Instructions for Planting Morning Glory Seeds
The large purple blooms of the morning glory vine (Ipomoea purpurea) open in the morning and each bloom only survives for one day, but the plant continues to produce new buds and flower all summer. The plant grows readily from seed sown indoors or out. It grows as an annual in all climates, but it readily self-seeds once established so you might only need to plant it once.
Morning glories need at least six hours of direct sun each day to flower at their best. Rich soil that maintains moisture without becoming soggy results in the healthiest growth, so amend the soil with 2 inches of compost before you plant and select a site that isn’t prone to standing water. A morning glory vine can grow up to 10 feet tall and requires a support for it to twine around. A garden trellis, sturdy twine attached to a fence or a railing provides support and should be installed before you plant the seeds.
Each seed has a hard seed coat that can delay germination. Preparing the seeds before you plant softens the seed coat and speeds germination, increasing the number of seeds that sprout successfully. Rubbing one end of each seed gently with a metal file until the inner seed coating is just visible allows the seed to soak up water and sprout more quickly. Further speed the process by soaking the scuffed seeds in a bowl of warm water overnight the day before you sow them.
The plants can’t tolerate frost, so you must wait until all danger of spring frost has passed before sowing them outdoors. You can start the seeds indoors about six weeks before the last expected frost. If you plant indoors, use biodegradeable peat pots, which you can plant in the ground where they quickly break down, minimizing root disturbance. Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep, either one per pot or spaced 12 inches apart in the garden bed along the base of the support. Keeping the top 6 inches of soil moist ensures germination. Morning glory seeds usually sprout within a week.
Once the seeds sprout they put on rapid growth. Morning glory vines don’t require tying to the support to climb, but you might need to guide the first shoots onto the support so they can grip it. The plants need about 1 inch of water weekly from rain or irrigation, or enough so the top 6 inches of soil remains moderately moist. Covering the bed with a 2-inch layer of mulch after the plants begin to climb helps retain moisture. Morning glories don’t require fertilization or pruning, but you can pinch back the growing tips of each vine once they reach the top of the trellis to prevent further upward growth.
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Ipomoea Purpurea
- Cornell Cooperative Extension: Morning Glory
Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington’s specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.
Instructions for Planting Morning Glory Seeds. The large purple blooms of the morning glory vine (Ipomoea purpurea) open in the morning and each bloom only survives for one day, but the plant continues to produce new buds and flower all summer. The plant grows readily from seed sown indoors or out. It grows as an …