Moonflower Vine Question

St. Paul, MN(Zone 4b)

If one or more of you vine experts would offer some advice on my Moonflower vines, I would be most grateful.

I planted a number of Moonflower vines for the first time this year and they are all huge, lush and apparently healthy. They are on the south side of the building and get regular waterings. However, I have had a grand total of two flowers so far, and don't even see any buds forming. Does anyone have any thoughts on what the problem may be? Or am I just being impatient?

I don't post much yet as I am rather new at growing plants and don't have much to offer anyone, but I sure enjoy reading through the forums. I am always amazed at the many talented and helpful people on this site.

Erick

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

Well, my moonvine that I put ammonium sulfate on has grown about 50 ft in every direction, but have sparse flowers. I honestly think that vine grows a foot a day, maybe more. The one at the lower end of the fence gets minimal water, no fertilize and has many more flowers, but is a much smaller vine. Did you over fertilize your vine?(this seems to apply to blue sky vine, lady margaret passiflora, carolina jessamine.......the list goes on.....if a small section of the southeastern tip of Texas disappears y'all will know the vines have swallowed it up)

St. Paul, MN(Zone 4b)

Thank you, Calalily, for the nice response. I do fertizlize my Moonflower vines regularly, along with the rest of my garden. Perhaps they have responded by putting out lots of vegetative growth at the expense of flowers. I don't suppose there is anything I can about it at this point, other than enjoy them as lush green vines!

At the rate my Moonflower vines are growing, you should see them creeping into your yard any day now...

Thank you again,

Erick

Ventura, United States(Zone 10b)

Erick, your are right: fertilizing Passifloras and Ipomoea vines will lead to lush growth at the expense of flowers. I don't fertilize my Ipomoea alba at all. I would stop fertilizing now, and you may get to see some flowers before the cold hits.

Thumbnail by Clare_CA
Yukon, OK(Zone 7b)

Erick, I love Moonflower Vine! I've planted it many places this year and it is growing like wild. Last year was my first year with this vine and I fell in love with it. I didn't see blooms until close to the end of summer, but they were worth waiting for. I don't fertilize, since they are in the Ipomoea family I figured they didn't like fert.

This is a pic from last year!

Thumbnail by Brinda
Augusta, WV(Zone 5b)

moonflowers prefer poor, but loose soil. Do not fertilize too often this will produce many great leaves and lush foliage, but very few flowers. They do not like full sun as most think, but some shade during the hottest time of day. This will help them along in the flower producing area. Also, help them climb, do not let them meander over the ground. Bugs and slugs will eat them up. Hope this helps!!!

St. Paul, MN(Zone 4b)

Thank you all very much for the most helpful advice! I've learned a few important things about growing these beautiful vines next year. I sincerely appreciate the time you took to share your knowledge with me. Thank you for the pics as well!

Dothan,, AL(Zone 8a)

I'm planted my first moonflower seeds this summer. I wasn't sure I would get blooms but I did. I was surprised yesterday morning when I walked outside and saw two blooms. Last night I checked and had five. I love this vine. This picture only shows three. I think you can see the rain on the blooms. Mine grows in very poor soil and get full sun all day. I have lightly fertilized because I had been told too much would give me lots of vine and few in any flowers.

This message was edited Aug 10, 2004 6:48 AM

Thumbnail by Mimidi
Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

I had no idea they didn't like full sun. Maybe that's why the spider mites attacked my lavender moon vine.(plus I gave it ammonium sulfate, a big no no, that vine tried to cover my fence and was headed for the neighbors house!)

Camilla, GA(Zone 8a)

My grow in full sun, hot south GA style, no fertilizer, nothing special.. They thrive on neglect..They cover my porch each year..

Larkie

Mysore, India(Zone 10a)

Richer the soil, more the leaves and less flowers. Neglect it and you will have lesser leaves and more blooms. I learnt this fact here in case of my Ipomoea a couple of years ago and when I followed this, it resulted in more flowers.

