14 Night-Blooming Flowers for Your Moon Garden

Imagine stepping into your garden as the sun sets, the sky deepens to a velvety indigo, and the first stars begin to twinkle. Instead of the usual shadows and silhouettes, you find yourself surrounded by ethereal blooms that come to life in the moonlight, their delicate petals glowing softly and their sweet fragrances wafting through the night air.

This magical transformation is the essence of a moon garden, where night-blooming flowers take center stage.

Discover the enchanting flowers that will turn your garden into a nighttime oasis, inviting you to experience the beauty and tranquility of your outdoor space after dark.

What Is a Moon Garden?

Moon garden.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

A moon garden is a specially designed outdoor space intended for nighttime enjoyment. These gardens feature plants and flowers that bloom in the evening or have light-colored flowers and silvery or variegated foliage, which reflect moonlight to create a luminous effect. The essence of a moon garden lies in its ability to provide a serene and captivating atmosphere under the moon’s soft glow and stars.

Night-blooming plants are a central component of a moon garden. Flowers such as Moonflower, Night-Blooming Jasmine, and Datura open in the evening and often release strong, particularly noticeable fragrances at night. These scents add an enchanting quality to the garden, making it a sensory after-dark experience. In addition to night-blooming plants, light-colored flowers play a significant role. White, pale pink, and other pastel-colored flowers stand out in low light and reflect moonlight

Foliage with reflective qualities is another important feature of a moon garden. Plants with silver, gray, or variegated leaves, like Dusty Miller or Lamb’s Ear, help create a shimmering effect as they catch the moonlight. This reflective quality adds a mystical element to the garden, making it feel almost otherworldly. Placing these plants strategically throughout the garden can enhance the overall ambiance, making the space tranquil and magical.

Designing a moon garden involves carefully considering plant selection and placement to maximize the reflective and fragrant properties of the chosen flora. The result is a garden that offers a peaceful retreat and a unique sensory experience, perfect for evening relaxation and nighttime gatherings.

Moonflower (Ipomoea alba)

Moonflower.
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

The Moonflower’s large, heart-shaped leaves and dramatic blooms make it a standout in any night garden. This vigorous climber can reach heights of 10-15 feet, requiring a sturdy support structure like a trellis, fence, or arbor. Plant Moonflowers in well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter to ensure robust growth.

They thrive in full sun, which helps the plant store energy for its nighttime show. Space the seeds or seedlings about 6-12 inches apart to give them room to spread. Regular watering is key, but ensure the soil has good drainage to prevent root rot. Adding a layer of mulch can help retain moisture and keep the roots cool.

Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis)

Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Evening Primrose is a hardy biennial that produces a rosette of leaves in its first year and tall, flowering spikes in its second. Each plant can grow up to 3-5 feet tall and 2 feet wide, so space them about 18 inches apart to allow for their spreading habit. They prefer full sun to partial shade and well-drained, slightly acidic soil.

Evening Primrose is quite drought-tolerant, making it suitable for xeriscaping. Water young plants regularly to help them establish, but mature plants can handle drier conditions. Deadheading spent flowers can encourage further blooming and prevent unwanted self-seeding.

Night-Blooming Jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum)

Night-Blooming Jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum)
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Night-Blooming Jasmine is a perennial shrub that can grow up to 10-12 feet tall and 6-8 feet wide, so it needs plenty of space to flourish. This plant is best suited for warm climates and should be planted in a location that receives full sun to partial shade. It prefers rich, well-drained soil and benefits from regular feeding with a balanced fertilizer during the growing season.

Keep the soil consistently moist, especially during dry periods, but avoid waterlogging. Pruning after flowering helps maintain a neat shape and promotes bushier growth. Given its size and scent, it’s perfect for planting near patios or windows where its fragrance can be fully enjoyed.

Four O’Clocks (Mirabilis jalapa)

Four O'Clocks (Mirabilis jalapa).
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Four O’Clocks are named for their late afternoon bloom time, which extends through the night. These bushy perennials reach about 2-3 feet in height and spread equally wide, making them great for borders or containers. Plant them in well-drained soil in a location that receives full sun to partial shade. Space the plants about 12-18 inches apart to accommodate their spreading habit.

They are fairly drought-tolerant but appreciate regular watering during dry spells. Deadheading spent blooms can prolong the flowering period. Their tuberous roots can be dug up and stored over winter in colder climates for replanting in the spring.

Night Phlox (Zaluzianskya capensis)

Night Phlox (Zaluzianskya capensis).
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Night Phlox, also known as Midnight Candy, produces small, star-shaped white and purple flowers with an intoxicating scent. These compact plants typically grow about 12-18 inches tall and wide, making them ideal for borders, containers, or as ground cover.

Plant Night Phlox in well-drained soil and a location that receives full sun to partial shade. Space the plants about 9-12 inches apart. They are relatively low-maintenance but do best with regular watering, especially during dry periods. Pinching back the tips of young plants can encourage bushier growth and more blooms.

