Nowadays, we spend a lot of time devoted to developing a vibrant garden that shines in the sunlight, but have you ever thought about flowers that bloom at night? There's an entire category of night-blooming flowers that come alive after the sun goes down and here are eight to take note of.
Eight Flowers That Bloom at Night
Imagine going out to clear skies and watching a glowing moon enlighten your outdoor plants... Sounds amazing, right? Consider silvery-white foliage that catches the moonlight, as well as blooms that are hidden until the moon is high in the sky. As a fun fact, these night-flowering plants have evolved over millions of years to be timed with the night/day cycle to open only at night. They do this because night-flying insects mostly pollinate them.
One such insect is the hawk moth! On the other hand, the flowers are sensitive to small changes in light so they are open when these insects are out in the evening. That said, here are eight flowers that bloom at night to beautify your darkened garden!
1. Moonflower (Ipomoea Alba)
The moonflower is the nighttime sister to the beautiful morning glory, only it comes alive under the evening stars. These creamy white blooms open in the evening and only stay in bloom at night. Flower lovers express how much they like moonflowers in their nighttime patios because of their delicate shape and how they drape around a garden. They are very lovely and their one-of-a-kindness further adds to their attractiveness.
2. Night Phlox (Zaluzianskya Ovata)
The Night Phlox is a beautiful flowering plant native to South Africa. Its blooms resemble small daisies and release a sweet and honey-like fragrance after the sun goes down, making it one of the eight ideal flowers that bloom at night. The leaves form a dense, low-growing clump that looks lush and green. On a final note, this flowering plant is a good option to place in borders, rock gardens, and pots.
3. Gardenia (Gardenia Jasminoides)
The gardenia is known for its strong aroma and clusters of small white blooms against dark, glossy green leaves, making it a perfect flower that blooms at night. She's beautiful, and classic, and evokes a scent reminiscing of summer. While gardenias bloom during the day, they prefer warm evenings, and they actually emit more fragrance at night in order to attract moths, a common pollinator.
4. Night-Blooming Jasmine (Cestrum Nocturnum)
Night-blooming jasmine, also known as the 'Lady of the Night', is a tropical evergreen shrub that isn't actually a member of the jasmine family—it's a nightshade. Garden owners love the intense tropical fragrance, in addition to the night flowers it produces. The night-blooming Jasmine is an excellent choice for a garden because being one of the flowers that actually bloom at night, it can also be trained as a vine and looks lovely during the day.
5. Four O'Clock Alba (Mirabilis Jalapa)
True to its name, the Four O'Clock Alba begins to open its petals in the late afternoon and continues to do so into the night. This airy, bushy perennial with huge white blooms against deep green leaves emits a pleasant citrusy fragrance that fills the evening air! Have you decided what flowers that bloom at night you'll be adding to your garden yet? There are still a few more options to explore!
6. Mock-Orange (Philadelphus)
If you've ever smelled springtime orange flowers, you know how enticing their perfume can be. According to flower professionals, the Mock-Orange shrub receives its name from the perfume generated by its tiny white flower buds. You can even take some of these blooms inside with you and you'll have a lovely indoor fragrance at home. Best of both worlds, right? Have a stunning view of them in your garden while being able to take their pleasant fragrance indoors.
7. Evening Primrose (Oenothera)
This night-blooming flower begins to bloom as the sun sets and continues until late in the evening. It's a perennial that blooms from spring to late summer, with rosette-like flowers that blossom atop a tall stem covered in soft hairs. They begin to open up before the twilight hours in the most delicate pink-and-white colors and they are also easy to care for.
8. Queen of the Night Cactus (Cereus Hildmannianus)
The Queen of the Night cactus is a flowering variety native to North America's Sonoran Desert. Their white or yellow blossoms are large and trumpet-shaped and sit in stark contrast to the tough, prickly cactus exterior. The plant is pollinated by nocturnal animals, such as bats and moths. The flowers open at night and emit a sweet fragrance that attracts these animals. The animals then transfer pollen from one flower to another, allowing the plant to reproduce. Chances are, you've seen this cactus and had no idea its real beauty was best seen at night.
The Magic Starts at Moonlight
One thing is for sure—walking around a garden can provide a reprieve and escape from daily life; it is transportive. And so much has been written and said about the magic of gardens in the moonlight—in songs, poems, books, and theater. Furthermore, these beauties keep pollinators busy when the sun goes down, which is good for all of us!