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  HOME AND GARDEN » Annuals

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Ipomoea

Ipomoeas, also known as morning glories, are very popular for summer gardens. Known since the age of the Aztects, they still are one of the most popular annuals. You will be amazed by both their beautiful leaves who resemble the shape of a heart and their lovely flowers. Flower colours include purple, red, magenta, blue and white.

Ipomoeas will climb over any vertical surface they can cling on, either pergolas or balcony railings or even a cane or a cable. And they will keep on climbing until the first cold spells that will destroy the plants.

They grow very fast and they bloom profusely. Every flower lasts for only a couple of days but another bud will open in the meantime so your ipomoea will be covered with blooms throughout the summer.

They need plenty of full sun and should be watered often. Moreover, they are not picky about the quality of the soil, so they can be used for poor or clay soils.

Care

In the beginning of March, let the seeds soak in lukewarm water for 24 hours and then plant them in flats. If you are planning to plant the seeds directly into the ground, you should wait until the risk of frost has passed. The seeds will germinate in about one week.

When the seedlings reach the 4 leaves stage, transplant them carefully into the garden or into pots. If you planted the seeds too early or if the weather is still too cold to transplant, it is possible that your seedlings will outgrow the flats and start climbing one over the other. To avoid that, place straws or toothpicks in the flats, taking care not to damage the roots and transplant the seedlings as soon as the weather warms up.

Ipomoeas have a sensitive root system and they don't appreciate their roots being disturbed. An ideal flat would be egg-cartons (or something to resemble that) where you can plant one seed in each compartment and when you need to transplant you could easily remove the seedling with its entire root ball or you could just cut off the bottom of the carton and plant the whole thing into the soil.

Each flower that dies back leaves a seed behind. Gather the seeds and store them in a cool and dry location until you use them next spring. Be careful on where you decide to store the seeds because if consumed they cause hallucinations and might even be lethal in some cases. So keep them away from children and pets.


 

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