Morning Glories as Weeds

I should point out that many people call Morning Glories "bindweed" and hate them. Karen Tucker reminded me (thanks), and on the other hand she has a great idea of something cool to do with morning glories and sunflowers:
I've probably told you this before, Sandra. My dad hates morning glories, as do most of the old folks we know. They grow wild in the cotton fields and are a menace to those who had to pick cotton by hand. They're considered invasive weeds.

I got to hear again how much he hated them two years ago when I planted a sunflower house and grew morning glories and moonflowers up the sunflower stems. He just couldn't understand it.

He's right about the cotton fields. At the same house where we had the sunflower house, we were surrounded by cotton fields. Cotton is highly fumigated and sprayed. Yet, when I walked down the tractor paths in the spring with my dogs, there they were, where nothing but cotton could live—morning glories valiantly trying to clog the ends of the rows.

I learned a little about why he hates them so much this last year in my vegetable garden. The previous owners had planted morning glories there before and I couldn't stop them from growing up around my tomatoes and my cucumbers. I finally just gave up and put some tomato cages near them so they could climb. My cats LOVED to sit under the tomato cages in the hot weather, under a shade of morning glory vines. Yet, the old seeds churned way under by the tiller sprouted all summer and I picked out little sprouts until the frost. But I did pull all the vines out out while they were still green and blooming, before they went to seed.

I still love the way they look, but they simply *thrive* here and, like honeysuckle, one has to be sure that's what one REALLY wants.


Deborah Cunefare wrote:
Field Bindweed is a member of the morning glory family, as are those Heavenly Blue morning glories, and sweet potatoes.

Morning Glories are annuals in most of the US - they grow from seed each year and won't overwinter. Field Bindweed is a perenial, storing 2 to 3 years worth of food in an extensive underground root network. It can regrow from very small pieces of root left behind after cultivation. Like morning glory, bindweed is a vining plant, twining around whatever it encounters on it's way upward to the sky.

Field bindweed flowers start out white and turn pink. They look like morning glory flowers but are usually smaller. The leaves are narrower than morning glory leaves, more of an arrowhead shape than a heart shape.

Deborah - granddaughter of farmers *and* gardeners :)

Now I can advertise "not bindweed" instead of thinking I was selling noxious weeds. They're only potentially-irritating cousins of noxious weeds.

PHOTOS, good ones, of bind-weed details (halfway down, four photos). There may be other kinds of bindweed, but this shows something pretty that's wild in Texas and does NOT look like my morning glories a bit. (But pretty, still.)


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...Somewhere altogether new?