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Morning Glory Flower Meaning and Symbolism

Morning Glory Flower Meaning and Symbolism

There are many types of morning glory flower – and most with unique properties. Some morning glory flowers bloom at night and some early in the morning. With more meanings than lifespan, the elegantly invasive short-lived morning glory flower meaning is the fleetingness of life or affection or deep love that’s bad. 

About the Morning Glory Flower

Morning glory flowers are known for looking their best as they reach full bloom in the mornings. Then as the day gets later, the flower starts to die. 

These one-day flowers belong to the Convalescence family and 1,000 species that bloom early and wilt a few hours before nightfall. A few species bloom at night rather than during the day.

The scientific name Ipomoea is Greek for “resembling woodworm” and describes how the vines will wind around anything around them. This Latin word also translates worm-like, leading to the nickname worm flower.

History and Origin

The first cultivated Morning Glories were in Japan in the 9th century. The asagao – Asa (morning) and Kao (face) – was a favorite for decorative flowers. 

As far as nativity and where these flowers originated, a species of Morning Glory was found growing native on each continent but Antarctica.


Morning glories are large tubular flowers with thin, star-shaped petals blooming on long, thin, winding vines. The 4″ to 5″ long, 4″ wide flowers vary in colors, coming in blue and violet, red and pink, and yellow. 

And because the perennial morning glory hardy vines can grow so thick and fast up to 10 feet tall, many places in the United States and Australia consider it an invasive weed.  

Although science classifies the morning glory as perennial, many people grow it as an annual. Many species grow deep roots that allow them to come back each year. Other species rely on seeding to return as new plants every season.

Morning Glory Care

Glories require full sun in mesis, well-draining, moist soils with a pH between 6 and 8. Don’t be surprised if your flowers die after one day. The morning glory has an extremely short lifespan, making its beautiful blooms that special. 

Your vines will need sturdy support to grow, like a wall, fence, or trellis. You can start them from seed in early spring, and they’re low maintenance while growing. 

There’s no need to deadhead or prune your plants while growing. Instead, give them a growing spot with six to eight hours of full direct sunlight if you want to enjoy morning blooms. And give them 1″ of water a week with mulch put around the roots to hold moisture.

Uses Throughout History

The morning glory has been used in Chinese cultures for medicinal purposes, creating a strong laxative, But it’s not advised to use too much, as high seeds can cause you to hallucinate. 

It was mostly ornamental in the Edo era because it easily grew as a hardy vine that could cover walls. 

The dense growth of the plants also makes them a neat flower to plant near your home to help you save on cooling costs by blocking the heat climate.

Native Americans made teas from glory roots to treat coughs due to being able to remove phlegm. Powdered, dried leaves were also turned into tea for headaches and stomach issues.

Mexican cultures called for using morning glory seeds during religious ceremonies to create an intoxicated, dream-like state that allowed them to commune with their gods. 

Some cultures also used it to induce pregnancy labors. At the same time, Chinese cultures used it to treat large intestines, kidneys, and lung disorders. They also use it for purgative effects to reduce lung phlegm and reduce swelling in the body as a diuretic.

Morning Glory Symbolism

Morning flowers have multiple meanings, with many associated with love – the sadder, unfulfilled side specifically. 

Love and Affection

There are multiple morning glory symbolism to love, whether it’s mortality. Or it can mean unrequited love. These flowers can symbolize feeling sorrow for a former partner or sadness over a breakup. 

It’s also linked to sadness, such as the case when you have to restrict the strength of your love or how you can show it. And yet another meaning is loving in vain or not being with the one you love. 


A common morning glory meaning is the mortality of love, dating back to Victorian times. Likewise, in the religion of Christianity, the flower represents mortal life. 


The Morning Glory is the birth flower for people born in September. 


Victorians thought the morning glory meant a love that never got the chance to end due to never beginning. But instead, unrequited love affects someone or how they behave towards someone.

And because the morning glory doesn’t live long, the flower also represents a fleeting life that’s soaking up the day. 

This flower is chosen as a gift for lovers in Japan, where it means to love and innocence.  

Chinese Folklore

A Chinese folklore story says that two lovers angered the gods by neglecting their duties. So, the gods separated them by a wide river. And each year, they could only meet for one day. Their love overcame the boundaries, just as the morning glory vines can climb up and over anything. 

Morning Glory Flower Color Meaning

Morning glories also have different meanings based on the color of the petals. 


White morning glories are symbolic of purity, remembrance, and innocence. 


Pink morning glory flowers can be a way to thank someone for being kind or helpful. Or you can use them to represent romance, affection, or a thoughtful gift. 


Morning glories in red symbolize passion, love, a strong will, and desire. 


A blue morning glory flower is often used for showing respect, for telling someone that you have faith in them and that, no matter what, you’ll be there for someone. 


Purple is a vibrant color that exudes elegance, royalty, nobility, luxury, and beauty. Give purple glories to a good friend or special someone. 


Yellow morning glory flowers mean positivity and brightness, making a great gift for a good friend.

Morning Glory FAQ

We’ve put together a collection of frequently asked questions people also have about the morning glory flower. 

When Should You Give Someone a Morning Glory?

Many people might be concerned about gifting the morning glory since the flowers only bloom for one day. 

But, the powerful meaning of the flower, combined with the beautiful look, is the perfect gift for September birthdays, 11th wedding anniversaries, or to remind someone to keep chasing their dreams. 

What Does a Morning Glory Flower Represent?

A Morning glory flower spiritual meaning includes unrequited and restricted love, love in vain, and the mortality of life.

Are Morning Glories poisonous?

Morning Glories are not poisonous, but they do contain chemicals that can cause you to experience psychedelic hallucinations. But they are toxic to all types of pets, leading to vomiting or nausea in ingested.

Are morning glory seeds really hallucinogenic?

The seeds of morning glories contain lysergic acid amide, a hallucinogen related to LSD that can cause similar effects. But consuming improper doses can cause nerve damage. 

Final Thoughts

The morning glory is an incredible flower to behold while it’s in its beautiful short-lived bloom. Enjoy this delicate flower when it opens because each bloom dies as fast as it grows!