I have been looking forward to morning glory flowers brightening up my garden, but they aren’t doing well. The back right stems started to die almost right after I put the trellis in, and it traveled from the bottom up the stem (up-close photo) so I thought I maybe disrupted the roots. But then the middle sprout went, which you can’t really see in the photo as it’s no longer upright. I’m starting to notice leaves drying out on the front and left back stems but hoping I can save them.

They are in direct Los Angeles, California sun from 8am to about 4pm. I have been unsure of how much to water them as I know morning glories like to dry out, but don't know if these little ones are at that stage yet (when are they no longer considered "seedlings?"). Regardless, the soil doesn't really dry out, and I noticed it's pretty compact. Perhaps it's holding too much moisture? If that's the case, would it be too disruptive to remove the plants to loosen up the soil and mix in more perlite? enter image description here enter image description here

1 Answer 1


The close-up picture shows an obvious basal stem rot. As I cannot examine it through the screen as good as by physically holding it, I advise you to check the "brown portion" close to soil level. Scratch the bark and see if the browning is just a different color [the stem beneath is green] or a dead stem [the stem is brown; sometimes a soft rot, sometimes just dry]. If the stem is brown [dead], then you should assume that all above it will die if left untreated, and that may be the situation of the root system as well. The two at the close-up appear dead already.

The two other ones can be saved. You said they are in a somewhat compact soil? maybe it was an old potting mix or one of bad quality? Don't be afraid to dig them out and replace the soil with a better one. coco-perlite is good but dries out more quickly than peat. You may need to water more often, but do it only when the soil dries-out.

  • Thank you for your help! I planted the remaining two plants in a different pot with new soil as soon as I could. Fingers crossed they’ll make it. Jul 31, 2021 at 13:48

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