31 Dec

2011

May the coming year bring happy and fragrant moments for all of us!

May the coming year bring happy and fragrant moments for all of us!

30 Dec

Interview with Young Gardener

This is second interview in Meet Master Gardeners series. Today, I am interviewing a young gardener, student and blogger (with pseudonym, College Gardener).

Tell me something about your garden (is it a lawn, terrace garden, rooftop garden, backyard, and what grows there, vegetables, perennials etc.)?

Since I am a college student who goes to school in different state, my garden situation is a bit unusual at the moment. When I am home from school, I work on my family’s moderate-sized suburban garden in Michigan, which has lawns, herbaceous borders, shrubs, and quite a few trees, as well as a sizeable collection of potted plants that adorn the terrace in summer and spend the winter in various rooms of the house. The rest of the year – roughly from the middle of September until the middle of December and from late January until mid-May – I grow an assortment of houseplants on the windowsills of my suite in the college dormitory.

What is gardening to you (how important is it you to have a garden in your home)?

Gardening is my oldest and most important hobby and even when I do not have access to an actual garden, I always have to at least grow some potted plants. At school, for example, I try to have some house plants in every room of my three-room suite. I even keep some pothos (Epipremnum aureum) on the bathroom windowsill.

When and how did you start gardening?

I cannot remember when exactly I started gardening – As far as I can remember, I was always very interested in plants and captivated by their beauty. We lived in an apartment until I was seven, and among my first plants were a Queen of the Night cactus (Selenicereus grandiflorus) and some Phalaenopsis orchids which I kept on the windowsill of my bedroom. However, the woman who took care of the flowerbeds around the building would often let me plant a few things in some corner, so I did get to do some gardening in open ground. There was also an old lady who kept a large and beautiful old-fashioned flower and vegetable garden in the lot adjacent to the building, and she taught me some things, such as to plant hostas in shady spots and hellebores for winter interest or how to properly deadhead flowers. When I was seven we moved into our first house, and from then on my parents pretty much let me take care of our gardens.

What is blooming in your garden today?

The garden outside is frozen and covered by patches of snow but inside a number of houseplants are blooming. There is a beautiful white cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum), some poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima), a Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi), and a red-flowered Abutilon x hybridum. A young olive tree (Olea europea) is flowering as well but those flowers are rather inconspicuous. Also, in my dorm room at school an African violet (Saintpaulia ionantha) was just beginning to  bloom as I left for break a week ago and a red crown-of-thorns (Euphorbia milii) has been flowering vigorously for months.

What type(s) of plants do you grow (flowering, fruits, cacti)?

At the moment I grow mainly ornamentals and some herbs, though I have also planted some fruiting trees and shrubs, such as peaches and red currants, in my family’s garden and hope to add grape vines and other fruits in the coming years. When I was still in high school and at home all year round I also grew some vegetables as well as strawberries and rhubarb and once I am again settled permanently in one place I definitely hope to resume vegetable gardening in addition to growing all kinds of ornamental plants.

What grows in your dream garden (if climate allows, what would you love to grow in your garden)?

That is a tough one, because I would want to grow almost everything… I would definitely like to have roses, peonies, and camellias, as well as lots of old-fashioned flowers, such as stocks, carnations, and opium poppies, but also more tropical fare like bananas, ornamental ginger species, and various palm trees. Scented flowers would be another priority, and I would want to have such plants as jasmine, tuberose, and different species of citrus.

Name your favorites?

Among plants which I have grown so far, tree peonies (Paeonia suffruticosa) are among my favorites, while for plants I have not had a chance to grow myself yet, lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) and Himalayan blue poppies (Meconopsis sp.) top the list.

Why is it your favorite?

I love tree peonies because they are very tough, vigorous plants which need almost no care yet produce some of the largest and most stunning flowers of any plant hardy in a temperate climate. Even so they are still relatively rare. As for lotus and blue poppies, they are incredibly beautiful and I rarely get to see them in real life, because relatively few people in the US plant lotus plants and they are very expensive, and the poppies do not tolerate the hot summers we get here.

