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What Do I Do With Morning Glories When Winter Comes?

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Morning glories (Ipomoea spp.) welcome the dawn with trumpet-shaped flowers. The different species and cultivars are named primarily for their colors, but all are annual or perennial vines notable for their fast growth — up to 15 feet in one season, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Morning glories may die at the first sign of frost or continue to bloom through the winter, depending on the species.

Continue to Care

Morning glories vary in their hardiness. Many are not frost-tolerant. Those are usually grown as annuals. Others can be grown as perennials. The moonflower (Ipomoea alba) grows as a perennial in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11, and the common morning glory (Ipomoea tricolor) is hardy in USDA zones 10 and 11. If you are growing a species or cultivar that can survive winters in your climate, you don’t have to do anything with your morning glories during the winter. Keep caring for them — they thrive in full sun and moist but well-draining soil — and your flowers should continue to bloom.

Bring Them Indoors

If you are growing a morning glory species that won’t survive the winter in your climate, consider growing it in a container and moving it indoors when cooler temperatures arrive. Provide a trellis for potted morning glories and make sure the container has drainage holes in the base. Indoor morning glories should be placed in a bright, sunny spot and fertilized every two weeks to encourage blooming. Use a fertilizer formulated to encourage blooming. Directions will vary depending on the brand — so always read the label — but in general, mix 1 teaspoon of concentrated plant food with 1 gallon of water, and then use that mixture to water your vines once every two weeks.

Collect the Seeds

Morning glories are easy to grow from seeds, which can be harvested in the fall or early winter. The flowers will drop off and small, pouch-shaped seed pods will develop, which house the small, hard black seeds. Harvest morning glory seeds when the pouch-shaped pods are completely brown and dry — this means the seeds are ripe. But be careful: The seeds are toxic, so they should be kept away from animals and children. Plant the seeds outdoors in spring, in full sun and well-draining soil. If you live in a cool climate, start the seeds indoors in peat pots about a month before the last frost of spring is expected. Soak the seeds in warm water for 24 hours before planting to soften their hard coats. Once seedlings are about a week old and all danger of frost has passed, they can be planted outdoors.

What Do I Do With Morning Glories When Winter Comes?. Morning glories (Ipomoea spp.) welcome the dawn with trumpet-shaped flowers. The different species and cultivars are named primarily for their colors, but all are annual or perennial vines notable for their fast growth — up to 15 feet in one season, according to …

How to Collect Morning Glory Seeds

While the majority of gardening I do is vegetable gardening, more and more I’m finding places for flowers. And while some people hate morning glories due to their tendency to run riot, that’s what I love about them. So every year, I collect morning glory seeds to sprinkle in a few places around the yard that are, let’s face it, a bit of an eye sore.

Like the backs of these kinda ugly—though very useful—wood lattice trellises:

I got the lovely variety above from Baker Creek Seeds. It’s called Grandpa Ott’s, and while they may not have it every year, if you ever see it, you should snap it up, because just LOOK at the intensity of those purple blossoms!

Not only are they beautiful, easy to grow and drought resistant, but their trumpet-shaped flowers attract one of my favorite garden visitors—hummingbirds! And they really hit their stride right at the height of hummingbird migration, which is August and September in my part of the world.

How to Collect Morning Glory Seeds

Morning glories are great at reseeding themselves, but like I said, I always harvest a fair amount of seeds for sprinkling strategically in other places. So, here’s all about how to collect morning glory seeds!

Each flower that’s spent will drop off after a while, leaving a little pod. At first, it’ll look like a skinny little trumpet. Leave it on the vine to fatten up. If you spy them on the ground when they’re still green, you can pick them up and let them dry indoors. Otherwise, leave them to dry by themselves on the vine.

Once the seed pods are brown and dry, and the leaves have peeled themselves back, simply crush the pod gently into your palm. Each pod will have 2-5 seeds in it, depending on the size of the pod. The seeds are fairly good sized and they’re pretty hardy when dried, so you don’t have to be too delicate with them.

Gather as many as you please and scatter them wherever you’d like! This year I’m trying things nature’s way and spreading seeds before winter comes, rather than waiting until next spring. But I’m saving a bunch of seeds aside in case this doesn’t work out!

I’ve found that morning glory seeds will keep for a good long while—at least three years when stored properly. Need to brush up on storing seeds? Here’s a post all about good seed saving practices! While the title of the post specifies vegetable seeds, this advice applies to all seeds.

I LOVE morning glories. Got a variety I just have to see? Share it below in the comments!

Morning glories are one of my favorite flowers. Their trumpet shaped blooms attract hummingbirds, and it's easy to learn how to collect morning glory seeds!