If you’re interested in Moonflowers- how to grow them, how to take care of them, and how to water them. This is the article for you!
Moonflowers, the name already gives away a bit of the character of this beautiful flower, but if you’re not familiar with this plant you might be wondering “What does a moon plant look like?”. Ipomoea alba, more commonly known as moonflower, is a plant, climbing vine with large purple or white blooms, with a very special fragrance that fills the night air in the garden. So if you are interested in learning how to grow moonflowers, stick around because today we will talk about that.
Are moon flowers perennials? This brings me to the topic of the moonflower growing zone, originally these are perennial vines that usually grow in subtropical areas, but it is possible to grow them as annuals in areas with cold winters. Moonflower plants belong to the family of Ipomea plants, other relatives are the morning glory and sweet potato vine, these plants have flowers that start opening late in the afternoon. The leaves of the moonflower vine, which are large and shaped as hearts, are an addition to the beauty of the plant.
Growing a Moonflower Plant
Where to Plant Moonflowers
- Moonflowers can be planted in the garden and not much ground space is needed to plant them because they start climbing upward early on. Offer them a trellis or some other structure of support so the vines have where to climb. Moonflower can grow to reach a height of up to 6 meters, twining, and climbing around anything they can reach. In order to encourage the flowering to happen downward, you can pinch back moonflowers that are growing on the vine top.
- It is also possible to grow them in hanging baskets, or simply allow them to spread as ground cover naturally.
- It is a good idea to have them growing close to a deck or window of a bedroom, this way the sweet fragrance they emit at night can be appreciated.
- In zones, 10-11 moonflowers are perennials that are winter-hardy, but in the case of cooler zones, it is possible to effectively grow them as annuals. When planted in soil that is somewhat fertile, they grow from seed quite easily, but it is possible for them to adapt to other soil conditions. In climates that are colder, you can start the seed before the outside soil has warmed up, six to eight weeks prior to that. Moonflowers may be planted outside when the temperature outdoors is stable between 15 to 20 celsius.
- It is possible to grow moonflowers in large containers or directly in the ground. It is believed by some that if you allow time for the roots to start crowding the inside of the container the blooms of the moonflower plant arrive earlier.
- You can start a new moonflower by taking a root division of an already existing plant.
- In the case of southern zones, mulch the moonflowers’ roots, and when growing them in colder areas dig them up for storage in the winter.
- If you don’t want the plant to reseed, spent flowers should be removed before they start dropping seeds. More vine blooming can be promoted even by this process of deadheading.
- When to plant moonflowers? When being grown as annual flowers, the best thing is to plant them after winter has passed, early spring, and for some people is easier to replant them every year instead of trying to bring them inside to maintain them during the cold winter, because it might be quite difficult to maintain these vines indoors. When being grown as perennials you can prune back in the fall as needed. In order to allow the air circulation to happen better, you can thin the stems, this way your plant can also get better sunlight exposure.
Caring for Moonflower Plants
The maintenance of moonflower vines is simple enough, you just need to water and feed them on a regular basis, it’s rare for them to have issues with pests or diseases.
- Moonflower light requirements- Do moonflowers need full sun? The best light conditions for moonflowers is full sun, this means that it gets direct sunlight for at least 6 hours daily. It is possible for them to grow in partial shade also, but in these conditions, there is a chance they won’t flower as well.
- Water- The water amount moonflowers like is enough to keep their soil in moderate moisture conditions. Young plants should be watered regularly, keeping their soil moist but not too much so it becomes soggy. If the soil becomes too wet it can lead to root rot. In the case of more mature, established plants you can water them when the soil starts to dry out. The vine can survive short drought periods, but if left for a long time without water it can die.
- Humidity and temperature- The humidity and warmth of their growing zones give them the conditions to thrive. If you are planting them in a cooler zone you should wait until the temperature is around 15 to 21 celsius outside to plant them. If there is dry and extremely hot weather make sure to keep the soil moist for them.
- Fertilizer- Use high-phosphorus, half-strength fertilizer every three to four weeks when the plant is blooming. High-nitrogen fertilizer should be avoided because it increases the production of leaves, decreasing the blooms.
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