Is it a peony? Not in October, and not growing on a delicate vine with heart shaped leaves. This is a morning glory, believe it or not. Park Seed introduced this Ipomoea nil “Split Second”, just a few years ago. I found it while browsing their spring catalog this past winter. It was an impulse purchase, and I tucked a few seeds into pots on the deck, almost as an afterthought, in early summer. Little did I know what an absolutely stunning flower would soon pop up in unexpected places! These vines, like all morning glories, are totally unassuming at first. The vines established and began winding through the other vegetables and herbs in the pots, until, “Wow”! When the flower opens, it is such a beautiful surprise. In all ways “Split Second” grows like any other morning glory. It is very tolerant of soil, heat, humidity, and drought. It is polite; not overtaking its neighbors. The blossoms open early in the morning, shriveling in the afternoon sun.
“Split Second” grows to about 6′, depending on the support it has. Mine is growing in partial shade. Next season I’ll give it a spot with more sun, and perhaps try it in a hanging basket. It can be sown in the ground to grow on a fence or a pergola, or into pots, window boxes, or hanging baskets. It would be lovely on a white wooden fence. Like all morning glories and relatives, the large, hard seeds germinate faster when you soak them for a few hours before planting them. They can be started indoors in small pots and transplanted or direct seeded after danger of frost. Like all morning glories, it is an annual. I haven’t noticed any seeds formed yet, but will watch for seed pods as the season wanes.
Park seed sells a packet of 20 seeds. At the moment, that packet is less than $2.00. What a lot of beautiful flowers for a small investment. “Split Second” is like no other morning glory I’ve seen anywhere. I would love for a botanist to leave a comment explaining why the flower forms such interesting, double blossoms. The flowers are all various shades of pink and creamy white, no two alike. Each is its own beautiful surprise when it opens. They attract nectar loving insects and hummingbirds.
Please consider adding “Split Second” to your wish list for spring planting. It is an easy vine, grows quickly, and is out of the ordinary. I hope the seed is available to my friends in Australia and Malaysia. It might be a good time to plant them now for the summer ahead..
- Moonflowers, Another Pass Along Plant (forestgardenblog.wordpress.com)
- Garden Q&A: Be patient with morning glories (triblive.com)
- The Morning Glory, a Kyrielle Sonnet (heronthereeverywhere.us)
- Another glorious morning glory! (flowersofholyoke.wordpress.com)
- Cottage and Gardens: Morning Glories (heartseasecottage.typepad.com)
- Morning glory (breezesatdawn.wordpress.com)