Moon Garden Ideas + flowers that look good in the moonlight - garden design (2023)

Extend your time outdoors with an evening white garden oasisBy Janet Loughrey, author and garden photographer.

garden in the moonlight Photo Credit: Proven Winners.

Long summer days are perfect for relaxing and unwinding in the garden. After sunset, the arrival of darkness transforms the garden into a magical place. The chirping of the crickets, the sight of the crescent moon, the floral aromas wafting in the soft evening breeze, are moments to be savoured. Moon or white gardens became popular years ago to promote sublime nocturnal experiences.


Moon gardens include plants with white flowers and silver or variegated foliage that can be seen in the reflected light of the moon, creating a sense of mystery and romance. The Moon Gardens also contain flowers with a distinctive nocturnal scent that enhances the experience. Bright hardware and fixtures further accentuate the garden at night.

In the dark, our eyes can only perceive a limited range of colors and contrasts. White flowers and foliage glow and appear to float in the air, while contrasting green foliage fades into the dark for a magical effect. As night falls, our senses sharpen and we become more attuned to the sights, sounds, and smells of nature. The outside world becomes a multisensory experience.


This Adirondack-style moon garden was built to be viewed from the home's second-story porch. Designers: Charles Atwood King and Karen Lamitie-King. Photo: Janet Loughrey.

You don't have to beautify your entire garden with moon garden plants. Even a small part of a patio or a secluded corner of the backyard can be turned into an evening garden, an intimate place for quiet reflection or a place to have a glass of wine with friends.

Pick a location.

  • Place the moon garden in an easily accessible location, or choose a location that can be seen from a patio, porch, or indoors.
  • Choose an open area that allows for stargazing and moonlight.
  • Pay attention to the play of light and shadow, which can contribute to mysticism and fascination.

Add different components.

Add a mix of plants, landscaping, and accessories. It can be as simple or elaborate as you like, depending on your budget and space.


Use light-colored stone materials such as white marble pebbles, slabs, or chips to accentuate garden areas. Paint a back wall white, or add a white trellis or other shelter that can also support vines.


For safety reasons, make sure the trails are easy to walk at night. Use white gravel to mark walkways or install light-colored paving slabs. Add soft sunlight or other artificial lighting.


Put a comfortable chair or bench where you can immerse yourself in the garden. Add a small table to place a cup of tea or a glass of wine. A votive candle or solar lamp placed on the table provides subtle mood lighting.

Photo by: Nicola Stocken Tomkins / Garden Collection


Adorn the space with decorative touches like a reflective sphere, metallic wall art, or shiny statues like a cherub, Buddha, or stone lamp.

Turning on.

Add additional lighting for illumination on cloudy or moonless nights. Keep it muted so it doesn't dominate the natural moonlight. Hang fairy lights over a patio or along a fence. Add candles, lanterns, or illuminated trees.

Feel the senses.

Add items that appeal to the senses of sight, smell, and hearing.

  • A small fountain or waterfall provides the gentle sound of rushing water while reflecting the moonlight.
  • It attracts nocturnal creatures like crickets and frogs creating a natural habitat.
  • Includes plants likeornamental grassesor bamboo rustling softly in the evening breeze.
  • Choose heavily scented night shorts and place them near the living room.

Expand the topic.

To further accentuate the celestial theme, include star-shaped flowering plants, create crescent-shaped flower beds, add star and moon-shaped accessories, or hang a string of twinkling lights to simulate the stars. Use your imagination and have fun!


Swipe to view slides

Photo By: Proven Winners

EUFORBIA DIAMOND FROST®Shop now from proven winners


10-11, usually grown as an annual


Full to partial sun


habit of stooping upright; 12 to 18 inches tall and wide

Clouds of airy white flowers bloom from late spring until frost. Use this annual plant as a garden plant or in containers.

(Video) Tour of Our West Side Moon Garden 🌿// Garden Answer





full sun


thick mounded habit; 3-5 feet tall and 2-4 feet wide. The climbing form grows 12 to 15 feet tall and 7 to 9 feet wide.

This valuable bedding shrub or climbing rose produces profusely fragrant flowers throughout the growing season.

learn more aboutgrowing roses.

Photo de: Halit Omer/Shutterstock.





full sun


Upright stature, 2-3 feet tall and wide

The feathery silvery-blue foliage of this showy evergreen shrub makes it useful as a background plant and for separating white-flowered cultivars.

