Morning glory leaves can look lush and inviting even without the flowers being in bloom. These plants are so easy to grow, and they multiply so well that in some places they are considered an invasive weed, while more stunning varieties are highly coveted plants.

Blooming in the morning – hence their name – morning glories can come in a rainbow of colors, and it is not only the flowers I am talking about, but there is some variety in the leaves as well.

Because of its fast-growing abilities and its ability to completely cover fences and walls, this plant was used in the early days when America was still being settled in order to help hide the unsightly outhouse.

Morning glories come in perennial and annual varieties, but even the annual plants willingly re-seed their area for the next year. You can plant the seeds directly outside as soon as any danger of frost is over, or you can start them indoors 4-6 weeks sooner and get a head start on the season.

Either way, it is best to soak the seeds overnight first to achieve the maximum germination.

Morning Glory Leaves: Problems and Pests

Though mostly care-free and healthy no matter where it is planted, that doesn’t mean that this plant never has problems. No matter what causes yellow leaves on morning glories, it is always a sign that something is wrong with your plant. Sometimes yellow leaves on your morning glory plant are the first sign you have that something is wrong, but there are a few possible causes for this.

Morning glories love sunlight, so if it is not getting adequate light, this could be a cause of yellow leaves.

Under-watering or over-watering can also hurt the plant and over-watering especially can keep the area moist enough to provide a breeding ground for funguses that can attack your plant.

If the leaves on your morning glory look yellow and are powdery on the backside, then your plant has likely been infected with fungal rust, and you should remove all the infected leaves and try to avoid getting the leaves wet at all when you water.

A disease that can also affect morning glory leaves is called canker. It shows itself by turning the stems brown and giving them a sunken in appearance, finally moving to the leaves and causing them to turn brown and wilt.

Other pests include leaf miners, caterpillars, and certain aphids but these are easy to take care of on a healthy plant and buying an organic pest control.

Can You Eat Morning Glory Leaves?

Eating morning glory leaves is a matter of much debate across the web. Those who say it is edible claim its connection to water spinach which is from the same family. In fact, the two names are often interchangeable in Asian recipes which include the ingredient “morning glory leaves” both cooked and raw.

However, the Asian ‘morning glory’ leaves are not climbers, have long and thin leaves with hollow stems, and are even categorized as aquatic plants because they grow with lots of water in swampy areas. Also called a swamp cabbage, the Asian morning glory is still a part of the morning glory family, as are sweet potatoes and other vegetables.

So you see, eating morning glory leaves that are grown in America can be a completely different thing. The American morning glory that comes to mind when we think of the name is a climber with heart-shaped leaves and lots of trumpet-shaped flowers, not a plant that looks more similar to spinach with narrower leaves. Certain kinds of American morning glories have a sap that is rich alkaloids that are toxic.

These toxins can cause an upset stomach as well as tremors, anorexia, and ataxia in pets. In people, it can cause hallucinations, migraines, dizziness, and, in extreme cases, even death. One case involving a girl who swallowed some seeds ended up with that girl having to be taken to the emergency room, so if you think that you or your child has accidentally eaten this plant, it is best to contact Poison Control.

Can You Smoke Morning Glory Leaves?

While it is discussed on forums whether or not you can smoke morning glory leaves for its psychedelic properties, the fact is that by doing so you will undoubtedly have nausea and vomiting.

Though some say the seeds supposedly give better effects, there are other side effects you might want to consider. Some of these include muscle rigidity, paranoia, and an elevated heart rate.

Some people are allergic to the plant and can react so severely that they have to be rushed to the hospital. Others can develop an allergy to the plant over a long time while a few quickly develop an allergy after only a couple of uses. All in all, if you are determined to get high without getting an illegal drug, it is possible to do with morning glories leaves or seeds.

Sarah Byrd

Sarah Byrd has written about gardening for both online and print publications. She completed two writing courses at Pierpont Community and Technical College.
Sarah Byrd
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