Green living

Growing Morning Glory Vines: A Colorful, Easy-Care Flowering Vine

Discover how to grow and care for Morning glory vines, a fast-growing annual flower perfect for adding vibrant color to trellises, fences, and more. Our guide covers planting, training, and maintaining these low-maintenance beauties.

Morning Glory Vines: Splashes of Color

morning glory vines

Morning glories are the perfect annual vines for adding splashes of color and covering up bare fences, trellises, or arbors in a hurry. These fast-growing, easy-care bloomers quickly sprout into lush foliage covered in trumpet-shaped flowers from summer until fall’s first frosts.

Available in a rainbow of shades like blue, purple, pink, white, red and bi-colors, morning glory blossoms open each morning to greet the day. Their elegant, twining vines can quickly reach up to 10-15 feet long in a matter of months.

Why Grow Morning Glories?

If you’d like to cloak an unsightly chain link fence, let morning glories spill over a garden arbor or obelisk, or fill a trellis with color, they’re an excellent pick. Best of all, morning glories require very little maintenance beyond some basic care for maximum flowering all season.

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Planting Morning Glories

Direct Sowing vs. Indoor Starts

Morning glories grow from seeds directly sown outdoors after the last spring frost date. They’ll rapidly sprout and begin climbing as the weather warms.

For an earlier start, you can pre-sprout the seeds indoors 2-3 weeks before transplanting. Once sprouted, carefully plant the delicate seedlings outside, keeping the roots intact.

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Site Selection and Sowing Seeds

Choose a sunny, well-drained location for planting. Morning glories appreciate soil amended with compost or manure mixed in before sowing. A support structure like a trellis, arbor, or fence is needed for the vines.

For an easy, continuous display, plant morning glory seeds every few weeks until early summer. This ensures new vines replace earlier plantings as they fade in fall.

Sow the large seeds 1⁄2 to 1 inch deep, spacing them 6-12 inches apart from each other and any structure they’ll climb. Water well after planting. Seedlings typically emerge in 7-10 days with warmth.

Care and Training

Supporting Vines

Once sprouted, attach the vines’ tendrils to their support structure. Guide them in the desired direction by gently wrapping the tendrils around the trellis, fence or arbor for them to grip.

Light, Water, and Fertilizing

Morning glories need at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. Once established, they tolerate drought reasonably well. Water when the soil starts to dry out to keep growth on track.

Apply a layer of mulch to retain soil moisture and discourage weeds, which can quickly overtake these plants. An annual application of fertilizer helps spur vigorous new growth.

Self-Sowing and Seed Saving

As fall arrives, let the dying vines remain on their structures to self-sow new seedlings for the next year. You can also collect mature seeds for indoor starting.

Morning Glory Varieties to Try

With so many colors and patterns to choose from, it’s easy to find morning glory vines perfectly suited to your style. Here are some top cultivars:

Classic and Favorite Varieties

  • Heavenly Blue‘ (Ipomoea tricolor) – The classic brilliant blue morning glory with white throats. Reliable heavy bloomer.
  • Cherry.’ – Striking deep crimson-red blooms with white highlights. Vigorous climber.
  • Milky Way‘ – Pastel blooms swirled with blues, pinks and white on the same plant.
  • Grandpa Ott‘ – Antique German heirloom with deep purple, starry flowers.
  • Flying Saucers‘ – Huge 4-5 inch violet flowers! Loves the summer heat.

Morning Glory Plant Attributes

  • Growth Habit: Vigorous, twining annual vines
  • Light: Full sun (6+ hours per day)
  • Height: Up to 10-15 feet
  • Spread: 3-4 feet
  • Bloom Time: Summer to fall frost
  • Soil: Well-drained, fertile
  • Zones: Annual in all zones

With their rapid growth and easy care, morning glories make an ideal choice for quickly transforming bare spaces into colorful, blooming retreats. Plant some seeds this spring for a stunning display all season long!

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