How Long Do Morning Glories Bloom? What to Do When They Don’t!
Morning glories are gorgeous vining plants with colorful flowers that can brighten up any space. But how long their beauty will last to color your garden?
Morning glory plants produce flowers for up to 5–6 months, from summer through fall. However, unfavorable growing conditions such as low light exposure and excessive fertilizer can inhibit morning glory plants from flowering at all.
Unlike many famous flowering plants, morning glories aren’t that needy. So what stops their flowers from blooming? How can you prevent this from happening? I’ll tell you all about it here!
Do Morning Glories Bloom for a Long Time?
Most morning glory varieties can keep producing blossoms for more or less 6 months, generally from summer to fall. However, each flower only stays open only during the daytime. They typically bloom during the day and curl up by noon.
As its name suggests, morning glory flowers normally bloom in the morning when it’s bright and sunny but still quite cool. More often than not though, they do better on cloudy days.
Once the sun’s up high in the sky and it gets warmer, the petals of their trumpet-shaped flowers will start curling inward before finally falling off. In other words, each morning glory flower only lasts for a single day.
But to be clear, this doesn’t mean that you’ll only see morning glory blooms once. Rather, morning glories can continue making new flowers each day for 1–2 whole seasons—sometimes, they can even bloom from spring to fall!
Often, morning glory plants can keep flowering from June to November. Some varieties, however, can start blooming as early as April. But, of course, their variety and your location will also affect their bloom time.
Check the table below to see how long you can expect to see your morning glories bloom!
|Morning Glory Type||Life Cycle||Bloom Time|
|Common Morning Glory|
|Pitted Morning Glory|
|Heavenly Blue Morning Glory|
|Beach Morning Glory|
|Everglades Morning glory|
|Goat’s Foot Morning Glory|
(Ipomoea pes-caprae ssp. brasiliensis)
Please bear in mind that this is a very general time frame. Depending on where you grow them, they may bloom all year round or only for a short time in the fall.
A friend from Northern California, for instance, only had their morning glories bloom in November. Meanwhile, another friend in Hawaii can see native morning glories blooming throughout the year whenever she goes to the beach!
5 Reasons Why Morning Glories Don’t Bloom (With Solutions!)
Morning glories may not bloom or produce flowers because of 1) insufficient light, 2) excess nitrogen, 3) overwatering, 4) frost, and 5) lack of support structures.
Don’t worry though, not all hope is lost! With enough care, you can still enjoy morning glory blooms by addressing these problems. Keeping in mind the following tips can also help ensure long bloom times each year!
1. Insufficient Light
Morning glory plants will not bloom if they do not get enough exposure to sunlight. This is because they are highly intolerant of shade.
Like I said in the beginning, morning glories are no-fuss plants for the most part. In fact, they can thrive with very minimal care.
Morning glories could even quickly take over gardens if they’re grown directly in the ground!
But if there’s one thing that morning glories can’t live without, it’s light. It doesn’t even really matter if it’s sunlight or artificial light, as long as it’s strong enough.
Otherwise, you may never see it form buds and bloom. To be more specific, morning glories are quite sensitive to shade.
Even partial shade can decrease the flowers on this vine. Meanwhile, complete shade can totally inhibit morning glory plants from producing any flowers.
Simply put, they won’t do well in gardens with a lot of tall trees. It’s not a great idea to keep them near north-facing windows and dark corners of the room, especially if you don’t supplement them with full-spectrum grow lights.
Learn more about this in our article on northern gardens!
Ideally, morning glories should get at least 6 hours of full sun exposure early in the day. By noon or afternoon, their blooms will fade and drop from the rise in temperature.
Their flowers will stay open for a longer time on cloudy days since they prefer bright but indirect light.
When grown inside, place them near south-facing windows or get a 15–25W grow light like the one below on Amazon.
Position them at least 6–12 inches (15–30 cm) above the morning glory and keep them on for at least 14 hours each day.
2. Excess Fertilizer (Nitrogen)
Feeding morning glories with too much nitrogen-rich fertilizers promotes foliage growth but inhibits flower development.
Many flowering plants need a lot of nutrients in their soil to grow flowers, but that isn’t necessarily the case for morning glories. Actually, it’s quite the opposite for them.
