This pretty, easy-growing, flowering
vine is a good butterfly-attractor. So it's kid-pleasing in every way. If you
have a structure that your morning glory can climb on, to get to its full
length of about 8 feet, it'll be happy and productive all summer long.
Heavenly blue blossoms frame
a garden arch in a beautiful way.
Look how many blossoms are on this
arch, with only four morning glory seeds planted at the base. The secret is to
find a fence, post, wall or other structure that can support the vines and get
them up off the ground. It's great if you can plant morning glories somewhere
near where you might often sit or see out a window, because butterflies will
visit these prolific bloomers and put on a real show.
Ideally, the spot you choose will
have morning sun, and afternoon shade. In places where it gets too hot and
sunny in the afternoon, morning glory leaves tend to droop and look kind of
unsightly. The coolness of evening revives them. For that burst of "morning
glory," literally, it may be worth it to put up with the afternoon blahs!
This plant likes moist "feet" -
meaning, water lightly every day if you can. It's OK to fertilize from time to
time, but avoid using fertilizer that has nitrogen, because you'll get all
leaves and no flowers if you feed morning glories too well. They really are
kind of a weed, and sprawl around in wildflower meadows or cause problems
around agricultural crops.
One of the best things about morning
glories is that they are cheap. They are an annual flower that grows from seed.
So you can put on a beautiful show for only about a dollar or so, with just a
seed packet purchased at a local nursery or hardware store. Besides blue, you
can find seeds for purple, white and reddish blossoms. You'll always have more
seeds than you can possibly use in one place, so offer to share or swap with
other gardeners for other kinds of seeds.
To plant morning glories, it's a
good idea to "nick" the seeds, or slice into them just a little with a sharp
knife (with adult supervision), the night before planting, and soak the nicked
seeds in water overnight. You might place a little compost on the planting
spot, and dig it in to the soil before you plant the seeds. Then simply
sprinkle each day with a little water 'til you see a sprout. Coax each sprout
to the fence, arch, post or wherever you want it to climb. And keep watering.
These might be a good project to
start from seed in milk cartons or cups at school, as a group, to watch them
sprout, and then send one seedling home with each student with instructions on
how to grow.
At the end of the growing season,
after a hard frost kills the vines, it's best to compost or throw away all the
vines and blossoms, and start fresh next year.
Sometimes, a morning glory blossom containing
seeds will fall to the ground and a "volunteer," or unexpected, vine will
sprout the next year. It's probably best to uproot and discard volunteers, as
their colors are often not as good as the original.