The Convolvulaceae family is home to some of the most vibrant flower species around…morning glories. Although some morning glory species have practical and medicinal properties, their overall claim to fame lies in aesthetics, mainly due to their legendary bloom. When do morning glories bloom and how can we encourage them?
Morning Glories bloom in the late Spring to Early Fall each year. The best months to see their blooms are in the mornings of June through August. Though they can bloom earlier or later, the right conditions have to be met. Blooms are most plentiful in full sun and with proper soil.
The following article focuses on the blooming cycles of morning glories. Join in as we explore a few morning glory species before answering some of your burning questions about these awesome plants. Let’s get started.
When Morning Glories Bloom And If They Come Back Every Year
Let’s look at the frequency of morning glory bloom cycles. This means when they bloom and how frequently.
Morning Glories bloom in the early to mid summer and most of the species are annuals that do not return the following year without reseeding. Some versions of perennial morning glories that return every year also have strange blooming patterns like only flowering at night.
“Morning glory” is a phrase that is often used to refer to Convolvulaceae, a family of herbaceous vines and a few other plants. Interestingly enough, the sweet potato is also part of the morning glory family, so to speak.
If you are looking for some of the most expensive and easy to grow Morning Glory seeds I would suggest Heavenly Blue Morning Glory (Ipomoea Tricolor) 1,000 Seeds Untreated from Amazon.
For those that want to take our advice and plant indoors 6 weeks before the first frost, I highly recommend these Jiffy Seed Starting Greenhouse with 72 36mm Peat Pellets. They are super easy to use and as long as you take care to cut away much of the netting around the root ball when transplanting outside, they work wonderfully.
What Months Do Morning Glories Bloom?
So, if they bloom from late Spring throughout the summer, what months could they be expected to have flowers then?
For most varieties of Morning Glories, you can expect blooms from May through September. There are always exceptions and conditions that can apply. Some of these vines will not bloom at all without the proper amount of sun, and in certain zones their blooming months may be extended.
With that said, it is more likely that you will see the most blooms in the mornings of the summer months of June through August. These vines need full sun for several hours per day to fully display in all of their ‘glory’.
Do Morning Glories Come Back Year After Year?
There is another question that we get asked often about these beautiful plants. Many want to know if they plant a few Morning glories in full sun near a fence, if they can expect to see them climbing the fence the next year. Do Morning Glories come back each year?
Morning glories do come back each year, but how they return depends on which kind it is. Annual varieties must produce seeds and return as new plants each year. Perennial Morning Glories survive the harsh cold temperatures by going dormant and returning as the same plant the next year.
It is sort of the same result either way, yet it is more sure that the vine will return the next year if it is a perennial. Annuals produce plenty of seed if the plant is healthy, but if conditions are not favorable there is a chance that not enough seeds will be produced or take root in the soil.
How Long Does It Take For Morning Glories To Bloom?
When you first plant the vines or when they first reappear in the early spring, of course it will take some time for the blooms to begin appearing in the mornings. How long does it take for Morning Glories to bloom?
It takes on average around 2 months or 120 days for Morning Glory vines to begin daily blooming. These blooms usually begin appearing in May if the plant was started on regular growing schedules. These flowers wilt each day and new ones can be expected the next morning.
With regular watering and maintenance, these vines can take over fences and trellises in only 2 to 3 months time. They make great additions to chain link fences, giving them almost an elegance not typically associated with metal fencing.
What Month Do You Plant Morning Glory Seeds?
If you are wanting to encourage the most blooms from your Morning Glories it is best to plant them early, around 6 weeks before the last frost. This should be done indoors to give the tender annual vines time to get established.
Morning glories should be planted in small pots indoors in late February around six weeks before the last frost. If they are going to be planted outdoors, they should be planted from late March to early April to give the vines time to mature before they begin blooming in late May to early June.
Though different growing regions will vary a bit, this is a general rule to follow in order to get the most out of your spectacular blooming vine. These temperamental plants are famous for a reason. Planting them in the correct month will ensure your vines produce the most blooms.
If they are planted later in the year, say around May, it will take about 2 months for them to begin normal blooming which will put the appearance of the flowers near the end of their blooming cycle. For best results, plant them as early as space and frosts will allow.
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Are Morning Glories Annuals Or Perennials?
When it comes to blooming, there are two major distinctions…annual and perennial. Most all plants including Morning Glories fall into one of these two categories.
Most species of Morning Glories fall into the annuals category, meaning that they live, bloom, and die in the course of one year. There are over 1000 species of these vines with the vast majority being annuals. Yet, there are a few perennial varieties that come back each year without reseeding.
If you are wanting your Morning Glories to return each year, never fear. Most annual varieties if kept in healthy conditions will produce a copious amount of seeds which tend to sprout again the next year. For guaranteed results with annuals, it is best though to reseed or plant new vines along with these returning ones.
Perennials if kept under the proper conditions will come back on their own each year with minimal human effort needed. It just takes routine watering, pruning, and soils checks to ensure their safe return.
Annual Morning Glories
Annual morning glories, as the name suggests, live and die all within a year. Most of the 1000+ morning glory species are annuals, popping up in mid-to-late spring and blooming in the sweet summer sun. In cold climates, the vines wilt and die off. In hotter areas, they may survive the winters and bloom again the following year.
