Are morning glories deer resistant?

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  • Category: Woody Ornamentals
  • Mature Height: 2-4′
  • Mature Width: 2-4′
  • Light Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Water Requirements: low
  • Hardiness Zones: 10, 8, 9

Convolvulus cneorum or Bush morning glory is a small yet fast-growing blooming shrub. When in bloom plants make quite a bold statement in the landscape. Bush morning glory gets its name from the profusion of white funnel-fused flowers the plants produce. Flowers are approximately 1.5-2” in diameter and resemble classic morning glory flowers. The evergreen silver lance-shaped foliage reaches about one inch in length. During the growing season this attractive little shrub will be completely covered with flowers that bees adore. It’s the perfect addition to xeriscape and Mediterranean gardens with water-wise maintenance. Bush morning glory is also suitable for containers since it stays relatively small at only 2-4’ tall and wide. Grow plants in full sun for best results, as planting in too much shade can cause plant to become leggy and bloomless. Bush morning glory needs excellent soil drainage, so it is imperative to improve soil texture at planting time. Excess moisture, especially during winter, won’t be tolerated. Plant this shrub slightly above soil grade to avoid crown rot. Plants can be pruned back hard in late-winter to refresh them for spring.

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Bush Morning Glory Tree Ipomoea Carnea Seeds

Packet of 10+ freshly harvest seeds!

Unlike most other Ipomoea, or morning glory family, this fella isn’t a vine.

It’s a medium to large bush or tree, with great big furry seeds that look like some sort of hairy little critter. The flowers are slightly larger than most morning glory vines, and they last all day too, which is a bonus especially in the heat.

It is not a prohibited plant in any state of Australia, and is not either of the weedy vines Ipomoea cairica, or Ipomoea indica.

It is sometimes known as Ipomoea fistulosa, or by the common names Bush Morning Glory, Morning Glory Tree, Badoh Negro, Borrachero, Matacabra or Canudo de pita in Brazil, which means Pipe Cane.

It got this name because the hollow stems were used to make smoking pipes, by the religious group the Canudos of Bahia.

I do not recommend or encourage this in any way, it’s just a bit of trivia.

It accumulates large amounts of Selenium in the seeds and leaves, and this large amount of Selenium has proven toxic to cattle.

Selenium is an essential trace element, but it is fatal in large doses as the body doesn’t excrete it very well. So don’t bloody eat it, it’s an ornamental not a salad.

The internet tells me it contains a component identical to marsilin, which is a sedative and anticonvulsant, and a glycosidic saponin has also been purified from Ipomoea carnea with anticarcinogenic and oxytoxic properties.

Medicinally, its roots are boiled to use as laxative and to provoke menstruation, and the milky sap is used by traditional healers for skin diseases.
However, it’s very dangerous when used wrongly, as it’s a depressant on the central nervous system, and a relaxant for muscles meaning important stuff like breathing and staying alive can become an issue…

To me, it’s just another beautiful Ipomoea Species, and I grow it purely as an ornamental.

It does great in pots, is super drought hardy, flowers pretty much constantly, the bees love it as it produces heaps of nectar, and it isn’t weedy like its relatives can be.

I grew these seeds ourselves, but I always dump them after a couple months. For this reason I sometimes get them from a friends place, especially if I am having trouble keeping up with demand.

Regardless of where I get them, the seeds will always be harvested and sent out quickly, as they do not store very well.

Best planted within a couple months, a soak in cup of warm water overnight can speed up the germination process.

Bush Morning Glory Care: How To Grow A Bush Morning Glory Plant

By Karen Boness
Owner of Wild Willow Landscape Design

Growing bush morning glory plants is easy. This low maintenance plant requires very little care; yet, it will reward you with lovely year-round foliage and copious blossoms spring through fall. Read on to learn more about how to grow a bush morning glory plant.

What is Bush Morning Glory?

The bush morning glory plant (Convolvulus cneorum) is a beautiful, silvery foliaged shrub that comes from the Mediterranean region of Europe. It has a neat, dense round shape and grows 2-4′ tall by 2-4′ wide. This evergreen plant is also quite hardy but it can be damaged by temperatures below 15°F. (-9 C).

Its funnel-shaped, showy, three-inch flowers are white with a pink tint. Bees and other nectar loving critters are drawn to these flowers. The bush morning glory plant is drought tolerant, although it does need some additional water in the desert. It requires very good drainage and lean soil, as it is susceptible to root rot and other fungal diseases.

Fertilizing and overwatering this plant leads to feeble, floppy stems. The bush morning glory performs best in the sun. It can also survive in shady conditions but will form a looser, sprawling shape and its flowers will only partially open. The bush morning glory is not weedy, so it won’t take over your garden like some other morning glories. It is fairly deer resistant and is only occasionally bothered by deer.

