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Growing Morning Glories in Containers

Morning glories are great climbing vines for container gardens

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Container Gardening Picture of Heavenly blue morning glory

Morning Glory, 'Heavenly Blue'

Photograph © Kerry Michaels

Morning glories are one of the most beautiful and easiest climbing vines you can grow in pots. They are great for container gardens but will need to be grown up a trellis because they reach 6-10 feet tall. Morning glories are easy to grow from seed and thrive in full sun to part sun.

For the best chance of success, soak seeds overnight before planting. You can can start the seeds indoors, six weeks before your last frost. But be careful, because the vines grow fast and can get pretty tangled up, unless you give them stakes or pieces of bamboo to grow up. You can also direct seed outdoors after danger of frost has past. However, be warned, critter love tender morning glory seedlings. You may have to protect them from getting chomped. Also, these vines can take a long time to flower, so starting them early is suggested.

Plant morning glories in a large pot with fast draining potting soil. Do not add too much fertilizer or you will get huge vines with few flowers. Thin out when seedlings are about an inch tall. For containers I thin them to about 4-6 inches apart.

For an easy, inexpensive trellis, make a teepee out of bamboo. Take several tall bamboo poles and place one end of each a few inches into your potting soil. Gather the bamboo sticks at the top and secure them together with twine or a zip tie. I also love spray-painting my bamboo a lively color that will contrast with the vines and flowers. They also look great climbing up a decorative trellis.

Morning glories should prolifically flower from mid-summer through fall. Each blossom lasts only one day. For a great day and night display, plant your morning glories together with moonflower (Ipomoea alba). Moonflowers feature large, fragrant blossoms that bloom in late afternoon and last until morning.

My favorite morning glories are:

  • 'Grandpa Otts'
  • 'Heavenly Blue'
  • 'Scarlet O'Hara'

Warning!!! While I have never had a problem with this, and I grow morning glories every year, I have read that in some parts of the country, morning glories can reseed and become difficult to get rid of.

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