Morning Glory Help

mcnuttleJuly 2, 2006

This is my second attempt at growing Heavenly Blues... They get sun almost all day... I've read they don't like a lot of water, but every afternoon they get wilted and droop. Last year, the leaves appeared to be burned by the sun, withered, and eventually fell off. This year they're planted in a huge, deep planter so I'm hoping that will help. When it's very hot, should I water them every day? The vines are already huge, so I'm hoping for a good show of blooms that will last throughout the summer. Thanks for any suggestions!

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Where are you located? Might make a difference if northern canadian sun or south florida sun.


    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 9:47PM
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on Cape Cod in Massachusetts...

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 2:42PM
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Westview(Zone 8, N. TX)

Hi McNuttle, I grow Morning Glorys every summer here in North Texas. obviously our climates are different, but I find that if I don't water them every day in the summer they do exactly what you described. In pots they are water hogs. I have no trouble with getting lots of blooms so I think the water requirements are different in the ground and in pots. After all, if the water is gone from a pot there is no place for the plant to go to find more. I would keep them well watered, but let them dry out between and see if that helps.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 9:51PM
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McNuttle, kind of late in replying, but I was lurking around and saw your post. My MG's are in black nursery pots on my deck. The deck is on the south side of the house and the MG's are right up next to the house. The soil can be moist and on really hot, humid days they will look wilty. I do water them everyday as they usually look dry by the time I get home from work. I don't fertilize either. If the outside temps get over 95 degrees, I think I will move them to a "cooler" place other than right up next to the siding. But once the evening starts to cool, they are fine. I consider they drink more water because they are in a very hot spot, which I think they like. I don't think it will hurt the blooming period or amount of blooms. Have fun!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2006 at 2:49PM
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ImaHockeyMom(SW Mich--Zone 5)

How do they look in the mornings? Mine get wilty in the heat of the afternoon, but look nice and plump again in the morning. If they still look wilty in the morning, they definitely need more water. Are you getting buds forming now, or just leaves, leaves, and more leaves?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 2:06PM
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NoVaPlantGuy_Z7b_8a(Alexandria, VA 7B/8A)

Ive been growing Moonflowers and MG's for about 7 years now, and from my experience with them, espeically container grown ones ( thats what I always grow mine in) this is very normal, espeically on very HOT days. They wilt. The come right back as soon as the temps cool and / or they stop getting sun. I do belive the "wilting" is a reaction of the plant. It is responding to too much intense heat, and by wilting its leaves exposes less surface area to the very hot sun, thus lessening the chance the plant and its leaves will get damaged. They have ALWAYS done this wilting act for me, and within an hour or so after they move into shade, they perk right back up. It has absolutly nothing to do with wanting water, or anything else because mine have been, and usually are plenty wet when they put on thier little dramatic wilting show. Theyll be just fine, no worries.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2006 at 2:22AM
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I planted MG's in two planter boxes built into my apartment that get full sun all afternoon and wilt in the hard afternoon sun. They come back everyevening just like npg says. It scared me alot at first too. I have 10 plants that I planted Easter weekend that have grown to cover the front gate and up about 15 feet. I have about 20-25 flowers every morning. How on earth do you get them to make any seeds? I have seen countless bees and hummingbirds visit them daily. I tried with a tiny paintbrush, that worked great with petunias, but these morning glories are more than I can handle. I do hope someone can help. Thanks alot. ~Josh

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 2:02AM
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NoVaPlantGuy_Z7b_8a(Alexandria, VA 7B/8A)

Hey Josh. Well im not sure exactly what you are asking. I personally have never had any problems getting my moonflowers and morning glories to produce prolific amounts of seeds. I dont hand pollinate them at all, never have. They just grow and grow and grow... they bloom, and the seed pods just come in the fall.

So maybe you can explain exactly what you are asking? Or am I just really dumb and/ or missing something really obvious? Just wondering...


