We envision a resilient world dependent on the thoughtful cultivation of plants

Nighttime Plant Recommendations from Sky Nursery, Shoreline, WA

Starting as a feed store in 1953, Sky Nursery, a family-owned, Shoreline, WA business has kept gardeners in the north Seattle metropolitan area stocked with a wide variety of plants for five generations. Perhaps it’s the coffeeshop in their greenhouse—that Seattle buzz—that keeps the horticultural team so enthusiastic? Here is their inspired “nighttime garden” plant list. 

– Katherine Renz

For nighttime fragrance

Annuals: four o’clock (Mirabilis jalapa), moonflower (Ipomoea alba), night phlox (Zalusianskya capensis), and night-scented stock (Matthiola longipetala).Tuberose (Polianthes) can grow from bulbs. Angel’s trumpet (Brugmansia) is also good and comes later in the season.

Perennials: oriental lilies (Lilium ‘Stargazer’) and the bright white (L. ‘Casa Blanca’) are usually good at night, as are evening primrose (Oenothera), Cheddar pink (Dianthus gratianopolitanus), and wisteria.

Of course anything with scented foliage, particularly if you plant it where you can brush against it as you walk: herbs like anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum), basil (Ocimum basilicum), rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus), lavender (Lavandula), mint (Mentha), bee balm (Monarda), scented geraniums (Pelargonium spp.), and lemon verbena (Aloysia citrodora). Shrubs and trees include bay laurel (Laurus nobilis), glorybower (Clerodendrum), incense-cedar (Calocedrus decurrens), rockrose (Cistus), and conifers.

For visual appeal

Plants with silvery foliage stand out at night.

Perennials: Catsfoot (Antennaria), mugwort (Artemisia), some bugloss (Brunnera), cardoons (Cynara cardunculus), silverbush (Convolvulus cneorum), sea holly (Eryngium), immortelles (Helichrysum), some lungworts (Pulmonaria) and hellebores (Helleborus) and sage (Salvia officinalis), most lavenders, Russian sage (Perovskia), rosemary, lavender cotton (Santolina), hedgenettle (Stachys).

Annuals: Ponysfoot (Dichondra), dusty miller (Jacobaea maritima), and paper daisy (Rhodanthe).

Shrubs and trees include olive (Olea europaea), gum trees (Eucalyptus), some of the conifers.

Dusty Miller 'Silver Dust' (Senecio cineraria) gray foliage

Other staff favorites for night gardening

Gardenia (Gardenia spp.): fragrant white flower.

Mock orange (Philadelphus coronarius): fragrant white flower.

Ivory halo dogwood (Cornus alba ‘Bailhalo’): shrub with white variegated leaves.

Stellar series dogwoods (Cornus ‘Celestial’, Cornus florida x Cornus kousa): disease-resistant tree, large white flowers

Western white honeysuckle (Lonicera albiflora): fragrant white flower, drought tolerant once established.

Dwarf fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenia) unique white, brushlike flowers; nice fall color.

Silky white wisteria (Wisteria brachybotrys ‘Shiro-kapitan’): beautiful white fragrant flowers, grows into a large vine when room’s available, but you can also train it into a tree when cramped on space.

Wild Mock Orange (Philadelphus lewissii)

Read: Do Plants Sleep? Botany By Moonlight

By: Charles Hood & José Gabriel Martínez-Fonseca

After dark, even though there’s no sunshine and hence no direct photosynthesis, plants still have work to do. Botanist Peter Thomas points out that “trees and other plants are not dormant or ‘asleep’ in the cool of the night. Trees do most of their growing at night, perhaps because water stress is lower.”

Read Next

Powered By MemberPress WooCommerce Plus Integration