Morning glory or Farbitis: planting and care in the open field

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Morning glory or Farbitis: planting and care in the open field
Morning glory or Farbitis: planting and care in the open field

Description of the morning glory plant, how to plant and grow farbitis in a personal plot, recommendations for reproduction, how to deal with pests and diseases, notes for flower growers, species.

Ipomoea (Ipomoea) is ranked by botanists as belonging to the Convolvulaceae family and the genus of flowering flora. It is customary to grow only about 25 varieties of farbitis. The native area of natural distribution falls on the lands of America and South Africa, in areas with a tropical climate. However, today this highly decorative plant is found in different regions of the planet, not only in the tropics, but also with a subtropical climate.

Family name Bindweed
Life cycle Annual or perennial
Growth features Herbaceous, vines, shrubs, or small trees
Reproduction Seed or vegetative
Landing period in open ground End of May or beginning of summer
Disembarkation scheme Leave 20-25 cm between seedlings
Substrate Light, calcareous, loamy
Soil acidity, pH 6, 5-7 (neutral) or 7-8 (slightly alkaline)
Illumination Southeast or east direction, light shading possible
Moisture indicators Watering is regular and abundant, drying of the soil is prohibited
Special Requirements Easy to care for
Plant height 2, 5-8 m
Color of flowers White, blue, cyan, red, pink, magenta, purple, can be bi-color
Type of flowers, inflorescences Single flowers
Flowering time May to October
Decorative time Spring-autumn
Place of application Landscaping of verandas, formation of hedges, arches or pergolas
USDA zone 4–9

The scientific name was given to the plant because of the structure of the root system, which resembled worms in its outlines. Therefore, the term "Ipomoea" came from the combination of the Greek words "ips" and "homoios", which were translated as "worm" and "like", respectively. It is not uncommon to hear outdated names such as Pharbitis, Calonyction, or Quamoclit. There are also more romantic names such as moonflower. But some English-speaking sources mention in particular the species Ipomoea violacea, calling it Morning glory or Morning radiance. The people can hear the affectionate name - bindweed.

In the genus Ipomoea, both annuals and perennials are found. The form of their growth can be herbaceous, liana-like, shrub or tree-like (small in size). But most of the species have the appearance of climbing herbaceous vines. Among the species of farbitis, there are also valuable food plants: Ipomoea batatas (better known as sweet potatoes) and Ipomoea aquatic, called aquatic spinach.

In nature, bindweed shoots can range in length from 5–8 meters when grown in a garden or greenhouse. If the cultivation conditions are selected correctly, the plant can stretch its shoots to a height of 2, 5–3 m. While the branches are young, their color is green or with a purple tint. However, over time, they can even lignify and turn brown. Like many lianas, the tops of the shoots have the property of clinging to suitable protrusions on the support and rushing upwards along them. Leaf plates with a heart-shaped or openwork shape unfold on the branches. The color of their rich dark green color scheme.

The flowering process in the morning glory stretches from the beginning of summer days to the first frost. A lot of buds bloom, the corolla resembles a small gramophone in its outlines. Flowers of some varieties exude a light delicate aroma when blooming. The life of a flower is very short-lived. Every day, new buds open, which begin to fade by the evening hours. Since a lot of them are revealed, the impression of a violent flowering is created. The color of the corolla can be varied, there are shades of red, pink, blue, blue and purple, and the core and edge often have a contrasting shade. When opened, the diameter of a flower can reach 5–8 cm, but there are specimens in which the corolla opens up to 20 cm in diameter.

A curious feature is that on a cloudy day and at sunset, the flowers begin to close. Many tropical flowers, which are sensitive to lack of sunlight, have the same property. After pollination, seeds ripen, which do not lose their germination over a 4-year period.

The plant is quite unpretentious and attracts flower growers with its shoots, foliage, and especially flowering. Despite its tropical origin, it can be perfectly used as an annual in our latitudes before the first frost.

