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How to Save Moonflower Seeds

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Moonflowers, also known as tropical white morning glory, is one of the most beautiful flowers you can grow in the summer. These tropical plants are vines, meaning they require some sort of trellis or support, and they are also some the easiest flowers from which to save seed. This is a great way to get started saving flower seeds.

moonflower growing on a vine

What are Moonflowers?

Moonflowers, ipomoea alba, is a tropical vine that produces large white blooms that open up in the late afternoon and bloom through the night, hence the name moonflower. The blooms of the moonflower are large and fragrant, making them a showstopping flower.

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I have a full post all about How to Grow Moonflowers to help you get started growing this tropical beauty. I recommend growing them on a trellis or some other type of support since they are a vine.

We grow them each year, and they are stunning white flowers. Here are my dad’s moonflowers from this past summer, complete with a wire that connected his several containers.

Moonflower vines growing on a wire

How to Harvest Moonflower Seeds

Collecting moonflower seeds to use for the next growing season is really quite easy, but you may need to endure the look of dead plants which will be difficult for some. See my instructions below for minimizing the dead plant look in your yard or garden.

The important thing to remember while planning to save moonflower seeds is they are contained in the pods left behind after a flower has died. The more pods you have on the plant, the more seeds you’ll be able to save. Here’s my process for saving moonflower seeds:

  1. Allow the plant to die and completely dry out. Avoid watering them at this point so the seed pods can begin drying out. Now, if you don’t like the look of dead plants, then trim back most of the plant, and leave only a small portion that has the seed heads still attached.
  2. Test a seed pod to see if they are indeed dried enough. Do this be gently shaking the seed pod. If you hear the seeds rattling inside, then they are likely ready to harvest.
  3. To harvest the seeds, pull the seed pod off of the dried out vine and crush it in your hand.
  4. Inside the pod there should be 3-4 large white seeds. Set these to the side and compost the shell of the seed pod.
  5. Repeat with as many seed pods as you’d like until you have enough moonflower seeds for next year’s harvest, as well as some to share with friends and neighbors.
How to save moonflower seeds video

How to Store Moonflower Seeds

Like many other seeds, moonflower seeds need to be kept in a dry environment. If you’re unsure whether your seeds are completely dry when you harvest them, they can be laid out on a paper towel for several days to ensure they are dry.

Dried moonflower seeds can be stored simply in a paper envelope that has been labeled. Glass jars or plastic bags can work as well, but since these materials are not breathable, you need to be sure your seeds are completely dried out with no residual moisture.

I then like to store all of my packets of seeds, saved my me or purchased, in a seed storage box. I purchased this one from Amazon, and I have a full post about how I use this photo box to store seeds. It’s definitely been a helpful way to keep my seeds organized and separated by type, so be sure to check out my post on Seed Storage Ideas!

Propagating Moonflower Seeds

When it comes time to use moonflower seeds in spring, what do you need to do to make sure you’re going to get healthy and successful plants? Here are some best practices for making sure you’re starting your moonflower seeds properly:

  • File away the tip of the moonflower seed or nick it with a sharp knife to give the seedling a chance to break through the thick seed coat.
  • Soak moonflower seeds overnight in a small bowl or dish. This will speed up the germination process and allow the seed to soften up in preparation for planting.
moonflower seeds soaking in a small bowl of water
  • Plant moonflower seeds 1/4 inch deep in good quality potting soil either in a good sized container or in seed starting pots if you’re propagating a few for transplanting later.
  • Keep seeds moist but not wet as they begin growing.
  • If starting moonflower seeds indoors, be sure to harden off the seedlings before transplanting outdoors. See my full guide for how to harden off seedlings.

Good luck saving your moonflower seeds and planting them the following year! I’d love to know if you have some best practices for saving moonflower seeds; share any tips you have below!

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How to Save Moonflower Seeds

moonflower growing on vine

Learn how to save moonflower seeds to plant next year. This tropical white morning glory has beautiful vines with large white flowers and are a fragrant summer favorite!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Difficulty Easy

Materials

  • Moonflower seed pods
  • envelope or container

Instructions

  1. Allow the plant to die and completely dry out. Avoid watering them at this point so the seed pods can begin drying out. Now, if you don't like the look of dead plants, then trim back most of the plant, and leave only a small portion that has the seed heads still attached.
  1. Test a seed pod to see if they are indeed dried enough. Do this be gently shaking the seed pod. If you hear the seeds rattling inside, then they are likely ready to harvest.
  2. To harvest the seeds, pull the seed pod off of the dried out vine and crush it in your hand.
  3. Inside the pod there should be 3-4 large white seeds. Set these to the side and compost the shell of the seed pod.
  4. Repeat with as many seed pods as you'd like until you have enough moonflower seeds for next year's harvest, as well as some to share with friends and neighbors.

Notes

For more details on how to grow moonflower seeds, see my full post here.

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