Ipomoea purpurea 'Grandpa Ott's'
Sunset zones: All zones (Western).
USDA zones: All zones. As an annual.
Height: 10-12 feet (3-3.5 m)
Summer until frost.
Funnel shaped flowers of deep purple with a rose star blending to a white throat.
Large, heart-shaped leaves.
Fertile, moist, well-drained soil.
Sow seed in situ in spring after all danger of frost is over and soil has warmed up.
I successfully start morning glory plants early in the greenhouse. In late April I soak the seeds in warm water for 24 hours and then plant seed in seed starting medium and place the seed flat on the heat mat in the greenhouse. Just after seeds germinate, the small seedlings are transplanted into deep pots with a soil based potting medium. They continue to grow in the greenhouse on cold days and brought outside on warmer days until late May. The plants are then brought outside to harden off. Around early June when the soil has warmed, they are carefully transplanted outdoors with as little disturbance to the roots as possible. A handful of complete organic fertilizer is mixed into each planting hole at the time of planting.
If you don't have a greenhouse start your seeds indoors about 2 weeks before last frost. Place in a bright window but take them outside for the day during warm spells. Gradually acclimate seedlings to outdoor living and when soil temperatures warm up transplant seedlings in the ground.
Pests and Diseases:
Slugs, snails, spider mites, white blister, rust, fungal leaf spots, stem rot, and thread blight may be a problem.
Rainy Side Notes
In 1972, entheogen researcher Jonathan Ott passed this heirloom morning glory seed from Bavaria down to his granddaughter, Diane Whealy. This deep purple flower was the inspiration to start the The Seed Saver's Exchange.
Morning glory's growth spurts are amazing. In early May I. 'Grandpa Ott's' is still a tiny seedling in a pot. Planted out in early June, by July it can cover a fence or obelisk completely. I covered an obelisk with 6 plants dug in around the base. Protect from slugs and snails while plants are small.
Do not ingest any part of this plant.
Photographed in author's garden.