As I continue to garden, I decided to try growing plants that bloom in the evening with the thought that flowers at night would be spectacular. I was right.
If you like sweet-scented flowers to bloom at night, these are for you. I've had great luck with all of them and you will too.
Many night-blooming flowers are white; they can make a garden glow when the sun goes down. Not only are they attractive to humans, but also the night-flying moths that feed on their nectar and pollen. Here are some good candidates:
Nicotiana – A fragrant annual whose scent is more intense at night. It has pink, red, green or white flowers. My favourite variety is N. sylvestris, a three- to four-foot bloomer that nods over the border and fills the night air with a sweet perfume.
Evening Primrose – A weedy-looking plant by day, evening primroses are an olfactory spectacle at night, when the large yellow flowers give off a sweet aroma.
Evening-scented stock – This small plant opens after sunset to reveal purple flowers and a wonderful spicy scent. It blooms over much of the summer. Stock is easy to grow from seed, and sometimes will over winter if placed in a sheltered spot.
Four O’clocks – Like its namesake, these flowers open in the late afternoon of late summer. These are my absolute favorites. I gave some to my mother who now enjoys them as well.
Garden Heliotrope – This perennial that grows up to five feet tall, with tiny pink blossoms. Exudes fragrance after dark. Its Latin name is Valeriana officinalis. It can self-sow and be a bit invasive, so don’t let it get out of hand if you’re not willing to weed it back out. This is a very powerfully scented plant.
Moonflower – A relative of the morning glory, climbing moonflower plants produce fragrant, white, four- to six-inch flowers that unfurl after dark.
Brugmansia (formerly known as Datura) – A bushy plant with huge, white, trumpet-shaped, fragrant flowers, commonly called Angel’s Trumpet. It’s poisonous; so don’t plant it if you have children or pets.