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FAQs and Index of Topics for Morning Glories (Sticky)

(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)


Please go to the following thread for posting comments and suggestions for this Sticky thread:

General information for newbies about the Morning Glory Forum:

Some species of Ipomoea are restricted or prohibited in specific states in the USA, as well as in other countries. Please see this thread for more information:

And additional information about Prohibited Plants can be found on this thread:

And please consider reading this helpful information concerning importing/exporting seeds, as well as obtaining a permit:

Morning Glory FAQs:

Do I need to soak morning glory seeds before sowing them?

The seeds will often sprout just fine without any pre-treatment. For pre-treatment, soak the seed until it swells. Some people add hydrogen peroxide to the soaking water or nick the seed coat to help the seed germinate. This usually works out well for the most common species, but for some rare types/species soaking or other more specialized treatment may be recommended.

When should I sow morning glory seeds?

This can be species dependent as some species may respond better at different times of the season. The most common species can be winter sown, direct sown in Spring/Summer, or even started indoors.

Can I start morning glories inside?

This is species dependent. Making certain of an adequate light source is an important consideration when growing them indoors.

Should I pinch back seedlings?

This depends on the purpose and/or intended result for pinching back. Allowing the plants to remain un-pinched will produce a longer vine in less time for quicker coverage.

How do I save seeds from Morning Glories?

When seed pods are ripe they can be removed from the vine. Seeds will be colored brown, tan, beige, or two-tone.

They can be stored in a cool, dry place. Long term storage in a refrigerator may require some form of a desiccant as humidity is high and can foster some molds that grow well in refrigerators.

Will morning glories come "true" from seed?

Morning Glories of the same species can cross fertilize. To insure intra-fertilization with the same type, some type of isolation and/or hand pollination may be necessary.

Seeds that result from cross fertilization within the same species but of different cultivars or other types would most accurately be referred to as crosses and not hybrids. (Unless there were true inter-specific hybrids involved such as vines in the Youjiro series.)

What are "Japanese" Morning Glories?

Japanese Morning Glories are most commonly associated with large flowered Ipomoea nils, though the Japanese have enjoyed many different species including Ipomoea purpurea and others such as Ipomoea hederacea, etc. In fact the very popular Youjiro series are hybrids between Ipomoea nil and Ipomoea purpurea which may be viewed on Dr.Yoneda's website. (See Index listing for this site.)

Is there anything different about growing requirements for Japanese Morning Glories that should be noted here?

They are often not prolific seed producers so you may want to take extra care with seeds that may be in short supply and/or of relatively rare types. Seeds tend to sprout better in what is the natural/usual germination period during the Spring and/or in the early Summer for a specific geographic locality. It may be best to start during the natural germination time period for a specific geographic location and/or climate zone.

Adding this thread that might be of interest about crossing MGs, developing hybrids, and naming them:

This message was edited Aug 12, 2011 8:02 AM

(Zone 7a)




---- Autumn - When the Morning Glory Dies, by Joeswife


Gene Expression (Relationships between genes and their on-and-off physical manifestations)

-- A history how Japan bred Ipomoea nil and guided its mutations -

-- Environment nudges enzymes to produce changes in appearance: (Post #4628717)

-- A breeder's mind flowers along with his flowers:

-- Chromosomes
----- MG species average 30 chromosomes +/- a few; chromosome counts can vary within a species -

----- A hybrid is more likely to result when the prospective parents have the same number of chromosomes:

Genetic Modification (example: increasing polyploidy by soaking seeds in a solution/extract of Colchicine)

Interspecific Hybrids (Hybrids between Different Species)
-- Cross-Fertilization between Different Species: (Post #4577339)
-- Known Interspecific Hybrids Number about 25: (Post #3197741)
-- Article on Hybrid Biology: (Wikipedia)

Intraspecific Crosses (Crosses between Cultivars within the same Species / Non-Hybrids)

Mendelian Genetics (Milestone theory of heredity applicable to modern science - easy article) - (Palomar)

Natural Selection - (Wikipedia)


-- Watersorb Crystals (thread #821036)

-- Lights

----- inexpensive alternative - gro lux wide spectrum (post #5168461)

