Ipomoea alba, commonly called moonflower, is native to Florida and tropical America. It is a tender perennial vine that is grown in temperate regions as an annual. It is noted for its fragrant nocturnal white blooms (moonflowers) and its deep green foliage. Although it will grow to 70’ or more in tropical climates, it typically reaches 10-15’ in a single season as an annual. Green, twining stems are clad with large, rounded, broad-ovate, deep green leaves (4-8” long) with cordate bases. Fragrant, white flowers (to 6” diameter) bloom at dusk from mid-summer into fall. Flowers unfold in early evening before nightfall from attractive spiraled tubular flower buds. Flowers remain open all night and eventually close before noon the following day. Flowers attract night-flying moths. It is winter hardy in USDA Zones 10-12. This vine needs a support structure upon which to grow. It is easily grown from seed.
- Scarify the seeds by nicking or sanding the seed coat.
- Soak the seed in water for several hours.
- The seeds like moist, well-drained soil. Prepare a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. Put the soil in a pot. Water the mixture so that it is moist but not wet.
- Put the seeds on the soil.
- Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil.
- Water the seeds.
- Place the pots in an area with warm temperatures in full sun or part shade.
- When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.