Planting and caring for morning glory in a personal plot

Morning glory
Morning glory
  1. Tips for choosing a landing site. Like any tropical plant, morning glory prefers warmth and light, therefore it is recommended to select a southern, southeast or southwest orientation for cultivation. However, since the buds often open from morning hours until lunchtime, experts recommend choosing the southeastern or eastern location of the flower bed. Morning glory can tolerate light shading just fine. If the lighting level is insufficient, this will stimulate the growth of foliage, however, flowering in this case becomes scarce. It is required to provide protection from wind and draft, so it is better to choose a place protected by a wall or other structure, but not on a hill. It is important that at the place of planting of the bindweed in the soil there is no stagnation of moisture after rains or watering, otherwise the root system will quickly rot.
  2. Priming when growing morning glory does not play a big role, it can adapt to any soil mixture, but it is better that the soil is light and calcareous. If the substrate is very dense and heavy, river sand and slaked lime are mixed into it. Loams can work fine. The acidity of the soil is recommended to be neutral (pH 6, 5–7) or slightly alkaline (pH 7–8).
  3. Ipomoea planting. Basically, ready-made seedlings or rooted layers are planted in open ground. The best time would be late spring or early June. The ground must be prepared: dug up to a depth of 10 cm, mixed with superphosphate and moistened. It is recommended to leave the distance between the seedlings within 20–25 cm. Due to the fragility of the root system, it is better to use the transshipment method when the planting container is cut, and the earthen ball does not collapse and is installed in this form in the dug hole.
  4. Special care requirements. Since the morning glory has a high growth rate, immediately upon planting it is recommended to provide a support along which the vine stalks will "climb" upwards. As soon as the height of the seedling approaches 25 cm, it already needs support, which will further stimulate growth. As a support, you can use a mesh-netting, grids and lattices intended for these purposes, all kinds of arches and pergolas. A good solution would be to put the stalks of farbitis on the backyard buildings (posts, gazebos) or the walls of the shed, they can hide the walls of houses and plant trees on the verandas. After watering or precipitation, it is recommended to gently and shallowly loosen the soil so that it does not become a crust, as this will trap moisture and air.
  5. Watering. Ipomoea is a moisture-loving plant, especially during the period of growing deciduous mass and forming buds (the first couple of months from the moment of planting). At this time, the soil should be moistened often and abundantly, while the soil should always be moist. Waterlogging is unacceptable, and it is not recommended to swamp the substrate, otherwise it will lead to decay of the root system. If the moisture of the morning glory during this period is not enough, the branches will stop growing, the buds will open a little earlier, so the duration of flowering will be reduced. If the soil is too dry, the plant will shed flowers and unblown buds. When the flowers of the farbitis are in full bloom, you can water it less often. The top layer of the soil will act as a reference point - as soon as it dries up, it is necessary to moisten. In this case, it is important to prevent the soil from drying out. If the weather is hot, the substrate under the vine bushes should be mulched so that moisture remains in it longer. Wood chips can act as mulch.
  6. Fertilizers for morning glory. When caring for a bindweed, it is necessary to make additional fertilizing, which will be the key to the formation and disclosure of a large number of buds and healthy growth of the vine. The first time fertilizers for morning glory will be needed during the period of growing green mass. Such dressings should be high in nitrogen, but it is important to maintain a balance here, since with an excess of nitrogen, there will be a lot of foliage and few flowers. The best choice may be Kemira Universal or Fertika: Spring for the Garden. The second top dressing should be a composition with the presence of phosphorus, which must be added before the buds begin to bloom. For the third time, farbitis is fertilized to support its flowering - when the process is in full swing, phosphorus-potassium compounds, for example, "Mr. Tsvet", are suitable for this. You can use the products both in liquid form, diluting them in water for irrigation, and granular. The granules are scattered in the near-stem zone of the bush and after that the soil is loosened, then watering is carried out. Some growers carry out weekly fertilizing in accordance with the growing season of the vines, but there are varieties that can do without fertilization, for example, Ipomoea nil.
  7. Tips for landscape application of morning glory. Since it is customary to grow the plant in our latitudes as an ornamental summer garden, walls, columns and other homestead buildings are decorated with climbing shoots. In general, when it comes to vertical gardening, bindweed is one of the most suitable candidates for this role. Arches, pergolas and fences can be very beautifully entwined with shoots with curly foliage and bright flowers. But not only the beauty attracts decorative farbitis, but also the fact that its leaves create a wonderful shade on hot summer days. But if you want to dream up, then you can plant the plant as a tapeworm in the central part of the flower garden on a support, use the morning glory as an ampelous plant, planting it in a hanging basket. Then it is recommended to plant 3-4 copies in a pot. Climbing roses, clematis or nasturtiums are considered the best neighbors in flower beds, but moonflowers can perfectly do without other representatives of the flora nearby.

