Morning Glories Will Add a Dose of Cheer to Your Garden
They're blooming beauties in shades of magenta, violet, and blue. They're also the title of an Oasis album—who remembers "(What's the Story) Morning Glory"? No matter where you first encountered morning glories, you'll likely remember their multi-tonal blooms; their winding, climbing vines; and their ability to add a dose of cheer wherever they're planted.
About Morning Glories
Morning glories are members of the family Convolvulaceae and the genus Ipomoea. It's a wide-ranging genus that also contains other ornamental flowers as well as some edible vegetables. Sweet potatoes, for example, are a close relative of morning glories. These flowers produce trumpet- or funnel-shaped blooms in a variety of colors, including white, purple, pink, and blue. Morning glories are climbers and can easily cover a trellis, fence, or archway, or even climb a column. Their foliage is heart-shaped and appears in attractive shades of green.
Planting Morning Glories
Morning glories are native to tropical and subtropical areas, so they grow best in full sun with moderate to regular water. In order to plant morning glories, take the advice of The Southern Living Garden Book, which advises, "Most have hard seeds; to encourage faster sprouting, nick the coating or soak overnight in water before planting. For annual display, sow seeds in place after frost danger is past; or, for an earlier start, sow seeds indoors, then set out plants 68 inches apart."
Morning glories can also be grown in containers. Because they're vining plants, they can spill over the sides of the pots in which they're planted. They can also grow vertically if they are provided enough support. If you'd like to cut morning glories and take them inside for an arrangement or display, The Southern Living Garden Book recommends, "For cut flowers, pick stems with buds in various stages of development and place in deep vase; buds open on consecutive days."
Morning Glory Selections
Ipomoea tricolor are some of the morning glories we all know and love—they bloom in, according to The Southern Living Garden Book, "Showy, funnel-shaped to bell-like flowers [that] are single or double, in solid colors of blue, lavender, pink, red, or white, often with throats in contrasting colors; some are bicolored or striped." These usually bloom only in the morning. ‘Heavenly Blue' produces light blue flowers with yellow accents. ‘Wedding Bells' has pinkish purple flowers. ‘Flying Saucers' has striking blooms that are white with violet streaks.
Other selections include those in the species Ipomoea purpurea, or common morning glory, which bears purple, blue, pink, and white blooms. ‘President Tyler' has deep purple-and-white flowers, 'Milky Way' is white and maroon; and the flowers of ‘Crimson Rambler' are bright red and white. Careful! Some species of morning glories are known to be poisonous if ingested, so be sure to keep them away from children and pets.
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What are your favorite flowers to plant for a dose of vibrant color on cheery blooms?