How to Grow Morning Glories: The Complete Morning Glory Flower Guide

Two delicate vivid blue and pink flowers of morning glory plant in a a garden in a sunny summer garden, outdoor floral background photographed with soft focus
Photo Credit
Cristina Ionescu/Shutterstock
Botanical Name
Ipomoea tricolor, I. purpurea
Plant Type
Sun Exposure
Bloom Time
Flower Color

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Planting, Growing, and Caring for Morning Glory Flowers

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Want to grow morning glories? This plant, with its romantic tendrils and trumpet-shaped flowers, is beloved by butterflies and hummingbirds. It’s often mistaken for a perennial weed with the same name. Learn how to plant and grow morning glory flowers!

About Morning Glories

NOTE: This guide is NOT about the perennial weed that shares the common name of “morning glory.” That plant is classified as a noxious weed in many states. Read more below. 

Morning glories are tender annuals, so they are sensitive to cool temperatures and late frosts. They bloom from early summer to the first frost of fall

Their fragrant, colorful flowers come in pink, purple-blue, magenta, or white colors. Pollinators love Morning Glories’ trumpet-shaped blooms.

Train twining morning glory vines over a pergola or arch, or use them as a dense groundcover. This drought-tolerant plant grows quickly—up to 10 feet in one season—and can self-seed fairly easily. Because of this, you’ll want to choose where you put this plant wisely! Otherwise, you may have more morning glories than you bargained for.

Warning: All morning glory seeds are poisonous, especially in large quantities. Keep them out of reach of children and pets.

Annual Versus Perennial Morning Glories

The attractive annual morning glory (Ipomoea spp.) is often mistaken for its perennial cousin, field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis), a very troublesome, invasive weed native to Europe and Asia. 

Field bindweed—also called “perennial morning glory” or “creeping jenny”—grows similarly to our annual morning glory but sends out deep, deep roots, which make it very difficult to get rid of and allow it to overwinter in areas where cultivated morning glories could not. 

To tell the difference between the plants, look closely at the leaves, flowers, and vines:

  • The leaves of the annual morning glory are heart-shaped and large (2 or more inches across). Field bindweed leaves are shaped more like an arrowhead and smaller. 
  • Annual morning glory flowers may be pink, white, magenta, blue, purple, or red. Field bindweed flowers only occur in either pink or white, and blooms are much smaller than annual morning glory.
  • Morning glory vines are usually thicker than bindweed vines and typically have small hairs.

In any case, if you come across a plant in your garden that resembles Morning Glory and you know you didn’t plant it, it’s best to err on the side of caution and treat it as a weed. 


Choose a sunny spot. These plants need a lot of sun to bloom their best! Plant in moderately fertile, well-draining soil to encourage good foliage growth followed by plenty of flowers.

Finally, choose a location that is sheltered from strong, drying winds. Give them a fence, lattice, or trellis to climb up so that vines don’t crowd out other ground-level plants.

When to Plant Morning Glories

  • Sow seeds as early as possible after the danger of frost is over.

Purple Morning Glories

How to Plant Morning Glories

  • Germination rates are improved by filing down the seeds just enough to break the outer coat and then soaking them for 24 hours before planting. This encourages them to send out a root (it looks like a little worm). 
  • Cover lightly with 1/4-inch of soil. Space seeds about 6 inches apart.
  • Water thoroughly at planting.
  • Seedlings should appear in about a week; some seeds may be stubborn and take 2 or 3 weeks to sprout.


  • Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer after planting. Do not over-fertilize, or the vine may grow more foliage than flowers.
  • Support this climbing plant with structures like trellises, pergolas, or arches.
    • Tip: Morning glories climb by twining their vines around a support, so make sure that whichever type of structure you grow them against has plenty of space for whorling! 
  • Morning glories are low maintenance; just be sure to water during particularly dry periods.
  • Mulch to retain moisture and suppress weeds.
  • If you don’t want the plant to reseed itself, pinch off old flowers before they turn into seedpods. This can also encourage the plant to keep producing more flowers. 

Purple morning glory vining over a wooden fence

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Morning glories are fast-growing and are rarely bothered by pests or diseases to a significant extent.

Morning Glory Pests and Diseases
AphidsInsectMisshapen/yellow leaves; distorted flowers; leaf drop; sticky “honeydew” (excretion) on leaves; sooty, black moldKnock off with water spray; apply insecticidal soap; inspect new plants carefully; use slow-release fertilizers; avoid excess nitrogen; encourage aphid predators such as lacewings, ladybugs, spiders
Fusarium wiltFungusPlants wilt (sometimes one-sided) in daytime; later, entire plant wilts/dies; stunting; yellow leaves; poor flowering; roots rot; stem cross-section reveals brown discolorationDestroy infected plants/ roots/surrounding soil (do not compost); remove plant debris regularly; disinfect tools; resistant varieties; avoid excess nitrogen; in acidic soils, raise pH to 7.0; weed; 3- to 5-year rotation
Leaf minersInsectMeandering blisters in leaves caused by tunneling larvaeRemove infested leaves; weed; use row covers; till soil early in season; rotate plantings
Leaf spot (fungal)FungusVaries; leaf spots on lower leaves enlarge and turn brown/black; fuzzy growth or pustules in lesions; disease progresses upward; leaves dieDestroy infected leaves/ severely infected plants (do not compost); remove plant debris regularly; disinfect tools; resistant varieties; good air circulation; avoid overhead watering
RustFungusVaries; orange pustules on undersides of lower leaves/stems; spots on upper leaf surfaces; foliage distorts/ dies/drops; stunting; poor flowering; plants weakenedDestroy infected parts/severely diseased plants; remove plant debris regularly; disinfect tools; resistant varieties; good air circulation; avoid overhead watering; weed
About The Author

Catherine Boeckmann

Catherine Boeckmann loves nature, stargazing, and gardening so it’s not surprising that she and The Old Farmer’s Almanac found each other. She leads digital content for the Almanac website, and is also a certified master gardener in the state of Indiana. Read More from Catherine Boeckmann

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