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How to Grow Morning Glories

by Tianze Li

Morning glories are easy to grow and they produce large, colorful flowers that will liven up your garden or patio. They’re also good for the ecosystem because they attract butterflies and hummingbirds. These vigorous flowers don’t even need to be planted outdoors, and all you need is a container with soil!

What You Need

  • Morning Glory Seeds-you can also collect seed pods from a friend’s morning glory vine.
  • Garden Pots-optional if you have a yard with fences that will keep the morning glories from escaping (they grow in any type of soil and spread rapidly). 
  • Potting Soil-optional because adult morning glories are very tolerant of soil conditions.
  • Trellises-these provide climbing structure as your morning glories grow. Alternatively, planting your flowers near railings or in a hanging basket will work.

Steps

  1. Soak the seeds overnight in water (optional). This will help the seeds to germinate quickly.
  2. Plant each seed in a 0.5-1 inch hole and cover with soil. If using a small pot, plant 1-3 seeds in each pot just in case some seeds don’t germinate. It can take up to 3 weeks for the seeds to germinate.
  3. Water frequently to keep the soil moist and keep the soil well-drained. 
  4. Avoid shady areas because morning glories grow best in full sunlight.
  5. Don’t over water or over fertilize or you’ll get excessive vine growth and fewer flowers.
  6. Enjoy the blooming season!
  7. Morning glories are self-seeding, but you can prevent this simply by clearing away the vines in the winter. 

Fun Fact about Morning Glories

In 2008, the space shuttle Atlantis carried plant seeds to the International Space Station. The seeds were placed outside of the space station for 558 days, exposed to extreme temperatures, UV light and cosmic radiation. Later, when placed in the soil, 80 percent of the seeds didn’t germinate. In a follow-up experiment, researchers recreated the conditions of space in the lab, and included morning glories along with two other plants. According to the study, only morning glory seeds germinated after being exposed to conditions that killed the other plants. The researchers suggest that a protective coating containing flavonoids might be responsible for this. 

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