Flowers that bloom at night

Typically, flowers bloom during the day, turning their faces to the sun. Some flowers, however, will keep their blossoms closed during the day, much to the frustration of bees attracted to their fragrance, and instead, will open in late afternoon through evening. Following are some varieties that are nocturnal in their blooming preferences. These night blooming flowers all have two things in common – they are highly fragrant and for many of them, part or the entire plant is poisonous. See the USDA hardiness zone map for details. 

Growing up to 4 feet high, the Casablanca Lily is a popular perennial. Makes spectacular vase filler. Grows in full sun to part shade and produces large white blossoms. Zones 5-9.

Gladiolus Tristis is a yellowish flower with purple marks that starts blooming in early summer. The flower attracts bees, birds, and butterflies. Reaches 3-4 feet in height, and can use support to remain upright. Full sun. Zones 8a-11.

Yellow blooms on up to 8-foot stalks, Evening Primrose self-seeds to the point of being invasive. Attracting hummingbirds, Evening Primrose grows in full sun. Zones 5a-8b.

Evening Stock is an annual that grows 1-2 feet.  Its fragrant blooms show from midsummer into early fall.  This annual enjoys full sun to part shade.  Easy to grow from seed; look for the Matthiola biconris variety, Starlight Scentsation. Zones 5a-8b.

Everblooming Honeysuckle (lonicera heckrottii) is a vine that grows up to six feet. Blossoms can be rosy pink or yellow/orange. Zones 5a-9b.

Looking droopy during the day, the Flowering Tobacco blooms in late afternoon to early evening. This highly fragrant plant smells much like jasmine and grows 3 to 4 feet. This plant is toxic if ingested. Star shaped, trumpet-like blossoms are creamy white. Annual that grows in sun to part shade. Zone-any.

Marvel-of-Peru or Four-O’clock is easy to grow from black seeds about the size of a small pea. Growing up to 3 feet in height, the blossoms can be yellow, red, pink, or white, and have stripe highlights. Because the seeds easily grow, this annual plant is considered a perennial to some. Zones 7b-11.

The white blossoms of the Moonflower (ipomoea alba) resemble morning glory. Moonflower is a great climber. This annual can reach 10 feet. Bloom time varies from early summer to late fall. Moonflower can be temperamental to grow from seed. Zones 8a-11.

Night Blooming Jasmine has a fragrance so potent, that you may not want it planted outside a bedroom window where you might have the window open on nice days. Growing to 8 feet, jasmine is considered a tender perennial. Zones 8b-11.

Where to Plant

Highly fragrant bloomers work well along a pathway. Avoid the temptation to place the plants beneath or near a bedroom window. That fragrance can become overwhelming for a sleeper. Moonlight on the open flowers can be striking, so consider placing the flowers a distance from the house so you can see them for indoors.