In your own Moon garden, there are many plants that can be enjoyed during the
evening for their beauty and perfume. Several white varieties seem to actually
glow under moonlight and all plants with white blooms show up well in the night
Although traditional Moon Gardens are filled with white
flowers, a mixture of colours is included here.
(Datura inoxia var. Brugmansia syn)
Excellent Moon Garden plant with large showy pure white trumpet shaped flowers
up to 8" long that open at night. Large spiny seed pods. Angela's Trumpet can
be pruned to avoid it becoming straggly. The new apricot cultivars are just as
fragrant and prolific as the white forms.
Brugmansia x candida
or light yellow, night-scented flowers up to 30cm long; 'Grand Marnier' and
'Knightii' are also excellent.
( Matricaria chamomilla )
A gorgeous plant with fern-like foliage and white daisy-like flowers. The
leaves make a relaxing bed-time tea.
(Cosmos atrosanguineus )
Although it has brown flowers and doesn't stand out in the night garden, its
perfume certainly will. Plant seedlings with the white flowering cosmos and the
effect will be quite striking. The white blooms are also fragrant, but it's the
chocolate ones that are the most fragrant. Cosmos are hardy annuals and stand
up well even in dry conditions.
(Oenothera biennis, Oenothera rosea)
A lovely plant that grows anywhere from 60cm to 2 metres (2 - 6 feet) tall,
Evening Primrose has honey-scented blooms usually in satiny pinks, but also in
yellows. The blooms deepen to a butter-yellow center during Spring and Summer.
Evening Primrose is a spreading perennial with dull-green leaves. Flowers open
in late afternoon to release soft fragrance and then close at dawn. Evening
Primrose is easy to grow and likes hot Summers. Propagation is by division in
Winter. Once established, this plant will self-seed each year. Problems include
snails and aphids.
(Matricaria capensis - Tanacetum parthenium (White Stars) - Chrysanthemum
Feverfew is one of the mystical herbs mentioned in ancient folklore as it was
believed to be helpful in curing a number of ailments from opium addiction to
migraine headaches. It was also used in smelling salts to stop giddiness. The
flowers are said to repel bees.
A very easily grown annual which makes a bush of aromatic, light green leaves,
Feverfew is a native American herb with sprays of 1 inch single white daisy like
flowers with flat yellow centres, growing to about 15 inches tall.
Although Feverfew can grow in almost any soil conditions, it likes a moist but
well-drained soil and full sun or partial shade. Sow seeds inside or outside in
the early Spring covering them lightly. When flowers begin to fade, trim plants
back and fertilise to encourage further bloom. In mild-winter areas, plants
will often live for a second year, and frequently self-sow.
FOUR o'CLOCK, MARVEL OF PERU
Four o'Clock is a tuberous-rooted perennial and a great survivor as it is often
seen flourishing in neglected places. It makes a 60cm (2 feet) high bush of
rather coarse mid-green foliage topped with masses of trumpet-shaped flowers
which may be red, coral, pink or yellow, sometimes striped in two colours.
The flowers open in late afternoon and remain open all night, giving off a
light sweet scent.
flowers from late Summer through Autumn.
Plants are sensitive to frost, but in most areas they are very easy to grow.
Simply plant them in any sort of soil, in sun or light shade, and cut down the
spent foliage in late Autumn. Propagation is from root cuttings or seed in
Spring. Plants often self-sow, sometimes so freely that they become a nuisance.
(Ipomea alba var.)
A fast growing vine related to the morning glory, this annual may climb to 10
feet. Tightly closed by day, its white flowers open at dusk to release a sweet
fragrance. With 5-6" silky white flowers, the flowers can be seen very clearly
Honeysuckle is highly fragrant after sunset and the "Serotina Winchester"
variety flowers prolifically, the deep-pink-and-cream flowers merging into
sunset-gold and red tones as they fade. It is heavily fragrant and looks
beautiful growing over walls or trellises.
Lady-of-the-Night has solitary night-scented flowers which are
8cm (3in) long. It is a West Indian native shrub with bushy, evergreen foliage
and grows to about 2-4m (6-12') tall. From Summer to early Autumn it produces
white flowers with light purple centres, which turn cream then gold as they
age. The flowers are wonderfully fragrant, and the scent becomes stronger at
Lady-of-the-Night is frost sensitive and grows well in warm, frost-free
coastal areas. The berries on brunfelsias have been known to poison dogs. They
like rich, well-drained soil and adequate water during summer. Tip prune after
flowering to keep the plant bushy.
The ornamental tobaccos are perennials, but are usually treated as annuals.
