Growing Morning Glories and Moonflowers from Seed – Part Two

Growing Morning Glories and Moonflowers from Seed
Part Two

 

Howdy y’all! 

In Growing Morning Glories and Moonflowers from Seed – Part One, we prepared our morning glory seeds by soaking them in warm water overnight. From the looks of it, we have had great success in sprouting our morning glory seeds!  Today, we are going to plant them in peat pellets to get them started.  We will be keeping them indoors until well past the recommended growth level for transplantation to give them a better chance to harden up before they are exposed to our pervasive, slimy pests.

Take a look at our sprouted seeds:

Morning Glory Seed Sprouts

 

Peat Pellet Kits

As I’ve mentioned before, I love these little peat pellet kits!  They are inexpensive, can be purchased at most any garden center, WalMart, or online, and you can keep the tray and buy peat pellet refills.  Very economical, and they work like a charm.

I have some peat pellets in my tray that got wet when I left them out in the rain one night, so some of mine are partially pre-expanded.  They are, however, bone dry, so they will benefit from the hydration process just as the un-expanded pellets will. 

There are several sizes of peat pellets, and they probably vary by manufacturer.  I am using large ones today because the small ones did not provide enough support previously. 

 

Hydrating the Peat Pellets

The peat pellets have been placed in their tray, and now, it’s time to hydrate.  I recommend using warm water, as it seems to soak in faster.  Don’t pour in a lot at once, or your pellets will be floating around in the tray.  If they pop up, you may want to push them back down gently and hold them, but you don’t have to.  Once they have hydrated, they will stay in their individual compartments much easier. 

Continue pouring warm water into your pellet tray every few minutes until your pellets are completely hydrated.  This could take up to half an hour.  They should all expand to roughly the same height with no more folds in the outer casing. 

 

Dealing with Excess Water

If/When you have water sitting in the bottom of the tray after all of your pellets are fully expanded, it is best to drain this water out to prevent mold and fungus.  You can do this a couple of ways.  I have tried tipping the tray while holding the pellets in place on top – does not work well.  It’s heavy because of the amount of water soaked up by the pellets, and it is cumbersome to manage. 

SyringeI recommend leaving one compartment empty, setting something under the tray to encourage draining to this compartment, and removing the extra water with a syringe.  The kind you get with children’s medicine is perfect for this purpose, and you can usually get one or two of these free at any pharmacy if you don’t have some lying around. 

Funny story: The pharmacist may want to know why you want syringes.  My husband got a few for me to use while flushing our printer’s ink jets, and the pharmacist looked at him like he was crazy when he explained what they were for. 

 

Mapping Our Pellets

Before we plant our seeds, we need to find a way to label our pellets.  This can be a challenge in an area that gets frequently wet, so I make a map instead.  You can draw it on paper or set it up on your computer like I did here.  Just make sure you mark a corner of the tray so you know how your map needs to be oriented. In this case, I have marked it with a piece of teal-colored ribbon that I attached it with a hot glue gun. On the seed map, this is represented by the teal box in the bottom right corner.

 

Dowel Rod & RulerPreparing Our Pellets

Our seed packets in this project tell us to plant our seeds one-quarter inch to one-half inch below the top, depending on the seed type.  One of the easiest ways to measure this within the pellet is to mark a short dowel rod at quarter-inch intervals, as shown below.  You can mark a pencil or anything else handy of that size and shape.  Just make sure you mark it with a permanent marker of some sort. The shape of the rod or pencil makes a convenient sized hole for seed placement. 

Take a small knife or other point and stir up the pellet surface down to about an inch before planting your seeds.  If you plant into matter that is packed too tightly, your seeds may have difficulty finding room to grow. 

Stirring the Peat

 

Growing Morning Glory Seeds

Take your dowel rod (or other stick) and push down into the pellet to the planting depth that the seed packet recommends.  Remember that the seed itself takes up space, so you want to push the entire seed down below the level recommended for seed depth. In this case, we have sprouted five seeds per morning glory variety, so we are going to plant two seeds each in two pellets and one seed in another pellet. 

Carefully place a seed in each hole you made with your rod, and gently pull some of the peat from the surrounding pellet into the hole.  Press the top gently to cover, and place in your tray.  Remember to accurately mark your map!

 

Planting Moonflower Seeds

I am using fifteen of my sixteen compartments, and after planting my morning glories, I have used twelve of my fifteen slots.  Moonflowers will be planted in the remaining three.  These also get planted at a depth of one-quarter inch, but they do not require nicking and soaking.  I am planting two seeds per pellet for a total of six. 

I have marked this on my pellet map, put the clear pellet tray topper on, and now it’s time to grow!  Because we hydrated our pellets before planting, you don’t really need to water them.  However, I’m going to take my syringe and add just a few drops directly on top of each pellet.

 

Final Notes

Make sure you have a good place to keep your pellet tray out of the reach of children and pets.  It does not require a lot of light yet, but you don’t want to put it somewhere you will forget about it.  If you have houseplants, keep your tray nearby.  Since the tray and its clear top make a perfect little greenhouse, watering needs are minimal for a while, but they will outgrow that topper pretty quickly.  We’ll talk about what to do then in my next post.

In the coming days and weeks, I will add photos of the progress and make notes as things progress.  If you have any questions or problems during this process, please let me know, and I’ll help in any way I can.

