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Growing Moonflowers

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Growing Moonflowers

Add some night interest and a lovely fragrance to your garden with the beautiful moonflower which opens just before dusk. This is a guide about growing moonflowers.

Solutions: Growing Moonflowers

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Tip: Starting Moonflower Vine Seed

Starting Moonflower Vine Seed

Last Fall, I collected seed from the dried seed pods on the vine pictured here. I brought the seed inside and put them in a saucer to dry for three days.

Then I put the seed in a small plastic container. I put a piece of match book cover in the container to absorb any extra moisture. I put the lid on the container and stored the seed in a kitchen cabinet at room temperature through the Winter.

This Spring (Apr 29), I planted the seed indoors. I did no soaking nor nicking. The soil was kept evenly moist and at around 70 degrees.

Within 6 days, I had one seed to emerge from the soil. I checked other cells and found more seed had germinated but not emerged.

I admit the germ time here is a bit faster than usual, but it does dispell the theory that Moonflower Vine seed should necessarily be soaked or knicked before planting; and by no means should they be given a cold treatment.

Starting Moonflower Vine SeedStarting Moonflower Vine Seed

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Questions

Here are questions related to Growing Moonflowers.

Question: Germinating Moonflower Seeds

Last year I grew moonflowers, and late in the fall I harvested a couple of dozen seeds from the purple-ish pods. I kept them in a cool dry place all winter.

After reading online, I took a dozen or so and soaked them in water overnight, then planted them about 1/2 inch deep in seed starting soil mix in jiffy pots. It's been about 3 weeks and none of them have germinated.

I put the rest in the fridge so they'd have a brief cold season. I then separated them into three groups of four: 1) soaked in water, put in soil, then placed on a seed-starting heat pad; 2) soaked in water in the fridge for two days, then put in soil and on the heating mat, and 3) placed the seeds in soil-filled jiffy pots, then placed in the fridge for another 24 hours. These were not put on the heating pad.

It's now been a week, and I have yet to see any sign of germination. It seems I tried everything (except for nicking the seeds) and had no luck. Any idea what I did wrong? Is it possible to dig up the seeds, nick them, and put them back in the pots? Or is it possible that somehow these seeds were not viable?

By Jimbeaux


Most Recent Answer

By likekinds [44]03/29/2013

I can appreciate that you did several trials. Much has been learned by doing this. However in this case, It didn't seem to help.

I have never refrigerated seed. I have frozen some seed if I knew a cold treatment was required for germination. When a cold treatment is required, it is usually for seed whose natural growing region has quite cold winters.

With that in mind, remember that the moonflower vine is native to the more tropical regions, Northern Argentina and Mexico, etc. I doubt it's seed would need a cold treatment. Your seed may not be viable and the cold treatment may be the reason.

I consulted J L Hudson, one of the most reputable seedsman in this country. If a particular seed needs a cold treatment, he will be sure to advise you of accordingly. He does not mention a cold treatment for The Moonflower Vine (Calonyction aculeatum (=Ipomoea alba) in his catalogue. Also, he has stated that he stores all his seed in glass jars at room tempreature.

If I were you, I would just chalk all this up to experience and start all over with fresh seed. Hudson has them for $2.00 plus the cheapest shipping you'll find anywhere. I bought my last pack at Wal Mart for about the same price.

Here is an excerpt from Hudson's catalogue....and good luck!

Calonyction (kal-o-NIK-tee-on)
Convolvulaceae. Large twining half hardy perennials grown as annuals for their large and showy, fragrant, trumpet-shaped, night-blooming flowers. They are beautiful free-flowering vines, their night-scented blooms make them excellent for covering trellis work by summer porches and bedroom windows. Nick seed or soak overnight in warm water till swollen. Germinates in about 2 weeks. Sow early and plant out in May. Easy.
Calonyction aculeatum (=Ipomoea alba).

