One of our all time favourite climbing plants has to be the famously elegant and mind altering Morning Glory. As we step out into the garden around a trellis pole wraps this small vine adorned with stunning trumpet-shaped blooms. Their blue elegance greets you good morning.
Morning glories have been the focus of honor and beauty for many, many years. Native to Mexico, the ancient Aztecs and Mayans worshipped the plant they believed to be spiritual and a bridge to the Gods. In ancient China, they were also used for spiritual and medicinal purposes.
The blooms were seen cultivated and growing in Japanese gardens during the 9th century, the Japenese believing the flowers were a symbol of mortality. Morning glories spread worldwide and entered the United States via Mexico. Due to the plant’s invasive nature, the plant is now dubbed a noxious weed in SW US.
Ipomoea purpurea, although sometimes considered “noxious,” is such a wonderful addition to the garden. Keeping them under control is quite easy and so is the growing process. Once the frost has gone on its way for the year, you can go ahead and sow your seeds. There are many different colors you can choose, from blue to white and purple. Make sure to soak the seeds before you plant and provide them with at least 8 inches of space in between each seed.
For the ideal spot, try and find something sunny – They love the sun. If there is a bit of shade they won’t mind, but they won’t burst as much. Plant the seeds in early Spring, preferably next to a trellis or something the vines can grab a hold of and climb. They can bloom from May to September and if you’re in a warmer region they may re-seed and you won’t even have to replant the following year.
In regards to soil, morning glories are notorious for accepting poor, dry soil. Roadsides, fences, sides of a house – You name it. Although they aren’t picky, they do have a preference. If you can provide them with well-drained moist soil, they will go nuts! And we promise you won’t be thinking they are very noxious when those trumpets start to bloom.
Divination, faeries, and a symbol of the human life cycle. From the heavens to the earth, morning glories walk them all. The Aztecs and Mayans used morning glory seeds in hallucinogenic rituals and ceremonies in order to communicate with the Gods. They believed the plant had a spirit and that they would provide vision quests.
The morning glory has long been associated with faeries and people thought that planting them would attract them into their gardens. Seen as good luck, if faeries entered a garden then the caretaker would be blessed with health and a bounty.
As a symbol of all matters of love, different colors of morning glory represent affection, passion, and even marriage. The British believed that the different phases of the plant blooming symbolized stages of human life. Since it blooms early in the morning, comes to full bloom during the late morning and closes during the afternoon, it is easy to follow the blossom’s likeness to youth to adulthood to older life. Christians also believed that the flower represents the cycle of life.
Use in medicine
Morning glories have been used medicinally for centuries. In ancient China and Mexico, the herb was used as a laxative and for stomach issues. A tea from the leaves was sometimes used for headaches and tea from the roots was used as a diuretic and expectorant on occasion.
Although the seeds are psychoactive (containing lysergic acid amide or LSA), they are highly toxic and it is not recommended to venture down that path. While ancient priests and shamans used it to connect with other realms, it is very easy to become heavily intoxicated and feel pretty ill should the seeds be consumed.
The flower essence is one for those that need to reset their internal clock. Consistent patterns of nightlife can wear on the soul leaving one exhausted and unconnected. Morning glory essence will bring about the energy of the morning helping to set the soul with the cycle of the earth.
“The morning glory which blooms for an hour differs not at heart from a giant pine that lives for a thousand years.” – Alan Watts
It may be easy to get caught up in the rush. Being constantly in motion, ever hustling and grinding. We think this beauty reminds us to be present. Stop and smell the…Morning Glories. Wake up before everyone else and step outside to hear the world stir and wake up. If you are perpetually moving, you may miss the quick beauty that is only open for a bit, but fills the soul more than most things.