Morning Glories + Fencing.. 1st time gardener?

omgthatsfunJanuary 19, 2011

Please excuse me ahead of time if I have any botanical misconceptions or ask stupid questions. I'm really new to gardening.

I was wondering when the best time to plant Morning Glories would be. I planted some last year with my grandmother, but it was already July, and she did all the work. Can I possibly plant them earlier?

Also, would it be O.K. to plant them so that they climb over an ornamental aluminum fence. I want to have a 6 foot fence put in, and then cover them with morning glory, so I can get some more privacy. I decided against a chain link fence, because I felt aluminum would be more aesthetically pleasing. Or would this end up ugly/damage the fence?

I'm trying to plan my first "english cottage" garden ahead of time. This is my first time gardening and I'm only 16 so any advice is welcome!!

Thanks in advance!!

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The only stupid question is the one that isn't asked.

Morning glory seeds can be started earlier then July in your zone. If you want to direct sow (plant in the ground) you can likely start them in May. You just want to wait until the soil has warmed up. You can also start them earlier inside and transplant them to the garden. If starting them inside don't start too early because most are fast growing and you'll end up with long leggy vines that won't transplant well. They should do fine on an aluminum fence and won't cause any damage. I'm not sure how much privacy MG's will provide. They'll eventually fill in and cover the fence but are an annual and die when the cold hits. You might consider a mix of perennial and annual vines as a privacy screen. Good luck with your new garden.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 7:58AM
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What I have done in the past is get a few late spring early summer blooming clematis and let those provide the color and privacy while the morning glories work their way up to blooming size. As far as what types of morning glories go with fast growers like heavenly blue, flying saucer, or grandpa ott for quicker privacy and color. Avoid the fancier Japanese types from my experience they take forever and don't grow very tall

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 12:17PM
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frances_in_nj(z6 NJ)

How exciting that you are getting started with gardening! I hope you have lots of fun with it. Morning glories are beautiful, but one warning: I'd avoid Grandpa Ott. He's lovely, but boy does he self sow! One Grandpa Ott vine, and his descendants will be with you forever. The problem with this is they'll show up where you don't want them, and can potentially smother more delicate plants. I'd stick to Heavenly Blue, which is sterile. I think Scarlett O Hara is too, but maybe others would know for sure. Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 8:10AM
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I'm glad to see you becoming interested in horticulture at your age. Grampa Ott is a variety of Ipomoea purpurea, and I. purpurea seeds can survive a winter in your area and come up in the spring. Invasive is in the eye of the gardener, so if you like them, they aren't invasive!

Heavenly Blue (I. tricolor) and Scarlett O'Hara (I. nil) are not sterile. The seeds of the species these varieties belong to cannot survive a winter in the northeast, so you would need to save seeds or buy new ones in order to grow them again.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 2:20PM
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Also, any 'unwanted' Morning Glory volunteer seedlings are EASILY removed from places you do not want them to grow. If in the grass, one sweep with a lawnmower will cut them back and they will not return since they are annuals.

You can also grow Ipomoea nils easily in your climate by starting them early inside. About 6 weeks before your last frost. You can then plant in the ground or in a larger container sitting next to your fence. By planting these in a container, you will be able to move your pot to a garage or basement before your first frost so that you will be able to collect your seeds for the next growing season.

Good Luck and HAVE FUN!


    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 12:30PM
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frances_in_nj(z6 NJ)

Thanks for the info about why Heavenly Blue and Scarlett O'Hara don't self sow - I had no idea! But it makes sense. As for Gradpa Ott, well, I wouldn't mind if he'd just self sow in the lawn, but unfortunately he does in the garden beds - endlessly! I can spend an entire morning weeding out his progeny, and the next morning a dozen new little Grandpas will have popped up. Last summer, for a variety of reasons I couldn't even come close to keeping up with him, and one of his kids threatened to strangle a rose. So this is why I feel I should share my experience, because pretty as he is, I must say that I honestly wish I'd never planted that first Grandpa Ott seed back when I was starting out. Although of course, as they say, your mileage may differ!



    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 11:44AM
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Wow, did I read this correctly - blue morning glories are sterile and won't "run" all over the place??? I planted a morning glory vine yesterday to grow over a small arbor. Then today I read that it will spread like wildfire and kill off my other plants but now I read this great news. Is it true??

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 6:18PM
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I have been growing heavenly blues for over 30 years. Never had one reseed. filix.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 6:48AM
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I planted a 4' heavenly Blue next to a wrought iron archway about 3 1/2 weeks ago and waited excitedly for the magic. That darn vine has not grown 1" since I planted it. What could I be doing wrong????

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 7:53PM
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Bichonlover, you don't say where you live, but I'm guessing your MG isn't growing because the weather's still too cold. MGs don't really take off until the weather gets HOT.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 4:13PM
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thistle(ontario 5b)

This may sound kinda stupid,but if Heavenly Blue M.G's are sterile where are all the seeds coming from ?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 11:11PM
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I saved the seeds from a morning glory mix 2 years ago and planted them just for fun. They ALL took. Harvesting the seeds was sooo easy. I winter sowed my seeds and planted out early May if I remember correctly. They are already 6' tall!! AND they had to make a comeback because our litter of Dachshund puppies trampled them to the ground! Not too many flowers yet but here is a picture of one. Could someone tell me what variety this is? I find they do well with morning to early afternoon sun.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 11:54AM
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Your vines appear to be Ipomoea purpurea (since you say this is a mix, you may find another species mixed in when flowering really gets underway); pink flowers with darker stripes and a white center is a common pattern in this species. I've seen this variety sold under several different names by seed companies and eBay sellers. The other major gardening site has pictures of it under the name Pink Rambler.

Ipomoea purpurea varieties mix freely among themselves. This species produces a lot of pollen and is very attractive to bees. If you see any unusual types in your planting you want to be certain of having in the future, you will need to bag or tie off a few of the flowers before they open, mark the resulting pods, and save these seeds. Even then, in this case it isn't certain they will come true since your current vines originated from open pollinated seeds you saved from a mix that itself was probably from an open pollinated source.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 6:02PM
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Thanks so much for the help. I like the mix as of right now because it's a surprise every morning as to what has opened...and because this is only the 2nd year I have grown them haha. I was wondering how I would try to collect a certain flower's seeds so thank you for the tip! I know they could never be 100% what I mark them as since they are open pollinated but it will at least be a start. Thanks again!!!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 11:52PM
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