Friday, October 28th, 2011...5:57 am

TheGardenLady’s Morning Glories

Morning Glories – Full by Knowsphotos

My morning glories (Ipomoea) are in their full glory. Their heart shaped leaves make a dense bower and there are dozens of light blue flowers. ‘Heavenly Blue’, my favorite color for morning glories, are opening daily with hundreds of buds waiting on the sidelines to open for many more days of blooms. I just hope we don’t have an early frost that will kill the unopened buds. The leaves and flowers are flowing over my arbor and also in a mound next to a tree. I hoped these mounded morning glories would climb the tree, but they had a mind of their own. This mound of flowers and the arbor covered in flowers are both in front of my house.  See this photo:

Morning glory vines are also climbing up a “No Parking On This Side of the Street” sign at the bottom of my property. This latter location did not make my local township police happy. I tried to keep the vine off the face of the sign. But the police cut half the vine last year and this year again. Last year I thought it was the deer who tore the vine and blamed the deer. This year, I realized the vine destruction was from human intervention. But even these vines continue to produce lots of flowers and I am keeping my fingers crossed that the police will see the beauty of the flowers as all the people walking by my house have and not cut them back any further.

So many people have commented on my morning glories. In fact, the other day a walker knocked on my door to ask me how I got so many blooms on my morning glory vines because she had not had success. This was not the first time I was told that someone had no luck getting their morning glories to bloom. Since I have always had flowers each year that I have planted morning glories, I thought perhaps TheGardenLady readers would like me to share what I do when I plant my morning glories to get all the flowers.

I plant the morning glory seeds in my garden in the spring after all signs of frost have passed- they want the temperature to be 64 degrees. I have never started the seeds indoors; though one can do this to get a head start because morning glories seem to take a long time before they bloom- mine didn’t start blooming until fall. I only put 3 or 4 seeds on each side of the arbor or the street sign and about as many in front of my tree. Before I plant the seeds I nick the seeds a little. They are grown in my hardiness Temp zone 6 as an annual, but in Hardiness Temperature zone 9 they are a perennial. In warmer climates Morning glories can become a bit invasive as they are in countries like Guatemala.  Certain hard seeds need a nick or chip so that water can penetrate the hard seed shell. I just rub the seed a little on a file or rasp. This is called scarification.  For directions on how to do the scarification check out this site. Then I put the seeds into room temperature water to soak for 24 hours. I plant the seeds in the ground about 1/8th inch deep. I use a screw driver to make the holes and cover the hole with the seed in it with some good bought soil even though morning glories are not too fussy about the soil. They grow in moderately fertile soil but like the soil to drain well and they need sun. I do top dress all my plants with aged horse manure – using it like mulch. I keep the soil where the morning glories grow well watered because I water everything in the area where they are planted and think that morning glories don’t particularly like drought. This is all I do and I have always been rewarded with lots of flowers.

My morning glories are planted among my climbing roses and clematis vines. Those perennials are still young so there is no competition with the morning glories. Morning glories can become unhappy growing in the same location over many years. I am hoping that by the time that happens, my other vines or the climbing roses will be mature enough to cover the arbor so that I won’t need an annual vine there any more.

PS Morning glory seeds are highly toxic if ingested.

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