We all want to get gardens that are packed full of texture, color, and visual interest during the daytime, but have you ever given a thought to what your space looks like at night? When the sun goes down, many flowers close, and this allows the garden to lose some visual appeal after dark. This might not be a huge problem for you, but if you enjoy spending time outside on your patio late in the day or in the evening, adding flowers that bloom at night is something you should consider.
Flowers that bloom at night can easily reflect the moonlight, are a lot more fragrant that many day-blooming choices, and they add color for you to enjoy. One of the reasons why these flowers are more aromatic is that they have to attract nighttime pollinators, and they have to find them in the dark. This is why a lot of flowers that bloom at night are white, so they reflect light and are more visible.
By adding a few flowers that bloom at night in your garden, you can enjoy the space just as much as you do during the day. Water hummingbirds and butterflies in the evening, breathe in the fragrance, and enjoy touches of color. To get you started, here are 32 pretty flowers that bloom at night to consider.
Better known as angel’s trumpets, this flower that blooms at night is believed to be extinct in the wild, but you can see it growing in gardens and find it in garden centers. Many people routinely confuse angel’s trumpets and devil’s trumpets, but it’s easy to figure out which is which. Angel’s trumpet has a shrub or bush form, or you can grow it as a tree. On the other hand, devil’s trumpet is al leafy plant. Another difference is the big peach, white, red, green, pink, or orange trumpet-shaped flowers that hang down on the angel’s trumpet, while the devil’s trumpet has erect, sky-facing blooms.
These flowers that bloom at night are easy to grow around Coastal California and inland areas in zones eight or nine, but they’re highly poisonous and should be kept well away from pets and kids. They emit a great fragrance that enhances your night garden experience.
2. Burning Hearts
This pretty flower that blooms at night lives up to the name with a stunning red color and heart-shaped blooms that droop. It’s very tolerant of the cold and frost, and it does well in partially to fully shaded areas. However, you can only enjoy the flowers from April to September at night. The biggest care tip for this plant is that they need to be planted in mostly dry soil in cold climate regions where moisture is a staple.
3. Casa Blanca Lily
This lily is very fragrant, and it’s a stunning addition to any moon garden where the white, large flowers will reflect the moonlight. This flower that blooms at night is also a great addition to any cutting garden, as long as you make sure to leave a lot of stem and leaves on the plant to ensure that the bulb can get energy to grow and bloom, as well as overwinter in the garden before coming back in the spring. When you plant these pretty flowers, keep in mind that they’re toxic to cats and dogs.
You may know this flower that blooms at night by the common name of flowering quince. If you see them from a distance, they look like cherry blossoms on woodier stems. It only blooms at night, and it produces bright pink or white flowers that are hard to miss. It is a part of the rose family, and it’s native to East Asia, including Japan, Korea, China, and Taiwan. This is a very cold-hardy plant that works well in a winter or fall garden.
5. Chocolate Daisy
This flower that blooms at night is native to North America, and it grows in zones 5 to 11. A lot of people find them easy because they have low water requirements. These daisy plants produce bright yellow flowers with a maroon center, and they give off a chocolate scent. They are all very fragrant when they’re blooming.
6. Corpse Flower
You wouldn’t be able to tolerate having this plant that blooms at night around your yard or garden because, as the name suggests, it gives of the smell of rotting flesh. Although it’s not technically a landscape plant, it’s one of the biggest and most exotic flowers that bloom at night. It gets roughly 12 feet tall and 20 feet wide at full maturity, and you find it growing in rainforest elevations in many southeast Asian countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
Datura is called devil’s trumpet or moonflower, and it offers showy, large, trumpet-shaped blooms. This flower that blooms at night comes in various shades of purple, pink, white, or yellow, and they’re all stunning additions to your garden. However, this plant is highly poisonous, so you should plant them with a high level of caution and never in areas where your pets or kids spend time. It is so poisonous that many cultures have a history of using it as a source of poison.
Generally speaking, you grow these plants as annuals, and they can top out at six feet tall. They’re commonly confused with Brugmansia or angel’s trumpet, and even though they are closely related, they’re in different genera.
8. Dutchman’s Pipe Cactus
This plant features big, single blossom, white flowers that are 4 inches wide and 10 inches long. It will only start to open as the sun goes down, and the fragrance scent it releases starts coming around at dusk and goes through the evening hours in summer and spring. However, this flower that blooms at night is very short-lived, and it only survives for three consecutive days. It’s native to areas in South America, and darker rainforests are the plant’s natural habitat.
9. Evening Primrose
This biennial flower that blooms at night is native to areas in North America. The blooms open very quickly, and you can sit out on your patio and enjoy the show each night. They will remain open all night and to roughly noon the following day each day, and many parts of the evening primrose plant are edible. This is the source of evening primrose oil, and it’s used to treat premenstrual syndrome, eczema, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. It usually blooms from late spring to later in the summer, and it attracts a range of pollinators that include moths, bees, and butterflies.