Ipomoea breeding recommendations

Morning glory grows
Morning glory grows

To get a new bindweed, you can use both seed and vegetative methods. The latter includes: cuttings, rooting of tubers or cuttings.

Seed breeding method

includes both sowing seed material directly on a flower bed, and obtaining seedlings of morning glory (seedlings). The choice of the method will directly depend on the type of farbitis:

  • Fast growing with small flowers (such as Ipomoea purpurea) can be sown immediately on a prepared spot in the garden. By July, such vines will successfully form a sufficient amount of foliage and bloom.
  • Species with large flowers (for example, Ipomoea nil), have a rather low growth rate. If the seeds are sown directly into the open ground, then their flowers will open late, but it happens that very few buds are formed or flowering does not occur at all.


If the sowing of morning glory seeds is carried out in central Russia or in more northern regions, then with a rainy and cold summer, flowering will always be late, it is recommended to use the seedling propagation method here.

Before sowing, scarification is always performed - the shell of the seed is damaged in order to facilitate its germination. To do this, place the seeds in hot water for 24 hours (temperature about 50 degrees) until they swell. If during this time some seeds do not become swollen, they are carefully pricked with a needle and again dipped into water for a day. You can put the seeds between two sheets of sandpaper and rub them lightly together. This usually always gives a positive result.

If you are lucky enough to live in a warm climate, then in spring, as soon as you are sure that the morning frosts will not return, and the average daily temperature has reached 10 degrees, you can prepare the soil for planting farbitis:

  1. The area where the bindweed will grow must be dug to a depth of at least 10 cm, then phosphate fertilizer (for example, superphosphate) is added to it and the top dressing is slightly covered.
  2. Mandatory scarification of inoculum is carried out.
  3. A hole is being prepared, into which several seeds are placed. They are buried to a depth of 1–2 cm. A distance of about 20–25 cm is left between the holes. Watering is carried out so that the soil becomes moderately moist.
  4. If the temperature stays around 17 degrees, the seedlings will appear after 10-14 days. Of all, a couple of the strongest are left.
  5. After 4–5 true leaf plates unfold on the morning glory seedlings, pinching of the tops of the shoots is performed to stimulate branching.

To grow the seedlings of morning glory, do the following:

  1. Sowing seeds is carried out with the arrival of March, in extreme cases, no later than the beginning of April.
  2. Since the root system of morning glory has a rod-like shape, transplanting even young seedlings is not encouraged, so you need to use separate pots made of peat or peat tablets.
  3. The soil for planting is peat-sand or ready-made soil mixture for flower seedlings. The seeds are buried in the substrate by 2-3 cm, 2-3 pieces are placed in each pot. After that, the crops are watered and the containers are covered with a plastic bag.
  4. Pots with future seedlings are placed in a warm place where the heat indicators will not be lower than 18 degrees with good lighting. Usually the first shoots will appear after 10 days. When all the seeds germinate, the shelter is removed. When germinating, phytolamps can be used to compensate for the lack of lighting in the evening or in the morning.
  5. Since morning glory seedlings grow very quickly, twigs should be stuck next to them as a support, because by the time of planting, the shoots of the plant can reach 2-4 meters in length. To reduce the height of such supports, you can stretch the ropes horizontally and let branches of the farbitis run along them, and, having already transplanted them into the open ground, place them vertically.
  6. In late spring or early summer, the seedlings can be moved to a permanent place in the garden.

Since basically all types of morning glory are grown in our latitudes as annual plants, vegetative propagation methods are not applied to them. The exception is the sweet potato morning glory, which can be grown as an indoor crop.

How to deal with pests and diseases of morning glory?