Also try the Silver Gray Foliage Powder Grinder (Senecio)

Read more abouthow to grow mugwort.

Photo By: Proven Winners

DICHONDRA 'SILVER FALLS'Shop now from proven winners
dichondra argentina

(Video) Add a touch of Moonlight to your Garden!


10-12, usually grown as an annual


Full sun to partial shade


Habit spreading behind, 2 to 4 inches tall, 3 to 4 feet wide, to 6 feet long

The silvery foliage of this handsome annual creates a cascade of brilliant color from late spring until frost. Use as a ground cover, to line walkways, or water over a container or hanging basket.

Photo By: Proven Winners

CALADIUM HERZ ZU HERZ™ "WONDER WHITE"Shop now from proven winners
caladium gardener


10-11, usually grown as an annual


part sun to shade


Habit of spreading vertically, 1-2 feet tall and 1-1 1/2 feet wide

The bold foliage of this classic Victorian shade lover is almost entirely white, making it striking in the moonlight. Grown from a bulb, this tropical plant is treated as an annual in most regions. Good for containers.

see belowhow to grow caládios.

Photo By: Proven Winners

"DAVID"-PHLOXShop now from proven winners
Phlox paniculata




Full sun to partial shade


Habit of spreading vertically, 3-4 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide

An elegant chalet-style perennial with fragrant white flowers. Blooms from mid to late summer.

learn more aboutgrowing phlox.

Photo by: Gardens by Design / Shutterstock.





part in full shade

(Video) A tour of the Moon Garden at White Flower Farm


Habit of spreading vertically, 1-2 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide

A richly textured variegated plant with deep white edges helps brighten darker areas. This shade-loving perennial is exceptionally hardy and will thrive in most areas.

see belowgrowing hostas.

Photo by: Janet Loughrey.





Full sun to light shade


Slender upright habit, 3-4 feet tall and 1 foot wide

One of the most spectacular Oriental lilies, 'Casa Blanca' has large, elegant, snow-white flowers and an intense floral fragrance that is most pronounced at night.

read belowthe lilies grow.

Foto de: Vision4Human/Shutterstock.

the night sky




Full to partial sun


Thick upright growth, 8-10 feet tall and 4-6 feet wide. It can be kept smaller by pruning.

Long associated with moon gardens, the creamy-white, star-shaped, night-blooming flowers of this semi-tropical shrub emit a strong, sweet fragrance. For those in cooler climates, grow as a container plant and overwinter indoors.

Photo by: Janet Loughrey.

Ipomoea alba




full sun


Climbing habit, 10-15 feet tall and 3-6 feet wide

Grown as an annual, this delicate and vigorous perennial is the quintessential moon garden plant. Large 6-inch white flowers open at night and give off a mild lemon scent.

(Video) Gardening In America - Planting A Moonlight Garden

Photo by: Janet Loughrey.

Nicotiana Sylvestris




Full sun to partial shade


Upright habit, 3-5 feet tall and 1-2 feet wide

The star-shaped tubular white flowers emit a sweet jasmine scent that is most pronounced at night. This summer-blooming annual is a popular mainstay of moon gardens.

Photo By: Proven Winners

'MI MONEDA' WEIGELAShop now from proven winners
Weigela Florida




sun to semi-shade


Bushy growth habit, 1-1 1/2 feet tall and 1 1/2-2 feet wide

The white variety with a hint of pink characterizes the foliage of this versatile shrub. Use as a background plant or to create a separation between white flowering plants.

learn more aboutHow to breed Weigela.

You can find more plants in:
10 elegant white hydrangeas
20 white and silver plants perfect for moon garden design(of proven winners)


A fairy figurine holding a ball is the centerpiece of this all-white flowerbed. Designer: Cheley Witte. Photo: Janet Loughrey.

Selection of plants.

  • Consider plant varieties that vary in size, structure, and leaf shape.
  • Use a mix of perennials, annuals, bulbs, roses, and white-flowered vines.
  • Incorporate variegated or silver foliage for contrast, texture, and visual interest.
  • Add different shades of white flowers, such as snow white, cream, ivory, and pearl.

Plant of seasonal interest.

Choose nocturnal garden plants that bloom at different times of the year, as well as plants with attractive foliage that persist throughout the growing season.


Group the same strains in groups of 3-5 for maximum effect. Larger flowers or clusters show better in the dark than smaller individual flowers.

