Morning Glory Flower

Give your garden some high-flying color with morning glory vine, an easy-growing annual climber that shoots for the stars.

Morning Glory

©National Gardening Association

National Gardening Association


Set your garden sights higher than normal with annual morning glory vine. These beautiful bloomers unfurl trumpet-shaped flowers that open daily in early morning. Morning glory flowers bring magic to the garden with their sun-worshiping ways. Each blossom lingers only until the sun begins to sizzle each day, then they close and die. It’s an incredible process to witness. 

Morning glory plants boast striking flower colors. You can find blossoms in many shades, including reds, pinks, blue, purple and white. There’s also a host of morning glory vines that unfurl bicolor blooms. Some of the most popular morning glory flowers are Heavenly Blue, which opens sky blue blooms, and Grandpa Ott’s, with deep purple blooms marked with a wine-red star. Flying Saucers features blue and white striped flowers; Pearly Gates is pure white. 

On sunny days, morning glory flowers open around sunrise and close as the heat of the day arrives. On cloudy days, flowers linger open longer. Modern morning glory vines originate in Mexico or Japan. The Mexican ones come from Ipomoea tricolor, while the Japanese vines hail from Ipomoea nil. Japanese flowers tend to stay open longer on an average day. Check the seed packet of the variety you’re growing to see which type you have. 

Morning glory plants are a snap to grow. Start with seed, which has a hard coat. Before sowing, you need to soften the coat by soaking the seed up to 48 hours in water or by nicking the seed coat. This is trickier because the seeds are small and hard to hold. When you soak seeds, you’ll know they’re ready to go because the seed coat begins to crack. 

Plant morning glory vines in a sunny spot with average garden soil. If soil is too fertile, you’ll get all leaves and no flowers, so don’t make special efforts to amend and improve soil. Wait to plant until all danger of frost has passed and nights are consistently above 50°F. Cover seeds with half an inch of soil. 

Morning glory vines need a support to climb. Morning glory plants climb by twining and will grab the nearest object—including other plant stems—to hoist themselves heavenward. Your trellis or support should be at least 8 feet high for most vines. The seed packet should specify an ideal height. Make sure the support is well-anchored. In strong summer storms, a morning glory-covered trellis can act as a wind break and wind up wrestled to the ground. 

If your morning glory plants fail to bloom, the problem might be too little sun or too much fertilizer. A really wet summer can also lead to an overabundance of leaves and fewer morning glory flowers.

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