How much personal time do you spare for your garden every week?

When I am at home in the summer, probably around ten hours a week. The rest of the time, I spend a total of about one hour a week taking care of my plants.

Who/what inspired you the most towards gardening?

My paternal grandmother and my aunt and uncle are great gardeners and have certainly encouraged me and taught me a lot. Then there were people like that old lady with the garden next to our apartment building. Apart from that, I have just always been very aware of pretty plants and beautiful gardens, and whenever I saw something particularly arresting, I wound want to recreate it. I got a lot of ideas from my family’s travels, for example, and sometimes even an image seen in a book or magazine would spark an idea. Long before I first travelled to South Asia, for instance, I planted large rectangular beds of African marigolds (Tagetes erecta), cockscomb (Celosia cristata), and other annuals in our lawn after seeing beautiful pictures of such beds in the Mughal gardens in Kashmir.

Do you have a specific monthly budget for your hobby?

No – I generally try to be thrifty though and get my money’s worth when buying plants or supplies .

What is you take on organic and inorganic gardening?

I much prefer organic gardening and never use any chemical pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides. In my  mind, adding more harmful chemicals to the environment somehow contradicts the whole point of gardening.

What is your major challenge as a gardener?

At the moment, my greatest challenge is not living in one place year-round and thus not being able to take care of my garden throughout the seasons.

What was your last purchase (gardening item)?

My last purchase was a Tradescantia spathacea for my windowsill.

Do you remember your first plant?

I remember my Queen of the Night cactus (Selenicereus grandiflorus) as one of my first plants but I am not sure if it was absolutely the first…

Are you an experimental gardener?

Yes, very much so. I am always trying to push the boundaries of hardiness and grow things that people are convinced cannot be grown in a particular place or plants that for some other reason are not very common. I have been growing Japanese fiber bananas (Musa basjoo) in Michigan for six years now, and one of the joys of my late-summer garden is a pink crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica), which I brought back from a trip to Florida and which no one can believe is hardy here.

What is your most memorable achievement as a gardener?

I think the success of my eastern prickly pear cacti (Opuntia humifusa), which line the edge of the flower bed next to the front entrance of the house and which erupt into shimmering yellow bloom in early summer, is something of which I am particularly proud. To be honest, however, I am not sure how much credit I can take for that, beyond finding a suitable spot for the plants, because despite their exotic appearance they are actually quite tough.

Here are a few pictures of ‘College Gardener’s’ plants.

28 Dec

6 Flowering Shrubs for Gardens and Landscapes

Flowering shrubs can add dramatic effects to your landscape design and home garden. You can grow and train them according to your requirements – as compact hedges, fences, climbers or just as pruned flowering shrubs growing to provide colorful effect to your landscape design throughout the year.

Shrubs are very versatile: evergreen, flowering round the year, producing dense foliage, bearing small berries, having variegated leaves and a many more interesting features. When you are selecting flowering shrubs for your garden or landscape, select shrubs that would grow well in your climate and fulfill your requirements (colors, textures, habits etc.)

Here is my selection of flowering bushes that you can grow in your garden or landscape.

Duranta Plumieri, Golden Dewdrop

Duranta Plumieri (Golden Dewdrop) is an evergreen flowering shrub that bears clusters of conspicuous flowers and dense leaves. When allowed to grow freely, Duranta can spread and rise up to 2 meters with stiff branches and beautiful clusters of tiny flowers. Each cluster grows numerous, trumpet-shaped flowers that can be 1.3 cm across. Duranta usually blooms in late summer or early fall depending on the climatic conditions. It can be trimmed and pruned lightly to make an evergreen compact hedge. Vigorous pruning should be avoided to allow bunches to develop and display nice blooms. Flowering is followed by fruition in the form of round, orange berries. On some plants, both flowers and fruit can be seen together.

Leaves of Duranta are small, dense and vary from green to dark green in color. Duranta prefers bright sunlight and can be propagated from cuttings or seeds.  Originally belonging to West Indies, Duranta was named after a botanist called Castore Durante.

