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.
----- http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/p.php?pid=3475909 - 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).
http://davesgarden.com/community/blogs/t/rjuddharrison/1923/ (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 -
----- 3% Hydrogen Peroxide (H202) & diatomaceous earth: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/p.php?pid=1932886 (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)
-- 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 - http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/p.php?pid=3058590 (Post# 3058590)
-----Heat & humidity store-bought domes: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/f/floramanana/all/ (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.
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: http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/ 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 http://www.google.com -
----- PROPAGATION / Cuttings / growth auxins
----- SEED / Seedcoat / Miscellaneous / abscisic acid, biomagnetism
--- 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: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/597232/ (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.
-- 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.
-- 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".
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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxonomy (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 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convolvulaceae - 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 http://www.google.com for further information.
Japanese method for growing in a pot: http://protist.i.hosei.ac.jp/Asagao/Yoneda_DB/E/Introduction/htmls/36.html (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).