My Moonflower!!

AshleyGSeptember 2, 2013

First time growing these, and boy, what a beaut! I've been faithfully watching the bud, waiting for it to open for a couple weeks (not knowing how big they got!). Luckily, I went outside tonight, otherwise I would have missed this!

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AshleyG

Showing the size of the flower compared to my hand!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 10:56PM
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bogturtle(SE NJ 7a)

Mine bloomed and I found it half closed up and floppy at 8:30 AM the next morning. Another bud is on the plant, and I will keep checking this one. I believe they are scented, and ideal for moths. Since I wait to start them in little pots when the soil is warm, with neither frame nor greenhouse, mine usually take until September to bloom. If you enjoy watching paint dry, you can sit and watch the flower open, in the evening.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 11:34PM
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wslaugenhaupt

I understand your excitement. :) This was my first year to grow moon flowers too. I also took pictures. I had one plant have a couple of blossoms back in July then it quit. The one in the pot on my deck has started blooming recently. The flowers are gorgeous. How do I save seeds from them? Do the seed pods form where the blossoms fall off?? I am already planning next year's plants. :)

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 9:38PM
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bogturtle(SE NJ 7a)

Was so surprised at how beautiful the flower appeared in a photo I took (my camera is not dependable) I want to share it. It was still opening. Very similar, of course, to the beautiful flower and photo posted by AshleyG.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 8:20AM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Lovely flower. Are any of your's fragrant?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 12:44PM
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bogturtle(SE NJ 7a)

The flower shown in the photo had a sweet odor, but with only one, you had to hold your nose up to it to smell it. Perhaps if there were dozens, the area would smell good.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 9:55PM
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gerris2

It's beautiful, congratulations!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 6:28PM
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steelskies(5)

I just started a post about this. It seems that the white datura, and the moon flower vine are both labelled moon flower. I have plenty of the white datura, they are so easy to grow, I actually had to pull out a bunch of them. BUT,I cannot grow the moon flower vine. I have no luck with them. I think I had one plant years ago that got about 2 flowers on it and that was it. wish they weren't so hard to grow. I want a moon garden. I have the datura, and the 4 o'clocks but really wanted the moonflower vine too. Darnit!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 1:07AM
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bogturtle(SE NJ 7a)

I have great trouble getting them going without a greenhouse.
I have to wait until outdoor soil is warm and weather settled.
So I finally get blooms in late Aug. or Sept, and only a few.
Fertilizing makes leaves, not flowers, usually. Those in pots flower earlier for me. I soak the seed overnight and expect I save several days in sprouting time, and others recommend filing away the hard tip of the seed just a bit. I have not found it necessary.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 11:11PM
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ron_convolvulaceae

Bloom Booster which is based on Phosphorus will encourage blooms.

The word fertilizer is a fuzzy term that could refer to any of the 18 essential or additional beneficial elements...that's why there is an NPK ration on the 'fertilizers' to let you know what the proportion of the Nitrogen - Phosphorus - Potassium is...and any other elements may or may not be listed...

Nitrogen is the element which in excessive amounts may delay blooming , but once blooming starts , Nitrogen will often increase the vigor and fertility of blooms...

I suggest that it is a better idea to think in terms of what the different elements that any 'fertilizer' contains and the ratio of the macro elements , in addition to ant secondary nutrients which may be present in the 'fertilizer'...

The Living Soil / Pro-Biotic approach has worked the best for me , where you do your best to encourage and maintain beneficial fungi and microbes , feed the microbes and they will feed the plants...

There is much new information regarding various types of humic and fulvic acids (created by beneficial bacteria and fungi) and glauconite related ion exchange clays and how they help keep the nutrients exactly where you want them (in the rhizosphere) and prevent nutrients from being leeched away by watering and rain...

Hope something I mentioned might prove to be useful...

regards,

Ron

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 4:32PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Hi Ron.
Am I correct to assume that what you mention about Living soil / Pro-Bitoic approach is for garden culture and not container gardening?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 5:06PM
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ron_convolvulaceae

true-blue - Beneficial microbes which interact in many different ways with the rhizosphere of the plants can surely be maintained in containers , but they don't like being dried out...the beneficial fungi are very difficult to maintain in containers because they don't like the strands of mycelium being broken...

Larger containers are more conducive to establishing and maintaining beneficial bacteria/ microbes / micro-organisms and fungi...There are special formulations that are used in hydroponics but are applicable to non-hydroponics...look at advanced nutrition for Piranha and Tarantula...

There is a huge amount of info on Living Soil , humic, ulmic and fulvic acids on the web at this point in addition to the benefits of the ion exchange clays...of course you can't believe everything , because merchants want to sell products , so learning about the subject as much as you can first is a good idea.

The best humic related acids are the ones you make yourself from your owen compost pile because the humates from the peat and more ancient deposits (which are so plentiful that big mining business just loves to cash in on) are not as good , because they usually have too many heavy metals pre-loaded into them by natural forces...

The humic acid that is made in your own compost pile will only have attached to it whatever elements you put into it...so, if you don't put any lead, cadmium, antimony or mercury (et al) into your compost pile, then those elements won't be there...but they are already in the old deposits no matter what the sellers may claim otherwise...homemade is still best (!)

The use of pro-biotic growing mediums , amendments and nutritive substances is a big step forward toward healthier plants and a healthier Planet (!)

Read the types of bacteria that are considered to be beneficial :
Tarantula - beneficial bacteria
http://www.advancednutrients.com/hydroponics/products/tarantula/tarantula_faq_nutrient_facts.php

Voodoo Juice - beneficial bacteria
http://www.advancednutrients.com/hydroponics/products/voodoo_juice/voodoo_juice_faq_nutrient_facts.php

Piranha - different types of beneficial fungi
http://www.advancednutrients.com/hydroponics/products/piranha/piranha_faq_nutrient_facts.php
The links to the products are for informational purposes because if you have a good well fed living compost pile , the good bacteria will be there , but if you want to use any booster products you can often find good deals on ebay and other product or regular search engines...

Here are 2 forums on this site dedicated to composting - please avail yourselves of the excellent info contained in them...

Composting
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/soil/

Vermi-composting
http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/verm/

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 7:52AM
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wslaugenhaupt

Does anyone have success saving seeds from their moonflowers. I have a couple of brown pods on one of my plants but I don't know what to do with them. lol Do I let them dry in the pod or break the pod open to dry them. Any ideas would be appreciated. The moonflower that did the best for me was in a pot.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 9:41AM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Thanks Ron for all the references.
I'll be reading them in detail over the next week, a lot more things to learn great :-)
I have some more questions about fertilizers and Morning glories but I'll create a new thread.
For what is worth here is my Moonflower experience:
A couple of years ago, I bought a Heavenly Blue Morning glory vine from a nursery. The vine was quite measly. So I popped a couple of Moonflower seedlings into the pot, it was mid June. The vine flourished (the heavenly blue vine died BTW) and by early September I saw the first flower buds. We had our one and only flower in early October the night before frost.
I brought it in, but the vine dropped its flower buds. I tried to keep it alive, close to a sunny window, but by early March it petered out. So, I put it in a corner and the soil dried out. Then in mid April I started growing some cardinal climber vines (I. sloteri). I planted some seedlings in the same Moonflower pot and watered. Lo and behold the Moonflower vine leafed. It seems that it had gone dormant. I thought maybe IâÂÂll have early blooms this year, but alas none. By September I got sick of the vine and chopped it down. Honestly with our short growing season, unless I find one in a nursery, which is full of buds, I wonâÂÂt bother with it, but I admire those of you who persevere and have such beautiful flowers...

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 1:47PM
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