----- HPS (High Pressure Sodium)

----- comparing HPS to MH wrt spectrum and plant parts (post #2891289)

----- MH (metal halide) electricity bill (post #4139629)

-- Smaller sized MGs for pot culture (although many larger MGs can be trained in a pot - see TRELLISING and/or PRUNING MG VINES)

----- Convolvulus mauritanicus (syn. sabatius)

----- Convolvulus tricolor (has open habit; curly parsley makes a pretty thickener)

----- Evolvulus glomeratus 'Blue Daze' (there are other interesting Evolvulus species)

----- Ipomoea albivenia (caudiciform MGs can make good pot plants)

----- Ipomoea batatas 'Blackie'
----- Ipomoea batatas 'Marguerite'

----- Ipomoea nil 'Kawaii' and 'Sunsmile' series have a mounding habit, but are stiffer than I. nil 'Minibar Rose' and its kin)

----- Ipomoea nil 'Kikyou' (mine got to 6', which is larger than others on this list, but smaller than other nils I grew)

----- Ipomoea nil 'Minibar Rose': (The white-variegation in the small leaves comes from the "crystal gene", and other cultivars in this group are Beni Chidori, Cameo Elegance...)

-- Potting medium

----- - potting medium, dirt, compost, rotted horse manure & a scoop of moisture-control Miracle Grow
---------- Others agree, but especially to compost, not to horse manure, plus mycorrhizal fungi (See FERTILIZATION / Micorrhizal fungi).

----- BeckyGardener gets great results with Moisture Control Miracle Grow and fish emulsion, Bloom Booster (Ron's comment on Bloom Booster, and Messenger

-- What size pot? (thread #736573)

-- Tips for saving space, steps, time, money when potting up MGs from germination and on (thread #700077)



Bamboo & MG - another good reason to garden in a pot, is because some areas have laws that allow a neighbor whose bamboo encroaches upon another neighbor's property to be sued - (Post #4671334)

Bachelor Buttons & MG: (Post #3774376)

Contrasts & Echoes of Color & Texture: (Post #3393092)

Thread (Cottage Garden Forum, 2/29/08): (Thread #818820)

With respect to disease & partial shade: (Post #4623384)


Iron Biomagnetism - see iron biomagnetism under Seed/Seedcoat below

Pollen, oldest:, (Post #3313116, paragraph 3)

Stigma in older species: (Post #4041857)

FERTILIZATION: (Post# 3082414) - to fertilize or not to fertilize? Compares, contrasts and theorizes about how and why many types of nutrients work for MGs - a must-read for curious minds (blogs/t/rjuddharrison/1923) - explains what NPK, micronutrients, trace elements and chemistry of organic gardening are from the most basic concept on up; how nutrients may relate to plant health and disease/pest resistance - very comprehensive narrative and links relating to plant germination, nutrition, cultivation, etc.

Micorrhizal fungi can make existing nutrients more available -

-- (short how-to)
-- (in-depth explanation of relationships & application)
-- (fascinating trip around the world with these fungi; excellent links to more info)
-- (FAQs & more great links)


Deer - (thread #756468)

Rodents - (thread #754066)


-- Beetles

---- Low or non Toxicity Remedies - - paragraph 2 in general but whole page is valuable

----- Gold Bug - Charidotella sexpunctata (Golden Tortoise Beetle) -

-- Caterpillars

----- (and see Wikibook link below)
----- Caterpillars: (thread #728235)

--- Fungus Gnats, Controlling:

----- 3% Hydrogen Peroxide (H202) & diatomaceous earth: (Post #1932886) (The tip on nonchlorinated water is valuable for some plants in particular, but I have soaked pots and mesh-bottomed trays of cuttings & seedlings with tap water mixed w/H202 from the bottom successfully)

----- Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis: (cornell) (In tool bar, click on Edit, then Find and type "gnat" into search bar to go directly to this entry) (recipe for application: (Post #2950945) (Note: let the gallon of water with either 1 Tbsp of mosquito granules or crumbled mosquito donuts sit overnight for the granules to dissolve and the chlorine to dissipate. The entire thread is a very thorough discussion of fungus gnats and their various remedies)

