The moonflower, Imopmoea alba, is a flowering vine closely related to morning glory. It produces white-tinged, 6-inch-wide scented flowers that bloom after sunset and fold at sunrise. Considered easy to grow, the moonflower is a perennial that is ordinarily sold and grown as an annual. It is best started from seeds. Germinating the beige, thick-skinned seeds is not difficult.
Scratch the cover of each seed with a fingernail file or serrated knife. Put the seeds in a bowl of warm water and soak them overnight. Do this three or four weeks before the last frost. If you live in a cooler region, you should start six to 10 weeks early.
Place the soaked seeds between layers of a damp paper towel and put the towel in an unsealed plastic bag. Put the bag in a warm place.
Check the bag of seeds daily. When the seeds send out their first roots, plant them outside 1/2-inch deep in a loose mix of garden soil and compost. If the soil is too cold it can stunt the growth of the seedlings or cause their roots to rot.
Thin or space the growing seeds at least 6 inches apart. Keep them damp but not soaked. The vines will take off when the soil warms in a few weeks.
Tie the climbing moonflower vines to your fence, trellis or post.