Less is more.

Choose a few mother plants rather than many different varieties to avoid cluttering up the layout.

Set up your own lunar garden area with pots. Photo Credit: Proven Winners.


Add vines to add vertical height. A trellis can support climbing jasmines or moonflowers to create a vibrant wall of color and scent.

In soil and containers.

Plants embedded in the ground and in tubs. Even apartment dwellers can buy a little white garden in tubs in onebalcony. For container ideas see:27 Container Recipes for Moon Gardens.

Keep it green.

Plants that are most fragrant at night will attract moths and other nocturnal pollinators, helping to maintain a healthy ecological balance in your garden.

(Video) How To Create A Moon Garden

there is night
zen garden design
rock garden design


What are good flowers for moon garden? ›

Flowers for a Moon Garden

Shasta daisies, Sweet alyssum (which has lovely flowers that smell like honey), candytuft (Iberis), white creeping phlox, angel's trumpet (brugmansia), white bleeding heart, mock orange, moonflower vines, climbing white hydrangea, calla lilies, white lilacs, and white lupine.

Which flower Colour plants are grown in moonlit garden? ›

Moon garden plants should be light-colored so that they reflect the moonlight. Consider these plants with flowers or foliage in shades of white, off-white, cream, silver, or gray: 1.

What are the flowers that look like moons? ›

Moonflower (Datura) is one of the most romantic plants you can grow in a garden. The large, trumpet-shaped flowers unfurl in the evening and stay open until the sun rises. Several varieties of moonflower also give off a lemon fragrance when their flowers are open.

What do you put in a moon garden? ›

A moon garden should consist of flowers and plants designed to reflect moonlight but also remain visible and fragrant during an obscured or new moon. White flowers should occupy most of your plot, along with plants with silver and gray foliage. Other pale hues to consider include pink, yellow and lavender.

Are there different types of moon flowers? ›

There are the sacred datura (Datura wrightii), night-blooming Cereus (Peniocereus greggii), and several species of morning glory (Ipomoea). These plants have evolved over millions of years to be timed with the night/day cycle to open only in the night.

What plants glow in the moonlight? ›

Plant creamy flowers for a glowing nighttime garden.
Summer Flowers:
  • Coneflower 'White Swan'
  • Hydrangea 'Annabelle' or 'White Swan'
  • Butterfly bush 'White Profusion'
  • Moonflowers (Ipomoea alba)
  • 'Alba' four o'clocks (Mirabilis jalapa)
  • White flowering tobacco (Nicotiana alata)
  • 'Casa Blanca' Oriental lilies.

What is the white flower that only blooms at night? ›

Echinopsis, also known as the Easter lily cactus or night-blooming hedgehogs, produces striking white flowers on tall tubes. The fragrant blossoms open up for a night, then begin to whither the second day.

What is the rarest flower that blooms at night? ›

The Night-Blooming Cereus is a species of cactus flower and is one of the rarest plants to live in the desert. Adding to its mystique is its inconspicuousness and location - desert flats and washes between 3000 and 5000 feet above sea level, and that it is rarely seen in the wild.

What is the new moon flower? ›

Trollius New Moon

Creamy icy-yellow double flowers. Globe-shaped balls open to creamy icy yellow double flowers. Refreshingly beautiful, they flower prolifically in early summer.

What is the name of midnight flower? ›

Night phlox (Zaluzianskya capensis) is also called midnight candy, which is more than just a fun name: It is a nod to the sweet fragrance released by this night blooming flower. Perfect in an evening fragrance garden or a moon garden, night phlox brings both fragrance and color in shades of pink, white and purple.

What is a full flower moon? ›

It's the Flower Moon

Popular names for May's full moon include the Planting Moon and the Milk Moon, but the Flower Moon is the most common. The name Flower Moon recognizes the blooming of wildflowers and garden flowers, many giving an enchanting appearance in the light of May's full moon.

What color are moon flowers? ›

Moonflower (Ipomoea alba), with its large, pure white blooms, pleasant scent, and heart-shaped leaves, is one of my favorite vining plants. As the name might suggest, the bloom of this vigorous vine is indeed moonlike, thanks to its pale color and round shape.

What is a moonbeam flower? ›

Coreopsis Moonbeam is vigorous hybrid Tickseed descended from native Thread Leaf Coreopsis. At just 12 to 18 inches with lovely lemon-yellow blooms, this is one of the most popular Coreopsis varieties. Moonbeam Tickseed is long-blooming and is in flower from early to late summer.

