
- Drape them out of a hanging basket; they will twine up the hangers and look beautiful.
- Grow them responsibly in areas where reseeding is acceptable but also control them.
The best time to harvest your morning glories is during summer, but you will need to give them a lift as summer progresses. When they start to look ragged or stop blooming as they should, you can revive the vines by cutting them back by 1/3 to ½.
Do this trimming in summer, removing all damaged and diseased stems at any time of the year. You will have big blooms come the next summer.
If you are looking for a crawling vine that will cover a bald space in your yard, go for morning glory. It will show off plenty of colors to attract many people and keep their heads turning to admire them.