10. Evening Stock
Also called night-scented stock, this flower that blooms at night is a hardy annual that you can grow virtually anywhere in North America. The white and purple flowers can look wilted during the day hours, but the petals spread out and perk up at night. This is also the time during the day when the flower is at its most fragrant point, so plant it in your outdoor living areas if you like to sit outside after dusk.
11. Flowering Tobacco
Native to South America, this flower that blooms at night is a perennial in the southern plains and it works as an annual in northern areas. It looks stunning in evening gardens as it gets between three and five feet tall with white, pink, red, yellow, and green flowers. It offers a steady supply of nectar to nocturnal insects, including moths. You should note that this plant does have nicotine content, and this can be harmful to pets.
12. Four O’Clock
These flowers that bloom at night have very unique qualities when you compare them to other night-blooming species. A single plant can produce flowers in different colors, and a single flower can be multicolored. The colors you find most often on this plant include yellow, white, red, pink, or a deep magenta. This makes them a colorful choice to add to your moon garden. It’s common to grow them as annuals, but you can also grow them in perennials if you live in Coastal California. Anyone who lives in an area with colder winters should know that this plant will die back with the first frost before coming back in the spring.
The foamflower is also called Tiarella cordifolia, and it adores shade. This flower that blooms at night works well along your walking paths or in a woodland garden. It’s low-maintenance and easy to grow from seed, and they bloom with spikes of spidery flowers that add interest to your space. They come back year after year.
14. Gardenia Augusta
You most likely know how fragrant gardenias are, and this is why they’re a very popular landscaping flowering plant. However, this specific cultivar emits the signature strong gardenia scent all day before opening up more and getting even more fragrant at night. If you plant this flower that blooms at night by your driveway or in your yard, you’ll get a strong, sweet scent at dusk.
The funnel-shaped, large white flowers this plant produces are a draw, and they bloom in the evening hours from March to November before closing by noon. This flower that blooms at night is also called the thorn apple, and many people call it the angel trumpet. You can tell it apart from the angel’s trumpet (Brugmansia) by the upright, showy flowers. The sprawling, branched growth habit of this perennial grows up to six feet wide and five feet tall. It’s a very drought-tolerant plant that is popular in xeriscaping. Also, it’s a member of the nightshade family.
Among the flowers that bloom at night, this one is the most popular. With this blooming habit, it has close ties to rebirth, enlightenment, and deep spirituality. It’s also very significant to several religions, including Buddhism and Christianity. The colors of this flower come in pink, purple, and red. It also produces a very strong scent that many gardeners claim them can smell from dozens of feet away.
17. Mock Orange
The mock orange plant grows as a compact bush, but it can easily reach up to 10 feet tall at full maturity. It works wonderfully as a border hedge and a flower that blooms at night. After a while, the orange-scented flowers will fade, and the dark green foliage will stay throughout the growing season.
Moonflowers come with big pink or white flowers that open very quickly during the evening hours and stay open until just after sunrise. On cloudy days, they can stay open to later in the afternoon, but they typically close once the sunlight hits them in the morning. This is a perennial evergreen vine that grows very quickly, and it prefers partial sun and moist soil, but it’s happiest in full sun. Parts of this plant are edible, so it’s essential that you tell the difference between this plant and datura as they look very similar but datura is extremely poisonous.
Technically, this flower that blooms at night is a genus of plants that includes the tobacco plant people use to make cigarettes and cigars, but the variety you smoke isn’t usually ones you’ll find available in your garden center. You can transplant this night blooming plant from nursery plants, and this is the fastest way to add pops of color to the flowerbed. It also germinates very quickly, so you can grow it from seed.
The flowers are usually shades of pink, white, red, or green, and they have a very strong scent attached to them that can attract pollinators to the yard at night. If you plant them by your patio, you can enjoy the flowers and the hummingbirds they attract when they open in the early evening hours. This is a member of the Solanaceae family, so as it’s a nightshade, you have to be careful where you plant it.
20. Night-Blooming Cereus
This is a flowering cactus that grows in the southwestern portion of the United States, specifically in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. You can train it to climb a trellis outside or pot it as a houseplant. The flowers are white and big, and they won’t bloom until the plant is five years old. You’ll have to wait until night to see the flowers, and they open fully around midnight and release a sweet scent. The flowers will droop and die in the morning. If you pollinate the flowers, they’ll produce an edible, sweet fruit.
21. Night-Blooming Jasmine
As another member of the Solanaceae family, this flower that blooms at night is actually a nightshade and not the typical jasmine plant most people have in their gardens. This flower that blooms at night has white blossoms with light hints of green with a very strong scent that is present more at night. This is an evergreen shrub, and night-bloom jasmine adds a nice touch of visual interest to your night garden all year-round. It’s a great grower and some people consider it a weed.
The strong fragrance makes it a great choice for growing near your outdoor living areas, but all members of the Solanaceae family have some levels of toxicity, so you should keep this in mind. Also, the strong scent can be an irritant for some people who have respiratory issues, especially asthma.
