growing moonflowers indoors?

whitejade(z5 MI)February 2, 2005

I love this plant but have found that in my area it takes about 4 months to even begin blooming...and consequently it can be October before it puts out the buds - needless to say, they don't make it to flowerhood. And oh how I look forwarrd to the incredible smell of moonflowers! Last year I was depressed to smell one flower. One. dozens of buds , but they never got to bloom as the cold just took it out of the plants. A local acquaintance in my area commented on the very same experience with theirs last summer! We are obviously severely moonflower challenged over here :)

So...I was thinking...why not grow them indoors permanently??? Has anyone ever done this successfully - ie...gotten them to flower?? I don't have a greenhouse or conservatory so I am talking about my family room, which is a bright SE room .

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Em... I am thinking of growing it outdoors during the summer months and indoors for the rest of the year. Natural lighting does
wonders for plants. Datura or Impomea?

Ankrara's Hobby Corner

    Bookmark   February 19, 2005 at 10:07PM
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whitejade(z5 MI)

Ipomoea....I am growing them in a 12 inch container, all year indoors in a very sunny southeast window. So, lots of natural light - I have a plant light meter and if sunny out , they are getting 5000 or more foot candles, which is the meximum that any plant can use indoors or out (or so I had read before!) If not sunny, they are getting about 3500 to 4000 foot candles anyhow, so that's pretty good too ...the seedlings have all been up for over a week now so I'm excited!


    Bookmark   February 27, 2005 at 6:18PM
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SayYouWill(z5 Colorado)

Maybe you could start your moon vines 4 weeks earlier indoors using peat pots? That might give you an extra month of growth?

    Bookmark   March 1, 2005 at 8:20PM
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whitejade(z5 MI)

I actually start them far more than 4 weeks before , indoors (for last 3 years I have done so) ...but for some reason , they always take extra, extra long in this area to get to bud and flower stage. (Others in this area say same thing)

I do think I could try different areas of my garden, as I have only one arch so I always put them there. Location could make differnce as well I know!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2005 at 12:36PM
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crankyoldman(z5 NY)

Do you think it could be soil temperature? Maybe if you used say a silver or black plastic mulch to keep the soil warm, the way you would with peppers, you would have better luck gettig it to bloom.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 6:33PM
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whitejade(z5 MI)

hmmm..worth a try , thanks. I definitely will not be giving up on having moonflowers outdoors (I like horticultural challenges) - but the ones I am growing indoors are amazing to watch! My husband is even amazed at how tall they climb each day. I have placed 8 foot tall bamboo sticks in the pot and the moonflowers can climb about an inch and a half per day!

The leaves are much smaller than they would be outdoors and the vines are much more delicate. But they are seemingly healthy (and happy) so far...

    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 10:31AM
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jroot(5A Ont. Canada (near Guelph))

But will they take the transfer to the outdoors without getting "sunburned" and then set back for a time before they can put forth leaves that can tolerate the sun?

Just a question, as I was thinking of planting mine in the near future.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 6:09PM
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Rrilltrae(Buffalo, NY)

I have grown moonflowers for the first time this year in indoor windowboxes. I was quite happy with the results, and although all my blooms are finished now, I had many blooms over the last summer months.

An important note, though, the sunlight does have to be quite high. I originally planted 2 boxes, but the second, more shaded box only had two blooms, and only where it had trailed over the the neighboring boxes trellis before I could notice and separate them.

This may have been due to other factors, as the successful box was actually transplanted from the first when I got a very unexpected 100% germination rate! Way too many plants for the tiny space, so perhaps the little bit of stress on their roots during the move galvanized them to grow quicker and fuller.

Either way, good luck on your indoor endeavors, hope they are as successful as mine.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2005 at 11:52AM
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This has been our first year growing Moonflowers. We are growing them indoors in pots. It has been a delicate process, a lot of learning! But oh the reward has been spectacular... seeing that first flower was splendid!! Right now we are battling spider mite's. We have tried different remedies that have taken their toll on the plant, along with the bugs. Any suggestions? We are just using water right now.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 12:54PM
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We put a metal rack, one that Robin made, behind the Moonflower vine as it began to grow, so it had that to twist around as it got longer. Then when it reached the top of the rack Robin started it growing back down along the rack, and then back up again... and it has made a very nice looking plant, that also displays the lovely flowers perfectly.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 1:13PM
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Took one of my moon vines out side and the squirrels kept digging it up so brought it back in and put it in front of the bedroom window, It is doing well, but does not seem to want to twine around anything, it does not even have runners going out. I have been watering it from the bottom, I have it in a large roasting pan because that was the only thing big enough to put it in. Can you tell me why it is not growing much?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 11:38AM
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newer updated picture of moon vine, in a bedroom with a roaster pan under it, I have put Miracle-gro in the water and weakened it so it won't be too strong. Do you think that coffee grounds and perhaps some black plastic would help in getting it to grow more and bloom?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 1:59PM
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A bit of time has passed since I took that photo, it never bloomed, it never even set a bud, so it was scrapped. I have two seeds in a pot, one was soaked and knicked, and the other was just dropped in the soil. I actually dug up the first one and it is soft but not squishy, so maybe it will sprout, the other seed is a morning glory seed called flying saucer, it is blue and white. The two moonflower seeds are white moonflowers. The one I gave my neighbor is blooming again, he uses coffee grounds and waters it from the bottom, he also has it in his kitchen window which faces east, like our picture window. The soil I am using has been used for things before, but we might be moving and I don't want to waste money on something if I am not going to see the results.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 9:57PM
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I have read and experienced moon flower plants best growing environment is an almost barren soil with title watering and some shade works best.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2014 at 8:20AM
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