How to Grow Morning Glory Vines in Containers

Morning glories, Ipomoea purpurea, are quick-growing vines, popular for their colorful flowers that open each morning from summer until the first frost of fall.

Reaching between six and 10 feet in height, this fairly aggressive plant can take over a garden if you aren’t careful.

A close up vertical image of a morning glory vine with deep purple flowers growing in a container climbing up a trellis.

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Fortunately, they are easy to grow in containers, which can be particularly advantageous if you are worried about them spreading.

Read on to learn how to plant morning glories in pots.

Advantages of Container Growing

I love growing morning glories! They come in all sorts of colors, can add vertical dimension to the garden when trained up trellises, and pollinators love them.

A close up horizontal image of blue Ipomoea purpurea flowers growing on a white metal fence.

The only downside is that because they grow rapidly and self-seed readily, they have a tendency to take over gardens.

Sometimes they can wind around and suffocate other plants.

A close up vertical image of a large morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea) vine that has taken over one section of the garden.

Fortunately, container growing is an easy way to keep these vines under control, reducing the risk of a hostile takeover.

This also gives you the freedom to set them anywhere, like a balcony or patio.

A close up horizontal image of a large Ipomoea purpurea vine growing up a wall attached to a trellis.

Since this plant is a perennial in warmer climates, you can even choose to grow it indoors, or move the pots inside for the winter.

How to Plant

Look for a pot with drainage holes that is at least eight to 10 inches wide, and six inches deep.

A close up horizontal image of two small pink morning glory flowers growing on a wooden fence.

Plant in a light potting soil that drains well. Adding some gravel to the bottom of the container will help ensure holes don’t get clogged.

You can start seeds indoors in the container about four to six weeks before the last frost, or start outside once the soil has warmed to 60°F.

Soaking seeds overnight prior to planting can help improve germination. Sow seeds at 1/4 inch deep and water well.

Once seedlings emerge, thin to no more than two or three plants per pot.

A close up horizontal image of Ipomoea purpurea seedlings growing in a small container.

For more details on how to propagate and grow morning glories, read our full guide.

Set the planter somewhere that receives full sun, and that is sheltered from strong wind.

Be sure to set a trellis in the pot, or set the container next to or beneath something the vine can climb and whorl around, such as a fence or archway.

A close up vertical image of a plastic planter with a built in trellis for growing vines isolated on a white background.

Savannah Planter with Trellis

You can even find pots and planters that have a trellis built in, such as this one from Wayfair.

You can also plant them in hanging baskets and let them trail over the side.

A close up vertical image of a morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea) vine growing in a window box outside a residence.

Water two times a week or more during dry weather, and be especially attentive to soil moisture if you are keeping it indoors.

A close up horizontal image of a bright blue Ipomoea purpurea flower with the petals covered in droplets of water.

Tip: Morning glories work well planted with other climbing vines such as the moonflower, which blooms late in the day. Try planting both together in the same planter for flowers in the morning and the evening!

Growing Indoors

If you are keeping your morning glories indoors, remember that these vines need quite a bit of sun, at least six to eight hours a day.

A close up horizontal image of pink morning glory flowers growing in a container indoors.

They grow best in direct bright light and should be set in a sunny south or southeast facing window.

A close up horizontal image of seedlings growing in biodegradable pots set on a windowsill with wicker baskets in the background.

Make sure they have something to vine around so they stay contained. You may also choose to prune during the summer to slow growth and encourage blooming.

Deadhead spent flower heads and trim back lateral stems that sprout to keep vines from growing out of control.

A close up horizontal image of purple morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea) flowers growing in the garden pictured in light filtered sunshine.

Indoor plants should be watered with a fine mist during initial growth to keep the soil moist but not soggy.

Once plants are well established, water thoroughly a couple of times a week at the soil level, letting the soil dry out before watering again.

In late fall, cut plants back to about six inches tall and reduce watering. The vine will resume growth once spring arrives.

A close up square image of a plastic bottle of AgroThrive General Purpose Liquid Fertilizer isolated on a white background.

AgroThrive Fertilizer

To encourage blooming, you may also feed plants every few weeks with a balanced organic fertilizer during the growing season, such as AgroThrive General Purpose Liquid Fertilizer, available from Arbico Organics.

It’s a Win-Win Situation

Learn to grow morning glories in containers and you will no longer need to worry about vines taking over your garden.

A close up horizontal image of a purple morning glory flower with water droplets on the petals pictured on a soft focus background.

Instead, you can add color and vertical dimension to porches, patios, or even your living room.

Have you grown morning glories in containers? Share your tips and photos in the comments below!

If you found this information helpful, check out these articles next to learn more about morning glory flowers next:

About Heather Buckner

Heather Buckner hails from amongst the glistening lakes of Minnesota, and now lives with her family on a beautiful homestead in the Vermont Mountains. She holds a bachelor of science degree in environmental science from Tufts University, and has traveled and worked in many roles in conservation and environmental advocacy, including creating and managing programs based around resource conservation, organic gardening, food security, and building leadership skills. Heather is a certified permaculture designer and student herbalist. She is also a fanatical gardener, and enjoys spending as much time covered in dirt as possible!

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Stephen Gruber
Stephen Gruber (@guest_15149)
23 days ago

We watered ours everyday and they grew like crazy, but didn’t start blooming til October this year. Which in Minnesota is rare to not get a freeze before October.