Growing Morning Glories From Seed: A Guide To Planting Morning Glory Seeds

Growing Morning Glories From Seed: A Guide To Planting Morning Glory Seeds

By: Laura Miller

Morning glories are an annual vining flower that bloom, as the name suggests, early in the day. These old-fashioned favorites love to climb. Their trumpet shaped flowers bloom in vibrant shades of purple, blue, red, pink, and white which attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Growing morning glories from seed is fairly easy if you know the trick to ensure quick germination.

Morning Glory Seed Propagation

When starting morning glories from seed, it can take 2 ½ to 3 ½ months before they begin blooming. In northern climates where cold winters and shorter growing seasons are the norm, it’s best to start morning glories from seed indoors four to six weeks before the last frost date.

When germinating seeds of morning glory, use a file to nick the hard coating of the seeds. Soak them in water overnight. Plant the seeds ¼ inch (6 mm.) deep in fertile soil. This trick helps the seeds take up water and germinate quickly.

Germination time for morning glories averages four to seven days at a temperature of 65 to 85 ℉. (18-29℃.). Keep the soil moist, but not soggy while germinating. Seeds of morning glory are toxic. Be sure to keep seed packets, seed which are soaking, and those planted in trays away from children and pets.

Morning glories can also be directly seeded in the ground once the danger of frost has passed and the ground temperature reaches 65 ℉. (18℃.). Choose a location that receives full sun, good drainage, and is near a vertical surface for the vines to climb. They do well near fences, railings, trellises, archways, and pergolas.

When planting seeds outside, nick and soak the seeds. Water thoroughly. Once sprouted, thin the seedlings. Space morning glories six inches (15 cm.) apart in all directions. Keep the flowerbed watered and weeded until the young plants are established.

Working compost or aged animal manure into the ground before planting morning glory seeds or transplanting seedlings provides nutrients and helps retains soil moisture. A fertilizer designed for flowers can be applied according to manufacturer’s guidelines. Avoid over fertilizing as this can cause leafy vines with few flowers. Mulching will also retain moisture and control weeds.

Although morning glories grow as perennials in USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11, they can be treated as annuals in colder climates. The seeds form in pods and can be collected and saved. Instead of planting morning glory seeds each year, gardeners can let the seeds drop for self-seeding. However, flowering may be later in the season and the seeds can spread morning glories to other areas of the garden. If this becomes problematic, simply deadhead the spent flowers before they have a chance to form seed pods.

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Read more about Morning Glory


Morning Glory Seed Propagation – Germinating Seeds Of Morning Glory - garden

This speedy climber is the ultimate in old-fashioned charm! Depending upon variety, vines grow up to 20 feet in a season. Morning Glories have dark, heart-shaped leaves and produce breath-taking trumpet flowers up to 3 inches in diameter.

The big, fragrant Morning Glory flowers unfurl to greet the morning sun, then close up in the afternoon. Colors include white, red, pink, purple, blue, and bicolors. Give your Morning Glory plant something to climb up. They will entwine themselves around obstacles. They are perfect grown on a fence, lamp post or trellis.

Did you know? The Morning Glory family includes Moonflowers that only bloom at night.

Popular Varieties: Clark's Heavenly Blue, Choice Picotee(blue and red), Grandpa Ott, Blues Brothers, Flying Saucers, Early Call. More about Morning Glory varieties

Morning Glory are grown from seeds. The seed coat is thick. Nick Morning Glory seeds, or soak it in warm water for a couple of hours, to soften it. This will increase germination rates, and speed the time to germinate the seeds..

Sow Morning Glory seeds early in the season, and cover lightly with 1/4" of soil. Water thoroughly once. Thin or space plants to a final distance of 6" apart. They will tolerate a little crowding, if there is ample supports for their vines to spread up and out.

Tip: Seeds have a very hard coat. Nick seeds. or soak overnight to improve germination rate.

Days to Germination: 5 - 10

How to Grow Morning Glory Plants:

Growing Morning Glories is easy. Morning Glory plants like full sun. Add a general purpose fertilizer when planting them, then once a month after that.

Once your Morning Glories are established, they should grow well, even if left unattended. Soil should be moist, but not wet. Water them during dry periods, once or twice per week. Mulch around them to keep weeds down and improve appearance.

Morning Glory are half hardy annuals. They will often survive the first frost, especially if grown along the house or other buildings. They will not survive a hard frost or freeze.

Flowers Bloom: Summer through Fall

Morning glories have few problems with insects and disease. If insect or disease problems occur, treat early with organic or chemical insect repellents and fungicide.


Secrets of Planting Morning Glory: More on Propagation from Seeds and Cutting

Planting morning glory is easier than you think. New vines are usually started from seeds. We suggest soaking them in water for twenty-four hours before planting. This speeds up germination greatly. In Northern areas they start indoors in pots 4-6 weeks before planting, which helps to achieve the bloom much earlier. Usually germination takes up to one week, if at 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. When to transplant? 5-6 weeks after being planted in pots. The process of transplanting to the garden must be done without disturbing the roots.

NB. Be very careful. The thing is vines grow very quickly and can get tangled up, if only you don’t give those pieces or stakes of bamboo to grow up. Of course, if you don’t have enough time for indoor care, you can direct seed outdoors, when the danger of frost has already passed.

Some gardeners prefer taking a morning glory cutting to plant in the soil. This type of propagation is getting pretty popular as well, but such vines take much time to flower, and that’s why it is suggested to start pruning them early.


Seed Preparation

Each seed has a hard seed coat that can delay germination. Preparing the seeds before you plant softens the seed coat and speeds germination, increasing the number of seeds that sprout successfully. Rubbing one end of each seed gently with a metal file until the inner seed coating is just visible allows the seed to soak up water and sprout more quickly. Further speed the process by soaking the scuffed seeds in a bowl of warm water overnight the day before you sow them.


Caring for Morning Glory Flowers

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These plants are incredibly easy keepers and won’t require too much maintenance during the growing season. You’ll be happy to learn that no pruning or deadheading is needed. In fact, these plants practically thrive on neglect.

Watering

Water well when first starting the seeds and make sure to keep the soil moist until seeds have spouted. Water on a weekly basis throughout the summer unless you’re having a particularly dry spell. In that case, you should keep an eye on the plants and increase watering as needed. If you expect to be away, you can place mulch around the bases of the plants to help maintain soil moisture.

Fertilizer

Don’t go overboard feeding your morning glories. Giving them a low nitrogen fertilizer every 4–5 weeks is more than enough. In fact, you should be careful not to include too much rich organic matter in your plants’ soil. Too much nitrogen can cause them to overproduce on foliage, which will result in fewer flowers for you to enjoy.

Pests and Problems

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There are very few diseases that affect the morning glory. The only problems they’re susceptible to mostly occur if the plant is growing in extremely damp conditions. Fungal problems such as stem rot, leaf spot, and white blister have been known to be a problem.

A more common issue seems to be predation by rodents and herbivorous mammals. Deer, groundhogs, and rabbits seem to find morning glories particularly tasty. If this becomes a problem for you, you may need to erect fencing to keep their snacking to a minimum.

Protecting the first 3-4 feet of growth is most important. Nibbling at higher levels is less likely to affect the plant’s overall health


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