This large genus of about 500 species is made up of annuals, perennials, evergreen shrubs, and trees. Many of the annuals and perennials are trailing or twining climbers. Although mainly grown for their funnel-shaped or tubular flowers, some are grown for their foliage, such as the popular ‘Blackie’ sweet potato vine ( Ipomoea batatas ). Ipomoea can be grown in the greenhouse or outdoors as annuals over a pergola or archway, or as groundcover.
Noteworthy CharacteristicsFunnel-shaped or tubular, colorful or white flowers on twining vines, annuals, or perennials. Seeds are highly toxic if eaten.
CareIn the garden, morning glories need moderately fertile, well-drained soil in full sun. Provide shelter from wind. Prune climbing species in spring. Under glass, provide full light with protection from the hottest sun. Water freely and fertilize monthly during the growing season, but water sparingly in winter. Climbers and trailing species need support.
PropagationChip seeds with a knife, scrape with sandpaper, or soak in water for 24 hours before sowing at 64°F in spring. Root softwood cuttings of perennials or shrubs in spring or summer, or take semi-ripe cuttings in summer.
ProblemsWhite blister, rust, fungal leaf spots, stem rot, thread blight, charcoal rot, and wilt can occur.