-- Mites - biocontrol via keeping mite-chomping beneficials supplied with nectar: (Post #5128255)
-- Mites - biocontrol via Lacewing Larva, photo & commentary - (Post #3580917)
-- Mites - Cotton Puff / Alcohol Remedy - (Post #3582796)

-- Scale - (Thread #786974)

-- Weevils: (Post #2997690)


-- Damp-Off Fungus (pre-emergent type) and other seed and seedling diseases; contributing factors; remedies, including a bleach soak recipe for mildewed & other dubious seeds; lists, sources & comparative commentary - (Post# 3058590)

-- Leaf Disease

----- Rust Remedy - (Post #2846258)
----- Rust, About - (Post #2847979)
----- Rust, Designing the Garden around Rust - (Post #4623384) (cross-posted from DESIGN)

Slugs & Snails

-- Good Photo of slug damage with how-to-cope commentary - (Post #3481679)
-- Barriers - copper, Vaseline, beer, salt, creating habitat for slug predators - (Thread #697994)
-- Sand & NonToxic Slug Bait - (Thread #92756)

Comprehensive, general section on Insects and Diseases: (Wikibooks)


Baggy Methods

-- Step-by-Step method for Commonly Grown JMGs (demystifies when to nick or not to nick MG seeds): (Post #3303432)

Non-Baggy Methods

-- Heat Mat, Lights, Domes, Hydrogen Peroxide, Superthrive (some cross-over between baggy/nonbaggy methods): (Post #4605339)

-- Comparison of different methods & factors affecting germination; inhibitors; micorrhizal organisms: (Post #1971075)

A Beginner's Questions about Starting MG Seeds - (Thread #817873)


-- Germinating Chambers: The Big 3 - Heat, Humidity & Light (& don't forget air flow for fungus/molds)

Following are some examples of what some forum members have constructed or used to create these conditions:

----- Heat & humidity room: (Post #4671334) (cross posted with DESIGN / Bamboo & MG)

----- Smaller, improvised Heat & humidity chamber:
-------- (Post #3167345)
-------- (Post #3167351)

-----Heat & humidity store-bought domes: (Thread floramanana/all/) - This is a very comprehensive thread about the materials, methods and tools (and their sources) that Gourd used to successfully start many rare and unusual MG species - some never before seen in cultivation. There is a lot to learn here. The thread follows individual species from first emergence a little ways into later development.

----- Transitioning from the heat & humidity chamber: (Post #4250951)



Germinating Medium

--- Coconut fiber wins over perlite, sand & seed potting mix: (Post #3181385)

Nicking Seeds
-- when and how to nick: (Post #3303432, Step 2b)
-- excellent discussion of various nicking techniques, materials and pros and cons and related topics - (Thread #827915)
-- tools (read above discussion first): (Post #3132693)

Delayed Sprouting
-- for old seeds, or species not long in cultivation: (Post #2274253)
-- that a species' survival benefits from seeds sprouting at different times: (Post #3224242)

Old Seed - classic thread about a 1949 packet of mg seeds - (Thread #677301)

A seed's ability to germinate is affected by many factors, so you might also want to read these related topics: Seed / Harvest, Storage, Viability, Molds, Seedcoat


This section is meant to supplement the DG knowledge base of garden terms - click on the Guides and Information tab at the top of any DG webpage, and then click on "Garden Terms" in the box to the right of the webpage that comes up next.

Another great reference for botanic terms and concepts is: This website goes into such greater detail that it is like taking a college-level course. So, make yourself comfortable with a cup of tea, and enjoy a cerebral treat. When reading these entries, I like to have this dictionary up on two windows simultaneously so that I can use the 2nd window as a reference to the first while I read. This dictionary does not have visually distracting ads, and downloads more quickly because of that. Never mind if everything doesn't make sense at first - just read through the first time and pick up what you can, and then go back for what intrigues you the most.

auxin: a substance that regulates plant growth, including elongation of cells
--- See the following topics in this index and research them through -
----- PROPAGATION / Cuttings / growth auxins
----- SEED / Seedcoat / Miscellaneous / abscisic acid, biomagnetism



By Sepal - The most dependable plant part for identifying a species of morning glory consists of the sepals. Sepals are leaf-like structures at the base of the flower bud or seed pod, pictured here: (pid=4110886). This concept of identification for morning glories came from here: (pid=3504567).

