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How to Grow Convolvulus –Morning Glory

Convolvulus tricolor
Convolvulus tricolor -- blue, white, yellow

Convolvulus, commonly called morning glory, is a genus of mostly annuals and perennials that are trailing or somewhat trailing. Convolvulus bear wide, funnel-shaped flowers that are blue, white, or pink sometimes with white centers.

Convolvulus can be grown in sunny herbaceous borders, on sunny banks, or in rock gardens.

Convolvulus is a genus of about 250 species of annuals, perennials, and subshrubs. Convolvulus can be found in sub-tropical and tropical regions around the world. Most are native to the Mediterranean region and North Africa.

Flowers of Convolvulus tricolor in mixed colors.
Flowers of Convolvulus tricolor in mixed colors.

Get to Know Convolvulus

  • Plant type: Perennials and annuals (see varieties below)
  • Growing zones and range: Zones 8 to 11
  • Hardiness: Hardy to 10°F (-12°C). Hardy to Zone 8.
  • Height and width: 12 inches (30cm) tall and 24 inches (61cm) wide.
  • Foliage: Trailing or climbing stems with entire, often heart- or arrow-shaped leaves.
  • Flowers: Wide funnel-shaped flowers are borne singly or in clusters;
  • Flower colors: Blue, purple, lilac, red, pink, and white, with a band of white around the yellow throat.
  • Bloom time: Late spring and summer; Convolvulus blooms during the day, flowers close at night
  • Uses: All types are good as edging, against low trellis, or at top of wall.
  • Common name: Morning glory
  • Botanical name: Convolvulus
  • Family name: Convolvulaceae 
  • Origin: Mediterranean region and North Africa

Where to Plant Convolvulus

  • Plant Convolvulus in full sun in a warm, protected site spot.
  • Convolvulus will grow in average to moderately fertile soil.

Convolvulus Uses and Companions

  • Grow Convolvulous in a rock garden, a sunny bank or in a mixed or herbaceous border.
  • Use Convolvulus in foregrounds and as small-scale ground cover.
  • Good garden companions for Convolvulus include Achillea, Coreopsis, Gaura lindheimeri, Lobelia laxiflora, Oenothera.

When to Plant Convolvulus

  • Sow seeds of anuals in the garden in midspring or in autumn.
  • In short-growing-season region, start seeds indoors 6 weeks before the last frost.
  • Sow seed of perennials in warm soil in spring.
  • Set container-grown plant in the garden in spring.
Convolvulus arvensis
Convolvulus arvensis

Planting and Spacing Convolvulus

  • Space annual Convolvulus tricolor 12 inches (30cm) apart.
  • Space perennial Convolvulus cneorum 36 inches (91cm) apart.

How to Water and Feed Convolvulus

  • Convolvulus grows best in just moist soil. Avoid constantly wet soil. 
  • Fertilize Convolvulus with an all-purpose, slow-release, organic fertilizer in spring.

Convolvulus Care

  • Deadhead annuals to prolong flowering.
  • Confine potentially invasive species by planting in a container plunged in the soil.

Convolvulus Pests and Diseases

  • Convolvulus can be attached by spider mites and aphids.
  • Convolvulus is susceptible to Septoria leaf spot.
Field flowers Convolvulus arvensis
Field flowers Convolvulus arvensis

Convolvulus Propagation

  • Sow seeds indoors in individual pots 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost date at 70° to 80°F (21°-26.7°C).
  • Sow the seed outdoors after the last frost date once temperatures remain above 50°F (10°C) or sow seeds in fall for early bloom the following spring.
  • Before sowing, nick the hard seed coats with a file or soak seeds in warm water for 24 hours. Germination takes 1 to 2 weeks at 55° to 65°F (10°-18.3°C).
  • Perennials and shrubs can be propagated by cuttings taken in late spring or early summer. 
  • Root perennial greenwood cuttings in summer.
  • Divide perennials in spring.

Convolvulus Varieties to Grow

  • Convolvulus cneorum.Silverbush. Perennial. Mounding shrub to 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide; lance-shaped, silver-green leaves; clusters of 1 ½-inch-wide white flowers with yellow centers bloom in spring and summer.
  • C. sabatius. Tender perennial. Trailing plant grows to 6-inches tall and 20 inches wide with ovate leaves and lavender-blue, funnel-shaped, ½- to 1-inch-wide flowers from summer to early fall.
  • C. tricolor. Dwarf morning glory. Annual or short-lived perennial. Grows 1-to 1 ½-foot-tall with ovate to lance-shaped leaves; solitary trumpet-shaped flowers, 1 ½-inch-wide are rich blue with yellow-and-white throats; blooms in summer; blooms last only a day and close in cloudy weather. ‘Blue Flash’ and ‘Rainbow Flash’ are strains of mixed colors that grow to just 6 inches tall.


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