Morning glory in bloom
Morning glory in bloom

The plant is characterized by general resistance to diseases, but problems can arise due to violation of agricultural technology. The bindweed does not tolerate a waterlogged substrate and then it is affected by fungal sores: powdery mildew, rust, various rot, white edema and many others. At the same time, foliage and stems acquire a whitish, brown-rusty coating or begin to wither and rot. In this case, it is recommended to treat plantings of morning glory with fungicides. Among them, the leaders are Topaz, Skor or Strobi. There are many other drugs with a similar spectrum of action. Processing must be carried out in the weather when there is no rain or wind.

Among the harmful insects that can harm morning glory are spider mites and aphids. To combat pests, you need to spray with insecticidal preparations, for example, Aktara, Fitoverm or Fufun, Bi-52. The treatment is repeated twice after two weeks to remove the hatched insects and their eggs.

Notes on the morning glory flower

Ipomoea flower
Ipomoea flower

Although bindweed is a rather delicate plant, one should not forget about its toxicity. The plant should be planted in places where there is no access to pets or small children. Only a few varieties are suitable for indoor cultivation.

There are types that are used for the manufacture of drugs by folk healers, but official medicine does not recognize them.

Ipomoea species

In the photo Ipomoea purple
In the photo Ipomoea purple

Purple morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea)

is the most purple variety among florists. It is an annual liana-like plant with a high growth rate, the shoots of which can reach 5 meters in length. When blooming, small flowers are formed. The natural habitat is found in areas with a tropical climate. The leaf plates have a cordate or lanceolate shape, there is pubescence on the stems and foliage. The corolla of the flower is funnel-shaped. The colors are quite varied, variations of blue, bright red, purple, blue or pinkish color may appear. The diameter of the flower is about 5 cm, the structure can be either simple or double. The main varieties for today are recognized: Venice blue, Grand Pa, Beauty Moscow, Scarlet O'hara, Gypsy girl, Mauro, Crimson Rambler (Crimson Rambler).

In the photo Ipomoea tricolor
In the photo Ipomoea tricolor

Ipomea tricolor (Ipomea tricolor)

slightly similar to the previous variety, but its flowers are larger in size, and the foliage and stems with a smooth surface. The specific name comes from the fact that during its existence, a flower changes color three times. In the bud state, they are a deep purple-red hue, and when the flower blooms, it turns blue or light blue. In the process of withering, the petals acquire a pale purple color. In our conditions, it is customary to grow morning glory as an annual. The most popular varieties are: Giselle, Flying saucer, Blue Star.

In the photo Ipomoea ivy
In the photo Ipomoea ivy

Ipomoea ivy (Ipomoea hederacea)

may appear under the names Pharbitis hederacea, Morning glory nil (Ipomoea nil), White-bordered Ipomoea or Japanese morning glory … This species is a native of Japanese lands, where a large number of its varieties are bred. An important difference between the flowers is that there is a snow-white border along the edge of the stellate corolla. The petals are speckled with wrinkles, the color may include patterns of white specks, specks and streaks. The most striking representatives are the following varieties: Scarlet O'hara - but unlike purple morning glory, there is no whitish core; Chocolate; Pikoti, with a variety of colors; Morning Star and Blue bliss.

In the photo Ipomoea sweet potato
In the photo Ipomoea sweet potato

Morning glory sweet potato (Ipomaea batatas)

This variety is not like all of those previously described. Its tubers can be used for food, as they have a sweet taste, somewhat similar to potato. Most often, the plant is called "sweet potato". There are decorative deciduous varieties that can amaze the eye with very diverse shades of flowers, which is why they have gained popularity among flower growers.

The length of the stems reaches 1–2 m. The foliage has a variety of forms: cordate, with five lobes and a strong or not very dissection. The color of the leaf plates is also very beautiful, where greenish-yellow, burgundy or brown-purple tones are present. There are also varieties with variegated leaf color. Flowers form in the leaf axils, where they grow singly, several buds together. Corolla color can be white, yellow, purple or pink.

Video about growing morning glory:

Photos of Ipomoea:

Ipomoea Photos 1
Ipomoea Photos 1
Ipomoea Photos 2
Ipomoea Photos 2
Ipomoea Photos 3
Ipomoea Photos 3
Ipomoea Photos 4
Ipomoea Photos 4
Ipomoea Photos 5
Ipomoea Photos 5

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