Looking for a Few Good Vines

I am done with morning glories (Ipomoea tricolor). Last year I got only about half a dozen blooms total, and this year seems only marginally better. 

Bloomless morning glory on my tuteur.
Bloomless morning glory on my tuteur.

The cool summers, I suspect, are a big part of the problem. These are tropical vines; they want heat, but they’re not getting it. And so here we are in the middle of August with mostly bloom free morning glory vines. 

Plus, I bought the variety ‘Blue Heaven’, which has large blooms of sky blue. The few flowers we’re getting must be of some other variety, as they are a darker blue with white stripes. 

Nice, I guess, but not 'Heavenly Blue'
Nice, I guess, but not ‘Heavenly Blue’

Anyhow, I’m looking for suggestions for what I can grow instead of morning glories on my tuteur. I’m thinking probably Clematis. Here are the criteria:

  • Should be in the blue-purple color range.
  • Should bloom in mid-late summer, after the C. jackmanii are done.
  • Should grow at least 6′, but not be completely rampant.

Any suggestions?

25 Comments on “Looking for a Few Good Vines”

  1. I know some morning glory varieties just seem to bloom better than others. I tried a few new-to-me cultivars last year, and wasn’t happy with most of them. The one in your picture looks like ‘Flying Saucer’, which was one I tried last year. I gave me just a few rather lackluster flowers.

    I don’t know anymore what variety grows up my side porch pillars, but when August arrives, they just pump out the blooms. They are violet-red, almost magenta, and descendants from a plant my daughter brought home from school 8 years ago. I save some of the seeds every year to intentionally plant in the pots on my porch, but I don’t really need to because I get so many volunteers! . They won’t fit your bill of blue/purple, but if you want to try them, I can send you some seeds this fall.

  2. I am no help Jason as I am also looking for something perhaps scarlet runner beans but they are not blue….my morning glories are a bust too. I like Tammy’s idea of Roguchi clematis but mine doesn’t bloom as much as I’d like or as long as I like. So I will be looking for ideas from some of your commenters.

  3. Sorry to hear about your morning glory frustrations. This has been my best year in three summers and I am in northeast Wisconsin (zone 4) where we are having a decidedly cool summer like you. Have you considered hyacinth beans?

  4. I also want to know what meets your criteria. Morning glories were considered weeds in our vegetable garden when I was growing up–must be the difference in our locations that make it a desirable plant in yours. When I was a child I always thought the flowers were beautiful and couldn’t understand why we couldn’t leave them.

  5. Not much help here, my vines are all done blooming. Too bad on the morning glories. When I see them around they seem to be full of blooms. The purple hyacinth bean vine sounds intriguing. Might need to try it myself next year.

  6. I would think any of the Viticella clematis would suit you, they are later flowers, usually with many blooms and are less prone to clematis wilt than other varieties. there was a range produced a few years ago with Polish sounding names that are strong very free flowering varieties possibly Polish Spirit is one but I’m don’t remember all the names, if I can think of them I’ll let you know.

  7. I have had good luck with Morning Glories, but I always started them indoors in winter. Planting them directly in the garden, it took too long for them to grow and produce. It was too late in the season when flowers arrived. They also liked the sunnier location too. I would not give up growing them if I were you.

  8. My Mother used to grow morning glories – absolutely fabulous in August! They were planted in plain garden soil and had no extra fertilizing or care. That seems to be the secret – no extra care. If you plant them in rich garden soil and treat well, I found out, they will produce luscious vines but no flowers to speak of! The clematis would be a great alternative. Or how about cup and saucer vine, canterbury bells? They bloom late unless you start them indoors, but they are really wonderful!

  9. Would you consider another annual? “Trionfo Violetto” Pole Bean has a purple tinge to the foliage, reddish-purple blooms, and long dark purple pods. It might need a shovel full of compost to do well, but is a showy (and very tasty) vine. And if you don’t like it, no problem putting something else in next year!

  10. Heavenly Blue flowered in the first year when we came – it self-sowed. I. lobata is an absolute dream this year, so I shall have it again next year, especially as it’s a favourite with bees! I love Clematis Romantika and my herbaceous C. aromatica, tubulosa Cassandra and integrifolia Rooguchi are still looking great.

  11. How about Passiflora incarnata or a grape? Both are good for wildlife and are interesting through more than one season. The passionflower is a late bloomer, too. The native American bittersweet would give late color through its berries. I have tried and failed to grow morning glories too many times. People say they are easy but they sure aren’t easy for me.

  12. If you’d like a perennial, your idea of a Clematis cultivar of some sort sounds like a good plan. If you want an easy-to-grow annual vine, the suggestion of Hyacinth Bean makes sense. Not only are the flowers lovely, but the purple beans are showy, too. And the foliage is an interesting shade of chartreuse/green. The only caution: Rabbits will eat them down to the ground. So, you have to protect the bases of the plants to prevent rabbit damage. (I like the suggestion of the Passion flowers, too.)

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