If you live here in the northeast, it’s too early for your moonflowers to be in bloom tonight. But you can still plant the seed and dream of the flowers to come!
Happy Summer Solstice! Although you will often hear this date called the first day of summer, it truly is the midway point between planting and harvesting. It’s time to enjoy the garden; take a walk, breath deep, look for the faeries hiding behind the leaves . . .
As the warm summer nights continue, planning for a garden stroll by moonlight can give you a unique experience. It’s been a long cool spring and if you’ve planted moonflower seeds they won’t be blooming yet (they may just be germinating), but if those seeds are still in the package, you can plant them now. The soil is finally moist and warm and the seeds will germinate quickly if you follow just a few easy steps. First, scarify the seed coat. Moonflower seeds (and all their morning glory relatives) have a very hard, dense seed coat. Take a nail file and scratch the seed coat until you see the pale inner part. Second, soak the seeds overnight until they begin to swell. Plant them in full sun about 1/2 inch deep in northern areas (in the south they benefit from a little afternoon shade) and keep the soil moist. It will take around 10 days before you see any green shoots but once they get started, the vine can grow 12 feet during the season. As you watch the vine twine, you will learn the true meaning of patience. But before the first day of fall, your garden will be filled will the spicy fragrance of these 5″ flowers that only open as the day begins to wane.
visit the garden web for more delightful photos of cattleya moonflowers http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/moon/msg0721025226783.html?9
As a side note, be mindful of your local environment. Some areas consider members of the Ipomea family a noxious weed.