How to grow morning glory (ipomoea)

Updated February 21, 2017

A favorite of our grandmothers, nothing beats the morning glory for fast greenery and pretty flowers. Growing up to 20 feet, this annual (meaning it grows for just one year) comes in a variety of colors, including pinks, reds, purples, and - of course - the classic "Heavenly Blue."

Plant morning glory from seed no more than a week before your region's last frost date.

Soak seeds in warm water for 24 hours before planting to speed germination.

Choose a site that has full sun and well-drained, average soil. Working a spade or two of compost into the soil is good idea.

Plant seeds about an inch deep. Even if you need just one morning glory, plant at least two or three seeds for insurance. (Pull out the extras when the plants are an inch or so high.)

Provide supports. Depending on the morning glory variety, supports need to be 10 to 12 feet high. Check the seed packet for the plants' ultimate height.

As the plants grow, start them on their support by gently twining them around the support. They'll take off on their own after that.

Keep the plants evenly moist (though morning glories can take a little drought).

Fertilize once or twice later in the summer with liquid plant fertilizer.

Discard plants after fall frost fells them. You may need to cut twining plants from the support with a pruning shears.


Morning glories do beautifully on trellises made of nothing more than fishing line (which is nearly invisible) and nails. You'll be able to surround windows, doors, poles, porches and patios with walls of morning glories for very little money.


Some types of morning glories reseed prolifically - to the point of becoming invasive. If a morning glory reseeds too much in your garden, quickly pull it out and don't replant.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost Makers
  • Garden Hoses
  • Garden Spades
  • Garden Trowels
  • Plants
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