Morning Glories are a familiar flower for new and seasoned gardeners. As the name suggests, these colorful flowers close at night and open in the light of dawn.
Morning Glories are easy flowers to grow, and their vining growth habits mean they grow quickly. In springtime, they can be found flowing from front porch planters or crawling up fence posts. Morning Glory is a vining plant that can grow either on a trellis or in hanging baskets.
A hanging basket will help ensure your Morning Glories receive the optimal six hours of sunlight a day and will also allow Morning Glories to naturally cascade over the side to show off their beautiful foliage and flowers.
Let’s look at how Morning Glories can brighten up your front porch this spring!
Is Morning Glory Good in Hanging Baskets?
Morning Glories are typically grown as annuals in cold weather climates and perennials in warmer regions. During their robust growing period between May and September, their vines can reach up to 10 ft (3 m) long.
Since they are a vining plant, Morning Glories planted in the ground like to grow vertically. Gardeners often stake a trellis alongside this plant to encourage the tendrils to latch on and spread. But this growth habit also makes them perfect for hanging baskets too. When hung in the air, gravity will cause the vines to cascade over the sides of the planter rather than grow upward.
Hanging baskets also help lift your Morning Glories out of the shade, allowing them to receive more light than they would in a garden.
How Deep Should a Planter Be For Morning Glories?
Morning Glories are self-seeders, which means that they regrow from their own dropped seeds. For this reason, gardeners often keep them in containers rather than plant them in the ground, to prevent them from taking over the garden.
Ensure you choose a planter that is a minimum of 10 in (25 cm) wide and 6 in (15 cm) deep. Seeds should be planted about ¼ in (½ cm) below the surface of the soil. Make sure they are spaced about 6 in (15 cm) apart to keep them from becoming overcrowded.
How to Make a Morning Glory Hanging Basket
Creating your own visually stunning hanging planter isn’t difficult with Morning Glories. Here’s how it’s done.
Step 1 – Sow the Seeds
Wait until after the last frost to plant seeds outdoors. Make sure you sow seeds ¼ in (½ cm) deep in the soil, and space the seeds at least 6 in (15 cm) apart.
Step 2 – Place Planter in Sunny Spot
Morning Glories love the light, and it helps fuel their impressive growth. At least six hours of full sun a day is recommended for Morning Glories. Finding a spot on your porch that meets these light requirements can be tricky, so be prepared to move your plant if it’s not getting enough sun.
Step 3 – Water Daily
Morning Glories in hanging planters can be watered up to three times a week. In very hot temperatures, consider misting the leaves daily as well.
If your flowers are looking droopy, up the water intake. Keep in mind that plants in containers require more frequent watering than plants in a garden bed.
Step 4 – Prune as Needed
This plant can get unruly and wild if it’s not regularly pruned. Regular pruning will help encourage growth and flowering too. Prune your plant by first untangling the vines. You can cut away leggy growth by snipping stems just above the node.
Will Morning Glories Grow Downward?
Morning Glories naturally want to grow upward toward the sun. But, you can train them to grow whichever way you want.
If you’re training your Morning Glories to grow vertically, you must weave the vines back and forth between a trellis. It’s best to weave them horizontally through the trellis, rather than straight up. This will allow flowers to grow evenly along the vine, rather than just having an abundance of growth at the very top.
If you’ve planted your Morning Glories in a hanger, gravity will do the work for you. When there’s nothing for the vines to grow on, they will hang down from the planter instead. This creates a lush waterfall effect.
How Do You Make Morning Glory Bushy?
If you prefer the look of a bushy plant, you can prune your Morning Glory plant to be more wide than long. The technique is called pinching and is popular with many flowering plants to improve foliage and flower growth along the stem.
Pinching is the act of removing the newest growth on a stem to encourage growth elsewhere. Pinching is done at the node, where new leaves appear from. You can cut or pinch the stem just above the node. This will help divert energy towards branches further back on the stem. After you’ve successfully pinched off new growth, you should start to see nodes further up the stem begin to develop leaves.
Do Morning Glories Come Back Year After Year?
Morning Glories can be grown as annuals (must be replanted each year) or perennials (grow back year after year). It all depends on which USDA hardiness zone you live in.
Morning Glories can be grown as perennials in USDA zones 9 or higher. In early winter, you can cut back the vines to 6 inches (15 cm). This will allow them to properly regrow once spring weather comes.
In regions where temperatures dip below 45°F (7°C), Morning Glory can only be grown as an annual. Keep in mind that although the plant itself will die in the frost, its seeds may survive the winter and regrow in spring.
Do Morning Glories Spread Easily?
Morning Glories are quick growers, but they are not invasive. There is often confusion between Morning Glories and their distant cousin, a perennial weed by the name of bindweed. Both plants are from the Convolvulaceae family and look similar, but have very different growth habits.
Morning Glory (Ipomoea) is typically an annual vine that likes to grow upward on a trellis or downward in a hanging basket. Its roots do not spread like most invasive plants.
Bindweed is a perennial weed that grows thin vines that like to wrap around other nearby plants. Bindweed has rhizomes, which multiply quickly and grow deeply in the ground, choking out the roots of other plants. Since this weed is hardy to cold weather, it can be very tricky to get rid of. The best method of removal is to prune as much of the bindweed as possible or spray the plant with a herbicide.
What Flowers Work Well in a Hanging Basket?
Droopy, top-heavy, or creeping plants tend to do best in hanging baskets because it allows them to cascade as they like. When planted in a garden, these types of plants tend to droop toward the soil. Over time, this can cause issues like rot. By elevating these wild growing or droopy plants in a hanging planter, they can fall whichever way they like without issue.
Ideal creeping or drooping plants for a hanging basket include:
Flowering plants with strong fragrances are also ideal to plant in a hanging basket. Not only does this give us a chance to enjoy their scent, but it also provides easy access to pollinators like hummingbirds and butterflies.
Scented flowers that work well in a hanging planter include:
- Sweet alyssum
What is a Good Companion Plant for Morning Glory?
Companion planting is the art of growing different flowers together in the same pot. Different plants offer different heights and growth habits, which can be complementary when paired together. Sometimes companion planting is done just for the variation of flower colors.
Since Morning Glories are such voracious growers, they tend to overwhelm other annual plants. But, they do go well with shrubs like yew and juniper, which help provide a pop of green color for contrast.
You can find Morning Glories in so many shades and colors, from deep blue to bright pink. There are even bicolor blooms you can grow. Morning Glories offer enough color variety that you won’t need to companion plant them with any other flower.
If you’re a first-time gardener, Morning Glories are easy plants that will reward you with blooms all summer long. Because they grow so quickly, they’re perfect to fill in spaces in a garden, or if you want a pop of color to decorate your patio in spring.
Hanging baskets are a great way to show off Morning Glory vines and flowers, which can grow up to 10 ft (3 m) long. But aesthetics aren’t the only reason to choose a hanging basket!
Hanging baskets also help provide your Morning Glories with the recommended six hours of sunlight a day, so they can produce more of their famous striking flowers.