A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: How to Grow Morning Glories: Seedling to Bloom

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13 July 2011

How to Grow Morning Glories: Seedling to Bloom

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Morning Glories are my kind of seedlings because they are distinctive very early on.  I hate when plants look exactly like various weeds until they are 4-5 inches tall...by that point they are a lot harder to get rid of than when they are tiny seedlings.  Morning Glories have these wing shaped leaves that emerge as their first "true"set of  leaves and they grow quickly!

MORNING GLORY seedling
NOTE:  this is NOT a hollyhock seedling...forgive the error!!  ...and you thought you just read morning glories were easy to identify, right?  Right.  They look nothing like hollyhock seedlings, but sometimes at 2 AM or so my brain starts to fry, so I apologize for the typo!

Morning glories are fun because they literally open wide in the morning and are shut into tight little buds in the afternoon - aren't they interesting?  It is like they can't handle the brightness of the sun, so they just take a very long nap in the middle of the day...
...and this is what she looks like in bloom!

Morning Glories are twining climbers which means they need a support that they can literally wrap themselves around.  A trellis works, a pole works, even a VERY strong established rosebush works.  You don't want to plant morning glories near new plants that are babies because they will eat them.  Well, not eat really, but twine them to death and cover all of the light from the babies.  I tried planting a few glads amidst the MGs this year and I am constantly battling the MGs from suffocating them.  I should have known better.


One of my favorite traits of this plant is its ability to self sow.  Basically, I don't touch it and I have masses of the same plant in the same spot next year.  I could collect seed, but why??  Some people view the almost too eager twining habit and self sowing to make the plant a bit of a nuisance, but I don't find it to be that at all.  I think it is a glorious {sorry} plant that can fill a trellis in a seasons with breathtaking flowers and it makes me happy to see it every morning outside my window.  I liked it so much I put another trellis along this fence and added a 'Heavenly Blue' MG.  I'm interested to see what kind of varieties might result from the mixing of the two.  Check back next year for the babies!

One caveat to my love of Morning Glories has to be Uncle Bindweed.  You know that one guy that you have to invite to every family event, every wedding, every birthday because he is your uncle and your mom would get mad if he wasn't invited, but he gets drunk and makes a fool out of himself and blah blah blah blah blah?  That would be Morning Glory's relative Bindweed.  Bindweed has WHITE flowers and is a horrible weed to get rid of.  It goes where it is not wanted and has an even stronger tendency to twine and cover plants, killing them within a few weeks sometimes.  After blooming, bindweed sets pods full of fuzzy seeds (like dandelions).  If you see one of the pods, gently break it off and throw it in the trash - NOT the compost!

5 COMMENTS:

Heather Wednesday, July 13, 2011  

Morning glories are so pretty!

Miss Kitty Wednesday, July 13, 2011  

What an absolute joy it is to see your fabulous photography...and then to have your enlightening comments too! After the clematis by the mailbox stopped blooming (unexpectedly) I planted some morning glories to try to get some flowering stuff out there. The MGs are growing and twining but not flowering yet. After seeing your photos I can't wait for the blooms.

Grace Wednesday, July 13, 2011  

Morning Glories were always my favorite as a child.

Becky Jane Wednesday, July 13, 2011  

I have morning glories growing on the roof of our pergola1 It can be so breath taking when in full bloom!

SocialStudiesSoubrette Wednesday, July 13, 2011  

I planted morning glories a few years ago and they keep reseeding themselves. I love to see their happy little faces in the morning.

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