Ipomoea tricolor [ip-oh-MEE-a, TRY-kull-lur] is a flowering vine with heart-shaped leaves and bright blue or violet flowers belonging to the Convolvulaceae “morning glory” family and native to parts of Central and South America.
Common names include:
- Mexican morning glory
The Mexican morning glory has become a popular annual known for its large colorful flowers, some of which change color throughout the season.
While it’s a short-lived plant, sowing the seeds early in the spring allows the morning glory to bloom all summer long.
Other Ipomoea varieties include:
- Ipomoea batata – Ornamental sweet potato vine
- Ipomoea alba – Moonflower vine
- Ipomoea lobata – Firecracker vine
- Ipomoea quamoclit – Cypress vine
- Evolvulus glomeratus – known as the Brazilian dwarf Morning Glory
Ipomoea Tricolor Care
Size and Growth
Ipomoea tricolor is a fast-growing climbing vine with thin branches.
The vines may reach over 7’ feet in a single summer, but needs proper support of a trellis or a stick to climb.
Flowering and Fragrance
The trumpet-shaped flowers are the main attraction.
The blooms come in varying shades of blue, violet, red, and white but don’t produce a noticeable fragrance.
The flowers typically open in the morning and close in the afternoon before withering.
While each flower only lives for a single day, a new cluster of flowers appears the next morning.
This allows the plant to bloom throughout the summer and fall before it withers.
Light and Temperature
As an annual, the morning glory doesn’t need overwintering. It grows well outdoors from spring to fall in USDA hardiness zones 1 to 11.
The plant thrives under the full sun but also tolerates partial shade.
Indoors, the bloom may not last as long compared to outdoor growth. Place plants near a south-facing window or in an enclosed porch or greenhouse.
At the first sign of frost, the plant starts to curl up and die.
Watering and Feeding
Keep the soil watered throughout the year, from initial growth to the end of the flowering season.
To encourage fuller blooms, add a liquid fertilizer with the water once per week.
Soil and Transplanting
For best results, sow seeds in propagating soil and thin the seedlings into individual containers.
The final container should provide enough space to contain the morning glory until the end of the flowering season.
As an annual, the plant doesn’t need transplanting except when thinning the seedlings into their own pots.
Outdoor plants need support from strong winds and to climb. Train the plant on a trellis or use stakes to provide support.
The tendrils from the stems will start to wrap around the support structure, allowing the plant to climb.
Morning glories don’t need grooming.
How to Propagate Heavenly Blue Morning Glory
Sow new seeds every year.
To cultivate healthy morning glories, purchase propagating soil and a seed starter tray.
Sow the seeds indoors toward the end of winter, between late March and early April.
- Place the tray containing the seeds in a warm area near a window and saturate the soil once.
- Cover the tray with plastic and then poke holes for ventilation.
- Lift the plastic each day to keep the condensation from dripping onto the soil.
- If the seeds get too wet, they tend to develop rot.
- This occurs very quickly.
- Within several weeks, the seedlings should be strong enough to handle.
- Transplant the seedlings to individual pots.
- Place a small stake in the soil to support the young plant.
- After several weeks in the individual pots, the root systems should grow large enough for repotting to a bigger container.
- Repot the plants in their permanent homes, providing enough space for the rest of the plant’s life.
- If the morning glory will stay outdoors for the year, slowly introduce it to the outdoor environment.
- Leave it outdoors during the day and bring it inside at night.
- When the threat of frost has completely passed, leave the plant outdoors.
- For indoor plants, ensure the plant continues to receive plenty of sunlight and frequent watering with liquid fertilizer.
Heavenly Morning Glory Pests or Diseases
The plant rarely experiences any pests or disease problems outdoors.
Indoors, the plant tends to suffer from the same infestations as any other indoor houseplant.
Spider mites tend to attack when the air remains dry. Mist the plant occasionally to keep them away.
If the plant has any pests, wash them off with sprays of cool water.
If the water doesn’t remove the insects, use an insecticide such as Neem oil.
Follow the instructions on the product and spray the plant once per week for up to three weeks.
Along with these concerns, keep the plant away from children and pets, especially after the plant flowers.
The seeds are poisonous and may cause health problems when ingested.
Suggested Ipomoea Tricolor Uses
The flowers of the morning glory help bring color to any window or balcony.
Train it on a trellis or allow it to flow freely from a hanging basket.