Morning Glory Is A Weed That I Love, But Not All Morning Glories Are the Same

When I was a little girl, my grandmother grew light blue morning glories over a large metal arch in the back of her yard. Although most gardeners insist that morning glories are noxious weeds, I have a nostalgic affinity for them. I used to love to spend hours lounging in the shade of the sky blue hideaway in my grandmother’s yard, and when I was about 4-years-old, I donned one of my grandfather’s white shirts [which reached my ankles then], and I tied my grandmother’s beautifully flowered scarves around my waist and head/ In my festive attire, I married one of the little boys who lived in my neighborhood, beneath the garden arch. Another little neighbor boy pronounced us man and wife and we, the newlyweds, celebrated by flitting freely around the yard. All of the other neighbor kids were our children, and they chased after us. That happened at least 65 years ago, but when I recall that morning today, I still feel as free as a bird. You see, I know that morning glories can become a garden nuissance, but regardless, I have no choice but to love them. If you are the same and if you decide to grow morning glories, in spite of the problems doing so, you might benefit from knowing a few things about choosing the best varieties.

Morning Glory  – Jacki Kellum Garden

Before the spring of 2019, I had never elected to grow morning glories from seed in my garden and until then, I had not realized that the morning glory seeds that are readily available in local stores are not my grandmother’s morning glories. I bought several packets of Heavenly Blue morning glory seeds from Dollar General for 25 cents per package, and i liberally sowed them. That was a mistake. I should have planted only a few seeds, and I should have restricted my planting to a limited area. The rumor is true. Morning glories can quickly become invasive. The biggests mistake, however, was that I should have bought a different brand of seeds.

Because I had found the following garden plan from Better Homes and Gardens, I chose the seeds marked as Heavenly Blue, but I soon discovered that not all Heavenly Blue morning glory seeds are equal.

Kids garden with miniature pumpkins and morning glories from Better Homes and Gardens

“This kid-friendly garden is filled with edible favorites, such as juicy strawberries, bright pumpkins, and luscious tomatoes along with pops of floral color from marigolds, morning glories and a giant sunflower to top it off. When planting a garden, especially one with vegetables, it is crucial to keep air circulating throughout your garden—plants like to breathe.  Interested in following this plan next season, too? Participate in crop rotation, or grow each plant in a different spot next season to trick bugs and reduce the risk of soilborne disease.”

As soon as my morning glories bloomed, however, I realized that I had not planted the flowers that I had wanted to plant. Although the seeds were labeled as Heavenly Blue, the flowers that bloomed in my yard this year were tiny–about the size of a silver dollar. My grandmother’s Heavenly Blue Morning Glory blooms were about as big as a small grapefruit. I have researched the situation, and I found seeds at Burpee that seem to be the same type of morning glories that my grandmother grew.

Morning Glory, Heavenly Blue, , large Heavenly Blue Morning Glory from Burpee

HEIRLOOM. The classic morning glory!

Magnificent 4-5″ cheerful blooms are bright sky-blue.
Fast-growing, large vines with attractive heart-shaped foliage.
Easy to grow.

Morning glories are old, traditional cottage garden flowers and above all else, I am striving for that free, cottage garden kind of garden. Before I plant again next spring, I’ll need to work hard to get rid of the morning glories that I planted this year, and I’ll begin again with Burpee seeds next year.

How to Kill Morning Glory

“Many gardeners are confused and call morning glory bindweeds. While the plants are separate species, they do have similar stubborn growth habits and are difficult to eradicate just with pulling. Morning glory weed control is a multi-part task. Pre-emergent herbicides will not work on this plant and pulling is labor intensive and tends to just break the vine, which may even resprout. Completely removing the plants can be a maddening, many years long task. The use of thick mulches or weed barrier fabric can help smother the seedlings in spring. Do not allow the vines to flower and set seed, which will prevent some of the sprouts the following spring. Systemic and broad leaf herbicides have some effect, but you need to spray early in the season when the plants are young. Painting it on the leaves helps prevent drift and surrounding plant injury. You will need to be vigilant and monitor for new plants and treat them. Controlling morning glory will take several seasons and persistent seeds in soil can sprout years later. Morning glory vine can be a glory in the garden, but it can also be a royal pain, so think once and twice before you install this rampant colorful vine. Note: Chemical control should only be used as a last resort, as organic approaches are safer and much more environmentally friendly.”

Read more at Gardening Know How: Morning Glory Control: How To Kill Morning Glory Weeds