Just a “Split Second…”

Ipomoea nil "Split Second"

Ipomoea nil “Split Second”

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.Oct 7 2013 morning glories 005

“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.

Split second growing with Swiss Chard and Kale

Split second growing with Swiss Chard and Kale

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..

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About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

8 responses to “Just a “Split Second…”

  1. Nathan

    I bought some seeds for this summer, really excited to see what they do!

    • Nathan, I hope you’ll be as pleased with yours as we were with ours. I’ve never seen a morning glory vine quite like this. They look so delicate, and yet are very tough plants. Best wishes, WG

  2. I found a few variations of this when I visited Wayside gardens earlier this year. The double flower morning glories are nice!!

  3. Oh my! What a beautiful flower Woodland Gnome! I’ve never seen a double blossomed morning glory before. When I was young, my mom and I used to plant morning glory vines along our back fence and they would open into lovely pale blue flowers. I have grown some double-blossomed impatients before. I’ve read that the double-blossoms form as a result of a mutation that converts stamens into petals. Consequently, some double blossoms are infertile, but I hope yours produce seeds so you can enjoy them again next year.

    • It is all so interesting, isn’t it? The variations in plants seems just endless, and endlessly beautiful. I am watching for seeds, but don’t know whether the plants from them will be true to type or revert to one of the parents of this variety. I went searching for seeds this morning, and found a seed capsule on another plant which began blooming several weeks ago. I replanted the seeds in the same pot, and will be very curious to see what they do.

      The double impatiens are so beautiful. The ones I planted in spring 2012 became deer chow. Some years I’ve found a fairly large plant early in the season, cut it back, and rooted all of the cuttings. They root easily in water. They look like little roses, but bloom so generously over a long season.

      Thank you for visiting the site today 🙂 WG

  4. Forest So Green

    Those are so pretty, do all morning glories have heart shaped leaves?

    • Many do, but not all. These leaves are just like the Moonflowers, only slightly smaller. The heart shaped leaves may be similiar in all of the Ipomoea species and cultivars, but I’m not sure on that one. The morning glory growing through our Lantana has a differently shaped leaf. Great question, Annie. Hope you are having a good day 😉 WG

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