Unlike leafy vegetables and herbs, morning glory plants aren’t a big fan of nitrogen.
So if you often give them a fertilizer that’s got a high first number—like 18-3-6 or 24-0-4—and they aren’t producing any buds, it’s because you’ve been overfeeding them.
Remember, nitrogen-rich soil will encourage the plant to grow vines and leaves vigorously. But, as a direct consequence, the morning glory plant won’t redirect much of its resources to grow flowers.
Discover the effect of each nutrient on plants in our article on liquid and granular fertilizers!
You see, even in poor soil, morning glories can flourish and grow aggressively so long as their soil is kept moist but well-drained, and they are getting plenty of sunlight.
There’s is no need to feed them monthly. Be especially careful with feeding it and nearby plants if you grow them directly in the ground. They can become weedy if left unchecked.
Don’t apply urea and nitrogen-rich fertilizers on your morning glory plant’s soil. Only consider giving your plants a boost if it doesn’t produce any blooms for at least 1 whole year.
In such cases, go for a phosphorus-rich fertilizer (here on Amazon) for flower growth. When available, choose one that has little to no nitrogen at all. This can be especially helpful if you grow your morning glories in containers.
Like most plants, morning glories produce a lot of lush foliage when given a lot of water. When watered too much, however, this plant may not bloom and could rot.
Sure, moist soil is great for most, if not all, plants. But having too much water—or anything else, for that matter—rarely brings good results.
Morning glories can survive easily with a few days of drought. Last summer, we had 2 glorious weeks of no sun, and the plants were fine. However, those were sheltered by taller plants, so, despite being without water, they were not exposed directly to the sunlight.
For some time, your plant might rapidly produce new vines and leaves due to the abundance of water in its soil, especially on hot summer mornings.
If kept waterlogged for long periods though, the morning glory will eventually succumb to issues caused by overwatering such as root rot.
Even for beach morning glories, excessive water is unbearable. Such varieties can better withstand salt-rich soils than water-saturated ones.
Keep in mind that there’s a big difference between moist soil and soggy soil. Furthermore, some varieties such as goat’s foot morning glory prefer a drier soil.
Deeply water morning glories only once a week at most unless it’s extremely hot and dry during the summer. They generally need only 1 inch of water per week, and that includes rainfall as well.
When grown in a container, double-check the bottom and sides for drainage holes. These will ensure that your morning glory’s soil will not retain excess water. Drill holes into it if there aren’t any yet.
Exposure to frost can injure the buds of morning glory plants and reduce or prevent their flowers from growing and blooming.
Though I’ve only ever heard of this happening a few times in my life, it’s not unlikely to happen—especially considering the drastic changes in climate in recent years.
Late last frosts in spring can set back the time it takes for morning glories to fully develop and produce flowers during summer and fall. As a result, it may either grow fewer flowers with visible damage or produce almost none at all.
Conversely, early first frosts in fall can prematurely kill new growth and form flower buds on morning glory plants.
Either way, morning glory blossoms don’t handle the cold well. The problem with this is that it’s not easy to notice the damage until parts of the morning glory start turning black-brown.
On the bright side, frost damage is rarely severe enough to damage the plant permanently. With more favorable conditions in the following year, it should bloom prolifically once again.
When planting morning glory plants from seed, start them indoors or in a greenhouse if you have one. This should be done 4 weeks before the last frost is set to pass.
Then, when it’s time to transplant them outdoors, be it in a larger container or directly in the ground, make sure that temperatures consistently go over 50°F (10°C). Doing so ensures that your young morning glories are safe from frost.
Alternatively, mature morning glories should be overwintered especially if you live in a really cold area. This should allow your perennial plants to continue blooming for the next season.
5. Lack of Structure
Species like the tall morning glory may not produce flowers or have greatly reduced blooms if they are not provided support structures like trellises.
To be completely honest, I placed this last reason last since I still haven’t come across any study to back it. However, many gardeners—my friends and I included—have noticed this over the years.
You see, though some morning glory species can spread easily and produce lots of flowers while sprawling, it seems that more common ones such as the tall morning glory can’t.
