The moonflower (Ipomoea alba), is similar to its cousin, the morning glory, but while morning glory blossoms open in the morning, moonflower blooms at night. The moonflower blooms close into tight buds in the morning, and will open again when the sun goes down. Plant moonflower seeds directly in the garden in late spring or early summer. Provide a fence or trellis for the moonflower vine to climb on, and the moonflower will scramble and bloom happily with little attention.
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Things you need
- Moonflower seeds
- Bowl of water
- Hoe or garden fork
- Organic mulch
Scrape the moonflower seeds lightly with a file to break the hard outer coating. If you prefer, you can soften the moonflower seeds by soaking them in a bowl of water overnight.
Choose a spot in full sunlight with well-drained soil to plant the moonflower seeds. Loosen the top 4 to 6 inches of the soil with a hoe or garden fork.
Scatter the moonflower seeds on the surface of the soil, then cover the seeds with 1/4 inch of soil. Water the soil and keep it lightly moist until the seedlings emerge. When the moonflower seedlings emerge, thin the seedlings so that there is at least 6 inches between each plant.
Spread a thin later of organic mulch around the moonflowers to control weeds and retain moisture, but don't allow the mulch to bury the seedlings.
Tips and warnings
- Moonflower seeds can also be started indoors 6 to 8 weeks before you plan to move them outdoors. Plant the seeds in 3-inch pots filled with commercial potting soil. Put the containers in an indirect light, and keep the soil damp. Move the seedlings outdoors when the weather warms in late spring.
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