I love morning glories and that was a dream I've always had. I managed to fulfill it only once, because this plant is a bit retarded -as I like to say- as it blooms in September!
My dogs like to see the morning glory blooms
I've always loved morning glories, which are a source of energy for my summer days, with their beautiful trumpet flowers. And since I love so much when I see them, I've always wanted to have many species with different color blooms. My morning glories cover my fence so much that my neighbors call my house 'the house with morning glories'. Every summer morning - while drinking my coffee- I like to make a tour of my gardens to see the morning glory blooms. Even my dogs are getting used to this tour "to see the flowers" - they are happy to hear that, because they know that means a walk with me! I don't know whether they enjoy the blooms as much as I do - probably not! But they sure like to stay with me.
Ipomoea tricolor 'Heavenly Blue' is different from other species
The Japanese species are my favorites with their huge flowers and unusual shapes. I mostly prefer the Ipomoea tricolor 'Heavenly Blue' because of the heavenly blue color of their blooms. This species has double-sized flowers, compared to the common species Ipomoea purpurea.
The first time I grew the 'Heavenly Blue' morning glories, I started them in April, by sowing the seeds I bought from the super store. I sowed several seeds, in different spots of my garden. I stuck a stick in each spot, so I would know that the morning glories that sprang out were the 'Heavenly Blue'. That was necessary because my garden is full of morning glory seeds from the Ipomoea purpurea species and they sprout everywhere in the garden, like weeds!
It wasn't hard to recognize the Ipomoea tricolor sprouts because their leaves are different, more luscious, with a pointed tip and with less hairs than the Ipomoea purpurea species. The color of the leaves is also a lighter green than of the other species I mentioned so it was easy to recognize them. As soon as they sprouted, I cleaned the ground around them, so they can have a clear space to grow well and fast.
A lonely vine blooming earlier wasn't an accident
I started to water them thoroughly, yet I always forgot to water one vine that was growing in the back of my garden. I had great expectations for all those vines, which grew bushy and "dressed up" the whole fence, so beautiful! It was September and there were no flowers on any of the bushy vines, except for the poor one which I had always forgotten to water. It started to bloom long before the others did, which made me think that maybe I shouldn't have watered the others so much. Finally, in September they all started to bloom, at first a few blooms and then, more and more, until the first frost came. I couldn't collect any seeds, as they weren't ripe before the frost killed the plants. So the following spring I bought more seeds from the super store and sowed them again in my garden. That spring I bought a beautiful pergola for my vines and I was very anxious to see them climbing on it. I sowed several seeds at the base of the pergola and 4 plants sprouted, one for each side. But guess what? On that particular summer, we had a severe drought and, since the vines were growing in the southern part of my garden, they didn't get enough water and grew very bare compared to what I was expecting. However, they didn't bloom earlier, which drew me to this conclusion: no matter the water or the bushiness, the Ipomoea tricolor 'Heavenly Blue' always blooms in September....and maybe that lonely vine was an accident?
A last experiment cleared the things up
The following year, I decided to change the sowing spots again and I sowed the seeds in the vegetable garden to keep an eye on them, since I'm working more in there during summer, while caring for tomatoes, onions, peppers, green beans, cucumbers, other beans and so on. The fence from the veggie garden is always full of morning glory vines, which are self-seeding, growing and blooming whether I water them or not - they just hang in there, even if it doesn't rain too much. But not the Mexican morning glories, no sir! They are really difficult -or, maybe that's just in our climate in Romania. However I've learned something from my experiments, that these beautiful morning glory vines bloom all summer long if they are grown in a northern spot and aren't watered too much. Or I just have to wait all summer long for their blooms! Anyway, I have to be content with what they do and pray that we have a long fall with warm temperatures, so they will bloom longer. Because they are well-worth it!