Popular Varieties

Duranta Plimieri produces small pointed-oval shaped leaves and mauve flowers. Duranta Ellisii bears white flowers. Duranta Grand Flora bears large flowers (up to 2 cm across). There are a number of other species of Duranta available that bear thorns or variegated foliage. Colors of flowers vary from mauve to white and violet to light blue.

duranta flowering shrub

Duranta Flowers – Photo © Dinesh Valke

Mussaenda Glabrata, Paper-Chase Tree

Mussaenda makes an excellent flowering shrub for landscapes and gardens. In tropical climate, it grows as an evergreen shrub but sheds its leaves in colder climates. It can be grown as a small tree or pruned and dwarfed in to a nice shrub. Mussaenda belongs to Rubiaceae, the family Ixora and is originated from tropical zones of Asia and Africa.

Mussaenda bears colorful bracts (red, pale pink, white) and small flowers that vary in color from white, yellow and orange. The leaves are hairy and of soft green color. For best show of colorful foliage and blooms, Mussaenda should be planted in brightly-lit locations.

Mussaenda does not require much care and grows well in normal soil with just adequate supply of fertilizer and water. It should be pruned vigorously in late fall. It can be propagated by layering or cuttings.

Leaves of Mussaenda are used as vegetable in some parts of India whereas its root is used for its demulcent properties.

Popular Varieties

Mussaenda Erythrophylla produces crimson bracts and yellow flowers. Mussaenda Luteola is a smaller shrub, attaining only 1.2 m in height. It bears yellow bracts and flowers. Mussaenda Corymbosa has pale orange flowers and white bracts.

mussaenda flowering shrub

Mussaenda Glabrata

Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea is perhaps one of the most popular flowering shrubs grown in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It can be grown as a flowering shrub, hedge, fence, climber, potted plant, or even as bonsai. It grows easily in almost any soil and does not require much care. If pruned regularly and provided with adequate water and feed, Bougainvillea can make a showy plant for any landscape or home garden.

Bougainvillea produces pale-green to deep green leaves (some varieties have variegated leaves) and colorful bracts of various colors including purple, magenta, red, pink, yellow, salmon and white. Bougainville is named after L. A. de Bougainville who discovered this flowering shrub in Brazil.

Popular Varieties

Bougainville has countless varieties grown all over the world; however, almost all of them are hybrids of the four major species. Bougainville Spectabilis is a vigorous form and bears purple or rose-purple bracts. Bougainville Glabra has magenta bracts and oblong, bright green leaves. Bougainville Peruviana produces smaller, mauve-pink bracts, yellowish flowers and large, smooth leaves. Bougainville Formosa has solid clusters of pale magenta-pink flowers and usually bears variegated leaves.

bougainvillea flowers

Bougainvillea Mixed Flowers

Petrea Volubilis, Purple Wreath

Petrea Volubilis produces exotic and showy clusters of purple flowers. It can be easily trained as a climber to cover arches and pathways. It bears stiff green leaves of oval shape. Clusters of Petrea Volubilis flowers can be cut and used for ornamental purposes.

Petrea can be propagated from layering or by planting suckers. Originally belonging to Central America, purple wreath can be grown in tropical and sub-tropical climates as a flowering shrub. Petrea prefers bright sunlight and produces blooms in spring.

Petrea Volubilis

Petrea Volubilis – Photo © Hafiz Isaadeen

Tecoma Stans, Yellow Elder

Tecoma Stans is a perfect flowering shrub for gardeners who want a decent showy shrub in their garden throughout the year. It bears elegant and showy green leaves, and trumpet-shaped fragrant yellow flowers. It can be raised as a small landscape tree as well.

Tecoma belongs to South America but grows in tropical regions all over the world. Usually, it flowers during cold weather, however most varieties keep blooming throughout the year. Tecoma can be propagated by seeds or cuttings.