Tips for Growing Bush Morning Glory Plants

Bush morning glory care is simple and straightforward. Plant it in full sun. If your garden has poor drainage where you want to install the bush morning glory, plant it on a mound or slightly raised area. Do not amend the planting hole with rich compost or other heavy amendments. Do not fertilize. Water this plant with drip irrigation and avoid overhead sprayers. Do not overwater.

Because the bush morning glory plant typically holds its symmetrical form, you don’t have prune it much. To refresh this plant, cut its foliage way back every two to three years. This is best done in fall or winter. If you are growing bush morning glory in a shady spot, you may need to cut it back more often, as it can get leggy. Provide frost protection in the winter if your temperatures drop below 15°F.

As you can see, growing bush morning glory is simple as long as you provide it with the right conditions. The bush morning glory plant is truly a low maintenance plant. With so much beauty and so little care, why not install several of them in your garden this next growing season?

Bush Morning Glory

Bush Morning Glory

If you are a fan of the lovely morning glory vines and their saucer shaped colorful blooms but just don’t have the space for a large sprawling vine, bush morning glory can make a great substitute. Although not a true morning glory, these shrubby annuals are actually in the bindweed family. But don’t be alarmed, these annual plants are not climbing or twining so there is no need to worry about them choking out other nearby plants. They form small mounds of brightly tricolor blooms for long periods and often times self seed for years of color.

genus name
  • Convolvulus tricolor
  • Sun
plant type
  • Annual
  • 1 to 3 feet
  • From 1 to 2 feet
flower color
  • Blue,
  • Purple,
  • White,
  • Pink,
  • Yellow
foliage color
  • Blue/Green
season features
  • Fall Bloom,
  • Summer Bloom
special features
  • Low Maintenance,
  • Good for Containers
  • 2,
  • 3,
  • 4,
  • 5,
  • 6,
  • 7,
  • 8,
  • 9,
  • 10,
  • 11
  • Seed

Annual morning glories providequick color that won’t overwhelma lightweight arbor.

Colorful Combinations

If you are a fan of big, bold colors, bush morning glories are a great choice for your garden. The most common varieties show off some truly stunning colored blooms in a trio of shades, with a yellow center, white mid ring, and rich blue outer ring. If those colors are a bit too intense for your garden palette, there are several more subdued shades available as well. As most of these plants are seed grown varieties, the colors can vary slightly, especially when purchased as a seed mix. These mixes often come with shades of soft pink, white, purple and blue.

Almost all of the varieties have tri-colored blooms. These lovely flowers are borne in profusion from early summer into the fall, in mild climates they may not quit until the frost knocks them out! The foliage is a simple heart shaped leaf in a nice medium green color that makes a good backdrop for the standout flowers.

Bush Morning Glory Care Must-Knows

This easy to grow annual can add loads of color to borders and containers with very little input. Hailing form Mediterranean areas of the world, bush morning glory plants like well drained soils that don’t stay too wet. This makes them a great choice for use in rock gardens for seasonal color, but they also do just fine in regular garden soils. As they get started from seed, keep the plants watered regularly so they stay nice and moist until established. At this point, they tolerate drought quite well. Bush morning glory plants are used to growing in fairly poor soils, so don’t over fertilize them, otherwise you will get lots of lush green foliage and lanky growth and very few flowers.

It’s also important to grow bush morning glories in full sun. This helps to keep plant habits from becoming too sprawling and makes sure there is a constant supply of blooms throughout their peak season. Too much shade can lead to floppy plants with an open habit that isn’t very appealing in a garden setting. They also bloom much more poorly in lower light settings.

Because bush morning glories are such easy to grow plants, and also fast growers, you typically won’t see plants available for sale. These plants are easily started from seed in the spring, and can be sown directly in the ground. The seeds have a fairly hard outer coating, so score them with a file or give them a little knick with a nail clippers to help them take up water more quickly. After they bloom, bush morning glory tends to seed about the garden some, and seeds can be collected for future years planting as well.

More Varieties of Bush Morning Glory

‘Ensign Blue’ Bush Morning Glory

Convolvulus ‘Ensign Blue’ bears gorgeous true-blue flowers with a clear yellow eye. It grows 18 inches tall.

‘Ensign White’ Bush Morning Glory

Convolvulus ‘Ensign White’ bears beautiful white flowers that have a yellow eye. Plants grow about 18 inches tall.

Ground Morning Glory

Convolvulus mauritanicus is a drought-resistant groundcover with gray-green leaves and sky blue flowers in summer. It grows 1 foot tall and 3 feet wide. Perennial in Zones 8-9.

Plant Bush Morning Glory With:

You can depend on this cottage-garden favorite to fill your garden with color all season long. The simple, daisylike flowers appear in cheery shades on tall stems that are great for cutting. The lacy foliage makes a great backdrop for shorter plants, as well. Cosmos often self-seeds in the garden, so you may only have to plant it once, though the colors can appear muddy or odd in the reseeders.Plant cosmos from seed directly in the ground in spring. Or start from established seedlings. This flower doesn’t like fertilizing or conditions that are too rich, which causes the foliage to be large and lush but with fewer blooms. It does best with average moisture but will tolerate drought.

