How to grow Morning Glory Ipomoea
Ipomoea is a tender annual climbing plant which needs a sheltered warm spot but rewards well with large showy, velvet like flowers. Ipomoea (common name Morning Glory) is a fantastic showy climber but needs some care and can be difficult to grow in colder areas.
Morning glory is occasionally seen for sale as a bedding plant in garden centres, but not very often, and so generally to grow Ipomoea it is necessary to germinate from seed. Morning glory germinates and grows easily from seed as long as the plants are kept warm. It is frost tender and not hardy (explanation of hardy) and originates from the warm countries in the world. It is classified at H1 which means under glass all year and +15C which means it really must ge kept warm. Plants are offered for sale will need to be kept frost free and warm and only planted out once summer has arrived, if it does. Ipomoea, when grown in this country, will not survive a winter and are treated as annuals which means the grow and flower all in one season.
As Ipomoea hail from warm parts of the world they are very sensitive to the cold. If after germination they get so much as a chill breeze, the leaves will wither and the plant suffer. In most garden centres it is usually the blue variety offered for sale, although many seed companies sell a much wider range and just as lovely in pink.
For an encouraging start Morning glory need to be kept inside in a warm greenhouse/window sill /conservatory until the summer is well and truly arrived. They look spectacular twinning through other plants in a mixed border. Ipomoea are not an easy plant to grow but every year I try with mixed results depending on the season. In a good year Morning Glory make a super annual climbing plant with lots of trumpet shaded blooms . It has to be said in a poor summer, and in more exposed gardens Ipomoea may struggle to bloom well. The plants need to be quite established to bloom which means it is a good idea to get them off to an early start germinating in say March and keep warm. If you have nowhere warm to keep the plants delay germination until say later in the spring, April. Unless you are in sheltered spot don't plant out until June when its warmer. This plant will not thrive in cool wet summers and needs a sheltered spot. Morning glory will bloom best in a sunny spot and will not be happy in soil which is water logged.
Ipomoea are vigorous and grow well but tend to flower best in warm summers, and in the warmer more sheltered spots. In a good year when they flower well, Ipomoea are a captivating climber which is why I try to grow them each year in the hope of a good summer. Impossible to resist a few more images below.