Morning glories are plants that belong to the *Convolvulaceae* family; they are annual vines with heart-shaped leaves and trumpet-shaped flowers. The types of morning glories commonly planted in gardens fall under the genus *Ipomoea*, which also includes [sweet potatoes](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-grow-and-harvest-sweet-potatoes-in-your-garden). The name “morning glory,” refers to the fact that the blooms close at night and open the next day with the sun. Morning glories grow from June to October in temperate climates and year-round in warmer climates. They will climb up walls and trellises and can be used as a groundcover. \nMorning glories in the *Ipomoea* genus are often mistaken for field bindweed, which belongs to the *Convolvulus* genus. Though they are both climbing vines, there are a few key differences between the plants:\n\n- __Leaf size__: Morning glory leaves are usually two inches across or wider and are heart-shaped. Bindweed leaves are smaller and shaped like an arrowhead. \n- __Bloom color__: Bindweed blooms usually come in white or pink, while morning glory flowers are pink, white, magenta, blue, purple, or red and are bigger than bindweed flowers.\n- __Vines__: Morning glory vines are thicker than bindweed vines and typically have small plant hairs.\n- __Invasiveness__: Field bindweed is an invasive noxious weed that is hard to get rid of because of its strong roots. Morning glories are relatively easy to get rid of, just make sure you pull the plants up by the root and watch out for any seeds that may have fallen in your garden.\nMorning glories come in many different cultivars. Below are some common growers that are popular for gardens:\n\n1. __Common morning glory (*Ipomoea purpurea*)__: This is perhaps the most well-known type of morning glory. It can grow up to 10 feet tall. Its flowers are purple with a white throat.\n2. __Moonflower (*Ipomoea alba*)__: This variety is a little different in that the white flowers open in the evening and close before noon the next day. They usually reach heights of 10 to 15 feet.\n3. __Cardinal climber (*Ipomoea x multifida*)__: These flowering vines produce bright red blooms and are a favorite for hummingbirds.\n4. __*Ipomoea tricolor*__ ‘__Heavenly Blue__’: This cultivar has flowers in baby blue streaked with purple. They grow up to 12 feet tall. \n5. __*Ipomoea tricolor*__ ‘__Flying Saucers__’: This cultivar also grows up to 12 feet, and it features silvery-white blooms that are streaked with blue.\nBefore planting morning glories, make sure your chosen variety is not a local invasive species. For instance, Arizona has banned several varieties of morning glories because they quickly grow out of control in the state’s climate. \n\n- __Plant morning glory seeds before the last frost__. You can start morning glories from seed indoors four to six weeks before the last frost. If you want to plant them directly into your garden, wait to start seeding until after the last frost date when the ground has warmed up to 64 degrees Fahrenheit. The seeds will sprout in a week or two, and the flowers will bloom in mid to late summer.\n- __Prepare the seeds for germination__. Morning glory seeds are very hard, so they will germinate faster if you carefully file them down with sandpaper or an emery board until the outer shell breaks. Soak the seeds 24 hours prior to planting to soften the seed coat and help with germination. \n- __Choose a location with direct sunlight__. When planting morning glories in your garden, select a site that gets plenty of sunlight.\n- __Plant morning glories in well-draining soil__. Morning glory seeds do best in moderately fertile, well-drained soil that is consistently moist but not soggy. You can place mulch around the plant to help the soil retain moisture. \n- __Water once a week in hot weather__. Morning glory vines and flowers can subsist on rainwater, but if you live in a hotter, drier climate, water them once a week during the summer. \n- __Give your morning glories room to grow__. Provide your morning glories with a place to climb, like a wall, trellis, pergola, or fence—or plant them in a hanging basket.\n- __Deadhead the flowers__. Morning glories self-seed, so once the blooms wither and produce seeds, the seeds will drop and regrow where they fall. [Deadhead the flowers](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-deadhead-flowers-in-your-garden) that have withered before they turn into seed pods.\nGrow your own garden with Ron Finley, the self-described "Gangster Gardener." Get the [MasterClass Annual Membership](https://www.masterclass.com/) and learn how to cultivate fresh herbs and vegetables, keep your house plants alive, and use compost to make your community - and the world - a better place.\nThese flowering vines produce trumpet-shaped blooms in shades of purple, blue, red, white, and pink.