Do Morning Glory Hybridize Easily?

Holladay, UT(Zone 5a)

Hi Everyone,

I've been growing Morning Glory, on and off, for a few years now. This Spring though, I went a little crazy, and planted it along about 50 to 60 feet of fence. My husband put lattice along the length of the fence at the top for it to grow it. It looks awesome!

I've been collecting seeds, and wanted to know if Morning Glory is easy to hybridize? I have no plans to hybridize them myself, but I've seen lots of bees having their way with the blooms. I'm just wondering how likely it is that the seeds will be like the plant I got them from, or something different. I would love to see some hybrids! I'm keeping track, the best I can, of which Morning Glory the seeds came from, so I'll be more likely to spot a hybrid next year. Hopefully it's not too hard to get a hybrid, but I never see many different varieties for sale, so I'm thinking that it's not the easiest thing to do.

I planted each "variety" in four foot sections, and it has looked really nice! However, some have twisted their way over to the next section, so things are really nicely mixed toward the top of the fence.

Natalie

Jacksonville, AR(Zone 7b)

Hi Natalie, you might check out the sticky thread at the very top of the MG forum. I'm sure it has quite a bit of info on hybridizing that should prove useful to you.

Holladay, UT(Zone 5a)

Thanks patootie! I'll do that!

I love your name! My grandma said patootie all the time and it always made me laugh!

Natalie

Jacksonville, AR(Zone 7b)

Yes, its a fun nick name. :-) My grandkids get a big kick out of it.

Clatskanie, OR(Zone 8a)

Hi there. You have asked the same question we have all asked here at one time or another. Generally speaking, morning glories have a lot of pollination quirks. If all the mgs you grow descended from the same specie, then you can hybridize them.
The most ubiquitously grown is Ipomoea purpurea. It has about twenty garden varieties. I think you can hybridize them easily, if you do it by hand. Or if you don't want to do the record keeping, just mix a few seeds of about 10 varieties, and harvest the pods before frost. Unripe seeds will turn to mush if they freeze.

With the Japanese mgs, Ipomoea nhil, many of the named varieties are wildly unstable and no two flowers are exactly the same. If you get seeds of stabilized varieties, they will generally hybridize easily. Some varieties however are stingy with their pollen, and make few seeds. These of course cost more most of the time.

Interspecific hybrids are very few in mgs. Most attempts have been fruitless. This is mainly because the chromosome count of each parent plant must match. That kind of technical info is hard to come by.

Mgs are interesting too because of the pollination challenges they pose. Many species are so inbred in a given area, they will not self pollinate, and can only be pollinated by pollen from a foreign area. Sometimes it is best to get plants of the same species from at least two areas, if you are hoping for seeds. Hope this helps
Frank

Holladay, UT(Zone 5a)

Hi Frank,

Thanks for the great information! I guess my seeds are probably going to come true from the plant I got them from, since they don't hybridize easily. That's just fine with me. If I get a new one though, great, but if not, I'll be happy with whatever I get!

Natalie

Clatskanie, OR(Zone 8a)

If you want variety, grow some of the" tye dye". You nearly always see the word sibori or shibori in the name of these. I think it is Japanese for tye dye. On one vine you can get solid white, solid blue or purple, and every conceivable combination of striping, and all on the same vine.

Holladay, UT(Zone 5a)

Those sound really interesting! I'll have to look for some seeds! I can find almost no good seeds around here at the local garden centers, so I guess I need to shop online.

I was really hoping to collect more seeds this year, but most of my MG never got to the point of making seeds. Then it froze, and all hope was lost! At least they were cheap to buy!

Natalie

Clatskanie, OR(Zone 8a)

Nately, try ebay.......home and garden, then just type in morning glory seeds. There are usually 6 to 8 hundred offerings, but lots of duplication. Remember that the Nhils, Japanese have a longer life cycle, and therefore bloom later in the year than the purpureas. Nhils need to be started in April inside, and planted out after last frost to get a head start

Holladay, UT(Zone 5a)

Thanks Frank! I'll have to check that out! I never thought of looking at ebay for seeds.

Natalie

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