Ipomoea: Morning Glory

Height 2.4-3m (8-10ft)

Planting distance 30cm (1ft)

Flowers mid summer to early autumn

Rich well-drained soil

Sunny sheltered position

Half-hardy annual

Morning glory is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful climbers. Grown as an annual, its wiry stems twist their way up walls, trellises, pergolas or simple pea-stick supports, decorating them with heart-shaped light green leaves and magnificent trumpet shaped flowers in either a heavenly blue colour fading to white in the centre or red-purple.

Popular species

Ipomoea purpurea (syn. Convolvulus purpureus) bears purple flowers singly or in small clusters. It is a vigorous climber, to 3m (10ft) high. ‘Scarlet Star’ is cerise with a white star. Ipomoea violacea (syn. I. Tricolor) is a half-hardy perennial usually grown as an annual. A free-flowering species, it carries large red-purple to blue flowers. The plant reaches 2.4m (8ft) high. ‘Heavenly Blue’ is sky-blue and white-throated.

Cultivation

Sow the seeds under glass in early to mid spring at a temperature of 18°C (64°F). Soak the seeds of Ipomoea violacea in water for 24 hours to encourage germination. Move the seedlings to 12cm (5in) pots of potting compost and harden off before planting out in late spring to early summer.

Grow morning glory in rich and well-drained soil in a sheltered sunny position – against a wall or fence or up poles or pea-sticks. Dead-head to prolong the flowering period.

Pests and diseases

Aphids may infest young plants.

22. February 2012 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Annuals, Biennials, Bulbous Plants, Featured Articles | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Ipomoea: Morning Glory

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