Moonflower; An Exotic, Highly Fragrant, Robust, Climber
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.
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.