They flower in colours of white, lavender, mauve, crimson and maroon, are
scented, the fragrance particularly strong on warm evenings. The white
flowered, tubular kinds
generally has the strongest perfume and grow on stems
up to 5 ft tall. The sweet-scented, white flowers, flushed pink on the outer
side, open only in the evening or during the cooler parts of the day.
Nicotiana likes full sun and well-drained soil. Water well
until they are well established. The flowers form beautiful stars and bloom
profusely from early Summer to early Autumn if in the right position. Sow in
greenhouses for early flowering or in the open in Spring. Sticky backs of
leaves can trap white flies.
Jasmine Tobacco is a very sweet scented flowering tobacco with pure white
trumpet shaped flowers 3-4" long and 1-1/2" wide that open in the evening. It is
free flowering. Seedlings sown in Autumn make great pot plants for growing
during the winter.
Average garden soil is suitable and plants grow well in full sun or partial
shade. Seed can be sown direct where plants are to grow, or started early under
glass and transplanted when the weather is warm. The seed should be barely
covered with soil. Flowering tobacco seeds are slow to germinate, but once
plants start to grow, progress is rapid. Flowers are produced from mid-Summer
until Autumn. Once established, plants often self-sow.
Also known as Orchid Cactus, this rather rare plant has huge white flowers
which open at dusk and fade the following morning. The plant itself is a tangle
of thornless, flat and leafless pale green stems. The Night-scented Cactus
flowers in flushes from late Spring to early Autumn and has a beautiful perfume.
It is normally grown in hanging baskets filled with orchid compost, but can be
planted in well-composted soil in a lightly shaded position. Water and
fertilise in Summer - it needs little other attention.
Preferring a subtropical climate, with no frost, the orchid cactus can be grown
as an indoor plant in cooler areas.
The "lady of the night" is a fast-growing, 3m tall shrub with mid-green leaves
and showers of tiny, pale green flowers. Scentless by day, they are powerfully
fragrant by night - too much so for some people and the oft-given advice that
this shrub should be planted outside bedroom windows should be taken with
Night-scented Jasmine flowers from late Spring to early Autumn. It prefers a
frost-free climate, flourishing in almost any soil and position. It does,
however, appreciate being watered in Summer. Prune hard in early Spring to keep
the plant shapely. Propagation is from cuttings in Summer.
Powerfully scented creamy-white flowers, strongest at night or after rain. A
frost-hardy evergreen which can grow to 3 metres (9 feet). This shrub has
tubular, bright yellow-green flowers, to 2.5cm (1 inch) long, with star-shaped
mouths. Night-scented Jessamine flowers from Summer to Autumn, followed by
violet-brown berries. Flowering 2 to 3 times a year as long as the proper
conditions are provided.
Sweetly night scented flowers of green, black and creamy white. This plant has
a tuberous root system with deeply cut foliage.
Night scented, yellow-green flowers. Glaucous, succulent stem with swollen
joints. Grey-green, glabrous leaf.
(Matthiola bicormis - m. longipetala)
Night-scented stock is a rather straggly annual and has such insignificant pink
and white flowers but such a sweet, heady clove-like scent after dark. It is
little valued for its appearance but treasured for its very fragrant flowers
which open in the evening and scent the garden. Night-scented stock grows from
25cm - 40 cm (10-15 inches) producing lilac-pink, deep purple to magenta, and
Easily grown in an average to moderately rich garden soil, it prefers a sunny
position. Seed can be sown direct where the plants are to grow if the soil is
carefully prepared, or started in seed trays under glass and transplanted when
big enough to handle. Sowings can be made in Autumn for late Winter and Spring
flowers, and in Spring for Summer flowers. The latter is recommended where
Winters are very cold. Water regularly as flowering is apt to stop if the
plants dry out. Plants grow best in cool weather and have a remarkably long
Discovered in South America in 1823, this petunia has intensely night-scented,
large white flowers. Petunias are a genus of perennial herbs in the nightshade
family and are tough, heat tolerant plants. Petunias flourish in full sun, but
they will grow adequately in part shade.
PURE WHITE CONEFLOWER - WHITE SWAN
- Echinacea purpurea )
A lovely pure white version of Echinacea purpurea that bears fragrant white
coneflowers. Very hardy summer bloomer that will grow to 60cm (2 feet). Great
for cut flowers. Remove old flower heads to increase flowering. Flowers appear
during Summer and it requires full sun to part shade in a well drained soil.
