Glorious Morning Glories
Morning Glories are the first plants a novice gardener will grow, because they are the easiest and most successful of annual climbers to grow. Everyone should find a spot in their garden for a brilliant blue or white (my favorite) morning glory. But to be sure with any easy, pretty plant there is always a disclaimer. Read on below all about the history and growing guide for morning glories. Thank you Weekend Gardener for this article.
Morning glories are a pretty annual climbing plant. Many species were originally from China, which introduced them into Japan in the 9th century. The Japanese were the first to cultivate morning glories as ornamental flowers and have produced many cultivars. There are also species of morning glories native to North and Central America, where they were used by the Aztecs as a hallucinogenic and to galvanize rubber when combined with the rubber trees in the jungle. Note that the seeds of the morning glory are poisonous. They can induce a feeling similar to LSD but can also kill the person ingesting them. Caution should be exercised when planting morning glories where pets or children have access to them for this reason.
Morning glories are aggressive climbers and can grow to fifteen feet in a season. They are ideal to grow over a trellis or arbor. They readily self-seed and can become invasive. They are barred from several states due to this tendency.
Morning glories bloom from early spring to fall. The blooms come in blue, red, violet, white, and pink and are trumpet shaped. Morning glories attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
In order to make the seeds germinate, you have to file them just enough to break the seed coat, then soak them for twenty-four hours before planting. Plant them in a flower bed that is in full sun. Till the earth to a depth of twelve inches and add three inches of compost, mixing it well into the soil. Seeds should be planted 1/4 inch deep and spaced six inches apart. Water the seeds in and keep the area moist but not soggy until the plants emerge from the soil. Seeds should be planted when the ground has warmed to 64 degrees F. Any colder and they will not germinate.
If planting transplants, space six inches apart. They also need to be planted in a bed that has been tilled to a depth of twelve inches and had three inches of compost mixed into the soil. Plant after all danger of frost has passed. Dig a hole that is slightly bigger than the root ball. Gently tap the bottom of the pot and slide the plant out of it. Plant the morning glory in the hole, filling in with dirt until it is at the same level as the ground. Water in well.
Morning glories will bloom under an under cast sky but the blooms quickly shrivel during the heat of the day. New flowers bloom each day.
Morning glories need to be watered one inch a week. They need to be fertilized with a water soluble fertilizer monthly when blooming.
Since morning glories are annuals, it is wise to collect the seeds from some of the flowers to save to plant next spring. Store these seeds in a glass jar in a cool, dark place until it is time to plant them.