If it's too hot to enjoy your daytime blossoms, a night blooming garden will allow you to enjoy your garden in the cooler evening air.
Most night blooming plants produce white flowers, but a few have colors as well, but against the dark backdrop of night, white seems to really pop. Night bloomers are beautiful, but the biggest thing that attracts
gardeners to them is their amazing fragrance. It is this that attracts pollinators like moths and bats - after all, bees sleep at night.
Like any other plant, you will need to select the right area including growing zone, light level and type of soil. Once you consider these factors, you can choose to plant a night garden or simply disperse them between your daytime bloomers for a 24 hour display.
One of the best known night bloomers is the Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis). The 3 to 5 foot tall plant produces bright yellow, pink, or white wonderfully fragrant flowers. They grow best in zones 3 to 11 and can bloom in late spring to late fall depending on the variety you choose. Seeds should be planted in a sunny, well-drained location. Be aware, though, that Evening primrose spreads like crazy. Be prepared to keep it under control unless you want it to take over the area you are planting in.
Another colorful night bloomer is the Four o'clock (Mirabilis jalapa). These flowers come is a variety of colors including white, red, blue, yellow and pink. As the name suggests, they bloom in the late afternoon and evening of the spring and summer. They need full sun in zones 8 to 11. At about 3 feet tall and wide, they will make a lovely boarder plant that is easy to grow and drought tolerant.
Night Gladiolus (Gladiolus tristis) is another yellow flower, but this is a more pale yellow. The flowers have a spicy scent. Corms should be planted during the fall in full sun with well drained soil in an area
protected from frost. It will need regular watering as its natural habitat is a damp, marshy location. Blooms will appear in the late spring to mid-summer. It grows 36 to 48 inches tall and prefers zones 7 to 11. Be aware, parts of this plant is poisonous so use caution planting near children's or pets' play areas.
Moonflowers (Ipomoea alba) are related to morning glories, but they bloom in the evening instead. They produce large white trumpet shaped flowers and can be grown on a trellis to provide a beautiful backdrop to your other night blooming plants. This easy to care for plant prefers full sun and well drained soil. It thrives in zones 9 to 11.
The plant known as Angel's Trumpet is actually two different plants, both of which are poisonous and night blooming. Brugmansia is a shrub that grows 10 to 36 feet tall. It produces trumpet shaped flowers that hang down and can be white, yellow, orange or pink. Datura wrightii looks very similar to Brugmansia, however its trumpet flowers point skyward and are only white.Brugmansia does best in zones 6 to 10 if it is protected in the winter. It prefers well drained soil and if planted in warm climates, prefers some shade. In cooler climates it does better with full sun. Datura wrightii likes full sun and can tolerate dry soil. It thrives in zones 7 to 12.