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Moonflower seedlings

Moonflower opens at dusk

Though it’s still cold and windy outside, it’s time to start germinating flowers and vegetables inside and get them ready for planting next month.  Moonflower (Ipomoea alba) is one of them.  I have been growing Moonflowers for years.  Both of us love to have fragrant flowers in the garden, merely beautiful flowers just won’t do.  A flower without a scent is like a woman who dresses nicely but has nothing else to offer beyond that.  So, 95% of the flowers in our garden are fragrant, differing only in a matter of degrees.

We grow flowers that  perfume our garden all day, but during the work week we are only able to enjoy them in the evening.  That’s when the Moonflowers come into the picture.  The flowers start to unfurl like a beach umbrella at dusk.  You can literately see them opening.  The pure white, six inch in diameter flower is equipped with a sweet, soothing perfume.  The flowers look even more magical under the moonlight.

Moonflower seeds sprouting on a paper towel

I soak the hard seeds for 3 to 4 hours then put them between damp paper towels.  A couple layers of towel at the bottom and cover them with two layers on top.  Make sure the papers stay damp but not soaked.  Their little roots will start to come out in two days.  Once the root comes out you can put them in the soil in individual containers or right in the ground if it is warm enough outside.  The seedlings will push themselves above the soil in a few days.  For us, we’ll have to wait for the weather to warm up outside.

I start all the beans and peas this way, they germinate faster than just putting them right in the soil.  It saves time and doesn’t waste any space for the non-germinating seeds.  The Moonflowers below are on our kitchen counter now, waiting to be transplanted or adopted by our friends.

Three days after being given their own space to germinate