Palo Cedro, CA(Zone 8a)

I am a vine enthusiast from Northern California about 150 miles south of the Oregon border. Last year was my first experience planting a Moonflower. I planted it on the east side of my lattice-sided "greenhouse" which I built to shade the southern exposure of my little cottage. We have very hot summers and warm nights which I think the Moonflowers love. My soil is atrocious (ancient volcanic soil) so I was amazed when the seeds came up and flowered like crazy. All I did was water them - no fertilizer. They got morning sun, then dappled afternoon sun/shade. The less care/inexperienced caregiver the better I guess! Where are they from? Some island?
Lena

(Zone 7a)

I would be very interested to find out whether anyone growing moonflowers in the more northerly latitudes ever has an abundance of flowers. We get just 1 or 2 flowers a night (once 5) towards the end of the growing season here near Baltimore, MD. (approx. 39 degrees N latitude - from The Old Farmer's Almanac). I have heard of vines growing farther south in North Carolina flowering profusely. According to the book, Flowers, by Pizzetti and Cocker, the sweet potato (Ipomoea batata) does not flower above latitude 35 degrees N and is a relative of the moonflower. So, I am wondering whether moonflowers follow a similar pattern according to latitude.

Also, this book mentions that moonflowers may be overwintered hydroponically. I once had a neighbor all of whose windows were filled with little glass jars and vases all wintering cuttings of flowers in water. I think I'll try this with moonflower cuttings to see if an early start makes any difference next spring. Has anyone tried this?

Thankx for any response.

This message was edited Aug 24, 2004 1:50 PM

Ventura, United States(Zone 10b)

Hi Bluespiral, I doubt that latitude has anything to do with flowering, but that is just my opinion:-) I imagine the larger the vine, the more flowers you will get. The Ipomoea alba vine is a perennial in my area, and my perennial vine flowers sooner than the vines that I start from seed. This vine is so easily started from seed that I personally wouldn't bother with cuttings. Ipomoea indica, also a perennial vine, roots easily from cuttings so I imagine Ipomoea alba would also.

Thumbnail by Clare_CA
(Zone 7a)

Thanks for responding Clare_CA. My experience concurs with all the facts and experience so far given in this thread. But, I'm still curious. Evidently, there are processes involving biorhythmic cycles on the cellular level that some scientists say may reflect a time when the earth had a different period of revolution about its axis (combined length of day and night). I am fascinated by the prospect of the earth's geologic history being recorded within the cells of living plants (and animals) as it is in fossils. So, this is where my question about the relationship of latitude to flowering in Ipomoea species and relatives is coming from - a small piece of a larger puzzle.

Incidentally, your lattitude is 33.75 degrees N, which is approximately 6 degrees of latitude below mine. Is there anyone out there above 40 degrees North latitude with profusely blooming moonflower vines?

This message was edited Aug 24, 2004 2:58 PM

Dothan,, AL(Zone 8a)

I made this picture early yesterday morning. A friend gave me some seeds in mid June and told me the vine would cover my trellis in no time. How right she was. I just planted the seeds and watered them and up they came. They were planted in very poor, sandy soil. I did make the mistake of fertilizing them some.

My whole family has been amazed at the moon flowers. My husband did ask me why I wanted a plant tha only blooms at night. My granddaughters and I have stood and watched them open at night. They will look at them and say, "Mimi it's shaking!" as the bloom opens. They smell so good. Reminds me of Jessica McClintock perfume.

Next year I plant to plant the seeds much earlier.

Thumbnail by Mimidi
(Zone 7a)

Oops - It's gidgrower's Palo Cedro, CA that is 33.75 degrees N - must give my typing fingers a talking to.

This is such a romantic flower to me (as a gardener, the more romance I achieve in the garden, the more closely I resemble the nether regions of my compost pile. I don't turn it.) I have enjoyed all the comments and photos about the moonflower here.

There's a novel called The Moonflower Vine by the author who wrote To Kill a Mockingbird. It's about a few generations of a rural southern family from the 19th to 20th century and partly how they evolve away from a deep attachment to land (but yet retain the values that came with it) as the 20th century moves along - beautifully written...probably out of print...not in the local library. As my southern aunts used to say, LOL, as in "Lordy, oh Lordy." (I just figured out that LOL means "Laughing out loud" - must give the part of my cranium that deciphers stuff a talking to.

Ventura, United States(Zone 10b)

That is a beautiful picture, Mimidi!

