In this article, we will discover how to grow ipomoeas (Morning Glory) in containers. Ipomoeas are beautiful old-fashioned annual climbers that bring much colour and height to the container garden. You can grow them up canes, trellises, pergolas, walls and fenced where the tendrils grasp on to.
If you do not have much ground to grow morning glories in the ground, why not grow them in containers and find out how to do this in this article.
First, growing Ipomoeas in containers will keep the rampant vines from taking over the garden. In this way, you will need less vertical space to grow them up. Handy if you live in a windy area and you are fed up with picking your plants off the ground. Secondly, it is the best way to display your plants.
GROWING IPOMOEAS IN CONTAINERS
First, this is not the same as the rampant bindweed often found as a weed in the garden. They are related but do not belong in the same family.
It is best to grow them from seeds as you will have plenty of choice as to which variety to grow.
It is best to sow seeds indoors, 4 to 6 weeks before the final frost date. Fill a 7.5cm pot with good quality seed compost and place 2 to 3 seeds 1.5cm below the surface. Cover the pot with cling film and place it on a warm windowsill. After 8-10 days the seeds should have germinated. Thin them to one seedling per pot and let the plants grow on until they are ready to be planted out and the frosts have passed. You may find that the seeds will germinate quicker if they are soaked for 24 hours in water or the seeds are nicked with a knife.
Harden them off and then plant them outside. Outdoors you can sow the seeds after all frosts have passed in spring, where it will take 11 to 13 days to germinate.
SELECT A LARGE ENOUGH CONTAINER
Select a large container that has plenty of drainage holes and fill it to near the top with multipurpose compost. To this add a wigwam structure of canes to which the plant can grow up. Alternatively, you can use a decorative obelisk that is fixed around the pot. Space the canes at a distance of 20cm between each plant on the circumstances of the pot. At each cane by its side, dig a hole, so that for a good size container you have 6 to 8 plants.
Place one plant per hole, so that the top of the root ball is at the same level as the top of the surface of the compost. Backfill with the growing media, making sure that any gaps that remain are filled with more compost. Firm the plants in and water well. Place the container in full sun or light shade so that the plant will be at its best.
Alternatively, you can use dwarf morning glory plants and use them as trailers in hanging baskets.
Place them in a sheltered spot and water when 5cm below the top surface of the compost feels dry to the touch. Make sure that you check every week to make sure that the vine is firmly attached to its support. Occasionally they will grow in the wrong direction and so will need attaching to stay upright. The foliage cover is quite poor, so wind the stems back down once they have reached the top.
Although the flowers appear in the morning and last for one day, they will be produced in succession all summer long. All you need to do is deadhead regularly to encourage more blooms to be produced.
Once the first flowers appear, you will need to feed with a high potash liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks.
Remember to water regularly, feed regularly and deadhead regularly and your plant will do well.
PESTS AND DISEASES
Any yellowing of young leaves may indicate the plant is experiencing too much cold. Plant when the days become warm and the cold nights have become a distant memory. This is one plant that does not like the cold at all.
Aphids can attack young leaves and shoots. You can remove small infestations by gently squeezing between your fingers and removing them. Pesticides are rarely needed. Red spider mites can also be a problem, so use an effective insecticide that works with this pest at the manufacturer’s recommended dosage and frequency.
Powdery mildew can be a problem in dry conditions. To avoid, make sure it has plenty of air circulation between the plants and it is not too crowded.
VARIETIES TO GROW
All varieties to grow are based on Ipomoea tricolor. The ones I recommend are:
‘Light Blue Star’ has pale blue flowers with a purple star.
‘Scarlet O’Hara’ has vivid purple flowers with white throats.
‘Heavenly Blue’ has deep blue flowers with white throats.
‘Split Personality’ has pink and dark pink coloured flowers.
‘Cameo Elegance’ has deep pink flowers with white edges and white throats.
‘Party Dress’ has dark pink flowers with red star striped petals.
‘Ensign Rose’ has light pink and dark pink flowers with yellow-white centres.
‘Milky Way’ has white flowers with pink markings.
‘Flying Saucers’ has blue and white striped flowers.
‘Star of Yelu’ has deep purple and light pink flowers.
‘Lazy Lux’ has a mixture of pinks, reds, blues, or whites, with some stripes.
In this article, we have discussed how to grow Ipomoeas in containers. They are such colourful climbers bringing much colour vertically in containers, where height is much needed. They are easy to grow, easy to care for as long as you are prepared to water, feed and deadhead regularly.
If you have any questions or comments that you wish to make on growing Ipomoeas in containers, please do so in the comment box below.
Happy Ipomoea growing.