Popular Varieties

Tecoma Chrysantha produces larger clusters of flowers and dense foliage. Tecoma Capensis has tendency to climb. It produces bright-orange flowers round the year. Tecoma Radicans is a perfect flowering shrub for covering walls or old trees because of its climbing habit. It bears scarlet, tubular flowers. Tecoma Grandiflora is a vigorous climber and produces orange or scarlet flowers during all months of the year. Tecoma Jasminoides is a nice evergreen climber with shiny, dark green foliage and wide open trumpet flowers of white or pink colors.

Tecoma flowering shrub

Tecoma – Photo © Gibna Kebira

Allamanda

Allamanda is another evergreen flowering shrub that produces very showy yellow flowers round the year. It can also be grown as a climber, as groundcover, a compact hedge, an ornamental shrub or to cover arches and pathways. It can be pruned easily to train in to different shapes.

Allamanda produces glossy green leaves and yellow flowers that are usually 8-9 cm across. Allamanda grows in moist and brightly-lit locations but does not survive frost. Allamanada should be grown in well-drained and rich soil. It can be propagated from cuttings.

Popular Varieties

Allamanda Neriifolia is an evergreen and dwarf flowering shrub. It can be grown as a climber too. Allamanda Voilacea produces violet or purple flowers.

Allamanda Cathartica

Allamanda Cathartica – Photo © Judy Glattstein

23 Dec

100 Gardening Terms Every Hobbyist Should Know

100 Gardening Terms

Air layering: A method of propagating plants that enables plants to grow roots on the stem

Alkaline: Having a pH of more than 7

Alpine: Plant suitable to mountainous growing conditions

Annuals: Plants that complete their whole lifecycle in one year

Apex: The top of the plant

Areoles: The soft, cushioned base of the spines on a cactus

Axils: The joint of two plant parts, such as tubercles or stem and leaf

Bedding plant: A plant that is mass-planted to provide a temporary display

Biennial: Plants that complete their whole life cycle in two years

Bolt: When a plant produces flowers prematurely

Bonsai: A method of producing dwarf trees or shrubs by special techniques

Bract: Specialized leaves that are brightly colored, often mistaken for petals

Bud: A shoot containing embryonic leaves or flowers

Bulb: A storage organ usually underground

Bulbil: A small bulb-like organ, often produced between stem and leaf

Capillary matting: Absorbent matting used under pots to keep plants evenly moistened

Carnivorous: Plants that catch insects and small animals for nutrients

Caudex: A swollen, tuberous root system above ground level

Caudiciform: A plant that forms a caudex

Chlorophyll: The green pigment in plant leaves and stems that absorbs energy from sunlight

Climber: Plants that climb using other plants or objects as support

Clustering/Clumping: A group of stems that grow together or form one mass

Coir: Growing medium derived from coconut fiber

Columnar: An upright, cylindrically-shaped stem

Compost: Carefully blended growing medium for seeds and pot plants

Conifer: A cone bearing plant

Continental climate: Characterized by the hot summers, cold winters and low rainfall typical of conditions in the interior of a continent away from the sea

Cordon: A trained plant usually with only one main stem

Creeper: A plant that grows close to the ground usually rooting as it goes

Crown: The upper part of the plant, usually above the main stem

Cultivar: An artificially produced plant, either bred or selected, which can be propagated while retaining its characteristics

Deciduous: A plant that produces fresh leaves annually (and sheds old leaves)

Dormancy: A period of low or absent plant growth

Espalier: Art of pruning and training trees or shrubs usually against a wall or trellis to form symmetrical and flat geometric shapes. Also see 10 amazing example of Espalier art

Epiphyte: A plant that has aerial roots, used to grip trees

Evergreen: Plants that retain their leaves at the end of the growing season

Exotic: Tropical or sub-tropical plant

F1 Hybrid: The first filial germination plants form a cross between two distinct plants

Fallow: Uncultivated land

Family: Grouping of different genera

Fertilizer: natural or artificial substance used to provide extra nutrients to plants

