The annual morning-glories (Ipomoea) are popular both for their beauty and for their ability to clamber quickly over porches, fences and such unsightly objects as stumps. Some varieties grow to a height of 25 feet.
They bloom from early summer until frost and self-sow readily. Give them full sun, but plant them in soil low in nitrogen or few flowers will develop. Small amounts of bone meal and manure are helpful, and so is a mulch of several inches of peat moss or similar material. The seed are hard and should be soaked overnight or notched with a file to aid germination.
The most common species is I.purpurea, which is often seen growing wild in fields and roadsides. It has large heart-shaped leaves and big, delicate pink, blue, or purple flowers.
There are other varieties with double flowers and white or red flowers. Dwarf morning-glory, usually sold as “Convolvulus tricolor”, grows only one foot tall and has bright blue flowers. It is very resistant to sun and heat. The spectacular Heavenly Blue morning-glory is a favorite variety.
The morning-glories make attractive business and house plants for sunny windows. Soak or notch the seed, and plant five to a six inch container. When they come up, pull out all but the three strongest plant, and provide supports. The dwarf morning-glory is especially good for hanging baskets and window containers. It blooms in ten weeks from seed and should be pinched once to make the plants bushier.
There are perennial species of morning-glory that are not always hardy in the North. Their roots should be dug up before the frost and stored in a cool cellar or greenhouse for replanting the following spring.