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Morning Glory (Ipomoea purpurea)

Crop Impacts: Vegetable fields and gardens

Morning Glory 1

About Morning Glory:

Morning Glory is a summer annual broadleaf vine that reproduces by seeds and is also very frequently called tall Morning Glory. It is commonly used as an ornamental plant, but when not managed properly it becomes a vicious vine and can damage other crops and plants if it starts to grow among them. Morning Glory prefers moist soil but cannot tolerate freezing conditions. When consumed in very high quantities, it can be harmful to humans and livestock.

Family: Bindweed family (Convolvulaceae)

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Morning Glory Scouting and Prevention:

When looking for Morning Glory in your gardens and fields, seedlings have butterfly or heart shaped leaves, meaning they have two lobes per leaf. The lobes on these leaves are equal in length and width; they can be glossy with gland spots on their upper surface. The stock of a young Morning Glory is typically purple to reddish at the base. For a mature Morning Glory, a vine can quickly grow up to 15 ft. tall with very long stems that branch off from one another, twisting and climbing over everything. More times than not, the leaves are heart shaped but can sometimes have 3 lobes. No matter how many lobes per leaf, they are about 3 to 5 inches long and alternate along the vine. The Morning Glory produces flowers that bloom from June to November and vary from pink, blue, purple, white or even bi-colored. These flowers grow in clusters from 2 to 5 flowers and have a similar shape to that of a funnel. The seeds produced by Morning Glory are brow to black in colour and are about 4 to 6 mm long. They germinate at about 4 inches or deeper under the soils surface, are oval in shape and have a granular surface.

Common locations

  • - Moist soil
  • - Agronomic fields
  • - Vegetable fields
  • - Gardens


To prevent Morning Glory from entering your vegetable and ornamental gardens, lay down landscape fabric or polypropylene plastic, which blocks the sun from reaching the soil. The fabric does not provide 100% control against the weeds and if you put holes in the plastic or fabric for desirable plants to grow through, the Morning Glory may sneak in as well. Make sure when you seed a new area that you do so with certified weed-free seeds.

Morning Glory Control:

Cultural Control

Removing fully matured Morning Glory by hand is an unrealistic task that could take years to fully get rid of. However, removing seedlings in early spring by hand when the soil is damp can be affective. Another cultural control method to get rid of Morning Glory is covering it in mulch or black plastic. That being said, the mulch and plastic will have to stay on top of the Morning Glory for several years to be successful.

Chemical Control

Herbicide control for Morning Glory is much more effective. If you are looking to control it on your lawn, herbicides that have 2,4-D and dicama will kill Morning Glory and not your turf. To get the most effective control on your turf, apply one of these active ingredients several times over the summer months. It has been suggested that with herbicides that have 2,4-D in it should be applied in small areas with 1 gallon of herbicide and 1 gallon of water. Make sure you follow the instructions on the package. Glyphosate is another herbicide that can control mature Morning Glory plants without damaging desirable plants nearby. It has also been suggested to be applied with a 2% solution of glyphosate herbicide. It will take a few weeks for the weeds above-ground to die off, and it will take several applications for you to have completely eradicated the Morning Glory. If you are worried about glyphosate ruining desirable plants in ornamental areas, carefully paint the leaves with the 2% glyphosate herbicide solution with a foam paintbrush to reduce the drift of the herbicide.

Latin / Alternative Morning Glory names:

  • - Ipomoea purpurea
  • - Tall morning glory
  • - Purple morning glory

Additional Morning Glory Resources