If you’re looking for the perfect vine to decorate a fence or trellis, look no further than the blue dawn morning glory (Ipomoea indica). This flowering plant produces vigorous trailing stems, heart-shaped leaves, and beautiful blue flowers. The key is waking up early enough to catch them in bloom. Here, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about growing blue dawn morning glory flowers at home, including planting, soil considerations, watering, fertilizing, pruning, propagating, and pest control.
Growing Blue Dawn Morning Glory (Ipomoea indica) – The Essentials:
|Botanical Name:||Ipomoea indica|
|Also Known As:||Blue Morning Glory, Blue Dawn Flower, Koali Awa, and Oceanblue Morning Glory|
|Hardiness Zones:||Winter hardy at USDA zones 11 and up|
|Flowering Season:||Late spring to the first frost of fall. Bloom time will vary depending on location, but it will be around June through October.|
|Growing Difficulty:||Easy, suitable for new gardeners|
|Type of Plant:||Flowering perennial vine|
|Light Requirements:||Around six to eight hours of full sunlight per day. May tolerate partial shade.|
|Temperature and Humidity:||Tolerant of various temperatures and humidity levels. If planting seeds, wait until soil is at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If temperatures drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, the plant may be annual rather than perennial.|
|Watering Needs:||Around one inch of water per week during the growing season. Reduce frequency in the winter.|
|Soil Preferences:||Moist but well-draining soil with a neutral pH level.|
|Feeding:||A low-nitrogen, liquid fertilizer every four weeks or so during the growing season.|
|Growth Expectations:||Vines can grow up to 10 feet long, and plants can spread up to six feet wide.|
|Toxicity:||Toxic to humans and pets.|
How to Grow Blue Dawn Morning Glory
What Are the Best Locations to Plant Blue Morning Glory?
Given their twining nature, you may want to grow blue morning glories on a fence or trellis. This plant does best in a spot that receives at least six to eight hours of sun per day. It will tolerate a slightly shaded location, but it may not produce as many blooms.
What Are the Best Times of Year to Plant Blue Morning Glory?
If you’re growing this species from seeds, plant them between late spring and early summer. Make sure the soil temperature is above 65 degrees Fahrenheit before planting seeds.
Growing Blue Morning Glory from Seed vs. Young Nursery Plants
You may wonder if you should start morning glories from seed or nursery plants. Simply put, this plant is easy to incorporate into your garden no matter which option you choose.
However, there are a few reasons gardeners prefer using seeds. It’s easy to sow morning glory seeds, and their fragile roots can challenge transplanting. You can buy blue morning glory seeds at a local garden shop or ask a gardener you know for seed pods from their plant.
Wait until after the last frost in spring to plant morning glory seeds. If you’re starting them indoors, you can plant them a month or so before the last frost. Then, transplant them to your garden after the last frost.
What to Do Before Planting
Before you plant blue morning glories, find a place with plenty of sun. This plant needs to receive between six and eight hours of sunlight per day to produce the best blooms.
Additionally, you will want to make sure morning glories have a good place to climb, like a fence or trellis. Keep morning glories a few feet from delicate plants, as they can overtake them.
Because of their vigorous growth habit, you may opt to grow morning glories in a hanging basket or container. This would highlight the plant’s vines without putting other plants at risk. Make sure the container has a drainage hole to eliminate excess moisture.
Before planting, you will need to collect necessary items, like soil and gardening tools. Find a detailed list of the materials and tools to have on hand in the Essential Tools section below.
What’s the Best Soil for Blue Morning Glories?
Blue morning glories enjoy moist but well-draining soil. The plant does well in loamy soil with a neutral pH level. However, it will tolerate various growing conditions.
How to Plant Blue Morning Glories
Now that you’ve gathered your materials, it’s time to plant blue morning glories. Here are the steps to take when planting Ipomoea indica in your garden.
- Once the last frost has come and gone, you can prepare seeds to plant. Since this species has hard seeds, you may want to scratch or soak them overnight in water to facilitate germination.
- Find a spot to plant morning glories. If starting them indoors, you can use a peat pot to plant in the ground later, so you don’t have to transplant them.
- Create a well-draining soil mix by adding one part perlite to potting soil.
- Plant seeds about half an inch beneath the soil’s surface. Place them several inches away from each other.
- Ensure these new plants receive direct sunlight during the day. Keep their soil moist until they become established plants.
Blue Morning Glory Light Preferences
Blue morning glories need around six to eight hours of bright, direct sunlight per day. They can tolerate a lightly shaded environment. However, they will enjoy as much sun as they can get, especially during their first growing season.
Blue Morning Glory Temperature and Humidity Preferences
The Ipomoea indica is tolerant of various temperatures and humidity levels. If you’re planting blue morning glory seeds, wait until the soil is at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
If temperatures dip below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, this plant will be annual. In warmer environments, it can be a perennial, meaning it will come back the following year.
How to Care for Blue Dawn Morning Glory
Watering Blue Morning Glory
Blue morning glories have different watering needs across their lifetime. Keep soil moist until they develop leaves and become established.
