Garden Talk

with Rebecca Jordi

Q: I am thinking about planting beach morning glory on my dune areas behind my beach house. What can you tell me about this plant?

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Fiddleleaf Morning Glory

Fiddleleaf Morning Glory

A:  The common beach morning glory is generally not cold tolerant enough for our area as it typically grows in cold hardiness zones 10-11.  Perhaps consider planting Fiddle-leaf morning glory, Ipomoea stolonifera, which is a better choice for the Northeast part of Florida with cold hardiness zones 8b – 9a.  The fiddle-leaf morning glory is an herbaceous, evergreen vine native to the southeastern United States. This plant, unlike the beach morning glory, can be grown throughout Florida and along the coast. Fiddle-leaf morning glory attains a height of 4 to 6 inches but can spread along the ground to a distance of 75 feet. The small, thick, glossy green leaves are ovate-cordate in shape and densely cover the stems. Most leaves are divided into 5 lobes in a more or less star shape. This plant roots and branches at the nodes and spreads very rapidly. The white, funnel-shaped flowers of the fiddle-leaf morning glory are generally 2 ½ to 3 inches wide. They open in the early morning and close before noon each day during the blooming season; the flowers are borne in the summer and fall. Small, round seedpods contain four velvety; dark brown seeds appear on this plant after flowering. It grows in full sun, is highly drought tolerant with good salt tolerance.  Like so many of the species in the Ipomoea genus, it can be “weedy” but when the desire it to reduce soil or dune erosion – Fiddle-leaf morning glory might be a good choice.  For more complete information consider looking at the University of Florida following publication:  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fp285

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