Did you ever see something that just resonated in your heart and you knew you must have them?
Years ago I visited my daughter Erin out in Eastern Pennsylvania and I walked around their new house and there was a huge stand of Moonflowers. I didn’t know what they were, of course. Their gigantic long tubular flowers were just so pretty. Even the ones that were beginning to unfurl have such a lovely swirling pattern of their petals, making just seeing them something awesome to look at.
I took some home and have been trying to grow them for several years.
Here is one I grew in a pot.
My Moonflowers are described as the genus Datura, species metel and is considered a perennial herb here in zone 6-10. I am in zone 6. The name moonflower is applied to many kinds of flowers, by the way.
But a perennial? I think this gets tricky. My daughter confirms this as her stand of moonflowers comes back every year saying that she believes they can grow from their roots (tap roots), but definitely from the seeds they drop, which doesn’t make them perennial. They have large spiny seed pods that crack open when ripe, spreading their seeds all over. The seeds are very hardy and can hibernate (Wikipedia.org) for years in the ground.
Something I learned when researching datura is that they are highly poisonous. The seeds and flowers have the toxin atromine, among others, in them. Don’t let animals or kids ingest these plants. They can make anyone very sick or even die. Well. I think I’ll do a post on “Are our everyday garden flowers poisonous?” I think we’ll be surprised, so stay tuned.
My daughter came out to visit recently and brought me a large bag filled with moonflowers. It was a week of temps in the 90's, so I immediately dunked them in a huge bucket of water. They perked up and I even had a beautiful bloom.
Sadly, I am a hot weather hater. My moonflowers were in the bucket for a long while because I just couldn't get out in the yard and dig dirt in the heat and humidty.
But finally I dug a hole and plopped them in it.
Yes they are sad looking, BUT! the very tips are new growth and if they can just get through the heat wave, they will make it. We are only now expecting a storm coming in tonight after probably two weeks, so I'm sure they'll take off. I give them a gallon of water everyday. I will build a fairly wide space around them with amended soil so that when - and if - they survive, the seeds will have a good environment in which to grow.
Finally, a friend gave me a “black” datura Fastuosa and I was blown away by its beautiful flower.
I just stuck the seedling I was given in a pot of pansies as you can see!
Oh I guess I just love these exotic ruffley , large and elegant plants and flowers! Try them out and let me know - do you have datura's - or moonflowers?