Morning Glory Tree

Two years ago I bought a Morning Glory Tree, I. fistulosa, at Barton Springs Nursery in Austin.  That’s the only place I’ve ever seen one.  I knew it would be risky in our zone 7b if we had a cold winter.  Austin is a little over a 100 miles south of us and usually doesn’t have the low temperatures we do in a cold winter.  So the plan was to put it in the shed before a freeze.

This picture shows the tree the next spring after it spent the first winter in the heated shed.

This spring we re-potted it into a larger pot.

The tree is 5 feet tall now.  The flowers look just like a morning glory vine blooms but are larger – 3″ to 5″ across.  They open in the morning, but the whole thing looks droopy and sad in the midday sun.

I haven’t found much information on them.  I’ve read that they are root hardy.  I definitely hope that is true.  It is a member of the sweet potato family and can reach 6′ in height.  One source said it is multi-trunked and drought hardy.  I’m not sure about the drought hardy part.  It’s needs lots of water, but it is in a pot that is too small for it.  So far it has one main trunk.  We still have it tied to a pole for stability.The leaves are a different shape from the morning glory vine and are thicker, like tree leaves.  I’ve read that they produce pods with seeds.  Not yet.

I have a grand solution for potting it next year.  I’m not sure it would survive directly in the hard, rocky ground.  If the plan is successful, I’ll let you know.

When I step out on the back patio and see the tree across the yard, I love the sight of the large, white flowers greeting me in the morning.

“Life’s too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don’t.
Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it!”    Listening to Your Life – Frederick Bueckner

8 thoughts on “Morning Glory Tree

  1. My husband bought a pink morning glory tree on craigs list in Corpus Christi for $10. It didn’t look like much then but within a few months it is taller than the house. We cut off branches and stick them in the ground and they GROW.

    • Yours did much better than mine. I’m not sure my morning glory tree survived the winter but won’t give up hope, yet.

    • My mother in law just passed away and she has 2 morning glory trees here. I need to know how to care for them and when to prune them back. They have multiple trunks but are tall and spindly, and growing in all directions. Please help me keep them alive.

      • So sorry for your loss. I also regret that I won’t be of much help to you about the Morning Glory trees. After mine became too large to fit into the shed, it froze and died. It is a tropical plant but was fine as long as it could be protected in the winter. I did not ever prune it and don’t know that it is necessary to do so unless you want to do some reshaping. Hope you have success with maintaining them. Wanda

  2. I was told to trim back to 12″ from the ground in the fall and mulch around the plant base for the winter. You can then take your cuttings and cut into 12″ sticks to root and transplant in the spring. From what I’ve read, you wait 2 days after cutting before putting into water to root as this will allow the cut to form a callus. I have the pink morning glory tree and have enjoyed the beautiful flowers all year so far. Hoping to get several more starts from the pruning. I keep putting off the pruning as I’m not sure exactly when to do it. We’ve got cold fronts coming and dipping into the 40’s though so I think it’s time!

    • That sounds like a good plan. I’ve found that using a rooting compound and starting plants in pots works best. Once they have a healthy root system, they can be planted in the ground.

      You can create a green house inside by putting the pots into clear plastic bags, like produce ones from the grocery store. Water the plants well first and let them drain. Then put them into the bags and tie them securely. Give them a least a month before opening the bags.

      You might one to try one or two this way. Hope this helpful.

      Thanks for reading my blog.

  3. My mom was given a few by a friend, about 3 years ago or so. Hers grow to about 8-10 feet every year. Theyre are so easy to grow and pretty easy to maintain. They practically take care of themselves but I do give them a lil help, every now and again. 🙂 We live in Pipe Creek, Tx, in the Texas Hill Country, about 35 miles NW of San Antonio. Our soil is not the best because we do live atop one of those hills. It has a lot of clay and rock but the first 8′ to 1ft is good top soil. I water the Morning Glory Tree’s about 3 times a week, if its been very dry and hot, and I fertilize them twice a year with Miracle Grow. They have purple or Lavender flowers. The best way to get more is by cuttings. Last year I cut about 8 1/4″ to 1/2 cuttings, put them in water to root. (Best change out the water every 2 days). After they start getting roots, I put them in small 4″ pots with potting soil. I put them in garden early this Spring and they are now about 4′ tall with plenty of flowers. This is my first time on here, so I need to figure out how to send pics but when I do I’ll send some. 🙂

    • Always happy to have a new reader.
      Thanks for all the helpful information about growing Morning Glory Trees. It sounds like you’ve had a lot of success.
      I’m guessing that you do not have hard freezes in your area.

      Love hearing from a passionate gardener.

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