Ipomoea purpurea, also known as the common morning glory, is an annual vine that lives fast and dies young. Although it can be considered to be an invasive species, its midsummer bloom (pink, white, or purple) makes many people change their tune and keep it around until its demise in the winter.
While cold temperatures may spell the end of a vine, the common morning glory, like most other annuals, has a special trick that allows it to pop up again.
That trick is re-seeding.
Due to the fact that their lifetimes may be limited, annual morning glories have evolved to be highly efficient in many areas, especially reproduction.
Annuals spend a lot of their time growing and developing seeds that will endure coming winters and germinate when warm temperatures return.
As the vine wilts, seed-bearing flowers fall to the ground and the seeds lie dormant as winter rages. As soon as the cold starts to lift, the little seeds do their thing to get the ball rolling on the development of a new vine…and new seeds.
Re-seeding is one of the major reasons why farmers detest these plants, as they are an aggressive competitor for soil resources. The vines are very resistant to chemicals and harsh soil conditions, and with each new generation, these attributes are enhanced even further.
Clearing annual morning glories, therefore, requires that the debris and cuttings be bagged rather than mulched into the ground. Mulching will just put seeds into the ground, which is exactly what you don’t want to do.
Perennial Morning Glories
Perennial morning glories are less common and have a different approach to longevity.
This strategy is sheer hardiness.
Perennials are survivors and can endure some of the harshest winters in North America without wilting away. Despite their beautiful blooms, they are still a menace to crop farmers.
One delightful perennial is Ipomoea violacea, also known as the heavenly blue morning glory. You can easily recognize this vine from its clustered flowers (white or purple).
Originating in Mexico and other parts of Central America, the heavenly blue was a major pest for farmers. It also has various uses, the most fascinating of which is as a psychedelic. The Zapotec people, out of Oaxaca state in Mexico, incorporate the “trippy” seeds in several rituals.
Another perennial is the moonflower (Ipomoea alba). Renowned for its size, the plant is cultivated for its sap, which is used to form rubber. Moonflower is a climbing vine that blooms to reveal fragrant white flowers. Interestingly (or ironically), it is one of the few morning glories that blooms at night.
Perennials do not rely on seed reproduction as much as their annual cousins. Cuttings can be transplanted away from parent plants to form new vines.
Do Morning Glory Blooms Really Only Last One Day?
Though these vines can be invasive, their flowers are known to be rather delicate. Is it true that each bloom only lasts for one day?
During bloom seasons, most morning glory species bloom in the daytime, albeit for a limited time. Most of these only bloom for one day at the most. The best time to see these blooms is in the early morning before the heat of the day has convinced the flowers to wilt.
You see, each flower blooms for only one day before dying out. However, new flowers emerge each morning (or night for night-blooming species) to repeat the cycle. Morning glory blooms are always a spectacle, and their brevity makes them even more special.
Though their vines are fairly hardy during the warm months of the year, their blooms are not. You will have only a few hours to see them before having to wait until the next day.
Where To Plant Morning Glories
Now let’s look at the best way (and place) to plant morning glories on your property.
As we’ve seen, morning glory plants are quite durable and adaptable, so they can be grown pretty much anywhere. They are some of the few plant species that have both weed-like attributes and aesthetic appeal.
According to the University of California Agriculture And Natural Resources (UCANR) Department, they can become a weed under favorable conditions. Controlling populations of these vines is important and where you place them can slow their spread and growth.
However, if you want the best results, we highly recommend an area that receives a lot of sunlight. Glories require at least 6-8 hours of sun. This is known as “full sun”. If you want your morning glories to bloom, you will have to plant them in direct sunlight.
Soil conditions are just as important as exposure to the sun. While different species have differing needs, our general recommendation for planting is a ground temperature of about 65 degrees Fahrenheit and a soil pH of 6.0-7.0. The soil must also be well-draining and not too packed down to give roots a good balance of water and air.
You must also use fertilizer sparingly. Be very careful with nitrogen, in particular, as too much will burn the vines. Phosphorous-rich fertilizers may be used to encourage more vibrant blooms. We recommend inorganic fertilizers because morning glories tend to struggle in soils rich in manure or compost.
A lot of people like to use morning glory vines to add a bit of shade to the sides of certain buildings or to cover up certain blemishes in the landscape. Depending on your needs, ensure you get a species that can grow to your required height and provide sufficient cover.
If you wish to save your growing morning glory plant from a wintry doom, you can also grow it indoors from a pot. You just have to ensure that it gets its hours under the sun. Indoor plants might also have a greater need for fertilizers.
You also have to think about fallen glory flowers, which are toxic when consumed. If you have small kids or pets, we recommend that you plant your glories somewhere they cannot access. Otherwise, you might want to wait until your children are older before planting morning glories in your yard.
The Final Touches On When Morning Glories Bloom…
For the best results with your Morning Glories, it is best to start out these dainty plants indoors in late February. For outdoor planting, it is important to ensure that the last frost has past.
It will take around 120 days for blooms to begin to appear on healthy Morning Glory vines, which should put their appearance in the month of May. They will continue to bloom until August or September before ending their growing cycle.
There are both perennial and annual variations of these vines, with annuals being the most prevalent. To ensure the most blooms, both varieties are full sun lovers and should be places where around 6-8 hours of full sun exposure can be obtained.
Hopefully this has helped you with your quest for these beautiful blooms to appear in your Spring and Summer mornings.
If you would like to read more great articles from LawncareGrandpa.com, see some of my others here…
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