Mature plants will need around one inch of water per week during the growing season. They may also benefit from mulch on the soil’s surface for moisture retention. Reduce your watering schedule in the winter months.
Fertilizing Blue Morning Glory
This plant doesn’t require too much fertilizer. You can apply a low-nitrogen, liquid fertilizer when you first plant it. Then, fertilize every four weeks or so during its growing period.
Pruning Blue Morning Glories
While blue morning glories do not require pruning. Still, many gardeners choose to trim vines and deadhead old blooms to prevent overgrowth.
Deadheading blooms helps the plant stay healthy and prevent new seeds from forming. Use your fingers to pinch and remove the withered blooms to encourage healthy growth.
If you want to trim back overgrown vines, do so in the summer months. You can cut as much as half of the length at this time. If any vines appear infected or damaged, you can trim them back whenever you’d like.
Propagating Blue Morning Glories
Morning glories trail along the earth and can develop roots on the ground’s surface. You can use this growth habit to propagate new morning glories by following the steps below.
- Use scissors or a knife to gently graze the surface of a vine that trails along the ground. This will create a wound and encourage new roots to form.
- Place the vine back on the ground and cover it with a handful of soil. Water thoroughly.
- New roots should form in about one month. Once they have, cut the vine a few inches above the place where roots have grown with clean, sharp shears to create your new plant.
- Cut back the foliage on this vine, leaving just a few leaves at the top. This will ensure the plant is allocating most of its energy to developing its new root system.
- Place the cut end of the vine into a well-draining soil mix and water thoroughly. You may want to attach it to a stake for additional support while this new plant develops and grows.
If the climate is too cold for blue morning glories, consider planting them in a container to bring inside. This can help you keep them as perennial plants even in a colder area. Place the container near a window that receives plenty of direct sunlight.
Repotting Blue Morning Glory Plants Grown in Containers
If you plant morning glories in a container, you may need to repot them if you notice the root system is poking out of its drainage holes. Here are some steps for repotting blue morning glories.
- Find a container twice as wide as the current pot. Fill it with the same well-draining potting mix you used for its previous container.
- Place a trellis in the center of the planter if you’re using one.
- Take the plant out of its current pot. Take care to avoid damaging its fragile root system.
- Create a hole in the new container’s soil to make space for the plant’s root ball.
- Add soil to fill any gaps and water thoroughly.
Common Blue Dawn Morning Glory Problems and How to Treat Them
Morning glories don’t face too many issues, but here are a few problems that may come up when growing Ipomodea indica.
Signs of Watering Issues
If you overwater mature morning glories, they can develop fungus-related issues like leaf spot, thread blight, or stem rot. They may also develop a fungal disease called rust, which causes yellowed leaves.
If you notice these issues, remove any affected areas. Minimize the plant’s hydration schedule and water at the base to avoid getting foliage overly wet.
Signs of Lighting Issues in Blue Morning Glories
Blue morning glories love plenty of light, but they may not flourish in low-light environments. If you notice yellowing leaves, you may want to move your plant to a sunnier location.
Signs of Temperature Issues
Morning glories won’t survive winter temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Warmer environments will help the plant bloom more abundantly. If temperatures drop below 45 degrees, you should consider moving the plant inside during the colder months.
Common Pests and Diseases
Now, pests are uncommon for morning glories, but here are a few of the potential foes this plant may face. You can use an organic pesticide to eliminate and prevent these issues.
- Leaf miners
- Leafcutter caterpillars
Essential Tools to Have Around
Here’s our list of tools to have on hand for planting and caring for blue morning glories.
- Well-draining soil
- Watering can
- Cutting scissors or shears
- Low-nitrogen fertilizer
- Peat pot if starting seeds indoors
- Container with a drainage hole if planting inside
- A stake if needed for propagating new vines
- A fence or trellis for vines to climb on
- Organic pesticide
Growing Blue Morning Glory FAQs
Do blue morning glories come back every year?
Yes, blue morning glories are perennial in many locations, so they will come back every year. However, if temperatures drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, this plant will not bloom again the following year.
Do blue morning glories attract bees?
Yes, blue morning glories attract bees and other pollinators like hummingbirds and butterflies.
Do blue morning glories bloom the first year?
Yes, blue morning glories should bloom in the first year. The key is giving them enough time to establish themselves before their blooming period.
Do you deadhead blue morning glories?
Yes, deadheading blue morning glories can prevent overgrowth and keep the plant healthy.
Where is Ipomoea indica native?
Ipomoea indica is native to temperate, tropical, and subtropical regions across the globe. The plant grows natively in Central and South America, Southeast Asia, and some islands in the Pacific.
Are Ipomoea considered invasive?
Yes, Ipomoea is considered invasive in some areas. These include New Zealand, Australia, Portugal, South Africa, and California. It is listed in New Zealand’s Biosecurity Act 1993.
Blue morning glories delight the eyes and make covering fences easier than ever. With a bit of care, you’ll be prepared to grow as many Ipomoea indica vines as you desire. Just remember to set your clock to rise early, so you can catch this plant’s blooms in all their glory.