Filler: Material added to fertilizer to make it easier to spread

Frost Line: The lowest level of frost into the soil

Fungicide: Anti fungus chemical

Genus: Category of all living species with common features

Glaucous: A special powdery or waxy coating on the stems and foliage

Globular: Globe-like, spherical

Grafting: A method of propagation by which a rate, slow-growing or difficult to cultivate plant in removed from its roots and artificially attached to a more vigorous, rooted plant

Ground cover: Carpeting species that rapidly cover bare ground

Hedge: Plants growing in a continuous line to create a mass of foliage usually used as divider or as border line

Herbaceous: Plants that die at the end of growing season

Honeydew: Excrete of aphid, scale and other sucking pests

Hormone rooting powder: Powder containing fungicide and hormone to aid rooting

Humidity: The amount of moisture held in the air

Humus: Well-made garden compost or well-prepared farmyard manure

Hybrid: Offspring of at least two different species of varieties of plants

Hydroponics: Method of growing plants in a liquid culture

Inflorescence: A flowering shoot that carries more than one flower

Insecticide: An insect-killing chemical

Invasive: Plants that can quickly outgrow their space and overwhelm their neighbors

Latex: Milky sap exuded by some plants

Layering: Method of propagation during which roots form when a stem is pegged into compost while still attached to the parent plant

Loam: Fertile soil that retains moisture while remaining well-drained

Marginal plant: Plants that grow in shallow water or in permanently moist soul at a pond’s edge

Maritime climate: A climate affected by proximity of the sea which results in relatively small temperature difference between summer and winter and fairly high rainfall

Microclimate: A climate that is particular to a very small area and affected by local factors

Mid-stripe: A central band of contrasting color in a leaf or flower petal

Monotypic: A genus with only one species

Mulch: Organic matter placed over the soul to conserve moisture and keep frost from the roots and weed growth

Mutation: Abrupt change in plant’s habit

Neutral: Having a pH of 7

Offsetting: A plant that produces miniature replicas of itself, usually around its base

Organic: A substance produced by plants or animals via natural means

Panicle: A branched flower cluster

Peat: Sphagnum moss peat

Perennial: Plant that lives for at least three seasons

Perlite: Sterile granular form of aluminum silicate used in composts

pH: Scale by which acidity or alkalinity of soil is measured

Photosynthesis: Synthesis of organic compounds using light energy absorbed by chlorophyll

Pollination: The transfer f pollen to the female parts of the flower that results in the fertilization of the seeds

Predator: Creature used to control a pest

Pruning: Removal of unwanted parts of a plant

Rosette: Symmetrically arranged leaves

Rust: Reddish brown discoloration on plants

Seedling: Young plants (in early stage) grown from seeds

Shrub: Plant with woody stem, usually branched from or near the base

Sour soil: Soil that has become starved of nutrients

Species: A group of individual plants which breed together and have the same constant distinctive features

Subspecies: Members of a species which share common features

Succulent: Plant with thick fleshy leaves or stems that store water and nutrients

Sucker: Shoot that arises from the rootstock

Topiary : Trees or bushes that have been trained or clipped into artificial shapes. Also see 25 examples of amazing topiary art

Trailing: A plant with long stems that hand down

Tropical: Climatic zone of extreme heat

Tuber: A swollen root system

Variegation: Abnormal variation of colors in a plant

X: Denotes a hybrid plant derived from the crossing of two or more botanically distinct plants

Xerophytes: Plant adapted to living in an arid climate

Zone: Designated areas across North America with the same growing conditions

Zone of hardiness: The zone where a plant is most likely to grow successfully

20 Dec

Digital Plant Care Sensor for Gardeners

How technology is going to change our gardening habit is anybody’s guess.  I just came across PlantSmart, a digital plant care sensor that analyzes soil conditions and measures temperature, moisture and sunlight to recommend suitable plants for your lawn, soil beds or indoor gardens from a database of 6000 plants.

plantsmart digital plant care sensor

All you have to do is insert PlantSmart in your soil bed for 24 hours and let it gather essential information. Once data has been collected, connect PlantSmart with a PC or Mac and see full report of your garden. Based on the report, PlantSmart recommends a list of vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers, trees, shrubs or houseplants that would thrive well in your home or garden – no guesswork, no frustration.