When asking for an ID for an unknown MG on this forum, a photo of the flower, taken sideways so we can see the sepals, will result in the best answer.

By Seed - (Post #484188)

This thread about Ipomoea hederifolia var. aurantia - (Thread #790934) - explains how to identify and distinguish between the following species and hybrids:

--- Ipomoea hederifolia var. aurantia, I. coccinea, and I. sloteri, which is a hybrid resulting from I. coccinea x I. quamoclit ( (Post #4256411)

--- Ipomoea aurantiaca and I. hederifolia (Aurantia) (Post #4273791)

MG species native to North America, with an emphasis on desert species & distinguishing between Ipomoea violacea & I. tricolor: (Thread #664869)


-- Ipomoea nil

---- Rose vs. Chocolate - (Thread #681709)

Ipomoea purpurea -
-- Higes, Feathered, Split Petals and Multipetals
---- Dr. Yoneda -
---- DG discussion thread - - Scroll down to where luvsgrtdanes asks "Do nils feather?" - and then follow related responses
-- How to distinguish between Kniola's Black, Star of Yelta and Grandpa Ott's -

Ipomoea tuxtlensis -


DG administration has created a new forum called Plant and Tree Identification ( ), to which they have moved all MG threads pertaining to identification. One way to find these threads is to conduct searches for key words, such as names of various genera belonging to the family Convolvulaceae. You can find the names of these genera (as well as various species and cultivars) here: . There is much to be learned from these threads. Hopefully, some day, this forum will become intact again.


Cold-Hardy Reseeders (not intended to be complete): (Post #3338509)

Introduction to Relative Invasiveness of Some Species: (Post #4355198)

Discussion: (Thread #704134)

Explication in Depth on Invasive Species: (Post #3311001)


Japanese/English Flower Names, Botanic Terms, Linguistic and Cultural References: (Thread #555920)

from --
Following are the links that clarify that plants and seeds imported into the US from any other country must be through the US permit program or accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the government of the sending country that pertains to all plants not otherwise addressed in the APHIS site reference materials:
-- PPQ 587: Application for permit to import generally admissible plants or plant products, including the small lots of seeds program.
-- plants and plant products
-- Contact Permit Services:
Telephone (301) 734-0841 or (877) 770-5990
(Toll-Free Automated System); Fax (301) 734-4300
The need for these references was addressed previously in the links here:
For further discussion on invasive species, see sections on invasives in both the sticky index & faqs


--- Dr. Yoneda's Home Webpage:

--- DG Member Blog(s) - extremely informative regarding botany, convolvulaceae, art, friendship and uncommon chicken soup

(For other night-blooming moonflowers in the morning glory family, search for:
Convolvulaceae + nocturnal in )

Ipomoea adenioides: (PlantFiles #107581)

Ipomoea alba, black-seeded: (PlantFiles #136688)

Ipomoea alba, Quest for the Blue Variation: (Thread #448913) (Start with post - also check out a Horseshoe story in there, inspired by quote of the day from Mark Twain)

Ipomoea albivenia: (PlantFiles #107573)

Ipomoea calantha: (PlantFiles #81863)

Ipomoea macrorhiza: (PlantFiles #53206)

Ipomoea muricata: (PlantFiles #69456)
Synonym: Ipomoea turbinata
Synonym: Ipomoea petiolaris
Synonym: Calonyction muricatum
Synonym: Convolvulus muricatus
Synonym: Calonyction speciosum var. muricatum

Ipomoea saintroanensis: (PlantFiles #107611)

Ipomoea santillani: (PlantFiles #120918)

Ipomoea tuboides: (PlantFiles #120991)

Ipomoea violacea: (PlantFiles #57559)

Do night lights affect moonflowers? - (Thread #714147)


Flowers: Color Patterns: (Yoneda...species/flower_pattern...)

