by Laura Rivera
Last summer I bought a beautiful pergola for my back patio. I easily envisioned this space to be my summer backyard retreat. I knew the only way that it could look remotely close to those beautiful home and garden magazine photos was to plaster it with flowers and integrate some great lighting to create that classical dreamy ambiance. I wanted vertical growth with large exotic flowers. The Giant White Moonflower was the way to go, reaching a robust 20’ tall with fragrant 5” flowers that would bloom in the evening. These attributes were ideal to obtain this mystical look.
This plant does not transplant well, so I started by planting my seeds directly into 14” pots indoors. In less than a week I had sweet little seedlings, which would soon become the focal point for my patio space. Once they were ready to leave an isolated indoor environment, I moved the pots outdoors. Giant White Moonflowers are climbers and need lots of support as the large vines get very heavy. I strung three strands of black nylon rope from the base of the plant to the top of the pergola to train them to climb along the posts.
My six year old discovered that you could hold a pencil to the vine and could actually watch the vine slowly wrap around it. What an incredibly cool discovery! My backyard is super sunny and so they drank a lot of water to keep hydrated. During the day the moonflowers were extremely green and lush. At dusk, the flowers would slowly open to large illuminous white flowers.
Every evening my husband, son, and I would go and sit on the patio just to watch the flowers bloom. Friends and family that came over thought they were amazing and wondered how we were able to create such a unique look and yet they were really so easy to grow and were very entertaining to watch. The Giant White Moonflower is truly a magical flower that lives up to its name in every way.
Growing up on 77 acres of land with a family of five girls, Laura spent much of her childhood working hard and spending family time planting, weeding, and canning in the fall. After spending many years working seasonally on farms, Laura attended college and began a career outside of the agriculture industry. She eventually joined the Harris Seeds team as an Outbound Sales Rep and later took on the role of Customer Care Manager. Returning to her roots and her love for growing has been a rewarding experience. She loves helping customers find solutions and helping them with their growing needs.