    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 7:52PM
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Hey NPG, thanks for the response. I have never grown them before this year. Mine have made over 250 flowers but there are no seeds to be found. I have them in boxes right by the road so collecting the seeds from them is the only way I will be able to have any more. You say they make seeds in the fall, that would explain why there are none. What do the seed pods look like and how does their life relate to that of each individual bloom? Thanks again. Hope to talk to you soon. If I get a chance I need to get some pics up. I really love these things, watching them grow has been fun from the very start. Thanks. ~Josh

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 11:46PM
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NoVaPlantGuy_Z7b_8a(Alexandria, VA 7B/8A)

I posted these in another thread in this forum, but I will post them here too, then Ill comment:

These are my MG's and MF's this year.

There are between 6 and 8 plants in each container. Those containers are just the big green (they come in brown and white too) plastic deck containers you find at home depot or lows for about 8 bucks each. Nothing more. Ive been growing them in those containers for years, as I used to live in an apartment on the 14th floor with a balcony. Being that 95% of the "back yard" is a actually a stone patio as you can see, I just applied the same knowledge I gained through container gardening on the balcony, to the patio. Beneath all of those leaves, I hung up "tomato cages" with "U" nails on the fence. That is the support or trellis the vines are growing on. They are the square kind that fold up, just unfolded hanging on the fence. For added support and to make it "fuller" I tied twine half way between each verticle metal part, so as to give the fines more areas to grow up onto, that were close together in order to get the full / total coverage. Since were moving right along towards the late stages of midsummer and on to late summer, the lower sections of the vines are now starting to drop some leaves so they arent quite as full down low as they used to be. The containers are now filled with roots, and I MUST water then VERY thoroughly EVERY day. I also use miracle grow on them once every two to three weeks. This is important, espeically with that many plants in the containers as they are really competeing for nutrients, so im definately not concerend about over fertilising. Ive been doing it for years, and every year I get the same, awesome results you see here. Sorry, not trying to toot my own horn so to speak, just sharing what is tried and true and has always worked for me. Id love to see some photos of others vines/ gardens too!

Share away.... =o)

As for the seed pods: Once the bloom dies off, the production of the seed pod begins. Actually, the essentials for producing the seeds are there from the beginning of the flower bud, however I do belive its not until the flower is pollenated that the seeds will actually develop. After the flower dies, the part just below the bloom itself ( where the petals or flower part attach) slowly begins to swell. After a few weeks it takes on a noticeable shape / size. They look different on different cultivars of MG, but not drastically so. They remain green, until very late summer or fall. Once the plant has produced and matured the seeds inside that pod, the plant will shut off growth and energy to that pod, and usually that "branch" which will usually have 1-5 pods on it, and it will die and dry out. Usually they pop open and the some seeds fall out. However you dont need to leave them on the vine until they do so. Once its dead, and you can shake it and hear / feel a slight rattle, its ready to be picked off and you thus have "harvested" the seeds for next years plants. Sometimes they actually do "POP" open. Ive been sitting out side under the vines in the fall, and have hard them pop and been hit with flying seeds. Most dont do that, but some do.

The seed pods can actually look quite attractive. on MOONFLOWER vines, the seed pods are very large. Heck everything about that vine is large! =o)

SO its nothing you are or are not doing, it just takes time for the plant to grow and mature the seed pods. YOull see them start to develop over the summer. If you have been getting blooms for several weeks now, just go back to some of the ones you remember first seeing a few weeks ago and look at the "branch" they were on, and youll likely see the developing seed pods. Each "pod" will contain anywhere from 3 -5 seeds, and sometimes more. Theres no reason why you shouldnt get hundreds of viable seeds from just one plant. Just remember to LABLE THEM!!!!! They all look alot alike so if you mix them up youll not know what seeds came from what cultivar vine until they sprout and begin to produce "real" leaves next spring.

Hope that helps. Look foward to seeing your photos.

You can feel free to paruse all my photo albums at the link below. Youll be quite amazed at the difference between junes pics.. and julys! It amazes me every time I go out on to the back patio.

Here is a link that might be useful: NPG's Photo Albums

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 12:18AM
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Hey NPG thanks for all the info. Your yard looks incredible. The thing with the flowers is that the part that holds the flower falls off too a few days after the flower dies. I will get some pics of that up later today. The bottom used to be as thick as the rest but those leaves died and the bugs are wreaking havoc on the new growth down low. Might you have any thought on what to use? They are growing into the house on the second floor through the old windows. I don't mind. It will be neet to have flowers inside. These things grow so fast. Thanks again, and talk to you soon.

