How to Grow a Moon Garden

April 10, 2024

Learn how to grow a gorgeous moon garden with evening bloomers, fragrant flowers, and other plants that glow underneath the moonlight.

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Every year, I try to add a few new flowers to our garden.  Last year, it was pollinator plants.  Another year, I added a bunch of black flowers.  This year, I’m creating a moon garden in one section of our yard.  Each summer, I add a few different pots of flowers to one side of our deck.  It’s an area that’s sometimes neglected.  But this year, I want to fill that space with moon garden flowers.

What is a Moon Garden?

If you’re wondering what a moon garden is, it’s a combination of flowers and plants that glow underneath the moonlight.  Moon gardens consist of evening bloomers, fragrant flowers, and bright white and silvery colors – plants will delight the senses even  in the darkness.  A moon garden can also be beneficial to nighttime pollinators like moths, bats, and bees.

In the area where I’m planning my moon garden, it gets quite dark in the evening (despite a few solar lights and decorative lights shining off the neighbor’s property).  My plans started with moonflowers to grow tall and brighten up the night with their large, white blooms.  But then, I decided to look into other plants that are great for moon gardens and created quite a wishlist for myself.

How to Grow a Moon Garden

While some of these flowers will be started by seed, I plan on checking garden centers for starter plants.  I’ve already found white petunias in the garden center and currently have Snow-in-Summer and Fivespots growing from seeds.  If you’re wondering what kind of flowers to plant in a moon garden, here are 15 varieties that would make a great addition!

Stock photo of moonflower unfurling.

Moonflowers

Moonflowers are probably the most common moon garden flower you could think of.  The large white flowers are lightly fragrant and bloom in the evening.  They attract nighttime pollinators and can grow up to 15 feet tall!

This is my first year growing moonflowers.  I’m starting them from seed and read that the seeds should soak overnight in water to help them germinate.  We’ll give it a try!

White begonia flowers against dark background.

White Begonias

Depending on the variety, some begonias can handle temperatures up to 90 degrees making them a great flower choice for summer.  They’re a pretty low maintenance flower and tend to continue blooming throughout the growing season.

White Four O'Clock Flowers

Four O’Clocks

Four O’Clocks got their name because their flowers open late in the day making them perfect for a moon garden!  In certain areas they’re considered a perennial and enjoy full sun.  These flowers also have a sweet scent.  But they have a reputation for spreading so they might be best grown in a container.

Sweet Alyssum clusters of white flowers.

Sweet Alyssum

I became a big fan of Sweet Alyssum last summer and so did the bees in our garden!  These tiny white flowers totally give off a cottagecore aesthetic!  In my opinion, they smell like honey.  It’s a slight sweet fragrance.  It spreads so it makes a pretty ground cover, but does well in a pot!

Cluster of small white flowers on top of Queen Anne's Lace.

Queen Anne’s Lace

Queen Anne’s Lace is also known as “Wild Carrot” and produces tall stems with clusters of white flowers on top.  It’s popular in herbalism and known to have some medicinal properties.  The flowers are also beneficial to insects.

Silvery-gray sprigs of English lavender.

Lavender

Lavender is one of my favorite things to grow in the garden!  Not only is it a low-maintenance plant, but I love its scent.  Obviously, lavender is known for its calming properties (I use it a lot in my products).  But the grayish-green leaves look beautiful underneath the moonlight!

Close up photo of Polar Bear Zinnia flower.

Polar Bear Zinnias

Zinnias are one of my favorite flowers to grow each summer.  They seem to tolerate the heat, soak up the sun, and are great for attracting bees and butterflies!  The flowers also look beautiful in cut bouquets.  Polar Bear Zinnias, with their big, fluffy, white flowers, will look great during the day and at night!

Cluster of Fivespots flowers.

Fivespots

Fivespots got their name because of the spots at the tip of each flower petal.  They’re a pretty addition to any garden and also attract pollinators.  They are a quick-growing, low-maintenance plant that does well in pots as well as flower beds.

Close up of white Bird's Eye Flower.

Bird’s Eyes Flowers

Bird’s Eyes are another lover of pollinators and are said to smell like chocolate.  Who wouldn’t love them?!  At night, their lightly colored blooms are reflected underneath the moonlight.

Close up horizontal photo of white petunia.

White Petunias

Petunias are another one of my favorite flowers to grow during the summer.  They’re relatively low-maintenance and easy to grow, but I do recommend a good deadheading to keep them thriving.  Their white, trumpet flowers look pretty at night as well as during the day.

Close up photo of Snow-in-Summer flowers.

Snow-in-Summer

Snow-in-Summer got its name because when planted as a ground cover, its small white flowers look like a blanket of snow in the middle of the summer.  I have a container variety currently growing from seed and cannot wait to see its silvery foliage and white, snowy blooms.  This flower is also attractive to pollinators during the day.

Monarch butterfly on white impatiens flowers.

White Impatiens

Impatiens are thirsty little plants and enjoy a healthy drink of water to keep them happy and thriving.  While they do tolerate some sun, they’ll grow better in partial sun areas.  Their white flowers are simple, but showy.

Close up photo of Shasta Daisy.

Shasta Daisies

The Shasta Daisy is a short-lived perennial with classic white flowers.  They thrive with regular deadheading and look pretty in summer bouquets.  Bees and butterflies also benefit from these flowers.

Horizontal photo of white poppies.

White Poppies

White Poppies are an easy growing plant with flowers that attract pollinators.  If starting by seeds, they grow best when started indoors.  Their crepe paper-like petals give them a feminine flair.  The flowers are large and flowy and grow up to 18 inches tall.

Horizontal close up of white cosmos.

White Cosmos

White Cosmos add a whimsical touch to the garden.  They have semi-double, ruffled blossoms with grassy foliage.  Cosmos attract pollinators and reseed each year.

Horizontal photo of moon lighting plants.

While you’re planning your moon garden, make sure to plant a mix of tall and short flowers to really make your garden pop day and night!  Also, check to see if your mix of moon garden flowers is better suited for full sun or partial shade areas.

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