When cultivated, even with the utmost care, tall morning glory plants seem unable to efficiently produce consistent blooms when they have no structure to cling to for support.
Morning glory vines display thigmotropism. Their thin tendrils move and coil around structures they can find a purchase on in under 1 minute.
So even when they don’t have trellises or stakes around them, you can still see their vines moving about in search of something to climb on.
Based on the little knowledge from years of gardening—I’m still far from being an expert—I would guess that they inhibit flowering while they direct energy to look for good support.
In short, they will likely focus on producing more vines and leaves first until they find a sturdy structure that can support their growth off the ground. Only then will they start redirecting resources to finally produce the vibrant morning glory blossoms we’re all familiar with.
Grow your morning glory right next to a sturdy structure like a fence, wall, trellis, or arbor so that it can climb and produce flowers in time with its blooming period.
Even simple materials such as stakes and twine could provide enough support for this tender vining plant to establish itself. It is bound to grow quite rapidly with such a provision.
Do Pests Prevent Morning Glories From Blooming?
Despite having pests like scales and spider mites that can damage morning glories, blooming is rarely affected by them. Even in severe cases, it’s the foliage of such plants that is greatly ruined.
Fortunately, home gardeners don’t really need to worry about infestation for their morning glory plants. Most experts say that neither pests nor diseases are a major threat to them.
However, this hardly means that these cases can’t happen. Sure, they’re uncommon—but they aren’t unheard of either.
Pesky insects such as aphids, black scales, caterpillars, garden fleahoppers, spider mites, and sweet potato weevils could feed on the leaves of morning glories. Their damage results in leaf discoloration and dropping. Slugs and snails could also have the same effect.
Fungal diseases such as leaf spot disease, caused by Cercospora alabamensis, and rust also commonly result in leaf injury and distortion. But, again, flowers are not usually attacked.
Severe infestations and infections could lead to stunted growth and plant death if left unaddressed. As such, they are only indirectly responsible for reduced or inhibited blooming in morning glory plants.
How long do morning glories take to grow?
Morning glories are rapid growers, with seeds that can germinate in less than a week with temperatures between 65–85°F (18–29°C) if they have been soaked and nicked beforehand. From seed, depending on the variety, they can start producing flowers after 1.5–4 months. They can also grow up to 10 ft (3 m) in height or length in one growing season.
How to differentiate morning glories from bindweeds?
Contrary to popular belief, bindweeds and morning glories can’t be differentiated from their flowers alone as they can both grow funnel or trumpet-shaped white blossoms. They can be more effectively distinguished from each other by their leaf shape. Bindweed has an arrow or spear-like leaves whereas morning glory typically has heart-shaped ones.
Why are my morning glories not sprouting?
Morning glory seeds commonly have very thick seed coats which can prevent them from sprouting unless they are scarified and soaked in warm water for at least 1 night before planting. Otherwise, it may take more or less 2 years for their seed coat to naturally wear off and allow the plant to grow.
Summary of How Long Morning Glories Bloom
Morning glories have a long blooming period, allowing them to continuously grow short-lived flowers well before and/or after the summer months. Their flowers can start to bloom as early as April and as late as November. Few species, like the goat’s foot morning glory, can grow flowers throughout the year, regardless of the season in warm climates.
They can grow very well and produce numerous flowers with little care and attention. However, poor growing conditions such as insufficient light, excess nitrogen, overwatering, frost, and lack of support structures could reduce their blooms and inhibit flower development.
- “Morning Glory” by n/a in Cornell University
- “Ipomoea purpurea” by n/a in NC State Extension
- “Morning Glories and Moonflowers” by Cynthia W. Mueller in Texas AgriLife Extension
- “Ipomoea pes-caprae beach morning glory” by Edward F. Gilman in IFAS Extension
- “Ipomoea pes-caprae subsp. brasiliensis” by n/a in Native Plants Hawaii
- “Frost and Cold Damage on Flowers” by n/a in University of Maryland Extension
- “How Plants Move” by Connie Holland in PennState Extension
- “Plants Deer May Not Eat” by Mary Jane Frogge in Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County
- “Garden Fleahopper” by Ric Bessin in University of Kentucky Entomology