PlantSmart also guides you through all the steps (pruning, fertilizing etc.) that you need to know to keep your plants healthy.

Collect Data

Place PlantSmart anywhere in your gardening area. You can place it in indoor containers, landscapes, small soil beds or in a greenhouse.

plantsmart digital gardening tool

Get Report

Connect PlantSmart via USB connector to a PC or Mac with Internet connection to view detailed report of your gardening environment and download a customized list of plants based on your environmental conditions, geographical location and the type or soil and water.

plantsmart gardening report

Select Plants

Select plants from a list of vegetables, fruits, trees, shrubs, flowers, herbs or houseplants.

Keep Growing

Get step-by-step expert advice for your favorite plants.

This digital plant care sensor is useful for beginners as well as expert gardeners. It not only provides customized reports but also helps you figure out why your favorite plant thrives well in one part of your garden, but not another. PlantSmart actually takes out the guesswork and help you become expert gardener from beginner.

17 Dec

10 Amazing Examples of Espalier – Tree Art

Espalier is art of pruning and training trees or shrubs usually against a wall or trellis to form symmetrical and flat geometric shapes.  Training trees into flat, two-dimensional shapes has more value than just decoration of walls and gardens. Espaliered trees are perfect for lawn and gardens with limited space. When grown against walls, they reflect sunlight and protect the wall from heat waves.

There are a number of techniques and methods to train and transform shapes in to flat espaliers. With a little practice, you can craft interesting shapes out of your shrubs and trees. Get started with some simple espalier techniques given here.

Here are a 10 amazing examples of espaliered trees for your inspiration.

Espalier plants

Image via willowbrookpark.blogspot.com

Espalier Art

Image via apartmenttherapy.com

Espalier tree

Image by Marie Richie

Espaliler Fruit Tree

Image by Graham Bould

Espalier

Image via frogview.com

Espalier formation

Image by Mike

Espalier Apple Tree

Image via ubcbotanicalgarden.org

Flowering Espalier Tree

Image via giverny-impression.com

Espalier form

Image via pleach.org

Beautiful Espaliered Tree

Image via frogview.com

If you need further information on designing and caring for espaliers, I would highly recommend Karl Pieber’s book: Espalier Fruit Trees for Wall, Hedge and Pergola.

16 Dec

Interview with Muhammad Khabbab

This is first interview in Meet Master Gardeners series. Today, I am interviewing Muhammad Khabbab – a passionate gardener and founder of Gardening in Pakistan forum. Khabbab also writes his gardening blog and loves to photograph plants in his lovely garden. Here is my favorite article from his blog: Tips for buying plants from nursery.

Here goes my conversation with Khabbab.

Tell me something about your garden?

It is a terrace garden where I grow water lilies, jasmines, annuals, perennials, tomatoes and climbers. I also have some soil beds that host bulbs including Paperwhite, Freesia, Anemone, Ranunculus, Nerine Lily, Agapanthus and climbers like Wisteria, Bauhinia, Snail Vine, Stephanotis Floribunda, Japanese honeysuckle etc.

What is gardening to you (how important is it you to have a garden in your home)?

Gardening is a passion to me.

When and how did you start gardening?

In 2008, inspired by Jasmine Vine blooms.

What is blooming in your garden today?

Mums.

What type(s) of plants do you grow (flowering, fruits, cacti)?

I grow flowering plants specially climbers.

What grows in your dream garden (if climate allows, what would you love to grow in your garden)?

Lots of flowering plants especially Aquilegia, Alliums, Lilly of the valley, Hyacinths, fragrant Orchids, Snow Drop, Tree Lilies and Tulips.

Name your favorites?

Tropical Water lily, Jasmine Nitidium, Murraya Pacinulata, Wisteria, Passiflora and Nerine Lily.

Why is it your favorite?

Fragrance and exotic look of blooms.

How much personal time do you spare for your garden every week?

About an hour in summers and 3 to 5 hours in fall.

