The Secret to a Gorgeous Garden at Night? These Amazing Night Plants

Blooms that open at dusk, release evening fragrances, and reflect the moonlight make these plants perfect for your nighttime gatherings

Between work, family, and an endless to-do list, most of us don’t get to sit down and relax until after the day is over. So shouldn’t your garden be at its best at night when you can enjoy it? Planting a night garden, sometimes called a moon garden or evening garden, will fill your yard with plants that bloom or release fragrance in the evening. (Be careful not to plant too many different scents in one garden, though—the combination of fragrances could be overwhelming.)

Mix in some non-scented showy white blooms, such as hydrangeas or camellias, and plants with white or silver variegated foliage that will reflect the moonlight. Plants with dramatic leaves can also create interesting shadows in a night garden. As usual, check the plant’s hardiness in your area and ask your local garden supplier for advice about what would work best in your yard. Here are some of our favorite nighttime stars.

Moonflower (Ipomoea alba)

Moonflower (Ipomoea alba)

Ricardo Reitmeyer/E+/Getty Images

This relative of the morning glory has huge, white flowers up to 6 inches in diameter that bloom only at night and release a powerful scent, says Weekend Gardener. Plant next to an arbor, trellis, or fence that can support its vining tendrils as it climbs.

Angel’s Trumpet (Brugmansia spp.)

Angel’s Trumpet (Brugmansia spp.)

Tia Magallon/Botanica/Getty Images

Large trumpets up to a foot long hang down from this fast-growing tropical plant, making it a showstopper at night. The white, peach or yellow blooms release an intoxicating fragrance, according to gardening expert P. Allen Smith. The impressive plant grows from six to 20 feet tall.

Silver Sage (Salvia argentea)

Silver Sage (Salvia argentea)

Garden Picture/Photolibrary/Getty Images

This plant’s dramatic silver foliage looks spectacular in the moonlight, according to the blog Longwood Gardens: Behind the Plants. Other plants with silvery, reflective leaves include licorice plant (Helichrysum petiolare), dusty miller (Centaurea gymnocarpa), silver Artemisia (Artemisia ludoviciana), lamb’s ear (Stachys byzantina), and lavender (Lavandula angustifolia).

Night Phlox (Zaluzianskya capensis)

Night Phlox (Zaluzianskya capensis)

Chris Burrows/GAP Photos/Getty Images

At dusk, the flowers of this plant, known as ‘Midnight Candy,’ open to release a honey-almond-vanilla fragrance, says Weekend Gardener.

Striped Giant Reed (Arundo donax ‘Variegata’)

Striped Giant Reed (Arundo donax ‘Variegata’)

Photos Lamontagne/Garden Picture Library/Getty Images

Not only do the variegated leaves pick up the moonlight, this plant creates dramatic bold shadows in the evening, according to Longwood Gardens: Behind the Plants. Another option is variegated ribbon grass (Phalaris), a white and green variegated foliage that is blushed with pink.

Night-Blooming Jessamine (Cestrum nocturnum)

Night-Blooming Jessamine (Cestrum noctunum)

© Robert Pilla/Flickr/Getty Images

This evergreen flowering bush known as Queen of Night releases a heady fragrance when its small white flowers open at night, says Garden Care Simplified. Don't plant it too close to open windows, porches, or patios because its scent can be overwhelming.

Night-Blooming Cereus (Selenicereus)

Night-Blooming Cereus (Selenicereus)

Toshiro Shimada/Flickr/Getty Images

This cactus is known for its large, fragrant, night-blooming white flowers, says Gardening Gone Wild.

Four O' Clocks (Mirabilis jalapa)

Four O' Clocks (Mirabilis jalapa)

Anna Yu/Photodisc/Getty Images

This plant's flowers open as the temperature drops, says Mr. Brown Thumb, rather than at a certain time as its common name implies. Its colorful trumpet-shaped flowers release a jasmine-like perfume.

Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana alata)

Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana alata)

Maria Mosolova/Photodisc/Getty Images

Small, white, tubular blooms begin opening at dusk and emit an intense jasmine-like fragrance, according to gardening expert P. Allen Smith.

Night Gladiolus (Gladiolus tristis)

Night Gladiolus (Gladiolus tristis)

Marcus Harpur/GAP Photos/Getty Images

This plant features creamy yellow blossoms with an intensely spicy night fragrance, according to Weekend Gardener.

Like this? Want more?
preview
Connect with Us
Follow Our Pins

Yummy recipes, DIY projects, home decor, fashion and more curated by iVillage staffers.

Follow Our Tweets

The very dirty truth about fashion internships... DUN DUN @srslytheshow http://t.co/wfewf

On Instagram

Behind-the-scenes pics from iVillage.

Best of the Web