Queen of the Night (Epiphyllum oxypetalum)

Queen of the Night (Epiphyllum oxypetalum).
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Queen of the Night is a type of epiphytic cactus known for its large, fragrant white flowers that bloom for a single night. This plant can grow up to 10 feet tall and wide, requiring ample space and support. It’s best grown in hanging baskets or mounted on a piece of bark or wood. Plant it in a well-draining, organic-rich potting mix designed for epiphytic plants.

Place it in a location with bright, indirect light. Water regularly during the growing season, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Fertilize monthly with a balanced fertilizer. Prune after blooming to control its size and shape.

Angel’s Trumpet (Brugmansia spp.)

Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Angel’s Trumpet is a tropical shrub or small tree known for its large, trumpet-shaped flowers that hang downward and emit a sweet fragrance at night. These plants can grow up to 6-20 feet tall and 6-10 feet wide, depending on the variety. They need a sunny location with well-drained, fertile soil. Space plants about 4-6 feet apart to allow for their spreading habit.

Regular watering is important, especially during dry spells. Feed with a high-phosphorus fertilizer to encourage blooming. Prune regularly to maintain shape and remove spent flowers. In colder climates, they can be grown in large containers and brought indoors during winter.

Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa)

Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa).
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Tuberose is prized for its waxy, white flowers that release a powerful fragrance at night. These plants grow from bulbs and reach heights of 2-3 feet. They are best planted in well-drained, sandy soil in a sunny location. Space the bulbs about 6-8 inches apart and 2 inches deep.

Water regularly to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Mulching helps retain moisture and keeps the roots cool. Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer during the growing season. After the foliage dies back, the bulbs can be dug up and stored in a cool, dry place for replanting the following spring.

Night-Scented Orchid (Epidendrum nocturnum)

Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Night-Scented Orchid produces delicate, greenish-white flowers that release a sweet scent after dusk. This epiphytic orchid can grow up to 3 feet tall. It’s best grown in a well-draining orchid mix and placed in a location with bright, indirect light.

Water regularly, allowing the potting mix to dry out slightly between waterings. These orchids thrive in high humidity, so misting the leaves can be beneficial. Fertilize monthly with a balanced orchid fertilizer. Repot every 2-3 years to refresh the growing medium and check for overcrowding.

Casa Blanca Lily (Lilium ‘Casa Blanca’)

Casa Blanca Lily (Lilium 'Casa Blanca')
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

The Casa Blanca Lily is a stunning Oriental hybrid known for its large, pure white flowers and strong fragrance. These lilies grow up to 3-4 feet tall and about 1-2 feet wide. Plant the bulbs in well-drained soil rich in organic matter, in a spot that receives full sun to partial shade. Space the bulbs about 12-18 inches apart and 6 inches deep. Water regularly, keeping the soil evenly moist but not soggy.

Mulching helps retain moisture and regulate soil temperature. Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer during the growing season. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage more blooms and cut back the foliage after it has yellowed.

Night Gladiolus (Gladiolus tristis)

Night Gladiolus (Gladiolus tristis)
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Night Gladiolus features pale yellow flowers with a spicy fragrance that intensifies at night. These plants grow from corms and reach heights of 3-4 feet. Plant them in well-drained soil in a sunny location. Space the corms about 4-6 inches apart and 4 inches deep.

Water regularly to keep the soil moist, especially during the growing season. Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer to support growth and flowering. In colder climates, dig up the corms after the foliage dies back and store them in a cool, dry place for replanting in spring.

Night-Blooming Cereus (Hylocereus undatus)

Night-Blooming Cereus (Hylocereus undatus).
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Night-Blooming Cereus, also known as Dragon Fruit, produces large, white, fragrant flowers that bloom for a single night. This cactus can grow up to 10-20 feet tall and wide, requiring a trellis or other support structure. Plant it in well-draining cactus mix and place it in a sunny location.

Water regularly during the growing season, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Fertilize with a balanced cactus fertilizer. Prune to control its size and shape. In colder climates, grow it in a container that can be brought indoors during winter.

Datura (Datura spp.)

Datura (Datura spp.).
Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Datura, also known as Devil’s Trumpet, features large, trumpet-shaped flowers that open in the evening and release a sweet scent. These plants can grow up to 3-6 feet tall and wide. They prefer well-drained soil and a sunny location.

Space the plants about 3-4 feet apart to accommodate their spreading habit. Water regularly, keeping the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer to support growth and flowering. Handle with care, as all parts of the plant are toxic if ingested.

Mock Orange (Philadelphus spp.)

Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Mock Orange is a deciduous shrub known for its fragrant white flowers that bloom in late spring and early summer, with some varieties having flowers that open in the evening. These shrubs can grow up to 6-12 feet tall and wide. Plant them in well-drained soil in a spot that receives full sun to partial shade.

Space the plants about 4-6 feet apart. Water regularly, especially during dry spells, to keep the soil moist. Prune after flowering to maintain shape and encourage new growth. Mock Orange is relatively low-maintenance and can add a lovely fragrance to your moon garden.

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