Here is a link that might be useful: My new photos :)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 2:57PM
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NoVaPlantGuy_Z7b_8a(Alexandria, VA 7B/8A)

Hello Josh!

I LOVE your vines and what you have done with them! That is awesome!!!!

As for the seed pods, If you can photo document ( in other words take pics of) what exactly is LEFT on the plant after the flower and whatever else part falls off, I can better tell you what the part that is left IS. Ive never really heard of everything falling off leaving only stubs of stems. If that is happening, im not sure what could be causeing that.

As for the bugs. Have you actually SEEN bugs on the lower portion of the plants? IF so, what do they look like? Aphids? Spider Mites? If something is eating the leaves then I dont know what to tell you. I just accept that some parts of some leaves are going to get eaten by something at some point.

I do want to tell you though, that your vines look healthy. If its just bare lower vines you are worried about, dont. That is perfectly normal. Later in the season, they all drop leaves on the lower portions of the vines. The pics of my vines you saw were july 17th I belive. Now, they are quite a bit more bare on the lower portions. The leaves have turned yellow, and have started to shed. this goes progressivly up the vine starting in late july and early august. All this is, is the plant getting older, maturing, and shedding leaves that are not producing energy efficiently for the plant. In other words, those lower leaves are no longer needed because they are using more energy than they produce for the plant to use. At this point in the season, the vines are putting much more energy into growth of new vine and leaves at the top that will get more sun, produce more energy, as well as producing flowers, and in turn seed pods to ensure its survival. In my 6 or so years growing both moonflowers and morning glory, they have all done this every year. So as unsightly as it may be, it really isnt anything to worry about, your vines are most likely in great health by the looks of them. Ill post some new pics of mine over the weekend, and youll see, that mine are doing the same thing yours are. There is MUCH LESS foliage at the bottom 1-2 feet of vine now.

One thing you can do to help with how it looks is place some other annuals , or even perennials in front of them to cover up the bottom foot or two of vine. Another alternative, and I have done this one, is you save some seeds from spring, start them in late june, and plant them in with the older vines. they will grow fairly large and produce blooms before frost, and this will keep the bottom portion of the older vines, green for MOST of the summer. It may or may not require place other containers in front of the existing ones, depending on how pot/ root bound your adult MG's are.

I hope that helps! your vines do look great!!!! I love what youve done with them, or rather, what they have done with themselves because we all know they have a mind of thier own!

Dont forget to give info about the "bugs" and possibly get some photos of the parts of the flowers / seed pods the plant is dropping.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 8:01PM
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Hey NPG, thanks for all the info again. I added more pictures to my bucket. I moved into this apartment with those two cute little planters. I had to do as much as I could with those and pots on the curb between the house and the road. The petunias love the pots in the heat, and the MG's love all the full sun. My cactus does too. :) I just put 2 seeds per egg in 10 eggs with some soil. It was still freezing then, but as soon as it was staying pretty good all night I put them in the dirt. It was always neet taking them in and out every day and watch ing how much the had grown that day. Then after the dirt, they went crazy. It was great to watch them make the first climb and see who would be the first to the top. The plant that won is now over 3/4 inch diameter at the base. I fertilized them in the beginning to get alot of vine coverage. I stoppped for a while and they began flowering. I have since resumed the fertilization with no visible lessening in new flower production. But as you can see what falls off, I do not know what to do. he dirt they are in is nothing but roots. I have brought home alot of worms to try to keep things stirred up. I use oatmeal around the edges to keep the ants from getting in the dirt. When they swarm here you get beds in planters and pots alike, it is terrible. I hope you can see the little green/yellow bugs that when you squish them it is nothing but water. There is also tiny red bugs, you can kinda see them in one pic. And webby stuff is on oldeer leaves and is harmful to the new little shoots at the base of leaves.Thay have not been bad but have gotten out of hand at this point. I like the idea about new plants later in the year. I would have to use another planter, but a long box on the curb would catch up in no time, thanks. I hope this is enough to help you help me. It has been neet to talk to someone else who cares. My GF gives me a hard time sometimes, but we take care of them together. She planted all the ones on the left and it has kinda always been a running joke about how much better 'my' side is doing. Her old roommate poured alot of grease in that planter. We changed the dirt in both of them but the bricks on that side still look different. I suspect that has a tiny bit to do with it but either way. We ahve a good time with them. I have to say that I will have these for a long time no matter where I go. Thanks for liking the pics. I showed her your place and we both are in love with it. I love the bricks and the moss is over the top. I hope to talk to you soon. Thanks again. ~Josh

