Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Big excitement—for me, that is


All you jaded master gardeners out there probably grow this with the greatest of ease—or scorn it—but I have always wanted a moonflower (ipomoea alba). It is a scented vine, which combines my favorite plant structure with my favorite plant attribute. After a failed attempt to grow these from seeds passed along to me by my sister-in-law (chalk up yet another seed starting failure), I got a plant from Select Seeds and it is finally blooming. It should flourish through September, I'd think.


I see that this is related to morning glory, which implies that is likely invasive or at least overly aggressive in some areas, but that won't be a problem here. And it's poisonous. Poisonous and invasive—why do so many of the plants I really like fall into both those categories?

16 comments:

Cindy, MCOK said...

I'm swooning ... if it smells as lovely as it looks, I may have to grow them again. I know just the spot!

Brian said...

We were very successful with these vines the first year we planted our garden, but have yet to have any success the past two years. They are quite wonderful to watch open. Definitely non-invasive in the north. I hope we are more successful with them next year.

Darla said...

I can grow morning glories like nobody's business, but moon flowers I keep failing with....maybe you will have some seedlings pop up from it....congrats!!

gardenwalkgardentalk.com said...

Very weird year for Ipomoea. I have them reaching for the clouds, but not one flower all year. I have the blue variety, but not one flower. There are 6 plants too. Other years, flowers galore.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I can see no reason to scorn this plant. It is beautiful and here it is not invasive. I think you are having hopeful thoughts.

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

I have moonflower envy, Elizabeth. I have tried growing them several times but have never been successful in getting more than one flower on a plant. Now I just admire those of other, more successful moonflower gardeners. Like yours :-)

Layanee said...

That is quite a beautiful picture of your moonflower. Serene.

Gail said...

Yippee Elizabeth~The moonflower is wonderful and I think for a seed challenged gardener like me, plants are best! it's a really beautiful flower and I even like the way the twists closed in the morning. gail

joey said...

Like Jodi, I have moonflower envy. Wish I had the ideal home for this true beauty.

Laurie Brown said...

There isn't much chance of the moonflowers becoming invasive in your area. They are such slow plants, so late to bloom, that the chance of it making and ripening seeds is pretty low.

Only once have I gotten one to bloom- I started very early and just left it in the greenhouse all summer. I've given up on them and satisfy myself with morning glories for the vine structure and datura for the night scent.

Brenda Coulter said...

I grow both moonflowers and morning glories ("Heavenly Blue") quite easily from seed in Zone 5. The thing to remember is that these vines DO NOT want fertilizer, EVER. Fertilize and you'll get lush foliage with no flowers at all.

Moonflowers have a wonderful fresh-linen scent. I plant my seeds on May 15 and have flowers just over 60 days later. They last until the first frost. And no, they don't reseed themselves to any great extent.

Anonymous said...

I have never had any luck growing morning glories from seed; zip, nada, zilch. I've nicked and soaked and done everything I can think of. Wild morning glory AKA bindweed (Convovulus not Ipomea), is a noxious weed around here, but morning glories, not so much.

Deirdre

Mary S. said...

I am jealous. I have failed with moonflowers multiple times -- but always with seeds. Next year, I'm buying a start.

Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings said...

I've grown it with morning glory for a day and night show. I love the way it smells, and it always made me smile. I need to plant more seeds of it next spring. Thanks.

garden girl said...

They're so pretty!

I'm a master gardener, and while I haven't grown them, I don't scorn them either. I'm not sure why I've never tried growing them.

. . . So many plants, so little space, relatively speaking.

Annie in Austin said...

Congratulations EAL!
When I grew them in Illinois they didn't bloom every year but it sure seemed worth taking a chance. I still have film-camera photos of them in bloom.

Down here in Central Texas Moonflowers have enough time to set seed. I always save a few to start - they haven't reseeded on their own.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose