Growing Morning Glory Vines In Containers – Caring For Morning Glory Vines In Pots
What are Morning Glory Plants?
Morning glories (Eriogonum spp.) are vines with small white flowers that grow from the stems of evergreen trees. They have been cultivated since ancient times, but were not widely used until the 19th century due to their high maintenance requirements and slow growth rate. Today they are one of the most popular ornamental plants worldwide.
How Do You Grow Morning Glory Plants?
The best way to grow morning glory plants is in containers because they require very little care and don’t need to be pruned or fertilized. They will usually produce flowers every two years or so, which makes them perfect for hanging up in your home! Most garden centers sell a variety called “goldenrod” that produces beautiful, fragrant flowers year round. If you live in a warmer climate, goldenrod may even start blooming earlier than other varieties.
Planting Morning Glory Seeds
There are several ways to propagate morning glory seeds:
Seed Collecting : Many seed collectors offer free collection boxes where you can collect your own seeds. Some companies will ship your seeds directly to you. Others will send seeds to you via registered mail, if they have received payment from you first.
Morning Glory “Seed” Bank: This involves planting a piece of the vine (with a couple of leaves attached) into good, rich soil. The morning glory will then produce “seed pods,” which can be used for planting in the spring or summer.
These seed pods are like little jelly bean pods that grow on the vines and usually start out green and turn brown as they mature. You can find detailed instructions on how to plant and harvest morning glory vines here. Morning glory seed pods will begin to dry out and turn brown when they are ripe.
You can also grow new morning glories from the existing vines. In the spring or summer, cut a 6 inch piece of vine with at least two leaves attached and place it into a glass of water until the new roots start to form (this can take up to a month). Transplant the new morning glory into good, rich soil and it should take off from there!
Tips On Growing Morning Glories:
Morning glories are very sensitive plants.
They don’t like their soil to dry out and require regular watering, but do not do well in soggy soil. They also prefer daytime temperatures of at least 70 degrees, making them a poor choice for cold climates! However, they can grow indoors anywhere there is a sunny window, even in a pot sitting on a windowsill. If you live in a colder climate and want to grow morning glories outside, try planting them in a raised bed or some other area that gets sun all day long.
Morning glories are not picky eaters and will grow in just about any type of soil, even poor quality ones. However, they will grow faster and produce more flowers if they are given adequate amounts of water and nutrients. Fertilize the soil before planting and then again in the middle of the summer.
Morning glories can become very invasive plants, especially along fences, steps and other areas where their vines creep along the ground. If you don’t want your morning glories to spread rapidly, cut off the seed pods when you see them forming or place tape around the stems so that the pods shatter when they become too heavy.
You can also cut off the runners (the vines that grow away from the main plant) that creep along the ground. If you don’t want morning glories growing all over your yard, simply cut these off as soon as you see them.
If you want to prevent morning glories from taking over in one particular area, you can dig a trench around that area or spray it with some sort of herbicide.
These vines can also climb poles, trellises, chain link fences and other surfaces. They will even grow through the tines of abandoned bicycles or other objects left outside! In fact, morning glories are one of the best plants for “securing” an area against intruders. Just be sure to cut off the seed pods before they ripen!
Other Types Of Morning Glory
While M. speciosa is a very common morning glory, there are several other types.
M. integrifolia is a vine with green or purple flowers that can reach up to 15 feet in height when grown outdoors. It likes full sun and average soil, but it doesn’t like humidity.
M. rubrinervia is a very unusual morning glory with light purple flowers, a variety that grows to 15 feet in height and prefers temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees.
M. chiapensis is an annual species that grows up to 12 feet tall and has flowers that are blue or white (or both!)
M. incognita is a small-growing plant (up to 5 feet) that has pink, purple or white flowers.
M. arkansana is an 8 to 20 foot perennial plant that has white, purple or pink flowers and prefers average soil and full sun.
M. coccinea is a 2 to 6 foot vine that has red and white flowers and requires average soil and full sun.
M. dentata is a 2 to 3 foot vine with purple flowers that prefers rich soil and partial shade.
M. integrifolia (as opposed to M. integrifolia) is a 6 to 15 foot vine with yellow flowers that can tolerate drought conditions.
M. purpurea is a 5 to 15 foot vine that has lavender or purple flowers and requires rich soil and partial shade.
M. sycomorus is a 2 to 3 foot vine with pink, purple or white flowers and requires rich soil and full sun.
Morning glories are toxic to most animals (including humans) but very popular for gardens and containers because of their beautiful flowers. They can be very interesting and fun to watch as they grow, bloom and repeat the process all over again.
The seeds are easy to sprout using a bit of soil, a container and some patience. After all, patience is a virtue for gardeners!
Sources & references used in this article:
Response of ivyleaf morningglory (Ipomoea hederacea) to neighboring plants and objects by AJ Price, JW Wilcut – Weed Technology, 2007 – BioOne
The Vegetable Gardener’s Container Bible: How to Grow a Bounty of Food in Pots, Tubs, and Other Containers by EC Smith – 2011 – books.google.com
JALT2009 CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS by M Fujiwara, C Aiba, B Byrd – jalt-publications.org
Resin glycosides from the morning glory family by R Pereda-Miranda, D Rosas-Ramírez… – Fortschritte der Chemie …, 2010 – Springer
Container gardens by M Roll, CR Wilson, C Shimada – Fact sheet (Colorado State …, 2006 – mountainscholar.org
Small-Space Container Gardens: Transform Your Balcony, Porch, or Patio with Fruits, Flowers, Foliage, and Herbs by F Richardson – 2012 – books.google.com