Need help growing japanese morning glory

honeybunny2(Z9TX)January 2, 2013

Last year I bought quite afew Japanese MG seeds off ebay. I planted them in Rockport Tx, not one seed came up. I planted them in afternoon shade. This year I thought I would try again, but this time ask for help to see what I did wrong. I soaked the seeds for 24 hrs before planting them. I planted them along the fence, in miracle grow garden mix 1/4 inch deep and watered lightly. I have a sprinkler system that waters every other day. I went back in one week, and nothing was coming up. I don't know if I just got old seeds, they were not cheap. This year I bought more seeds from a seed company, and want to try again. I would appreciate any advice that would help me grow these beautiful plants. I had a hard time growing the Mexican flame vine, finally after 4 times added turface to the soil, now they grow like weeds. Do you think I should add turface to the miracle grow. Maybe I should have used the MG potting soil, instead of the garden mix. I would appreciate any advise. Thanks, Barbra

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How warm was the soil when you planted the seeds?

It helps to nick the seed coat before you soak the seed in water.

I like to wait until I see the seedling root emerge before sowing them. That way I know I have live ones and not duds.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 9:27PM
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Gerris, do you mean, to nick the seeds before soaking them for 24 hours. Then a root will emerge?? I must have had all duds last year, because I used sand paper to rub the seeds before soaking them, they did swell, but nothing that looked like roots. The soil was maybe too warm I put them out in April last year. It was in the high 70's. Barbra

    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 9:15AM
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It sounds like you did the right thing with the sandpaper. This speeds up the germination process, to breach the seed coat to let water in to the seed.

Did you contact the vendor from whom you bought the seeds? They should have replaced them.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 12:38PM
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No, I did not, I just figured they did not like the salty soil. Does anyone in gulf coastal areas grow them? I have sugar sand, and top with mircle grow garden soil. I have read that sprinkling gypsum on top of the soil will remove the salt, and not change the ph level. I have already bought a 40lb bag of gypsum, and will try it on plants that I love but have not been able to grow like persian shield, cone flowers, and gardenia. Barbra

    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 2:54PM
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You could try growing the morning glories in containers using non-salty potting medium. Or, maybe focus on the salty environment-adapted species of morning glory.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 5:10PM
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Gerris, I will try the gypsum, I read you need to put it down every 3 months on salty soil. I sure hope I will be able to grow the Japanese MG. Grandpa Ott was too invasive. I do have to say it was beautiful when they were in bloom, but the vine almost killed my 20ft palm trees that were growing next to the fence. That is why I wanted the Japanese MG they are not invasive, and should stay just on the fence. Barbra

    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 7:14PM
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Good luck, Barbara.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 10:50AM
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Japanese style MG's are best started indoors and after soaking or using the paper towel method and (in temperatures in the high 70's to high 80's) , check every day or so for those that have sprouted.

Germination ph of 7 or 6.5 should be ideal and 6.5 is an ideal ph for the growing medium.

Transplant the sprouts into containers (carefully bury the root part while leaving the embryonic leaves above the surface) where they will receive enough moisture to prevent them from drying out and sunlight , but not so strong that it dries the seedlings out quicker than they can maintain hydration.
A strong indirect sun will likely provide enough light to get the seedlings on their way to growing into progressive stages of maturity.

You can gradually transplant into larger containers and eventually into the ground with proper gradual acclimation into drier and / or conditions of more intense sun.

There is definitely some individual experimentation involved to find out what works out best for you in your particular local environment , because (e.g.,) what is direct sun in Rockport,TX may be much more intense than direct sun in a higher latitude.

I think that using containers may be the best method for ground that is high in salt content as you have much better control over the growing medium in containers.

You must keep the JMG's well watered because they are definitely not as hardy as their more wild ancestors.

You can place the containers next to whatever trellis you have for the MG's to climb up onto and larger containers are better than smaller ones as they retain more water (especially if a water reserve is used underneath the container) and larger containers help to prevent the roots from being over-heated by the sun hitting the container , because when the MG's are planted directly in the ground , the roots are not subjected to the same type of heat as in containers.

The use of light reflective containers and / or light reflective paint , aluminum foil (Holiday natural looking Green) or water proof mylar (industrial grade for high humidity hydroponics or outside applications) covering the outside of the containers helps to reflect the burning rays of the sun and helps prevent containers from overly drying out.

The use of a mulch (such as bark) as a growing medium cover can further reduce premature drying from the intense sun.

Hope something I shared may provide food for thought and be of some help.



P.S.- I'd like to suggest that you try some of the various Youjiro (Yaguruma or MaiSugata) , as they tend to be a bit hardier and tend to produce more flowers than the pure I.nil.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 12:14PM
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Ron, thank you for all that information. I ordered 50 mixed seeds from a seed company, so I have no idea what kind of japanses MG I have. I love them all, but purple is my favorite. I will try the gypsum this year, and will also put some in large pots that I plan to sink into the ground. I will post in the summer to let you know how it worked out. Barbra

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 1:53PM
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That is sage advice, Ron. Good luck, Barbra!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 6:23PM
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Oh Ron, I took your advise and ordered the two JMG that you suggested, but then went crazy and ordered alot more I could not resist. I think I will put everything in 5 gallon pots and sink into the ground, putting them next to the house, and along the fence. I am very excited, and can't wait to get started. I have been watching u tube videos on how to start seeds and plant in pots. I bought dark purples, and dark hot pinks my favorite colors. I can't wait to get started. I need to get 26 5 gallon pots ready so I can start the seeds on Feb 15th, as was recommended on the video. How do you keep track of these names so they do not wash off the labels? I am never going to remember them. Barbra

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 2:16PM
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How will you support your plant in each container? I try to learn from others and then see if it works for me.

I have used wire tomato cage with success. Bamboo teepees also work well.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 9:46AM
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Joseph, I copied my neighbors idea. I buys 10ft sections of bull wire from the tractor supply store. Then cut with wire cutters to the height I want. I have all mine at 4 or 5 ft. They are secured to the ground with steel drive post. Great for growing flowering vines, and cucumbers. Inexpensive to make, and sturdy. I have mine a few inches in front of the buildings, some in the middle of the yard in large flowerbeds. I will probably have to replace the steel drive post in 6 or 7 yrs, because of rust, because of salt in my soil. They are very sturdy, I think they will survive a hurricane. Barbra

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 6:27PM
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Do you weave the wire somehow into a trellis, Barbra? Maybe if you have a photo you can upload that would help a lot for me to visualize your working with bull wire. Thanks for sharing your experience here.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 11:28PM
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Joseph, the bull wire is one solid piece, it will stand straight up, if you want it 10 ft tall. If you buy it, you need to bring it home in a trailer, it will not roll up. We are going down to the coast today, and will stay for 10 days, I will take a picture, and post when we get back. I do not have internet service there. We have not been there since Thanksgiving. I have no idea what the vines look like. The weekend of Thanksgiving the blue pea vine, and snail vine were dormant. The Mexican flame vine, bleeding heart, and purple passion vine were in full bloom. Barbra

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 5:36AM
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I think supports that stand straight up would work well as long as there were ridges on the wire to prevent the vine from sliding to the ground under force of gravity due to weight of the leaves as they grow out.

I can well imagine the wire supports are very sturdy, and capable of withstanding any wind force from a hurricane.

Do you attach string or other wire between the vertical wires so the vines can grow along them?

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 11:53AM
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