You can see a picture of Moonflower vine I started indoors, here.

http://wwwsrc.thriftyfun.com/tf91322275.tip.htm

Question: How To Sprout Moonflower Seeds

I received dried moonflower seeds from a plant in Dallas. I put some in pots with potting soil and planted some directly in the ground without nicking and soaking. It's been about 2 weeks now and none have sprouted. I have done an online search and everyone says to nick the seeds. These seeds are so tiny it's about impossible to nick them. I now have a few that have been soaking for about three days and they don't look any different from the day I starting soaking them. Are the seeds in the packets that you buy any bigger? I'm in zone 7, west Texas. What am I doing wrong?

By Betty


Most Recent Answer

By likekinds [44]04/04/2013

Betty

Depending on the weather and other factors, it may be normal that your seed haven't come up yet. I'd give them one more week.

When you were doing your research online, did you happen to view any pictures of the seed? The seeds are not tiny. They are as large as a good size English pea. You should have no trouble nicking them. I never soak or nick mine. It really isn't necessary. All it does is speed up the germination time by a day or two.

Below is a picture of a Moonflower Vine seed.

RE: How To Sprout Moonflower Seeds

Question: How Long Do Moonflower Seeds Take to Germinate?

I planted moonflower seeds, how long do they take for germination?

Hardiness Zone: 7a

By Marie from Murfreesboro, TN


Most Recent Answer

By Marie Huskins [4]05/07/2010

Ok that is what I did , put them right in the ground, I will keep checking them, thanks for the info, I got my seeds at Walmart.
Thanks,
Marie

Question: Moonflower Seeds

Question:

My moonflowers have bloomed now, I am wondering when will I start too see the seeds from them. I just want too get them before it freezes here.

Hardiness Zone: 5a

Joyce from Janesville, WI

Answer:

Joyce,

Moonflower seeds pods are easy to identify. As the flowers fade you will see large purplish-colored pods. Some gardeners like the looks of them and leave them attached to the vines, while other cut them off. To save moonflower seeds, collect the pods once they turn brown and start to crack open. If you're worried about frost before the pods dry out completely, remove them and finish drying them inside. Inside the pods will be hard, cream-colored seeds. These seeds sometimes take a while to dry, so you may want to store them over winter in paper bags to ensure they get some air circulation. In the spring, nick the seeds slightly and soak them overnight in warm water. This will help speed up the germination process before you plant them. Start the seeds indoors for transplanting or sow them directly into the ground once danger of frost is well past.

Ellen

By Ellen Brown


Most Recent Answer

By Brenda Cline (Guest Post)01/12/2007

Moon Flower seeds - Shouldn't be a problem collecting seeds as every flower makes a seed pod. So they are there all season. Plus remember that these seeds [toxin] famous for its mind altering properties. I have grown them, they smell wonderful. I always wash my hands when I have handled the plant.

Photos

Below are photos related to this guide.

My Blooming Moon Flowers

I planted these last year and they came back. I love them! I wish I would have planted them in my angel garden; I may do that in the fall.

They're show off flowers for sure :) with huge blooms. It is a shame each blooms for one evening, yet there are always more blooms. At the moment I have 14 buds. I can't wait for every evening to see new blooms. View from the front, down the throat of flower.

They hold up even with all the heat we're having this summer. I consider them a keeper in my gardens and when the full moon shines on them they are breath taking!

I took these just before dark last night. I hope you'll enjoy seeing my moon flowers and maybe even plant one for your garden. :) Several flowers blooming.

By Jackie from Salisbury, MD

Side view of flower.

Moonflower Vine Bloom

Moonflower Vine Bloom

Photo Description
Some time back, I submitted my views on how it was usually not necessary to soak or nick Moonflower Vine seed prior to planting. I added that I had a seed to germinate in six days without either.

The picture shows the vine and it's bloom that resulted from that particular seed. I plan to harvest all the seed from this vine. I will plant then in the Spring. I am hoping that from all those seed, I will get at least one that will germinate in five days without nicking or soaking.

Photo Location
My front porch in NC

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