How to Grow Ipomoea Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Morning Glory and Messina Creeper

Ipomoea are usually grown as annuals in the garden, although they can often be perennials.

They are a climbing plant that blooms with trumpet shaped flowers of pink, blue, white, purple or red (often two coloured) from summer to the early months of autumn.

Visit this page for information on the cypress vine: Ipomoea Quamoclit

Morning Glory

Some of the common names for Ipomoea are Morning glory, Cypress vine, Messina Creeper and Moonflower.

Ipomoea indica
Ipomoea indica by Catlovers

Ipomoea cairica
Ipomoea cairica - Messina creeper by Eran Finkle.

Ipomoea Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Morning Glory, Messina Creeper, Cypress Vine, Moonflower, Moon Vine, Sweet Potato, Water Spinach, Swamp Cabbage.
Life Cycle: Half hardy annual. Half hardy perennial commonly grown as a half hardy annual by gardeners.
Height: 80 to 240 inches (200 to 600 cm).
Native: Tropics and sub-tropics.
Growing Region: Zones 3 to 10. As a perennial in zones 9 and 10.

Flowers: Summer and autumn.
Flower Details: White, blue, pink, red. Often bi-coloured. Trumpets.
Foliage: Heart-shaped. Lanceolate.

Sow Outside: Surface 1/4 inch (6 mm). A couple of weeks after the last frost. Spacing 12 to 30 inches (30 to 75 cm).
Sow Inside: Best started outdoors. Chip seeds then soak overnight. Use peat pots. Germination time: one to three weeks. Temperature 75 to 85°F (24 to 30°C). Three weeks before expected last frost. Transplant outdoors about four weeks after the last frost or in autumn; temperature must not drop below 46°F (8°C).

Requirements: Full sunlight. Good drainage. Soil pH 6 to 7.5. Light soils. Provide trellis. Pinch tips.
Family: Convolvulaceae.
Miscellaneous: A very useful genus of plant containing members that are ornamental plants, food sources, used in rubber production, and used in medicine. If growing sweet potatoes best results occur in light soil with good drainage and an acidic pH of 4.5 to 7.

How to Grow Morning Glory and other Ipomoea Plants in the Garden

It is best to grow morning glory in their final location outdoors.

Sow the seeds at a depth of 6 mm (1/4 inch) in a sunny area of the garden a couple of weeks after the last frost of spring.

Ideally the soil that morning glory grows in will be moist and of pH 6 to 7.5; not to high in nitrogen or this will lead to straggly plants.

Ipomoea Plant Germination takes from one to three weeks, and can be enhanced by first chipping the seeds and imbibing in hot water for a day prior to sowing.

Caring for Morning Glory (Ipomoea Plants)

Once the young morning glory seedlings have emerged they should be thinned to be about 30 to 45 cm (12 to 18 inches) apart, and given a trellis to climb upon.

Once morning glory starts to climb on the trellis, pinch back the growing tips to encourage branching growth.

Common Questions

How many members does the Ipomoea genus have?

The Ipomoea genus is quite large, with over 500 species. It includes a variety of beautiful flowering plants.

Do members of Ipomoea make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, many Ipomoea species, especially the Morning Glories and Sweet Potatoes, are fantastic for landscaping due to their colorful, funnel-shaped flowers and fast growth.

Which Ipomoea species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

Ipomoea tricolor (Morning Glory) and Ipomoea batatas (Sweet Potato Vine) are two of the most commonly grown species due to their vibrant flowers and attractive foliage.

Are members of the Ipomoea plant genus fragrant?

Some species of Ipomoea, such as the Moonflower (Ipomoea alba), are known for their lovely evening fragrance.

What is the perfect location to grow Ipomoea?

Ipomoea plants love a sunny location with well-drained soil. They also require a support to climb on, making them perfect for fences, trellises, or pergolas.

Is Ipomoea invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Yes, some Ipomoea species can be invasive, particularly in southern states. For example, Ipomoea carnea is considered invasive in Florida.

How do I remove Ipomoea plants from my garden?

Ipomoea removal requires uprooting the whole plant, including the roots. Since some species are persistent, ongoing monitoring and removal might be necessary.


The Ipomoea genus, part of the Convolvulaceae family, includes annual and perennial climbers native to tropical and subtropical regions. Known for their trumpet-shaped flowers, these plants are commonly known as morning glories.

Ipomoea thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. Regular watering is necessary, especially during dry periods. Propagation is typically achieved through seeds, sown in the spring after the danger of frost has passed.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Ipomoea plants. You may also enjoy the following Gardener's HQ growing guides: How to grow Convolvulus,Mazus plant, and Calonyction plants.