Moonflowers (Ipomoea alba) are a beautiful and fragrant night-blooming plant. They produce large white flowers with yellow centers that open during the evening hours of twilight, adding a romantic and mystical touch to any garden or landscape. But because these plants don’t live very long, harvesting moonflower seeds is the best way to ensure a continuous supply of these enchanting flowers.
When to Pick Moonflower Seed Pods?
The best time to harvest moonflower seeds is after the flowers have fully bloomed and their petals have fallen off. At this stage, they will form seed pods that can be harvested and then prepared for storage.
Harvesting Moonflower Seeds
It is advisable to collect seeds from the second or third buds. After the flowers wither, a brown box with a cross-shaped hole will appear in their place – it will dry up and open a little after a month. After pouring the seeds from the box into a paper bag, write the name of the variety. Germination lasts about three to four years.
When harvesting moonflower seeds, be sure to wear gardening gloves as the seed pods are coated with sticky sap.
What do Moonflower Seeds Look Like?
Moonflower seeds are small and teardrop in shape, measuring roughly 3/4 inch or an inch long. The color of the seed varies by species but typically ranges from yellowish-ivory to light tan.
Seed Storage Preparation
To prepare seeds for storage, it is best to dry them out by spreading them in a single layer of newspaper. Place the paper and seeds outside in the shade during hot weather, or indoors in a dry room with ample air circulation. Turn the paper daily to prevent mildew growth and remove any damp patches. If stored correctly, moonflower seeds can remain viable for up to five years.
When the seeds are dry, store them in an airtight container and place them in a cool, dark environment such as a basement or kitchen cupboard. To increase longevity, add silica packets, rice grains, or other desiccants to absorb any moisture from the air before it has a chance
Terms of Seed Storage
Moonflower seeds can be stored in airtight containers in a cool, dry place. Optimal storage conditions are between 35 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit within relative humidity of 6-10%. It is important to keep moonflower seeds away from moisture, heat, and direct light as these elements could all lead to the deterioration of the seed stock. For best results, it is recommended to store the moonflower seeds in a dark place or in a paper or cloth bag.