Twinkle, twinkle, little star—
Things that glow naturally in the dark include more than just the moon and stars.
Light-colored, fragrant plants that bloom at night also make a dazzling vigil until a new dawn appears.
Since the early Chinese era, moon gardens have been used as spaces for meditation because they induce sensations of tranquility after a stressful day.
To get the most out of your night garden, experts suggest placing it near a window or near landscape lighting to produce a similar impact.
Now that you’ve determined the perfect spot for your moon garden, it’s time to start the exciting part: choosing your plants. For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of 10 of the top night-blooming plants for a moon garden.
Which one are you choosing?
10 Night-blooming Plants for Your Moon Garden
1. Moonflower (Ipomoea alba)
This climbing perennial, also referred to as tropical white morning glory, is ideal for vertical gardening when anchored by a trellis, pergola, or other supportive foundation. The moonflower’s big, white, heart-or trumpet-shaped blooms, which only appear in the late afternoon and evening, have quite a lemon scent.
Care tips: Low-maintenance, drought-tolerant, and deer-resistant. A variety of well-drained soils support the growth of moonflower. Remove seed pods before they open to prevent moonflower from becoming invasive.
2. Queen of the Night (Epiphyllum oxypetalum)
Large, white blossoms on a night-blooming cereus (or cactus), also known as an orchid cactus or queen of the night, open at dusk for just one night each year before closing back up the following morning. This succulent plant is ideal as a houseplant because it thrives in full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil.
Care tips: Low-maintenance. In the winter, give the Queen of the Night a monthly watering and bring it indoors to keep it warm. It works best when cultivated in a container.
3. Jasmine in Night Bloom (Cestrum nocturnum)
This broadleaf evergreen shrub, which is usually grown for its fragrant leaves, needs wet, well-drained soil, full sun, or light shade. The columnar design of night-blooming jasmine, also known as night-blooming jessamine, which may reach heights of up to 10 feet, makes it ideal for planting as a privacy screen or windbreak. From January to June is when scented blossoms are expected to appear.
Care tips: Low-maintenance. Night-blooming jasmine should be pruned to shape, watered frequently, and fertilized several times during the summer.
4. Evening primrose (Oenothera biennis)
As a biennial wildflower, evening primrose will reappear on its own for two life cycles. It is distinguished by its yellow flowers and hairy leaves.
This plant blooms at night, luring hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators to your yard. This plant has been used by Native Americans for food and medicine for ages.
Care tips: Evening primrose requires little watering and is drought-tolerant. Put evening primrose on soil that is well-drained and receives full sun.
5. Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa)
Tuberose, a Mexican native that thrives in the summer heat and blooms in August and September, is frequently used in Hawaiian leis. Plant bulbs in soil that receives full light and is well drained, and be sure to leave 8 inches between each bulb to allow for growth.
Care tips: To maintain soil moisture, add 3–4 inches of mulch, and use slow-release fertilizer at the start of the summer.
6. Four O’Clocks (Mirabilis jalapa)
These flowers, as indicated by their name, typically bloom in the late afternoon, between 4 and 8 p.m. These deciduous shrubs, also known as the Marvel of Peru, can be grown as annuals or perennials depending on the climate and will attract hummingbirds and other pollinators. Four o’clocks grow best in direct sunlight or light shade.
Care tips: Low-maintenance and resistant to disease, pests, and drought. Only fertilize them at 4 p.m. if the leaves have turned a pale green color.
7. Night Phlox (Zaluzianskya)
Night phlox, often known as “midnight candy,” comes in purple, red, or white and is ideal for giving pops of color among the primarily pale and white blooms typical of a moon garden. Its buds emerge at dusk and release a pleasant scent. It is a low-growing ground cover that is native to South Africa.
Care tips: Plant it in a location with full light and well-drained soil. Although it is drought-tolerant, this plant benefits from regular watering. It can be grown in pots or in the ground.
8. Angel’s Trumpet (Brugmansia)
Angel’s Trumpet is a self-pollinating herbaceous perennial that grows up to 15 feet tall and is a small tree or large shrub. Angel’s Trumpet blooms from spring to fall with impressive, foot-long, trumpet-shaped blooms if planted in partial shade. It also thrives as a houseplant, so in the winter you might want to move it indoors. However, please take note that these frost-sensitive, night-blooming plants are toxic.
Care tips: Low-maintenance; pruning is not necessary, but doing so in the fall can promote more new growth. Feed once a week and keep an eye out for insects like spider mites. Fresh water from the tap is not recommended; it favors water that has been kept out for a day.
9. Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia)
Choose to cultivate foam flowers if your place doesn’t get much sunlight. These perennial, shade-loving plants are resistant to deer and rabbits and make excellent ground covers. These magnificent star-shaped flowers, whose name derives from the Greek for “tiara,” are on a shrub that spreads swiftly through runners.
Care tips: Low-maintenance; keep soil moist and remove spent blooms. This plant has no issues with pests or diseases.
10. Casablanca Lily (lilium “Casa Blanca”)
This hybrid lily is popular for its wonderful scent and is frequently used as cut flowers. As long as it is in full sun or light shade and has well-drained soil, the Casablanca Lily is simple to cultivate and produces nocturnal blooms in the months of June and July. Pests including lily leaf beetles, aphids, and the lily mosaic virus should all be watched out for.
Care tips: low-maintenance and cultivated from perennial bulbs. Plant in well-draining soil to avoid bulb rot; mulch to retain moisture. Remove the blooms after flowering.
Things to Know About Night-Blooming Plants
Does the moonlight merely illuminate plants, or does it also aid in their growth?
In moon gardens, the majority of the plants that bloom at night require full sunlight to open their flowers. However, light also affects plant development, especially when the moon is at its brightest. The Farmers’ Almanac is among the experts who continue to accept this age-old theory.
The 10 moon garden plants we have mentioned are an incredible addition and the perfect partner for your outdoor bonsai.
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