Who/what inspired you the most towards gardening?

Tropical Water Lilies.

Do you have a specific monthly budget for your hobby?

No, it varies.

What is you take on organic and inorganic gardening?

I am strongly in favor of organic gardening. Pesticides keep butterflies away from your garden so a big no no.

What is your major challenge as a gardener?

Keeping plants live in extreme summers on my terrace.

What was your last purchase (gardening item)?

It was a spade.

Do you remember your first plant?

Yes, it was Jasmine Sambac (motia).

Are you an experimental gardener?

Only to the extent so that I know this particular plant should adapt to my climate. No out of climate experimenting.

What is your most memorable achievement as a gardener?

Overwintering water lilies and saving spring bulbs in summer.

What is the mission behind gardening forum that you run?

So that we could learn from other’s experiences.

Here are a few pictures from Khabbab’s terrace garden.

16 Dec

Meet Master Gardeners

I started The Lovely Plants as a platform for sharing knowledge and promoting the hobby of gardening. This blog has helped me connect to a lot of passionate gardeners and experts who love to share their experiences. In coming weeks, I would conduct interviews with these gardeners to know their gardening habits, experiences and secrets.

Come back to this website for a fresh dose of gardening tips and experiences from experts. The first interview in this series is with Muhammad Khabbab.

14 Dec

Refreshing Morning Glory

Morning Glory is one of those charming flowers that inspired me to the hobby of gardening. I so fondly remember a morning glory loaded with purple flowering and covering the entire wall of the backyard of the house where I spent early years of my childhood. Even today, there is nothing more refreshing than colorful morning glory welcoming me every summer morning.

yellow flowers of morning glory

Morning Glory is a common name for a number of species of flowering plants from the Convolvulaceae family: These include Calystegia, Convolvulus, Ipomoea, Merremia and Rivea. The most popular of this family is Ipomoea which is grown widely in most tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. All of these share same growing habits but vary in leaf structure, fruits and flowers. These delicate creepers produce funnel-shaped blooms of white, purple, yellow, red or blue colors. The size of Morning Glory flowers may range between 4 to 8 inches across.

Seeds of some morning glory may have hallucinogenic elements that produce psychedelic effects if taken orally.

purple and crimson blooms of morning glory

Culture

Morning Glory is a fast growing, evergreen creeper that offers a variety of colorful and delicate blooms. It is easy to train and can be used to cover walls, arches and fences. It is also one of the easiest and fastest creepers to propagate from seeds. Because of variety of foliage, flowers and leaf structure, Morning Glory can be used as ornamental creeper, hanging plant against windows, or for covering unattractive walls or landscape backgrounds.

Almost all varieties of Morning Glory prefer full sun throughout the day and flower well in warm sunlight. It can withstand cold but does not like long periods of freeze and frost.

Propagation

Morning Glory can be grown easily from seeds in warm climates. Established plants do not require much attention and can grow well when watered regularly in a well drained soil. Fertilizing once in growing season is usually sufficient. Higher dose of fertilizer (especially nitrogen-rich feed discourages blooms). Because Morning Glory is a tender plant, it should be transplanted carefully.

Morning Glory grows well when grown against a fence, trunk or a wall.

Popular Verities

Ipomoea Alba

Also known as Moonflower, Ipomoea Alba flowers at night. It is a fast growing variety and produces fragrant flowers.

Ipomoea Batatas

Commonly known as Sweet Potato or yam (not the actual yam) is grown for food is many parts of the world. It produces red, white or yellow tubers.

Ipomoea Carnea

This variety forms a woody climber or bush with large leaves and flowers of pale pink color.

Ipomoea Horsfallioe

Commonly known as Crimson Ipomoea, this variety produces prominent flowers of crimson color.

Ipomoea Lobata

Commercially grown as Cypress Vine or Cardinal Climber, Ipomoea Lobata grows vigorously and produces small crimson flowers that fade to become orange and then pale yellow.

How to Grow Morning Glory

How to Grow Morning Glory by GardenGuides.com