M is for Morning Glories.
Morning glories or Ipomena are wonderful fast, growing annual vines that produce numerous blooms during August and September. These vines will self seed if the seeds drop to the ground and over winter. Blooms can be white, pink, blue, mauve, and multi coloured. The vines can grow 10+ feet tall. One year I grew them up an obelisk and rapidly ran out of room and kept twining the vines back down and around. The vines thrive in full sun and just about any type soil.
Each bloom lasts one day and then when the flower falls off the seed pod develops. As it dries out it turns brown and paper thin and when squeezed between your fingers it slips away to reveal the seeds inside.
Gather the seeds … lighter colour for pinkish flowers, darker colour for mauve flowers.
There are about 5 seeds to each seed pod. One plant will produce many seed pods. I always save the seeds to share with friends and other gardeners. Before storing the seeds, be sure they are totally dry.
In spring when it is time to plant you can soak the seeds for 24 hours before planting. I prefer to sow the seeds right in the spot where I want the vine to be. They grow well in large tubs or directly in the ground. I have found these seedlings do better if I don’t transplant them. I usually sow more than I need and then thin out to a few. Seeds usually germinate in up to 7 days. You can start them in little peat pots inside to get a head start on the growth. Plant the peat pots directly into the ground or large pot you want to grow them in.
One year I used a couple of pieces of arches, poked them into large tubs and grew the vines on the deck. The bigger the tub, the bigger the root system and therefore the bigger the vines. The hummingbirds will discover the morning glories and what a treat it is to watch them flit from flower to flower. It was lovely to look out the kitchen window and see/smell the blooms.
In 2012 I had some huge purple morning glory blooms.
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