Why are moon flowers special? ›

Because of their aloof bloom and sweet smell, moonflowers are extremely romantic. In addition to only blooming at night, these tropical perennials further live up to their name by blooming in a round, full shape that closely resembles a full moon.

What do moon flowers need? ›

Give them a spot with full sun in loose, well-drained soil. While moonflowers will grow in a variety of soils, even in dry, poor soil, you can work a small amount of compost into the soil. Plant them 1/4" deep and 6 inches apart. When the seedlings are up, thin them to every 12 inches.

What plants look like moon? ›

Pricklyburr (Datura innoxia) is a white flower that is also sometimes called “Moonflower”. The large, white trumpet-shaped flowers unfurl at night and reflect the moon's light. They tend to have a citrusy scent but are quite poisonous.

Do hummingbirds like moonflowers? ›

Night-bloomers like moonflower give you a reason to enjoy your flower garden and outdoor space well into the evening hours. Choose a place for this vining plant where you'll be sure to breathe the sweet fragrance after the sun goes down. You may even attract hummingbird moths and other nighttime pollinators.

Is there a purple moon flower? ›

Purple moonflower is an annual, climbing vine that reproduces from seed that are much larger than other commonly observed morningglory species (Figure 3). Purple moonflower plants can produce an average of 9,350 seeds per plant.

What flower is in Sleeping Beauty? ›

Commelina coelestis, 'Sleeping Beauty'

What kind of flower is queen of the night? ›

The Night Queen is a dramatic night-blooming cactus. It blooms once a year, only overnight. This is a very extraordinary performance, as expected from plants that consume all reproductive energy in a short amount of time. The flowers are large and fragrant, shining white like a full moon.

Which flower that blooms every 12 years? ›

Once every 12 years, Neelakurinji flowers bloom in Karnataka | India News News,The Indian Express.

What flower only blooms once every 100 years? ›

Agave Americana Blooms Once Every Hundred Years

It's also known as a century plant because it only blooms once every 100 years (roughly) and then dies. But, because Raleigh gets more rain than the plant's usual home in the high elevations of Northern Mexico, the Century Plant is blooming after only thirty years.

What is the Native American flower moon? ›

Why It's Called the “Flower Moon” The Native Americans have a name for every full moon of the year. Last month's was the Pink Moon, which symbolized the coming of spring. May's full moon is known as the Flower Moon because it rises when flowers are beginning to bloom and blossom.

What is a pink moon flower? ›

The Pink Moon in April gets its name from pink wildflowers that bloom in the early spring. It is thought that the name comes from the brightly-colored pink phlox wildflowers that are native to North America and that often bloom around the time of April's Full Moon.

What does moon flower attract? ›

Moon flowers open in the evening so they can be pollinated by night-flying moths. Like most moth-pollinated flowers, the moon flower is white, which attracts moths.

What is Lucifer's flower? ›

Crocosmia x Curtonus 'Lucifer' (Montbretia) blooms in summer with brilliant, hummingbird-attracting scarlet-red flowers on arching stems. Crocosmia 'Lucifer' bulbs (corms) will do best in rich, moisture-retentive soils, in full or partial sun.

What plant is lady of the night? ›

Michelia 'Lady of the Night' is an attractive, evergreen shrub and produces deep green, glossy leaves. Throughout spring and summer Michelia 'Lady of the Night' blooms large, cream, fragrant flowers that are tinted with magenta. Michelia 'Lady of the Night' can be used for hedging and small screening in gardens.

What is the flower of sleep? ›

Poppies have long been used as a symbol of sleep and peace; the opium extracted from them is a sedative, so naturally it became a symbol of tranquilization and eternal sleep.

What month is flower moon? ›

May's full Moon reaches its peak on May 5, 2023! Here's everything you should know about this month's full Moon, including how it came to be called the “Flower Moon.”

What is the spiritual meaning of moon flower? ›

Dreaminess: Moonflowers are also associated with dreaminess and a sense of mystery. Their nocturnal blooms are thought to evoke a sense of otherworldliness and enchantment. Femininity: Moonflowers are often associated with femininity and the moon, which has long been a symbol of the divine feminine in many cultures.