 

Til next time,
Happy planting, and stay healthy and safe!
Bunny & Greg
The Grey Gnome

Growing Morning Glories & Moonflowers from Seed – Part 1
Growing Morning Glories & Moonflowers from Seed – Part 3
Growing Morning Glories & Moonflowers from Seed – Part 4

11 thoughts on “Growing Morning Glories and Moonflowers from Seed – Part Two”

  1. I love plants! There are a lot I buy every year and then buy again each year. Is there something special about Morning Glories or Moonflowers that could help me? I want to have enough perennials around our property that I don’t have to plant anything else, but knowing that each spring I can add whatever I have the time and resources to plant to liven up the beds with color and varitey. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • Hi Darrin!  Thank you for stopping by the garden! 

      Morning glories are annuals, so you would need to plant them every year, but once they get going, they provide gorgeous color and can be used on trellises or as ground cover (which is what I’m currently going for with mine).  You can even train them to climb up trees without harming the tree. 

      Moonflowers, however, are perennials, so they will keep coming back, and they make these really interesting seed pods – like nothing I’ve ever seen before!  With big, beautiful, white, powerfully fragrant flowers that bloom at night, moonflowers are perfect for decks, patios and other public areas.  Just make sure they get plenty of sun to maximize your blooms.

      My advice is to try both – morning glories and moonflowers are excellent companions that will give you a variety of beauty day and night.

      Reply
  2. Great post with lots of details. I must say, I have no experiencing in planting anything. I have absolutely no green thumb and have never been able to keep plants healthy and most often alive.

    My husband an I just bought a new home and we would really like to start a garden and I am trying to set my mind that I can do this if I maybe learn a little more. I will definitely bookmark your site to help guide me through this new project!

    Reply
    • Congratulations on your new home, Cynthia!  So glad you stopped by the Garden!  My advice is to start small and easy with plants that are already growing rather than starting from seed.  Small, established plants are pretty affordable.  You’ll likely have a lot better results out of the shoot, find out what you like, and get comfortable with the things you need to take care of your plants. 

      Cilantro and rosemary are easy-care plants that you can use in your own cooking.  That gives satisfaction of its own kind!  Best of luck to you, and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.  Your local nursery is your best resource for what grows well in your area during different seasons.

      Thank you!
      Bunny & Greg

      Reply
  3. Helo over there, what more can u say than to say a big thanks to you for sharing this insightful and educating post on growing morning glories and moonflowers from seed…

    Growing morning glories and moonflowers from seeds has been one major interest for me, seeing this article has made it very easy. Anyways I want to know, do morning glories climb??

    Reply
    • Hi Sheddy, and thank you for visiting the Garden!

      Morning glories climb anything they can wrap their vines around.  I have some intertwining with my rose bushes right now, and when some of my vines get long enough, I’m hoping to train them to climb a magnolia tree.  I’ll be sure to post if that works!  They will wrap themselves around other plants, trellises, even each other, or without anything to climb, they will spread out as ground cover, as well.  

      If you want to provide something for them to climb, make sure it is narrow enough for the vines to wrap around, such as netting, a wooden trellis, iron bars, even a chain link fence. Aside from a little maintenance from you to keep them where you want them, they will do the rest!

      Thanks again, and best of luck with your morning glories!

      Bunny & Greg

      Reply
  4. Hey nice article you have there. Your thoughts about growing morning glory and moonflowers are indeed invaluable. I have learnt a whole lot from this article. Nevertheless there are questions I have been wanting to ask, why is there no flowers in my morning glory, can moon flower seeds causes hallucinations ?. If yes what’s the best precaution.

    Reply
    • Hi there, and thank you for visiting the Garden! 

      If you started your morning glories from seed, keep in mind that it can take up to four months before blooms appear, depending on the variety.  Only one of my currently planted varieties has bloomed so far this year – Grandpa Ott, and it took about two months from seed to bloom.  Some varieties do not bloom until August or September.  If your vine seems to be healthy, just be patient.  You will be rewarded!

      As for moonflowers, you are correct! Ingestion of moonflower seeds can cause a number of problems, including hallucinations, heart palpitations, disorientation and other symptoms similar to alcohol and drug intoxication.  Moonflower seeds, morning glory seeds, and many others come with a notation on the packet regarding precautions against toxicity for humans and animals.  Namely, do not eat!

      Thank you for your questions edahnewton1!

      Bunny & Greg

      Reply
  5. This article really takes me back. I grew up on a vegetable farm and we used many of these methods when starting some of our plants indoors. Plants like tomatoes do much better when started inside like this and then moved outside later. 

    I’ve been thinking about getting back into gardening again now many years later and feel your site will be really helpful for that. Will bookmark you for later viewing for sure. 🙂

    Reply
  6. Very easy to navigate and easy to read thanks to your excellent organization and attention to detail. I do not know a whole lot about morning glory or gardening for that matter but after reading this I have definitely learned a lot. I can tell you are very passionate about gardening and you take pride in educating others. 

    Will you post more gardening content in the near future?

    Great Job

    Reply
    • Hi Jacobus, and thank you for visiting the Garden! 

      I appreciate your kind words!  I have a lot of posting planned for the summer, and I am hoping to get another morning glory post up today, so stay tuned!

      Thank you, and have a wonderful weekend!

      Bunny & Greg

      Reply

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