Flowers: Structures of Parts:

-- Diagram of an MG Flower: (

-- Longitudinal MG Cross-Section Photo, parts labeled: (Post #4110886)

Seed Pod, Almost Ripe - Photograph of Lateral Cross-Section: (Thread #782584)


Morning glories are said to be the second-most researched plant on earth (the first is said to be corn), due to their unusual frequency of mutation (changes to the genetic material of an organism During the Edo period (1603 - 1867) of Japan, woodcuts recorded these mutant morning glories ( Although most MG mutants were destroyed during WWII some were regained from private collections after the war ( - google Kyushu + morning glory). This writer is not sure, but wonders if others might have since been rebred.

To see some of these mutant MGs come alive in the gardens of some members of this forum seems miraculous given the foregoing, and digital images plus an explanation of their unique propagation techniques can be found on Atenkley's Garden Diary Q0426 System Description and Methods ( Some of Atenkley's images from QO426 System are in this thread:


There is no more definitive record of what you have grown and/or observed than a digital image.

--- Xeramtheum's tutorials to aid in photographing MGs:

----- Part 1, Substance - The Rule of Thirds -
----- Part 1, Discussion - (thread #776320)

----- Part 2, Substance - Picture Size & Quality - Focusing - EV for more detail -
----- Part 2, Discussion - (thread #776734)

----- Part 3, Substance - Macro - Part I -
----- Part 3, Discussion - (thread #777441)

----- Part 4, Substance - Macro - Cropping -
----- Part 4, Discussion -


definition in link, but read thread & see link in 6th post -


Hand Pollination, Comprehensive, Indepth How-To Save, Store, Send & Use Pollen: (Post #1661670)

Hand Pollination How-To by Dr.Yoneda: (Click on Introduction and follow links to Table of Contents and Pollination)

Hand Pollination, Non-Technical Step-by-Step Guide: (Thread #1661670)

Tagging with Bread-Bag Ties: (Post #3527842)

Tagging with Foil: (Thread #703648)


--- See GERMINATION above


--- Cuttings in Coir (Shredded Coconut - from the Rose Forum, but very informative) - (thread #556678)

--- Cuttings in Dirt (Ipomoea hederifolia var. aurantia): (Post #4275151)

--- Cuttings in Foam Squares (from Rose Forum, but worth experimenting with) - (thread #850412)

--- Cuttings in Perlite to avoid fungus gnats: Post #4690908 (The larvae of fungus gnats are known to feed upon the roots of plants. See FOES / Insects / Fungus Gnats)

--- Cuttings in Water, ground runners: (Ipomoea indica): (Post #2417557)

--- Cuttings in Water w/seed pods (Ipomoea alba): (Post #1698288)


--- Here is a guide not limited to MGs, but containing tips that could apply to rooting some rare mutation or special MG vine with which you want to take extra care: (Post #597232 - 1st post by Critterologist) A couple of refinements to Critterologist's method for rooting cuttings of MGs:

----- When making cuttings, put them in water immediately as you cut to avoid wilting before you can put them into their rooting medium (this may not apply to succulent and/or caudiciform types of MGs).

----- Make the cut as closely and cleanly as possible to the nearest leaf node; so that the bottom cut is just below the lowest leaf node and the top cut is just above the top leaf node. Rooting may occur without this precaution, but sometimes, when a stem is cut, growth auxins leave the parts of the stem below and above the nearest leaf node and congregate at those leaf nodes. Those parts of the stem from which the growth auxins have departed then may become playgrounds for pathogens, which can interfere with the rooting process.


Germination (see germination above)


-- Seeds should be brown and crispy: (Post #3560541)
-- But some seeds may be viable even if only "nearly ready": (Post #4090680) (However, see Seedcoat)
-- What to do when frost is coming, your MGs are not in pots, but you want to save seed: (Post #4312974, paragraphs 4 - 7)
-- Drying seeds in precarious and/or humid conditions: (Post #4312974, section titled "Drying")


-- Seedcoat Color

----- Comparison of plants from light and dark seeds from same cultivar; e.g., chlorophyll, sunlight and germination: (Post #2274378)

---- Photo of black and beige seeds from the same pod of a I. nil 'Blue Silk' vine (ours had both colors of seed, too): (Post #4217526)

Shattering of Ripe Seedpods

-- Photo/instructions for porous bags to catch shattering pods: (Post #4017486)
-- Photo of seedpod inside bag: (Post #4017492)
-- Photo of overall bagged plant: (Post #4017498)

-- After proper drying, "a baggie within a baggie [or]...extra-large freezer ziplock bags [or]...large plastic tupperware containers" can prevent any possible weevils from chewing through. See the links above under Foes/Insects/Weevils for more information about weevils.