What is a blue flower moon? ›

Why is it called a 'Flower' Moon? Known as the Blue 'Flower' Moon, May's moon was named so by native American tribes because it appears during spring when flowers start to blossom. It can also be referred to as a Mother's Moon, Milk Moon, or Corn Planting Moon.

What does a Moonbeam look like? ›

A silvery beam of pale light shines down in a 5-foot radius, 40-foot-high Cylinder centered on a point within range.

Why is it called Moonbeam? ›

The Township of Moonbeam owes its origins to courageous settlers and the forest industry, and its name to early residents who claimed to have seen flashing lights–or moonbeams–falling from the sky. Moonbeam is recognized for its many recreational activities and a developing tourism industry.

What colors do Moonbeam coreopsis come in? ›

Amp up the color in your flower borders with coreopsis. This amazing native plant, occasionally called tickseed, develops mass quantities of yellow, orange, rose, lavender, white, or bi-colored flowers through the early summer.

Is it safe to touch moonflower? ›

Moonflower vine (Ipomoea alba) shows low toxicity. It is safe to touch and save seed pods for next years seedlings.

What are some fun facts about moonflowers? ›

Moon flowers (also known as Ipomoea alba) are extremely large in size and boast a strong fragrance. They get their name due to the fact they only bloom at night. Gardeners will often plant these flowers alongside morning glories as the two not only complement each other, but they are in actual fact related.

Are moonflowers toxic to dogs? ›

Jimson Weed

Also known as Datura or Moonflower, this often fantastic looking weed is packed full of poison that could kill your dog. This harmless looking green weed produces a white flower, and if your dog ingests the plant, he's at risk of the poison quickly taking hold of the body.

What plants do you plant by the full moon? ›

Moon phases and garden tasks

Between the first quarter and the full moon is the best time to plant annuals with seeds in the fruit, such as beans, tomatoes, squash, peas, and peppers. When the moon is full, the light and available moisture are at their peak.

Is there a plant that thrives with moonlight? ›

As the name suggests, the moonflower, or Ipomoea alba, blooms in the moonlight. These vine plants produce large, white trumpet-shaped flowers and a slight lemon scent, providing an enchanting background for neighboring night-blooming outdoor plants.

What are the plants planted on moon? ›

In a boast to future Moon settlements, NASA planted seeds of a diminutive flowering weed called Arabidopsis thaliana in the soil from the moon – samples of which were retrieved during the NASA missions in 1969 and 1972 – has sprouted.

What do you plant by the light of the moon? ›

The technique goes as follows: Plant your annual flowers and fruit and vegetables that bear crops above ground (corn, tomatoes, zucchini, etc.) during the light, or waxing of the Moon—from the day the Moon is new to the day it is full.

What plant only blooms in a full moon? ›

Moonflower (Datura species) is both fragrant and exotic. Its large, white trumpet-shaped flowers unfurl at night and reflect the moon's light.

Which plant is closest to moon? ›

Our moon orbits Earth, so Earth is closest to the moon at about 384,000. Other than Earth, the closest planet would be Venus at about 38 million km away.

What is the flower that blooms at night? ›

Moonflower. Datura wrightii is known by many names — datura, moonflower, jimsonweed, sacred datura — and has quite an interesting history, including use as a hallucinogen.

What does moon mean spiritually? ›

The moon is a feminine symbol, universally representing the rhythm of time as it embodies the cycle. The phases of the moon symbolize immortality and eternity, enlightenment or the dar k side of Nature herself.

What makes a flower moon? ›

Many of the Moon's nicknames in popular use today have come to us from Native American cultures. Many cultures refer to May's full moon as the Flower Moon thanks to the abundant blooming that occurs as spring gets going properly.

What is the moon spiritually? ›

The Moon represents powerful feminine energy. It signifies wisdom, intuition and a spiritual connection.

Which is the first plant in moon? ›

Arabidopsis thaliana is a plant that is related to mustard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables, the NASA press release said.

What was the first flower in space? ›

Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) have answered this and other zero-gravity gardening conundrums by growing the first flower in space. The orange zinnia looks like a daisy and has a reputation for being one of the easiest flowers to grow on Earth.

What is a moon and star plant? ›

Description. Moon and Stars watermelon sports dark green skin speckled with yellow spots of varying sizes. The vine is compact, making it ideal for small gardens. The flesh of the fruit is commonly red, yellow, or orange. The rind is thick and good for pickling, and the flesh has a sweet flavor.


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