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Every year I plant morning glories from fresh seeds, in containers (the long, rectangular kind). They always take a bit of time (1-2 weeks) to sprout, and after that, really take off (I hang some twine on the walls of my terrace and they climb up like crazy).

This year, I planted more seeds than I ever have - different varieties of morning glories, as well as some moon flowers. I soaked the seeds overnight as I always do (for about 24 hours, and I'd say the seeds double, if not triple in size). Planted them as I always do (about a 1/4" deep as per the directions), in a "zigzag" pattern in the planters, about 4" or so apart. Probably about 40 seeds in total.

3 weeks later, only 2 have broken through the soil, and even those are not looking so good (very "wrinkly" and weak-looking). No sign of the others. I've been watering regularly, and the weather seems about the same as it always (maybe a few nights that have been colder than average).

Basically I've done exactly the same thing that I've done for years, and it's not working for some reason this year. Any ideas what could be wrong, or what I could to improve the process? I just planted a whole new batch of seeds (in the same planters) a few days ago.

EDIT: I should add - I'm in New York City, and the plants get tons of sun.

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if you're doing everything the same maybe it is the quality of the seeds. I have too many morning glories - they took over in parts of my yard... they keep reseeding themselves. –  Tim Apr 30 '12 at 15:04
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When you planted the new batch did you get new soil? –  uncle brad Apr 30 '12 at 16:39
    
@Tim I don't know, I guess it's possible but I buy the seeds by the packet each year, I know I bought them at the same place in the past, and they may even be the same brand... –  Jer Apr 30 '12 at 18:00
    
@unclebrad The new batch a few days ago? No, I just stuck them into the existing planters. This was brand new soil this year (though most years in the past I simply recycled the soil and cleaned out the roots). –  Jer Apr 30 '12 at 18:01
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Morning glories HATE cold. Do not attempt to germinate the seeds in an environment with temperatures under 60 on a sustained basis. The seeds will simply rot.

@tim: do not allow morning glories to self-seed. They revert to useless forms.

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Ah, ok. It must be the cold. It's been in the 40s and 50s every night (and many days) recently, but it should be warmer. How long would it take for them to rot? Essentially, it should be above 60 now, and probably will start to be 60 every day at any time. At what point do I have to start over? Roughly how many sub-60 days (or will just nights do it?) will ruin them? –  Jer May 1 '12 at 15:14
    
It varies. It is annoyingly common for us to have late cool snaps here with a streak of nights in the 40s. That can be lethal to seeds that are just germinating. –  ncmathsadist May 1 '12 at 22:18
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