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Moonflowers in the moonlight

Moonflowers have been grown in Mississippi gardens for many years. They are related to morning glories except the moonflower is a nocturnal bloomer. After sunset, their huge, fragrant white flowers unfurl and glow all night in the moonlight!

Moonflower plants are prolific climbers, usually reaching a height of 6 feet or more by summers end.   When growing moonflowers, make sure to plant them where they can quickly climb to the moon. I like them planted along patios, sidewalks and porch railings where people are likely to be in the early evening hours.  They are pollinated by night-flying moths which can be very interesting and fun to watch!

Seed can be sown directly into the garden or started in pots and transplanted. It is recommended to soak the seed in warm water overnight before planting. Full to part sun is adequate and well-drained garden soil is fine.

You are sure to enjoy the moonflowers evening performance as well as heavy fragrance. The flowers unfold very quickly and that in itself is an event worth waiting for!

Rebecca Bates is director of the Lincoln County Cooperative Extension Service. To contact her, call 601-835-3460.