How to Start Moonflowers

Overview

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.

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

Tie the climbing moonflower vines to your fence, trellis or post.

Things You'll Need

  • Moonflower seeds
  • Fingernail file or sharp serrated knife
  • Bowl of warm water
  • Damp paper towels
  • Plastic bag
  • Garden soil mixed with compost
  • Trellis, fencing or the post of a porch as a support for climbing vines

References

  • Moonflower Vines
  • How to Grow Moonflower Plants
  • Moonflower Culture

Who Can Help

  • Annuals--Moonflowers
Keywords: growing moonflower seeds, germinating moonflower seeds, starting moonflowers

About this Author

Richard Hoyt, an internationally published author of 26 mysteries, thrillers and other novels, is a former reporter for Honolulu dailies and writer for "Newsweek" magazine. He taught nonfiction writing and journalism at the university level for 10 years. He holds a Ph.D. in American studies.