Friday, July 27, 2012

Growing Moonflowers

We were at the Singapore Garden festival 2012 two weeks ago and had an enjoyable time with all the flowers and greens. Kaylene interestingly kept persuading us to let her grow a pot of flower after we went into a shop that sells potted plants and seeds. I had no intention as I do not have have green fingers and I thought most seeds are not able to germinate in a tropical country like Singapore.

Anyway, I finally gave in when I did find a packet of moonflower seeds that requires 20-30deg celcius to germintate. It costs S$2.50 and there were 8 seeds in it.

We soaked 4 corn like seeds in the water for 24 hours first. They are the 'guinea pigs'! Then find a small pot, fill 3/4 of it with unfertilised soil, put in the seeds (spaced out) and then cover them with more soil, about 1/2 inch more. The seeds are suppose to germinate for 7 days. So we waited and in just 4th day, we could see some sprouting from the surface of the soil. By the next 2 days, seedlings had grown about 3-5 cm tall.

To make the growing process interesting for her, she was tasked to water the plant every afternoon, measure the plant everyday and keep a height chart. The moonflowers survived for 9 days and had sprouted taller and with few pieces of green leaves.

I've decided to google for some information about the growing of moonflower to ensure the survival of the plant and to understand the nature of the plant more. Kaylene was excited with what she heard and I'm glad all of us have learnt something. I have summarised briefly below:

1) Moonflowers are white in colour.
2) They are family of the morning glory. However moonflowers bloom in the night and close by midday. Exact opposite of the morning glory!
3) The leaves are heart-shaped
4) They have jasmine fragrance
5) They are vine plants. My Mother-In-law actually found some twigs and stick them into the soil to give some support to the sprouts yesterday.
6) when the flowers die, the seeds can be used to grow more flowers
7) It is a tropical plant, so needs lotsa sun.

Hear is a link from ehow on how to grow the moonflowers. The website also mentioned that Moonflowers seeds are poisonous when ingested. So do take note.

I'll probably transfer the moonflowers to a bigger pot these couple of days and leave them at the planting ledge outside for more sun. Will update when they are in full bloom!!.. if they survive! cross fingers XX

Update as at 23 Nov 2012
the moonflowers had bloomed many times but each bloom only lasted an evening and it will wilt. So short-lived!

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