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Moonflower; An Exotic, Highly Fragrant, Robust, Climber

Updated on February 9, 2017

The Moonflower is a most unusual and unique exotic flower

   The Moonflower gets its name due to the unique way that the flowers open up slowly at sunset, then as the moon appears, it spreads open to the fullest to welcome the moonlight, releasing an ambrosia of sweet  perfume that  fills the air. Then when the morning light arrives, the huge beautiful blooms close to protect the tender blooms. They remain closed all day, awaiting the arrival of sunset to begin their night awakening once more.

   The Moonflower is a close relative of the morning glory. They are vigorous climbers that have twining vines and are very fast growing, especially in hot weather. Moonflowers are an excellent choice for rapid cover on porches, trellises and steep hills. They have heart shaped leaves that can be up to 8" long and are a deep, lush green. The huge exquisite leaves provide a beautiful backdrop for these gorgeous, creamy white, flowers, which can grow to be about 6" or more.



Growing the Moonflower From Seed

   if you plan to grow Moonflowes from seed; You can sow or start the seed indoors, six to eight weeks before planting outdoors to achieve the earliest blooms. You may also wait until the correct planting time for your area and direct seed in the ground. I prefer to start them early, indoors and then transplant them as they will start to bloom much sooner and you will enjoy a longer season of beautiful blooms.

After 7 days
After 7 days | Source
The 8th day after sowing the seed
The 8th day after sowing the seed | Source
Source

Moonflower-growing From Seed

If you plan to start the seed indoors, it helps to soak the seed in warm water overnight before sowing. The seeds which resemble peanut, are very hard and this warm water soaking helps them to soften a little and sprout easier.

After your seed has soaked overnight, plant them about 1/2 inch deep in the soil. Keep the soil evenly moist. It helps to cover them with a clear plastic dome or even saran wrap to hold the moisture in. As soon as the stems and leaves appear, remove the plastic or dome and place in a sunny place. Make sure to keep the soil moist.

Note: After soaking the seed overnight, I plant them about 1/2" deep in the soil. They began to sprout in about seven days. The pictures to the right show the germination process.

When the seedlings reach 3" tall you can transplant them to a sunny location outdoors after all danger of frost has passed.

Comments

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  • Les Trois Chenes profile image

    Les Trois Chenes 3 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

    Thanks, I didn't realise there were several 'Moonflowers'. Fascinating.

  • Becky Puetz profile image
    Author

    Becky 3 years ago from Oklahoma

    Hello Les Trois Chenes

    The botanical (Latin) name for moonflower is Ipomoea alba while the botanical name for datura is Datura stramoneum. The common names for Datura stramoneum include moonflower and jimsonweed. Thanks

  • Les Trois Chenes profile image

    Les Trois Chenes 3 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

    What is the latin name for this plant?

  • Marie Flint profile image

    Marie Flint 5 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

    I had to check out this hub because I had recently recorded a children's story for Dial-a-Story, West Branch Public Library, before moving to Florida. The story was written from the seed's perspective. Some of the features you mention--climbers, blooming at night, and fragrant--were touched upon in the story. What a pleasure to find your hub!

  • pstraubie48 profile image

    Patricia Scott 5 years ago from sunny Florida

    Love these. They are easy to grow and are just so lovely. thanks for showcasing them

    Sending Angels your way :) ps

  • Becky Puetz profile image
    Author

    Becky 6 years ago from Oklahoma

    Hi Delores, I don't mind you linking to this Hub at all and I will link to yours too. Thanks for the extra information.

  • Dolores Monet profile image

    Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

    Oh, Becky, moon flowers are so lovely! I hope you don't mind me linking this to my article on aromatic flowers. I do believe they used to plant moon flowers near out houses - they were bright at night and the fragrance helped out too!

  • Becky Puetz profile image
    Author

    Becky 7 years ago from Oklahoma

    Mrs. J.B. They should do fine and long as you plant them in a shaded place where they get only a little morning sun. Thanks for voting and commenting.

  • Mrs. J. B. profile image

    Mrs. J. B. 7 years ago from Southern California

    Oh I would love to see a moonflower start to open up and then at midnight in its full beauty. How beautiful that must be. Do you think I can grow them out here in Southern Cali?

  • anglnwu profile image

    anglnwu 7 years ago

    What a beauty. Thanks for your tips--will be looking for these moonflower seeds. Rated up.

  • Becky Puetz profile image
    Author

    Becky 7 years ago from Oklahoma

    Peggy, I'm glad you mentioned how nice they display their beauty in the moonlight. Thanks so much for commenting.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

    I have grown moonflowers in the past and you are correct...they are fragrant! Also, the bright white flowers show up nicely on moonlit evenings. Great video you found for this hub.

  • Becky Puetz profile image
    Author

    Becky 7 years ago from Oklahoma

    Pamela, They are easy to grow and have huge, lush, deep green leaves and the flowers are large too, about 6" when fully opened. They are very fragrant too. Try planting some soon, you won't be sorry :) Thanks for commenting on my Hub.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    I have never grown these but they are really beautiful.

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