Here is a link that might be useful: My new pics

    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 3:33PM
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Can you have too many morning glory/moon flower vines to hinder blooms from either plant? I found 1 morning glory bloom about a week ago and haven't seen any more? They are planted in the ground and get the afternoon western sun in Fort Meade, MD. Thanks for the info

    Bookmark   August 11, 2006 at 2:21PM
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NoVaPlantGuy_Z7b_8a(Alexandria, VA 7B/8A)

Hey Josh, sorry to have taken so long to get back to you. Thanks for the compliments on my little corner of the outdoor world! They are appreciated.

Looks to me like you have aphids, and or spider mites.
Those are fairly common, and easy to get rid of pests. The aphids you can just introduce lady bugs to your plants, andthey will eat them all up. Dont worry about the lady bugs flying away, becuase once they know there is a good supply of food there, they wont leave. Ive done this year in and year out, and have had the greatest success. The aphids disappear. You can usually buy containers of 100 or so lady bugs at local garden centers, although im not sure if they are still available this late in the season. Short of the lady bugs , you can hand clean the aphids off your plants. Much more tedious, but it works.

As for the spider mites, those are easy to control too. Just douse your plants leaves with a hose. DO this once a day, and be sure you get the under sides of the leaves too. they mostly live there. Water drowns them. Once you get the population down they are pretty easy to get rid of. Just keep wetting them down with LOTS of water on the leaves, and the mites will disappear. The longest its taken me to get rid of them was a week. You have to keep checking though, if they come back, youll have to start treatment again. Spider mites are common in drier climates / weather. If you get regular rain, the instance of spider mites goes way down. Spider mites often will cause severe crop damage during droughts.

HOpe t his helps you with your pest problems.

Ill post some newer photos of my place over the weekend.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2006 at 4:09PM
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I hope everyone had a good year. They made some several hundred seeds now. It froze last night here. All the leaves are wilty. Can I expect anything else from these guys? Thanks for all your help this year. I hope to see y'all again with some MG's at my new place. Best of luck to you all and happy holidays.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2006 at 5:58PM
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My morning glory was planted early April in northern CA. Blue Star, Flying Saucers and a red kind name unknown. I also planted a mix of a different type I collected myself. Only the later one is blooming. However I am getting a tiny seed pod or like such on the others. WHAT is it and why will they not produce flower buds? I have been feeding regularly but will stop now knowing they do not like it. I have also used high doses of liquid Super Thrive and will also stop using it too.
But what in the world are these tiny pods?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 11:42PM
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burra - if you can post(or email me via my page
) clear closeups of the pods that you are referring to I will try to identify them for you...



    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 4:45AM
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Bugs are eating my morning glory's really bad! What can I do?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 8:03AM
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Bugs are eating my morning glory's really bad! What can I do?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 9:09AM
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I am looking for some suggestions as to what is eating my Morning Glories leaves...

2 weeks ago, I noticed lots of holes in my morning glories leaves. I looked under the leaf and found a shiny metallic beetle, which I later found out was a Golden tortoise beetle. I pulled it off and let it fly away. I though I had solved the problem until today I noticed more holes in the leaves. I looked at the leaves and there are tiny white fly like insects all over them. Does anyone know what these are and how to get rid of them? The morning glories are also planted in pots with nasturtiums - I don't know if this would have anything to do with these insects or not...

Any ideas would be appreciated...

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 7:35PM
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Hello All!
I have a question, I live in Florida and I'm giving morning glories a try,are there any ways to encourage flowering on morning glories? I've seen a lot of pictures of morning glories that are full of leaves and flowers and some that are scraggly and very few leaves and flowers,so there must be a way to get them to produce more flowers.I know that they do not need lots of water and very little to no fertilizer and at least 6-8 hours of sun. I'm going to try to grow several types of morning glories and I want to give them the best start for the best results. any help?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 12:09PM
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