(Taylor) Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

This was taken last October. It was taken during the day, so no blooms, but this one bloomed its head off daily, for months. It faces the southwest and got full sun from about 11:00am on...
It was mixed with the snail vine, so I had blooms at all times of the day. I did not sow any this year, to my great regret. We REALLY enjoyed coming home each night to the gorgeous blooms and wonderful fragrance. Not to mention watching those great big moths flutter around, like hummingbirds...
Won't make that mistake again, this next Spring, or any other year, for that matter...
Did plant the lavender moonvine this year, but prefer the regular white, as the lavender has no scent.

(Taylor) Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

oops...
here is the photo...meant to hit preview, not send.

Thumbnail by seedpicker_TX
Dothan,, AL(Zone 8a)

I must find that book by Harper Lee. I love the title. I hope my moon flower vine will get as nice as yours next year Seedpicker. It already has green seeds. Thank you Clare. All the grass around mine is dying. It is so dry here and I have stopped watering grass. Just trying to keep my flowers happy. They are ready for a good rain. Been hoping that Frances would bring us some rain. No wind. Just rain.

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Purty flowers! Luv 'em! Will try to take a pic of ours this evening.

bluespiral...sounds like a pretty interesting book to me. (Bet you could find it on Amazon.)

Erick, good to see you posting. I wouldn't shy away from it just becus you think you are new to gardening...questions and comments are always a welcome addition! Hope you see your moonvine flowers soon!

(Zone 7a)

Erick, it's been about a month since your first post on Aug 6 - how has your moonflower vine been doing? Any more flowers? We had 5 the other night. This is fascinating to be able to observe the progress of this plant in so many places around the country/world. Thank you for starting this thread.

Gidgrower, my copy of Flowers by Pizzetti and Cocker copyright 1968 puts the moonflower in the genus Calonyction and says there are three species native to tropical America , two of which are in "general cultivation".

Sioux City, IA(Zone 4b)

I planted 4 vines from seed in early May. I'm just now seeing signs of bud growth (Erick hopefully you have seen some by now). The reason I planted them was that I needed an annual to protect my Clematis' that I planted the previous year...they did not grow much at all and then we had a hard winter and much of the wood broke off. I thought the dead wood this winter from an annual vine would help keep my clematis in tact for hopefully some better years ahead. Question, IS this an annual in Iowa (somewhat northern)? It won't be coming back next year will it? I do like the plant, it is nice and lush and I'm really looking forward to seeing its flowers...but might plant in a better place next year.

(Taylor) Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

Bluespiral-
Does your book mention one of the three Calonyction, to be a blue version?
There is a web reference to a blue calonyction, but have never found one. I hope it did not go extinct...The guy that wrote the article is no longer contactable. It was written in the 50's, and is assumed he is no longer alive. Believe me, I tried.
-seedpicker_TX

Brooklyn, NY(Zone 7b)

Well I in many years have had great luck with flowering.. sometimes 100's at a time.. and growing them at 40.915 * North Latatude.. this year I had them in too samll a container for them.. and the excessive wilt of the vines has caused them to not flower as rampantly as is often the case... I grow on a rooftop and the bottom heat they have is a key factor to both the quick drying out and wilting and the abundance of flowers...
I know the inside starting is necessary to get them to flower up here... the first of Fbeb is non to early to start them inside underlights.. but this early they do get quite long and wrapped around everything by planting out time... usually about the first of may... too early and I rist a set back time with delays the blooming... I'll have to dig out last years photos and show the success I've had here... I feed regularly with a bloom booster type food.. seaweed extract.. and spray-n-grow.. foliar spray.. it is so enjoyable to see so many blooming.. and to watch them open.. as my aunt says it just makes you laugh to see them..
Keeping them well watered for me is a key to growth.. with the excessive roof heat.. [ measuredd heat of the roof surface was 145* with a air temperature of 80* at noon ] If they willt too much too many days I'll get a drastic reduction on their flowering..
I did get mother involved in growing them a few years ago.. hers are now quite remarkable.. 100's of blooms a night from 3 plants.. the picture is of her moonflowers this year.. she's in north Alabama.. so she's having much better luck than I , as a general rule.. this is mother's vines and a closer view of their size there... fully 6-8" across the lips.. as you can see in comparison to mothers head in the next photo..so not all vines and seeds are created equal.. we'll get her to harvest some of this years crop for our 2005 growing season...Gorodn