SNOW WHITE CARNATION
( Dianthus caryophyllus)
Probably the whitest carnations you will ever see. An excellent cut flower, they
also make wonderful bedding and border plants growing to about 75cm tall. These
carnations have spicy-sweet, rich fragrance. All climates are suitable and they
can be planted any time in sun and fertile, well drained soil, preferably
(Cleome hassleriana (syn. C. spinosa)
The Spider Flower is an annual that loves heat and humidity. Growing to at
least 1.5 metres in height, its perfume rises as the sun sets. It has
concealed spines on its stems, making it an excellent barrier plant to stop
uninvited guests. They have huge (6 inch) complex flowers in pink, burgundy,
lilac and white. The white bushes are a little lacking in the vigour of the
lilac and burgundy flowering bushes. Attracting moths and butterflies to your
garden, it is ideal for the back of the border. It prefers full sun to light
shade and average, well-drained soil. It self-sows readily.
A low-growing evergreen shrub from Western Australia, often used as a ground
cover. It has prickly, pale green leaves and clusters of cream flowers. They
have a strong, heavy fragrance which some people find overpowering. Sniff
before your buy! There are many other species of grevillea, but most are
The Spider Flower blooms in late Spring and temperate climates are preferred.
In cooler areas, young plants require protection from frosts. When planted in
the sun in a well-drained soil, it will be happy when watered during Summer and
very dry spells. Prune back any long branches that rise above the carpet
of foliage. Cuttings should be taken in Summer. The only problem with the
Spider Flower is that plants are often short-lived in humid summer climates.
Also known as Perennial Phlox, the foliage is undistinguished, but the big
domes of wide-open flowers are spectacular, coming in a wide range of colours
except for yellow or gold. Flowering during Summer, they prefer light shade as
strong sun will bleach the flowers. Fragrant both day and night, it tends to
emit more scent at night when the cool air allows it to open up fully. Water
regularly (overhead not recommended) but be aware that powdery mildew and
leaf-spot can be a problem.
Propagation is by division or root cuttings in Winter.
Sweet Alyssum is an easy, fast-growing annual, with sweet-smelling white
blooms. Flowering from June until September, deadheading will promote further
flowering. Sweet Alyssum needs light to germinate. It also prefers to be kept
moist but will tolerate drought and heat. If overfed, you will get more foliage
Also known as Dame's Rocket, this plant has sweetly scented flowers in the
evening. Colours include a delicate white or lavender-lilac. Sweet rocket is a
common plant, often growing on roadsides. It blooms throughout Summer and
grows to 75cm (just over 2 feet). Sweet Rocket is very hardy and can
be grown in full sun to partial shade in a well drained soil and will
naturalise if let go to seed. Sweet Rocket needs a steady water supply and
deadheading will encourage a second blooming session.
WALLFLOWER - MOONLIGHT
"Moonlight" is a new cream flowering "Wallflower" that is light enough to be
seen in the evening, as well as having a delicious exotic perfume at night.
"Moonlight" will flower from early Spring through to Summer.
The Wax Plant likes climbing or hanging to 20 feet or more outdoors. The
flowers are star-shaped and waxy, pure white in species, varietiess in pink and
red in cultivars. They prefer a sunny, light position, with cool to average
temperatures and a well-drained soil. Pests and problems include leaf fall
from overwatering; scale, mealybugs (common), aphids. Propagation is by stem
cuttings, layering and tissue culture.
White Candytuft has beautiful large trusses of
brilliant white flowers on sturdy stems in dense multiple clusters which appear
Spring. It is very easy to raise and its seeds germinate in
about 10 days. A very popular and useful perennial which forms a low and
compact mat of dark green leaves. Soil should be slightly alkaline and
well-drained. Several hours of sunlight each day will produce the best blooms.
Some recommended cultivars are 'Alexander's White', 'Purity' and 'Snowflake'.
WHITE COSMOS - WHITE SONATA
The satin white, daisy-shaped flowers with gold dust centers glow in the
dimming light of evening. White Cosmos is a compact and free-flowering variety.
Seeds take between 10-15 days to germinate and require full sun. Prefers light,
moderately dry soil.
WHITE DILL - BISHOP'S FLOWER
A beautiful annual, self-sowing plant growing to about 36 in. tall with clouds
of white flowers often in clusters 6 inches or more across. Excellent as a cut
flower or as a filler in bouquets. Seeds need light to germinate. Seedlings
will appear in about two weeks. White Dill requires full sun and a neutral,
well-drained soil. Ammi majus will become drought-tolerant once established.
WHITE LEAVED DUSTY MILLER
The foliage of this plant is very white and fine leafed. Good compact growth. A
different looking dusty miller that will stand out in your garden. Sow seeds on
surface, germinates in about 2 weeks.
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