The following link includes the following Seedcoat/Germination topics (and much more): (post #2997627)

-- Controlling substances, such as a main inhibitor known as abscisic acid (ABA)

-- the debate between whether to germinate in a sterile environment or in one with naturally occurring beneficial microorganisms

-- Environmental factors such as cold, light, radiant energy, the electromagnetic spectrum (This link touches on iron biomagnetism, in relation to which life on earth as evolved. This writer once came across an article about what happened when a plant was grown in a space satellite/station far away from its normal gravity. Those growth hormones that relate to iron biomagnetism can cause some monstrous physical anomalies in the absence of gravity)

-- Microorganisms and their roles in the germination process. For example, a metabolic path is described that begins with water dissolving fibers in the seedcoat into gooey substances, upon which fungi feast, producing antibiotics as they munch which help the young sprout along. Ron calls this relationship between the fungi and young sprout "symbiotic campatibility".

-- Related unsolved mysteries

Viability - usually between 5 & 10 years, but here's a fascinating experiment in seed longevity: (Thread #677301)


Under a maple tree:
Under a hickory tree:


Why do we use words like "petunia" and "morning glory"? One reason is so we'll know when we're talking about one and not the other. It is mainly the structures of plant parts that botanists use to tell which plant is which, and those structures of plant parts have been organized into a hierarchy, where every plant has its own place with respect to the other plants. We call this hierarchy the Plant Kingdom (plantae), and the system of classification of plants within the plant kingdom is known as "taxonomy". See (Wikipedia). You can also search this Wikipedia for definitions and explications of terms like "genus", "species" and "cultivars". I like the way relevant links lead to more explanatory links in Wikipedia. (DG has resources for the same thing under the tab at the top of each webpage entitled "Guides and Information")

On this Wikipedia webpage - - you can see the relationship of family "Convolvulaceae" to the Plant Kingdom (plantae) and its own members (genera is plural, and genus is singular) and so forth in the box to the right. This is a very good introduction to Convolvulaceae and shows how vast it is, with approximately 50 genera and 1,000 species. Another great thing about Wikipedia, as you can see from all the lists on this webpage, is that any entry on this webpage can be used as a key word with which to search for further information.

Here is another list of many morning glory species from DG PlantFiles - The first page has a search page that can find plants with different kinds of information. For example, if all you know is the common name, try typing just that in the box for the common name and nothing else for your first search. You can do the same thing with a morning glory cultivar, except that, since most commonly grown morning glories are within the species of Ipomoea, you would only type Ipomoea in the box beside species and cultivar name in the box beside cultivar. Note those menus at the bottom of this box - they give you more choices to sort by.

For those with advanced knowledge of botany, this website might be interesting: (grin)


Directions on how to find the ultimate sage's opinion: (Post #3959705)

Japanese method for growing in a pot: (Yoneda) - When each section of vine comes to the top-most or side-most limit of whatever growing space you are giving it, cut it back at that spot. Make the cut just above where leaf meets stem, as close as you can to that spot, because tissue beyond that spot tends to die and pathogens tend to gravitate to it. Use a very sharp tool like scissors, secateurs or exacto-knife (DH uses these in his carving).

Includes pictures & diagrams on Japanese pruning techniques: See LIBRARY / --- Author unknown, possibly entitled Edo Gardening... (Thread #/907281)

great thread answering questions about how to pinch: (Thread #698560)

practical trellising by the pot: (Thread #714435) (Thread #801848) - many trellis ideas, designs & how-tos involving Better Homes and Gardens, cattle panels, bamboo ladders, chains, recycling hurricane debris in trellage - (Thread #826540) into the garden, around the house and up a tree goes the artist in each of us


-- Drought - (Thread #729223)

This message was edited Sep 28, 2014 6:28 AM

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