Thumbnail by GordonHawk
Ventura, United States(Zone 10b)

Bluespiral, I think Moonflowers used to be classified as Calonyction aculeatum, but I believe it was reclassified as Ipomoea alba. The old name seems to remain as a synonym. See this link: http://davesgarden.com/pdb/go/893.html///

(Zone 7a)

Oops. Is there a limit on how many oops newbies are allowed? Penalty? Erick, you've gotta check out Clare's link to the DG database moonflower entry. (Since becoming a paid subscriber in August after lurking for a year, I too am a newbie.) Clare, thank you for dragging this horse to that database, so to speak. I promise cross-my-heart not to rely anymore on the dinosaurs on my bookshelf.

Except for cross-referencing and research. Seedpicker, my answer to your quest for the Blue Moonflower is under Ipomoea muricata in the DG database at:
http://davesgarden.com/pdb/go/31933

I think my "answer" leaves the search for the Blue Moonflower still open.

I do enjoy hearing everyone's experiences. Name the mishap and it's happened in my garden, so you are all giving me ammunition against the next unforseeable mishap. Thank you.

Ventura, United States(Zone 10b)

LOL, Bluespiral. You can "oops" as many times as you like. I do it all the time:-) We're all still learning here.

(Taylor) Plano, TX(Zone 8a)

Bluespiral-
Yes, I am familiar with Ipomoea muricata. It is a synonym for Ipomoea turbinata. This is not the same as the one I grow. Both have very similar flowers, similar color, and bloom at night, but turbinata has spines and the Ipomoea macrorhiza doesn't. I think it has softer crinklier leaves, too. Where is Larry??
He knows...
He has grown them both...
-seedpicker_TX

Cassopolis, MI(Zone 5a)

Hi All
Well I am borrowing this thread to do a little begging!!!!! I would love to have some seeds from the white moonflower vine!!!

I have the lavendar one if anyone wants it, and I also have seeds from my moonflower plant, if anyone is up for a trade.
The moonflower plant for those of you who are not familiar with it. Has what I think are slightly larger flowers than the vine, and it comes back each year, even though its considered an annual. Give it lots of room, and it will get huge!

Thumbnail by aknapp
Ventura, United States(Zone 10b)

Hi aknapp! What you have there is called Datura inoxia or Datura wrightii. I think yours is the D. inoxia, but they are hard to tell apart. It is also commonly called Devil's trumpet because it is related to Angel's trumpets, Brugmansia. By the way, I found a pack of Ipomoea alba, Moonflowers, at Home Depot last year for less than a dollar if you can't find someone to trade with. You can usually find them in with the other flower seeds at most home improvement stores.

Tulsa, OK(Zone 7a)

i have the white would like the lavender..

Cassopolis, MI(Zone 5a)

Hi Hope
I have lots of the lavendar vine that I would be glad to trade you for the white vine.
Alice

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Howdy ya'll.

I was finally able to get a decent pic of the moonvines growing up our deck last nite. (The yellow flowers on the right are Maximillion sunflowers.)

The moonvines are really loaded with lots more buds, too! Really nice out on that deck in the evenings!

Thumbnail by Horseshoe
Cassopolis, MI(Zone 5a)

Shoe that is enough to make me very jealous!!!!

Great photo by the way!!!! It is gorgeous!!!

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Thank you!
Lookit the close up of this flower. It looks like one of those artificial "silk" flowers, doesn't it? (I love the star-shape in the center of it!) (I really wish I could've centered it up though, I need photo lessons from GW or Floridian, methinks.)

Thumbnail by Horseshoe
Cassopolis, MI(Zone 5a)

Shoe
Are you just teasing me!!! Or maybe will you save me a seed or two!!!!
Alice Its so hard to type when I am drooling!!!!!

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

heheheh...Nope! Not meaning to tease! (Tempted to post another pic though, but I'll refrain!)

I'll be glad to send you mucho seeds if you like. There'll be plenty it looks like!

Cassopolis, MI(Zone 5a)

I would be thrilled!!! Post those pics!!!! I love them and just have to keep a towel handy to keep the drool from hitting the keyboard!!!!

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