Monday, August 30, 2010

Moonvine- Ipomea alba

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I have been growing moonvine for a number of years. I have strings that run up to the eaves of the house and the vines scramble up the strings and frequently flower on the roof. This year I planted some to run on the railings around the stoop and they have been exceptionally pleasing to me. Foe several weeks I have been getting 2 or 3 blooms every night. I like having them where I can get a closer look (and a better sniff!) at the stark white flowers. I go out in the evening and enjoy their fragrance much better than when they were on the roof. The flowers are about as big as a saucer , the leaves are dark green and heart shaped, and they are certainly worth the minimal effort they need to get them going. I grow mine in big pots so I do not have to do a lot of digging. The seed are large, about the size of an English pea, and for best germination should be soaked, starting in hot water, for 24 hours. Keep moist till germination is complete and get them off to a fast start. They grow best when the weather is hot. Unlike many morning glories they are not eager reseeders and you do not have to worry about them taking over the earth. I have had 2 or 3/year to come back, but never an abundance. And a good thing that is, too, as one vine can cover a large space. They are best planted by the porch or door yard so they can be enjoyed in the evening. They really should be called evening glories as that is when they bloom. The flowers last one night and then are gone, but more will come the next evening.

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