How to Sprout Morning Glory Seeds


Many beginning gardeners read about how easy morning glory is to grow, and set their minds to having a patch of trailing vines in their yard. While morning glory is generally easy to cultivate, getting the seeds to start is tricky. The seeds are surrounded by a tough, woody coating that is usually removed by scraping on rocks or being digested by animals in the wild. Imitate the actions of nature the next time you plant morning glory, and you'll have much greater success with your vining garden.

Step 1

Dig your morning glory bed in a place that gets full sun for at least six hours. Morning sun is best, as these flowers bloom for the first half of the day. Situate the bed near a fence, trellis or other support structure for the vines.

Step 2

Dig down 6 inches to remove any rocks or roots that will prevent the flowers from growing easily. Mix in a 4-inch layer of compost with the top soil where your morning glory seeds will be planted.

Step 3

Scarify your seeds to help them to sprout. Scarifying is the act of scraping away a portion of the outer coating of a seed, much like it happens in nature when the seed is eaten and digested or falls against sand or rocks on the ground. Rub the side of each seed against sandpaper or an emery board to scrape away a small amount of the shell. Always rub the side of the seed, not the point.

Step 4

Plant your scarified morning glory seeds in your prepared bed. Plant the seeds 1/4-inch deep and about 6 inches apart. Water the bed thoroughly after covering the seeds. You should see leaves sprouting from the earth in about three to five days.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel or trowel
  • Compost
  • Morning glory seeds
  • Sandpaper or emery board


  • Organic Gardening: Pretreatments for Slow-to-Germinate Seeds
  • University of Nebraska: Annual Vines in the Landscape
Keywords: sprout morning glory, grow morning glory, vining flowers

About this Author

Anne Baley is a writer and photographer living in Southeast Michigan. She has written dozens of articles about places she has discovered while traveling throughout the United States. Baley's work has appeared in a variety of online outlets, including EndlessSunday, GardenGuides and Travels.