Did you know that each month is symbolically represented by a flower?
They are called birth flowers, and it is believed that much like zodiac signs, they can predict the personality of a person born in a particular month.
September, for example, is represented by the Morning Glory.
As the name suggests, the plant blooms with the first rays of the sun in the morning. The beautiful flowers survive for one day – until evening – before the cycle is repeated.
The Aztecs, Mayans and Native American tribes believed Morning Glories to be sacred because of their inner-quest-inducing properties.
The Chinese held the plant in a similarly high regard using it in medicine – as a laxative.
But it was the Japanese who developed many more varieties of the plant, following its introduction as an ornament in the 9th century.
Colors and symbolism
While the Morning Glory is not restricted to a single color, its symbolism has been narrowed down to the world of Aphrodite and Cupid.
The many varieties offer an array of bright and positive colors – shades of red, pink, blue, purple, yellow and white.
Some of the more common varieties are
• the bright-red ‘Scarlett O’Hara’
• the ‘Heavenly Blue’
• the intricate blend of deep purple and pink which is the ‘Grandpa Otts’.
Because of the fleeting nature of beautiful bloom, the plant has come to symbolize love and affection in many cultures. Morning Glories teach us to be receptive to the healing rays of love even though they might not last – just like its flower which opens up for the sun in the morning only to die by evening.
• Most species of Morning Glory contain ergoline alkaloids which, if consumed, can help treat migraines and cause psychedelic effects in humans.
• In some Asian and South-Asian countries, the plant is widely used in national cuisine as a rich in vitamins vegetable – also known as water spinach.
• The seeds of Morning Glory contain a substance called LSA which can produce similar effects to LSD if consumed in large numbers.
• Unauthorized extraction of the seeds of Morning Glory is an illegal practice in the USA.
• An alcoholic drink with very mild psychedelic effects can be made from Morning Glory.
How to grow and care for them
Decoration: This flowering vine is an excellent decorative choice if you have an ugly fence, patio or balcony that you want to cover up. The plant can grow as high as 15 ft and tends to attract exotic wildlife such as butterflies and hummingbirds.
Planting: To begin, plant the seeds in a pre-watered and not too fertile soil in early spring. To ensure quick germination, you can puncture holes in the soil. The initial stage is difficult, so keeping the baby plants indoors may be a good idea for the first few weeks.
Lighting: Morning Glories need the sun’s rays if they are to bloom, so make sure that they are planted where the sun shines, preferably during the morning hours.
Watering: Once fully developed, caring for Morning Glory is easy. Just water daily at about one inch of water per week. Placing mulch around the roots to retain the moisture can help your plant stay healthy even if you forget to water it once or twice.
Fertilizer: Fertilizing should be done about once every five weeks. And finally, you can direct your vine by placing supports. This will give you an additional control over the finished Morning Glory look.
If all is done correctly, you will enjoy the bright and positive colors of its bloom by late summer.
The Birth Flower of September is the Morning Glory.
And why wouldn’t it be?
Much like the fleeting beauty of the summer and the beginning of the new autumn one, the Morning Glory gives birth to bright flowers only to lose them by night and begin again the next day.
This plant is an excellent choice for the outdoor parts of your home. Easy to grow and care for, it will bring color and positivity with its flowers in late summer and will continue to bloom well into the winter.