Night-Blooming Flowers

Flowers that bloom at night sounds like a romantic idea, but for those that work all day and enjoy spending time in their gardens in the evening, it’s just the practical way to go!

  • Nicotiana sylvestris or Flowering Tobacco is a 5 foot-tall annual flower covered with trumpet-shaped white flowers that spread their rich, spicy scent throughout the evening. Truly this plant fits the romantic ideal of a night-blooming plant.
  • Dame’s Rocket or Hesperis matronalis is an early spring-blooming perennial or biennial that looks a bit like Phlox and comes in shades of  purple, pink and white. Dame’s Rocket is most at home in wildflower-type gardens or cottage gardens. It’s richly scented, especially at night. Sadly, it’s a prolific self-seeder and is an invasive species in some areas.
  • Chocolate Flower or Berlandiera lyrata is as good as its name! Smelling richly of chocolate, this small, yellow, daisy-like perennial blooms all night and it’s petals fall off in the morning. Plant this unassuming flower near your patio or in containers so you don’t miss a single chocolate-laden breeze!
  • Moonflower vine or Ipomoea alba is a cousin of the Morning Glory, with much larger, white, fragrant blooms and this 10 foot vine only blooms at night. Make sure to give Moonflower Vine something to climb on, as it can grow very quickly. The large, white flowers glow in the moonlight, truly a night-blooming classic!
  • Gardenia or Gardenia jasminoides is the iconic scent of sultry, southern nights. Gardenia features deep green, glossy leaves and slightly waxy, white, rose-like blooms that have a fragrance that is entirely intoxicating. For most, Gardenia is grown in containers as it’s only at home in zones 8-11.
  • Tuberose or Polianthes tuberosa is better known as a cut flower or as a source for the perfume industry than as something grown in the back garden. Grown as a bulb in zones 7-10, they can be grown in any zone in a container as long as it’s kept adequately moist and you provide staking when necessary.

Night-Blooming Cereus or Epiphyllum oxypetalum doesn’t bloom often, so when it does, have a party! Night-Blooming Cereus makes a low-care houseplant, even though it’s a thornless cactus. Bring it outside in the summer and celebrate when you get one of those dinner-plate sized blooms!