The Q&A Archives: Moonflower Seeds

Question: Hello-
Last year I bought a "moonflower" vine from a local nursery. I do not have the tag so I do not know the scientific name. It is a night flowering vine with very large white flowers. In the fall it developed pods with large white seeds inside that I saved and stored over the winter. Can I grow new vines with these? What would be the best method? I would love to have this beautiful plant in my garden and would appreciate your help. Thank you!!

Answer: The moonflower is a relative of the morning glory and is grown as an annual in cold winter areas. Assuming the seeds were fully ripened when harvested and were stored at an even to cool temperature and kept dry over the winter, they should grow for you.

The seeds can be started to grow new vines, sometimes the vine will even seed itself. The seeds germinate only in warm soil and so should not be planted until after the last spring frost and once the soil has had time to warm up. They grow quickly to make up for the wait.

To start the seeds, rub them a bit with sandpaper or use a razor knife to make a tiny nick in the hard seedcoat. Then soak them for about a day or overnight or so in tepid water until they begin to swell. Once this happens, plant them and ... stand back!

You can also start them in individual pots, use at least the four inch size, because they grow very fast once they come up. Keep them at warm room temperature or use gentle bottom heat for faster germination, then keep the seedlings in as bright a location as possible or outside during the day. Protect them from cool nights until you plant them in the garden. Enjoy!

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