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If you feel like you're missing out on the gorgeous blooming flowers in your garden due to oppressive heat or a busy work schedule, consider planting flowers that bloom at night. Moon gardens, as they are commonly known, consist of flowering plants that bloom or become more fragrant from late afternoon into the night. What makes these types of gardens so enchanting is their glowy appearance; moonlight reflects off the silvery leaves and petals, making the flowers appear to be lit from within.
Additional elements like a water fountain, pathway lights, and wind chimes add to the magical experience of walking through a moon garden. Water features not only add a gentle background sound but also amplify the moonlight by reflecting it. Soft lighting creates a pleasant ambiance without detracting from the spectacular luminescent blooms.
Of course, you can intermingle night-blooming and night-scented flowers with all-day bloomers to enjoy colorful flowers anytime. Companion plants like roses, peonies, and hydrangeas offer vibrant color in the daylight and stand out at night due to their feathery, light-colored petals.
In addition to beauty, moon gardens bring many other benefits to your yard. The night-blooming flowers' scents and reflective petals attract nocturnal pollinators like moths and bats, reducing insects and helping all your plants thrive. Moon gardens also provide an enchanting backdrop for outdoor summer parties. Guests won’t be able to resist strolling through fragrant jasmine, dazzling phlox, and silvery lamb’s ear.
Read on to see which flowers bloom at night so you can plant and grow the moon garden of your dreams.
As the name suggests, moonflower, or moon vine, is a night-blooming morning glory that opens in the evening and stays full until dew hits in the morning. Its bright white flower makes it a striking, easy-to-spot addition to a night garden.
Four O'Clocks, as they are aptly named, bloom in the late afternoon and close up again in the early morning. These fragrant evening bloomers attract hummingbirds and bees as well as nighttime pollinators like fireflies. They come in a variety of colors, including yellow, pink, purple, red, and white. Make sure you have a large plot in your garden to accommodate this fast-growing, bushy plant.
Night Blooming Jasmine
With its heady, floral scent and delicate white tubular flowers, jasmine is a pollinator's dream. This tropical plant opens up at night, releasing its sweet aroma. Plant it near your patio or deck so you can fully enjoy jasmine's lovely perfume. Keep in mind this plant is toxic to plants and animals.
Midnight Candy Night Phlox
These sweet pinwheel-shaped flowers give off the most delicious scent of vanilla and honey after the sun sets. They're a perfect companion to other night-blooming flowers like sweet alyssum and evening-scented stock. This delicate annual will bloom from summer through fall.
Plant primrose with care—this pretty perennial self-seeds, creating sprawling colonies that can quickly take over your yard. However, if proper precautions are taken, you can enjoy its delicate cup-shaped blossom without worry when they open up each night. Pollinators like moths and bats won't be able to resist the sweet, delicate fragrance that becomes stronger at nightfall.
Mounds of white sweet alyssum reflect moonlight beautifully, making them appear to glow. Plant this quick-growing ground cover in abundance for maximum effect. It makes an excellent border plant layered in front of bright yellow or pink roses.
Especially fragrant at night with pure white flowers, angel's trumpet is naturally suited for a moon garden. The horn-shaped flowers give off a very sweet scent similar to honeysuckle and dangle delicately from the shrubby plant for a whimsical effect. Be aware that all parts of the plant are toxic to humans and pets.
If you’re looking for a super-saturated flower to catch your eye while taking an evening garden stroll, impatiens deliver. Create a striking, richly colored display by mass planting impatiens in pots or as bushy backfill against a fence. These showy flowers bring tons of color to your garden, day and night.
Casa Blanca Lilies
For a truly showstopping addition to your moon garden, look no further than the Casa Blanca lily. With its creamy white flowers and spiked foliage, not to mention the classic tropical scent, this dreamy lily is a treat for the eyes and nose.
Beloved for their strong, sweet floral scent, dainty white tuberose flowers grow up to four feet tall on their stalks. The star-shaped blooms and stark white petals make them a striking choice for a night garden.
This gladiolus variety smells most potent after dusk. Its spikey yellow or white blossoms and slender stem give it a wildflower-like appearance, growing to about two feet tall.
Amethyst Falls Wisteria
With attentive care, this fast-spreading plant can be controlled so that its enchanting lilac-colored blooms flourish day and night. When contained to an arbor or trellis, wisteria’s fragrant and brightly colored tendrils stand out against the darkness and appear to float in the night.
Known for its supremely touchable, soft, fuzzy foliage and silvery blue-green color, lamb’s ear gleams in the moonlight. It’s very easy to grow and loves full sun and dry soil. Just beware that this aggressive spreader can quickly overtake your garden bed if you don't prune it back.
Commonly referred to as coral bells, heuchera aren't strictly night bloomers, but they make excellent companion border plants in your moon garden. Their easygoing nature allows them to grow in bright sun or shade, while their vibrant foliage and airy stems make them easily visible in the dark.
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Sweet Bay Magnolia
One of the most recognizable southern flowers, magnolia trees produce gigantic, fragrant flowers that dreamily reflect moonlight. Their creamy petals look like twinkle lights scattered throughout the tree. Keep in mind that magnolia trees can grow up to 80 feet tall, so plan accordingly before planting.
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