Step Eight: Ongoing Nourishment

   Keeping your vines vining

Based on what I have gleaned from the internet, read on social media, and learned through trial and error, the following diet is what I would recommend for my grow-zone. The Morning Glory is a delicate beauty. It tolerates 50°F to 90°F with around 80°F to 85°F being most conducive to growth. Frost will kill it, even near frost with strong wings can end their lives. Too much water can destroy the seeds, young plants, and even more mature plants if the ground is not well drained. Once the morning glory gets big enough, your only concern will be them not getting enough water for the most part. When they are young, your concerns will be digging pests such as raccoons and squirrels, as well as caterpillars, slugs, snails, and grasshoppers. These concerns will continue on through the entire youth of the plant on through maturity. Once the plant is big enough, it can withstand much, except extreme heat, complete dehydration or frost.
Keep the seeds moist until they sprout.
Cautiously water sprouts, too much water is easy to let happen and can be deadly to the new plant.
Water in five second intervals with the water on very light strength when the plant is young, gradually increasing seconds and water strength as the plant grows and gets stronger. Use around five more seconds each month.
Be careful to never use water strength that is too hard on the morning glory as it can irreparably harm the plant.
By the first bloom, you should be watering for 5-10 seconds on medium-low strength, depending on how many plants you have in your bed/container.
Check the soil to see how moist it is. If it is very moist, do not water until it is barely damp, or almost dry. Keep it just damp enough that the top soil is almost completely dry the next day when you water again.
Water daily in a set rhythm, preferably in the cool morning, NOT in the evening if you can help it. Evening watering invites diseases. If you get heavy rains, then let them dry out until they are almost dry if in a container. I would still give them a little water every day just in case it didn’t rain enough, unless the flower bed soil is waterlogged. Water the soil a little every day if you can even in the wet season. Check the soil to be sure. Gently press the tip of your index finger into the soil in an area that will not damage the morning glory plant or roots. Press into the soil about half an inch. The dryer that is, the more water it may need. Beware of over-watering. Watch the soil and leaves to see when you need to increase your water amounts.
If you get extreme heat such as 90°F or higher, you may need to temporarily increase the amount of water you give them quickly until better temperatures return.
The Japanese Morning Glory is more sensitive to heat above 90°F and will likely perish in very hot climates. It can tolerate some heat to a point which depends on direct sunlight, water, etc. If you have a location which gets partial sun in the summer, that may be ideal for the Japanese Morning Glory. The Ipomoea Purpurea and Tricolor can survive in direct sun and hot temperatures as long as they are sufficiently hydrated. In the hot season, adding water may cause the vines to grow exponentially depending on how much heat and how much water given regularly.
Mushrooms may appear if you water too much. Be careful not to reduce the amount of water too quickly as the Morning Glory may cease blooming temporarily or possibly even perish. Those little mushrooms appear in my nursery pots which don’t get as much sunlight as others (but still get the same number of seconds of water). Just water a few seconds less the next day unless they appear very waterlogged, then give them just a little water until the top soil starts to dry out.
Fertilizing is pretty easy. Use Miracle Gro Bloom Booster fertilizer. Use a gallon to a gallon and a half watering container. Pour in one tablespoon of Miracle Gro for each gallon. I use the water hose connected to the water sprayer to pour water in the gallon container which helps agitate and stir the solution as it fills the container. Water with the mixture for the same amount of seconds you would water it with just plain water and count that as your daily watering. As you increase the seconds of water you give your plants, increase the seconds for the Miracle Gro solution. Fertilize when you sow the seed, then once a month until the plant perishes. I would not recommend using more Miracle Gro in the solution nor would I recommend fertilizing the plants more than once a month. That made the vine grow too much and bloom a lot less.
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