22. Night Gladiolus
Night Gladiolus, as the name suggests, is a flower that blooms at night in late spring to the late summer months. It can get roughly four feet high, and it’s a great grower in coastal or near coastal California. It requires regular watering sessions as this bulb flower isn’t tolerant to drought. They like full sun and a soil that drains well, so be sure to mix in compost before you plant them if you have clay-based soil.
If you want to enjoy the plant’s light yellow flowers that offer a unique spicy fragrance, you want to plant them somewhere visible but out of reach of your children or pets. This is another plant that is toxic if you ingest it.
23. Night Phlox
Better known as midnight candy, this name is a nod to the strong but sweet fragrance this flower that blooms at night releases. It’s the perfect addition to the moon garden or an evening fragrance garden, and it brings colors too in shades of white, pink, and purple. You can also find a maroonish-red color. This plant is an annual that grows well in flower beds and containers, and it attracts birds, bees, and butterflies to the garden.
Growing best in full sun or partial shade, this plant is drought tolerant once it establishes itself. It releases a honey, vanilla, and almond fragrance that lingers, especially when they’re in full bloom.
24. Night-Scented Orchid
While you can’t always rely on this flower that blooms at night to open fully, it does reliably release a sweet scent after the sun goes down. It’s a swamp-loving plant that you find in South America, Central America, Mexico, the West Indies, and Florida in the United States. You can grow this orchid elsewhere if you pay close attention to the watering schedule and maintain it. They don’t require pollinators for propagation, and the yellow or white flowers open more infrequently or not at all.
25. Night-Scented Stock
This is a desert native flower that blooms at night that is accustomed to the harsh temperatures in this area. It will only bloom the purple, scented flowers once during the full moon in spring and winter. It grows two feet high after it sets seeds, and the blooms then fade and the entire plant dies. During the next monsoon season, a new plant will spring up and take the old plant’s place.
Night-Scented Stock by James Gaither / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
26. Nottingham Catchfly
This flower that blooms at night has an interesting backstory because the name comes from growing wild around Nottingham Palace. They were destroyed in the 1900s during renovations of the palace. Since the strong fragrance and bright blooms are only on show during the night, it’s very popular throughout the UK. It has a narrow and spear-shaped branch with spoon-shaped leaves.
27. Opening Night Rose
As the name suggests, this flower that blooms at night will only open at dusk. Also, they only open for 60 seconds. This makes it a stunning night flower with a signature rose scent that fills the air. It is available in yellow, white, and red coloring, and it’s native to South and North America.
If you have a limited landscape, this flower that blooms at night is a very hardy choice. It is native to eastern Europe and Asia. It thrives in rooms with lower lighting and dark spots in your landscape. It offers trumpet-shaped blooms with tricolor flowers of lilac, pink, and red. The flowers bloom prolifically from spring to summer, and it requires regular watering to keep it healthy.
29. Red Flare Water Lily
This is a free-flowing aquatic annual that blooms once dusk falls and they stay open until late in the morning. This flower that blooms at night will float just above the water’s surface, and it blooms from mid-summer to the early fall months with the correct growing conditions.
This plant is very fragrant, and they have a larger flower spread of 7 to 10 inches, and it comes in shades of bright reds, pinks, or purples. The bronze, flat leaves accent the blooms, and they create a colorful and bright contrast to the water’s glassy, dark surface. It’s another flower that has been cultivated through the ages, and they work well in ponds, bogs, or water gardens.
30. Smooth Hydrangea
This flower that blooms at night is native to the eastern portion of the United States, and this hydrangea produces small white flowers in flat clusters that stand out when the moonlight hits them. It’s a deciduous shrub, and it usually gets between three and five feet tall. The delicate flowers this plant produces will only bloom on new wood, so pruning this plant is essential before the spring blooming season comes around.
31. Ten-Petal Blazing Star
This flower that blooms at night is a perennial that is a summer favorite because it has very flashy blooms with a high tolerance to frost and drought. The leaves form perfect rosettes in the first year before coming very serrated as they grow. During the second year, a flower stem will appear and produce fragrant, white, pointed flowers that bloom during late afternoons that close in the early morning hours from midsummer to the fall months.
Ten-Petal Blazing Star by Amanda / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
The final flower that blooms at night is tuberose, and it’s best known for being used in perfumes. This is a great choice if you’re after a plant with a very inviting but strong scent, and it’s a perennial that you can easily grow from bulbs. It prefers warmer climates with full sun, and it will give you clusters of white flowers that grow in a long spike and appear in mid or late summer. The white flowers reflect the moonlight, or you can use them as cut flowers in arrangements or bouquets. You can grow them in borders and beds, and they do well in larger containers.
Each of the 32 flowers that bloom at night combines an alluring aroma with a stunning look that makes them well-worth staying up past your usual bedtime in order to see the flowers. They range from edible to medicinal, and there are a few that are even hazardous to your health. They vary in size, shape, and blooming time, and this helps to shape unique experiences with each flower that blooms at night.