Convolvulus is a genus of plants, most species of which grow wild, as a vine, and suffocate surrounding plants. Bush morning glory, Convolvulus cneorum is different. This is a shrub, low-growing, and evergreen.
Probably native to North America, this plant has long naturalized in Mediterranean regions of Europe and will establish itself even in between rocks and cliffs.
There are many species in this genus referred to as bindweed.
|Scientific name||Convolvulus cneorum|
|Common names||Bush morning glory, moonflower, shrubby bindweed, silver bush|
|Height||1 to 3 feet|
|Width||1 to 2 feet|
|USDA Plant Hardiness Zone||Zones 8 to 11|
|Blooming season||Spring to Summer|
|Flower colors||White, tinged with pink|
|Plant specific features||Evergreen, low-growing shrub|
How to Plant and Grow Bush Morning Glory
Bush morning glory is a low-growing evergreen shrub. It is also commonly known as Silverbush because of its silver-gray-colored leaves.
Because a mature plant will form a low and attractive rounded shape, this is a good choice for the front of a mixed border.
Its flowering period is exceptionally long, so it makes a good choice for a rock garden, roof garden, and ground cover. It is also tolerant of salt air, so is ideal to plant in a coastal location.
Where to Plant
Avoid planting in the lee of a north wind, because the bush morning glory is as sensitive to cold wind as it is to frosts. This shrub is tolerant of high temperatures, even when sustained temperatures of 40°C are experienced.
Given good growing conditions, this is a long-lived plant.
When to Plant
Sow the plants somewhere that they will be in full sun. Alternatively, plant them indoors about two months before you want to plant them outside.
If planting established plants, planting time is less critical, as long as it is after all risk of frost has passed.
Morning Glory Shrub Care and Maintenance
Once established, this is a low-maintenance and easy-to-care-for plant.
For best results, plant bush morning glory in light soil that is slightly alkaline (around 7.5 or 8pH). It is essential that the soil is very well-draining. In the wild, Convolvulus cneorum grows in the cracks of rocks, in gravel, and in coastal soil. So it is an adaptable shrub.
This shrub needs to be watered regularly until it has an established root system. Once its roots are able to absorb nutrients and water from the growing medium, it is highly resistant to dry conditions.
It can tolerate extended periods of drought, but if it is possible to water, then this should be done once the top 2 inches (5 cm) of soil has dried out.
Avoid giving fertilizer after mid-summer. But in the spring and early summer, an application of a general purpose, slow-release fertilizer will be beneficial and encourage flowering.
Bush morning glory is a shrub that grows in hot, Mediterranean regions of Europe. It loves the sun! If possible, plant it somewhere that is south facing with as much exposure to the sun as possible.
Although it will grow successfully if planted in partial shade, flowering will be greatly reduced and may fail to open fully.
Pruning and Repotting
Pruning is not necessary unless it is desired to reshape or control the growth of the shrub. If this is the case, then pruning should be carried out early in the spring, before the new growth appears. You can prune C.cneorum hard, even down to ground level, if required.
From cuttings, it’s a simple process to propagate bush morning glory. The best time to propagate the shrub is from the spring to the autumn. The earlier in the season that you take the cutting, the quicker the roots will develop.
Because the cutting will be a reproduction of the parent plant, it’s always important to select a healthy, non-diseased plant.
Cuttings should be taken from stems that are semi-ripe. That means they should be a little woody, but not too hard. Avoid very new growth as this is too tender and is the growth on which the flowers form.
The cuttings should only be around 3 inches (7.62 cm) long and should be cut off the branch cleanly with a sharp knife. Remove all the leaves, apart from the top two. Use hormone rooting powder as this will speed up the rooting process.
Once you have planted all the cuttings in the compost, water thoroughly. It can be up to three months before your cuttings have rooted. During this time, they should be kept somewhere out of wind, cold and extreme sunlight.
Keep them moist, but don’t overwater. Too much water can lead to the cuttings rotting off before they root. Once they have rooted, you can plant them up individually.
Leave them in their pots for a good two months, and then, once you can see roots at the base of the pots, you can plant them outside in their planting positions..
Pests and diseases
You won’t have many pest problems with bush morning glory. The main risk is root rot, which is caused by inadequate drainage in the soil. When the plant’s roots sit in soggy soil, then they are susceptible to fungal diseases such as rust and rot.
Sometimes, insect pests attack the foliage, but the damage is generally superficial with no major threat to the health of the plant. If an infestation is severe, it can be treated with an organic insecticide.
Temperature and Humidity
This plant likes exposure to the hot sun. Bush morning glory is not frost-hardy, so needs winter protection if you are in a colder region.
Naturally, this shrub grows in dry, arid areas or in coastal regions. Despite it being adaptable to a wide range of growing conditions, bush morning glory does not like high humidity levels.
Other Uses for Bush Morning Glory
Due to its attractive year-long foliage and extended flowering season, this is a shrub that can be planted successfully in a large range of planting spaces.
This is one very useful plant to include in landscaping in places where accessible or reliable water supply cannot be guaranteed (xeriscaping).
Types of Bush Morning Glory You Can Grow
Despite its usefulness and ability to withstand drought conditions, very limited varieties of C. cneorum have been developed.
This widespread ornamental is ideal to include in landscaping, especially if combined with other shrubs and hedges.
*image by ValentinButaru/depositphotos