greentapestry : "What's The Story Morning Glory?"

Sunday, 26 April 2009

"What's The Story Morning Glory?"

I was going to sow my morning glory seeds this weekend until I read Helen Yemm's recent and most pertinent article when catching up with last weekend's papers. I am always behind with the weekend papers especially at this time of year.

I have always held back with sowing morning glories until what I thought was quite late but I have had mixed success. Sometimes the leaves have gone that anaemic shade of bleach white as night time temperatures have dipped and so have failed to flourish. Helen wrote about the year in which she thought she might have missed the boat when she could not find her seeds until mid May. In summary she attributes her success to following this method : "The ''knack'', therefore, would seem to be this: ''lose'' the seeds until very late in the spring. Moisten the seeds to quick-start germination and plant them in house-warm compost. Finally grow them in a huge pot, transplanting them with as little root disturbance as possible. Keep this pot indoors, too, until even night time temperatures are reliably warm – well into June in some parts"

I have always pre-soaked the seeds but must admit have deprived my seeds of the pots of "house- warm compost". My pots have gone onto a heated sandbench but it must still take a while for the compost to warm up. So this year I am going to wait another couple of weeks before I sow my seed. This year as well as sowing 'Heavenly Blue' I am trying 'Kniola's Black'. I hope that the resulting plants are as sturdy and attractive as those in the photo above from a Dutch seed company's website.

So Victoria from Victoria's Backyard, in answer to one of your SOS questions you're spot on holding back from sowing your seeds :)


  1. Anna Yes I need to sow again as only a small number have germinated. Still at least you can have a plentiful supply of seeds saved from other years.

    Is it a trick of the camera or do these flowers look larger than my 20p sized flowers?

  2. I've only ever winter-sown MGs and they do just fine. Sitting in wet soil over winter moistens the coats and they grow when they're ready (none has sprouted yet), without getting leggy or blanched. Good luck!

  3. Brilliant, Anna! I haven't grown them for a while, but I seem to remember that once they get going, they grow really fast, which is yet another reason to delay, as otherwise they take over indoors. Isn't Helen Yemm wonderful? I love her column.

  4. Thanks for this post Anna, I wanted to grow some as I love the colours, but also thought it was too late. I am going to buy some seeds and go for it.
    Hope yours do well.

  5. Anna, my experience has been the same but what I don't understand is why some parts of US complain that morning glory self-seeds prolifically (even though that area gets frosts) and we have such problems. I can only guess that spring comes quicker and by the time the soil warms up enough to germinate the temperature is warmer at night, these areas get very hot in summer. Or is the seed a different seed strain? I have yet to see Morning Glory growing well in this country. I will try again this year, last year I sowed end May outside (germinated but went white) but it was a cold summer.

    Best wishes Sylvia

  6. I don't sow them till mid May either. I agree that they don't like root disturbance. I got my best results from potting them on into 6" pots with the bottoms cut out (I put newspaper in the bottom to hold in the soil and remove on planting). I kept them in the greenhouse and sunk them into the ground outside when the weather was settled. Worked a treat - even so they still need a warm summer to do anything worthwhile.
    I do have some which self set each year in a raised bed and they always do better than the ones I take so much care over.

  7. Thanks for your comment on mine Anna. do, do come to Blackden. I am sure you would love it. Have a look at the herb course. it will be sure to be a great day.


All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at :


- Anna.