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Moonflower is one of the most romantic plants you can grow in the garden. It's a statuesque, ideal evening-garden plant bearing large trumpet-shape flowers that unfurl in the evening (or on overcast days) and stay open until the sun rises. Some are sweetly fragrant when open. This beautiful plant is also very heat- and drought-resistant. Beware: It's quite poisonous, especially the seeds.

Moonflower can be found as an established plant in garden centers. Plant outdoors after all danger of frost has passed. Give it moderate moisture and fertilizer. You can also train it into a treelike plant along a stake, especially in a large container. Datura reseeds freely to the point of being invasive in some conditions.





From 1 to 8 feet


1-4 feet wide

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'Blackcurrant Swirl' moonflower
'Blackcurrant Swirl' moonflower
Datura 'Blackcurrant Swirl' offers double purple flowers on 5-foot-tall plants.
Datura meteloides bears pure-white flowers and fuzzy gray-green foliage on a plant that can grow 4 feet tall.

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Few annuals are bolder or make more of a statement than cardoon. It's the essence of exotic. This stately plant can reach 5 feet tall and bears toothed, thistlelike silvery leaves. The blooms, which look like silvery-violet artichokes, take a backseat to the plant's impressive foliage display.Start indoors from seed or start from seed directly in the ground after all danger of frost is passed. Keep amply watered but do not overwater. Though it's perennial in Zones 7-9, it's usually grown as an annual. Cardoon reseeds freely.
Spider Flower
It's amazing that the tall, dramatic spider flower is only an annual. Once temperatures warm up, it zooms to 4 feet or more plants very quickly and produces large balls of flowers with fascinating long seedpods that whirl out from it. Cut it for vases, but be aware that the flowers shatter easily after a few days. It typically self-seeds prolifically, so you only have to plant it once. Because it develops surprisingly large thorns, it's best to keep spider flower away from walkways.Plant established seedlings in spring after all danger of frost has passed. Cleome does best in moderately rich, well-drained soil. Be careful about fertilizing or you'll have extremely tall floppy plants. Group in clusters of 6 or more for best effect.
Flowering tobacco
Many types of nicotiana are terrifically fragrant (especially at night) and are wonderful in attracting hummingbirds as well as fascinating hummingbird moths.There are several types of nicotiana, also called flowering tobacco because it's a cousin of the regular tobacco plant. Try the shorter, more colorful types in containers or the front of beds or borders. The taller, white-only types, which can reach 5 feet, are dramatic in the back of borders. And they're ideal for night gardens; they're usually most fragrant at dusk. These plants do best in full sun and moist, well-drained soil, and they may reseed.

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