Making Morning Glories Bloom Earlier in Ottawa

Spellbound(5a)May 1, 2011

Hi All,

I'm planning on covering the fence of my entire patio with morning glories. Last year when I did this the vines were fairly prolific, but I didn't find that either the vines or the flowers were very impressive until late August, with the greatest abundance of blooms showing up in September. The problem is that this year I am moving to the UK in September and I'm afraid that I will have to leave before I see my beautiful blooms. Is there any way to ensure that they bloom earlier in Ottawa?

The patio gets full sun all day long and it's very hot - luckily I work from home so watering regularly is not a problem. I grow my seeds in containers and I don't fertilize, keeping the soil pretty poor. Last year I started the seeds indoors before transplanting - perhaps the blooms were delayed because they had transplant shock? Is it too late to start indoors, or should I plant them directly? When do your MGs normally bloom?

Thanks for any advice!

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glaswegian(5b, Ont)

Spellbound....another Ottawa member here, that happens to be from London England Originally :-) I usually start the MGs indoors under light, and they bloom outside June-July period.

I am in East Ottawa

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 4:03PM
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Hey glaswegian, looks like we are trading places!

I usually start my MGs indoors under light also, but I didn't this year (because I think they suffered shock last year), and I think it's too late to start seeds indoors again now. I'm more interested in other techniques that will make them bloom earlier now that they are planted. I will probably try using a fertilizer with lots of phosphate and low nitrogen and maybe pinch the tops of the plants to force blooms instead... But I'm not sure if those will work or if there are other remedies.

Still open to ideas if anyone has any.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 12:12PM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

I also live in Ottawa and I find the only way to get plants in pots to flower well and early is to fertilize every two weeks or so with just a regular water-soluble fertilizer (20-20-20). This year I am using a pelleted fertilizer which you sprinkle on the surface of the soil. They get a little feed with each watering. As an example, I grew a Brugmansia for 3 years without getting a bloom, until last year, when I fertilized regularly. It was worth the wait. I used to go 'all organic' but pots just can't provide the required nutrients (no worms, instant compost,etc). Another thing I use in my pots is Soil Moist so I don't have to water every day, except in very hot periods. I use lots of containers to avoid slug damage, and also to get sun which is limited in my garden (North facing and lots of trees). Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 2:15AM
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Thanks for responding Northener. Unfortunately, MGs like very poor soil and shouldn't be fertilized or they'll just grow leaves instead of blooms. That's why I wouldn't use a 20-20-20, I can only use a bloom-enhancing fertilizer with very low nitrogen. Plus, like I said, I have full sun all day long and don't benefit from a garden with lots of trees.

Guess I'll just have to pinch the tips and hope for the best.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 6:23AM
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I just read that the morning glory "President Tyler" blooms within 45 days from planting. Do you think it would be worth it for me to order some and plant now? I am extremely tempted to do this! Has anyone ever had such early blooms?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 2:00PM
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Hi, If you order some now, add on the time for the processing of your order and post - is it a Canadian source or American? Never hurts to try for a few dollars.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 5:21PM
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You're right, ordering them now would mean that they'd just bloom at the same time as everything else I think.

I'm just going to stick with the high-phosphorus fertilizer and stay away from the nitrogen and hope for the best.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 10:40AM
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