Carolina Garden: Moonflower

Moonflower (Ipomoea alba) is the oversized cousin of the morning glory. As the name implies moonflower is a night bloomer. Opening at dusk, the large white blossoms last just one night. In the early evening these six to eight inch blossoms will unfold before your eyes. You are likely to have a few visitors to your garden as your moonflowers attract hummingbirds as well as varieties of the hummingbird moth. Moonflower, like the morning glory is an annual blooming vine, but unlike the morning glory, moonflowers don‘t easily self-seed. This drawback can be overcome by collecting seed pods in the fall. Seeds should be stored through the winter in a cool dry area. The ideal time for planting is June or early July. To help increase germination rates, soak the seeds in water 12-24 hours before planting.