Cheery melampodium has sunshine-yellow flowers on deeply green leaves. It’s a mainstay for hot, sunny spots, where it will produce a profusion of yellow daisy-shape blooms all summer. While it likes heat and sun, it doesn’t like dry conditions. It must be kept moist, or it will wither and likely not recover.Melampodium is an excellent plant for containers or in the front of the border (especially in slightly soggy soil). Its tidy growth habit makes it a good pick for edging, too. Plant it outdoors after all danger of frost has passed.

There are few gardens that don’t have at least one salvia growing in them. Whether you have sun or shade, a dry garden or lots of rainfall, there’s an annual salvia that you’ll find indispensable. All attract hummingbirds, especially the red ones, and are great picks for hot, dry sites where you want tons of color all season. Most salvias don’t like cool weather, so plant them outdoors after all danger of frost has passed.

Medium Shrubs for background plants are: Grevillia Noeli, grows to about 4×4 with red flowers in early spring. Grevillia Canberra grows to about 8×8 and looks very similar. Barberry (photo left) has a beautiful reddish leaf. “Crimson Pygmy Barberry” has a purple leaf and only grows to about 2×2 while other varieties such as “Gold Ring, Atropurpurea, and Rosy Glow” get upwards of 4 feet tall and have beautiful fall colors (red).

Then there are the evergreen varieties that have glossy green leaves and yellow flowers. They usually have some mean stickers, so plant them where you won’t have to fuss with them; the deer don’t like “fussing” with them either.

With this purple foliage, something grey looks fantastic. Luckily there are many plants that are “deer resistant” and grey! Artemesia is a perfect combination with the Purple Barberry; there are all different sizes too! Silver Mound only gets a foot tall and wide while “Powis Castle” can get 2-3 feet tall and wide! We usually keep different varieties of this plant in stock.

Noteworthy Mentions

Rockrose or Cistus green foliage with pink, or white flowers
Teucrium fruticans ~ small evergreen, hardy bush with grey foliage and periwinkle blue flowers during the summer. Prefers a full sun position.
Mahonia or Oregon Grape ~ spiny, evergreen foliage, yellow flowers in autumn, winter and early spring, with blue-black berries. Prefers partial shade.

Mahonia Saracoccoa ~ A glossy green evergreen with fragrant flowers! Partial to full shade.

Rosemary ~ These have hundreds of tiny, violet flowers that the deer will not touch because of the odor of its spiky, needle-like leaves.

Juniper ~ There are many different varieties that don’t look like the old fashioned “Tam” There are beautiful, upright conical ones that add height to your yard, and ground covers that keep the weeds down, hold the hills and look good all year round! They are evergreen with needle-like leaves.

Lambs Ear ~ yes, it comes in a small form, with fuzzy, velvety leaves, and purplish or white flowers in late spring.

Salvia ~ this genus is incredible — low growing forms all the way up to varieties that get up to 5 feet tall (Believe it….or not)!

Shrubs & Trees ~ Acacia, Bamboo, Barberry, Bottlebrush, Boxwood, Lilac, Oleander, Rhododendron, Smoke Tree, Spirea, and Viburnum.

Vines ~ Bougainvillea, Jasmine, Morning Glory, Potato Vine, and Wisteria.

Convolvulus cneorum (Bush Morning Glory) – A fast growing evergreen shrub that forms a rounded 2 to 3 foot tall by 3 to 5 foot wide mound with 1 to 2 inch long silvery-green lance-shaped leaves. White pentagon funnel-shaped flowers, 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide, with yellow centers bloom from pink buds in the late spring through early fall on loose panicles, often in such abundance to nearly cover the plant. It performs best in full sun or part shade with occasional watering and absolutely needs a well-draining soil and not only tolerates, but prefers, alkaline soils. It is hardy to about 15 degrees F. Prune hard in late winter to renew plant when it gets open or too leggy or lightly shear after flowering peaks. Seems to not be terribly long lived in most gardens (likely over irrigated or in heavy soil) but when it is happy it is sensational and its growth rate makes it a very attractive small shrub or filler plant even when short lived. It is native to the rocky coast and islands of southern Europe from Spain east to Croatia and Albania where it is often found growing in cracks in rocks. The name of the genus given by Linnaeus comes from the Latin word ‘convolvere’ a verb meaning to “roll together” or “to wrap” and is in reference to the vining clambering and covering nature of plants in the genus. The specific epithet comes from ‘cneoron’ the Greek name for Daphne gnidium so presumably it was thought that this plant resembled this plant. Both this plant and Convolvulus sabatius were winners of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit in 1993 and we have been growing both since 1985. The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery’s garden and in other gardens that we have observed it in. We also will incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that might aid others in growing Convolvulus cneorum.

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