Heavenly blue morning glories

Heavenly blue morning glories have always been a passion of David Tarrant's.

Credit: David Tarrant

Heavenly blue morning glories (Ipomoea tricolor) have always been a passion of mine.

Sometimes they were a bit of a challenge to grow in Vancouver, especially in cooler summers. However I am sure this past one has been perfect, as of course you experienced plenty of sunny hot weather.

When I worked at the UBC Botanical Garden, I remember them being planted to climb over the lower arbor in the Food Garden, it always seemed to take them the longest time to bloom. Putting on the best show during September.

Now of course I live where they are a native plant and the interesting thing is at this altitude, just shy of 2,000 metres, they don’t bloom in nature until we have had some decent late summer rains—making September to early October their prime bloom time.

Mine started this past week so I just had to share one with you.

When teaching gardening classes in the past and referring to blue morning glories being one of my most favourite summer annuals, people used to cringe thinking immediately of the white one, which is a bothersome perennial weed in many gardens. However this one is not invasive, a true summer annual that will be totally killed by the first frost—roots and all! 

As suggested they love heat so try to plant them in a sheltered spot in your garden. They actually look lovely on a tepee type trellis in a mixed border.

Right now they will be setting seed up in BC gardens. Save some by picking and drying the capsules so that the seed can be separated. Then put them in a labelled envelope in an airtight container in the crisper drawer of your fridge. (This is the best place to store any dry seeds vegetable or flowers.)

Sow them in individual pots in your cool greenhouse or on a cool window ledge in late March/early April, planting them out in the garden late May when the danger of overnight frost is past.