Last Updated on January 12, 2022 by Cristina
Have you ever wanted to have a vintage arch in your garden covered with bedazzling morning glories but didn’t know how much sun do morning glories need?
Morning glory, part of the Ipnomea species, is a fast-growing plant that can be trained to climb trellis, arches, and even walls! It’s impressive to look at and often inspires spectators to plant their own.
The morning glory is a low-maintenance plant but has a few things in store that you might not expect.
Morning Glory Flower – What’s So Special About It?
Morning glories have trumpet-shaped flowers that open first thing in the morning and close in the afternoon. They come in a few colors, blue, bi-color, purple, white, pink, and red. They’re annual in regular climates but perennials in places where winter temperatures don’t fall lower than 45°F.
Morning glories have a unique ability to climb over any surface. They provide a dense covering full of foliage and small, bright-colored flowers. Morning glory season lasts until the first fall frost. So if you’re looking for a summer flower that will keep on thriving well into fall, this is the one.
Common Confusion With Bindweed
Morning glory is a fast grower but not an aggressive one. It’s most commonly confused with bindweed, which comes with white, purple, and blue flowers. Bindweed is an invasive plant that grows deep roots that can regenerate even from the tinies remainders. This makes it impossible to remove it from your garden.
The flowers and foliage are almost identical for beginner gardeners, but bindweed is something you don’t want to feed in your garden. It’s a perennial weed that must be treated with weed killer to remove thoroughly.
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Where To Plant Morning Glories
Morning glories need average, well-balanced soil, not too wet and not too dry. The area needs to be protected from strong winds. They can benefit from a liquid fertilizer, but it’s not required, as the adult plant is very tolerant of drought and lack of nutrients.
It’s best to plant in late spring or early summer when the temperature goes above 65°F. Germinate the seeds by soaking them in lukewarm water 24 hours before planting to give them a boost.
Pick a spacious site as morning glories are quick to spread. Provide them something spacious to climb on; otherwise, they’ll form a ground covering you didn’t plan for. They twine around the support, so it needs to have enough space to allow them to spin around.
Do Morning Glories Need Full Sun?
Morning glories require full sun to grow and develop correctly. They open their blooms with the first sun rays in the morning and close as soon as the sun starts setting.
While full sun is highly recommended, they will grow in partial sun. But expect more foliage, fewer flowers, and slower growth. If morning glory leaves start to turn yellow, it’s a sign of lack of sunlight. Then you’ll have to transplant the plant or move the pots to a sunnier location.
Morning Glory Light Requirements
You must position the morning glory in an area of your garden that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight. It’s best to be an open area, without any tree shadows over the morning glories.
Morning glories climb and grow a thick covering that provides shade and keeps the sun away from surfaces. If you position them on the side of your house that’s exposed to the sun day long, the plant will keep the inside of the house cooler.
Read more about What Is Considered A Hard Freeze
What Does Full Sun Mean
To understand what full sun means, it’s best to inspect your garden first. Eyeball, which garden area is completely exposed to the sun – no trees, no powerlines, no tall fences or walls nearby. Monitor when the sun lights out the site and when it sets.
Full sun is at least 6 hours, but commonly 8 to 10 hours of sunlight. Partial sun is 3 to 6 hours, and everything below 3 is a shade or dappled shade.
Sun is the primary food source for leafy vegetables and flowers with lots of foliage. The morning glory doesn’t require rich soil and is drought-tolerant, so it needs more sunlight to feed and thrive.
Potted Morning Glory Sun Exposure
Some types of morning glory can be easily grown in pots, containers, and even hanging baskets. For example, the Heavenly Blue, Star of Yelta, and Scalet O’Hara all grow no more than 15feet long.
Potted morning glory requires an equal amount of sun-like in-ground versions. But they’re portable, so you can switch their position around the yard throughout the day or week.
Is Growing Morning Glories in Container Better?
After a few summers, many gardeners struggle with removing all morning glory vines from the garden. Since the plant reseeds itself, removing every root can be a real challenge. But growing it in containers doesn’t cut your troubles.
While you can discard the potted morning glory, seeds are easy to fly and distribute all over your garden. So dive into this plant carefully – it might take you a few years to learn how to control it.
Legends About The Morning Glory
There are several legends tied to this mystical plant. The ancient Mexicans used some species of the plant for its hallucinogenic properties. Others used the sulfur in the plant to turn latex into rubber balls.
The truth is, common morning glory has poisonous seeds. The plant reseeds itself. As flowers dry, they form a seed pouch, and seeds fall to the ground once they mature. It’s best to pinch off dried flowers before they produce seeds. They’re dangerous for kids and pets.
If you’re worried about reseeding, you can propagate the plant from cuttings, so seeds are not as necessary.
Final Say – How Much Sun Do Morning Glories Need
Morning glories need full sun, optimally over 6 hours a day. Position the plant in an area that’s not shaded and has average soil. They need the sun to feed and thrive. The blooms open with the first sunrays in the morning, so planting them in the shade will kill the plant.
If the leaves of your morning glory are turning yellow, measure how much light it is getting. Then, you might need to transplant it.
Mary is a passionate gardener who loves spending her days getting her hands dirty and nurturing her plants. She‘s an avid reader of gardening magazines and is always looking for new ways to make her garden thrive. When not outside tending to her plants, Mary can be found inside reading up on the latest gardening trends, comparing notes with fellow gardeners, and finding the perfect pottery planter for her next planting project.