15 Flowers That Bloom at Night

night-blooming jessamine with white flowers and green leaves and stems

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Flowering plants aren’t just for daylight hours. Incorporating plants that produce flowers after dusk will bring new life to your outdoor space. Many of these blooms are accompanied by a lovely fragrance, so they provide a natural, sweet-smelling ambiance. As you create your own moonlight garden, try to select plants that are native to your region.

Here are 15 beautiful flowering plants that bloom at night.

Warning

Some of the plants on this list are toxic to pets. For more information about the safety of specific plants, consult the ASPCA's searchable database.

1
of 15

Common Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis)

yellow common evening primrose blooming

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The bright yellow flowers of the evening primrose open at dusk and remain open until midday the following day. The perennial plant is a biennial that produces only leaves in its first year and flowers in the second. The showy, one-to-two-inch flowers that appear from summer to fall have a lemon scent.

Common evening primrose attracts butterflies, moths, and bees; the seeds produced in the fall are a dietary staple for birds.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade.
  • Soil Needs: Well-draining, gravelly or sandy soils.
2
of 15

Tuberose (Agave amica)

white tuberose flowers with green stems blooming in a field

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A night-blooming annual bulb with a fragrant scent, tuberose is best planted near entryways or backyard spaces where they will be most appreciated. The plants reach two to three feet in height, have long green stems and leaves, and produce clusters of small white flowers. 

Plant bulbs in the spring; tuberose flowers bloom in mid to late summer, depending on location. Dig up the bulbs after the first frost and keep them in a cool, dry spot until it’s time to replant again the following spring.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 7 to 10.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun.
  • Soil Needs: Well-draining, organically rich soil.
3
of 15

Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana alata)

Jasmine tobacco plant with pink and white flowers among large green leaves

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With flowers that bloom in shades of red, pink, green, yellow, and white, flowering tobacco plants bring a wealth of color to an evening garden. The three-to-five-foot plant’s small flowers open only at night, providing nectar to moths searching for food in the evening.

Native to South America, flowering tobacco is a perennial plant in zones 10 and 11, and an annual in northern regions. Note that Nicotiana plants contain nicotine and are toxic if ingested.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 10 to 11.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade.
  • Soil Needs: Organically rich, well-draining soil.
4
of 15

Casa Blanca Lily (Lilium 'Casa Blanca')

Casa Blanca lily with white petals and red stems in bloom

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The large, showy flowers of the Casa Blanca lily are a garden standout in the evenings. Mature plants reach three feet in size. The white flowers—which are eight to 10 inches wide—are downward facing with deep red anthers. 

An herbaceous perennial, Casa Blanca lily bulbs are planted in spring; the lovely-scented flowers bloom in midsummer.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 8.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade.
  • Soil Needs: Well-draining soil to prevent bulb rot.
5
of 15

Angel’s Trumpet (Brugmansia spp.)

Angel's trumpet in bloom with peach flowers and green leaves

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The scent of the downward facing, bell-shaped blooms of the angel’s trumpet is strongest in the evening. The plant grows as a bush or small tree with flowers in shades of peach, white, yellow, or pink. Flowers—which are six to 10 inches in size—bloom from early summer through fall in most areas; in warmer climates, they can bloom year-round.

All portions of the plant (flowers, leaves, and seeds) contain dangerous levels of poison and are toxic to humans and animals.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 8 to 10.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun.
  • Soil Needs: Organically rich, well-draining soil.
6
of 15

Night-blooming Jessamine (Cestrum nocturnum)

Night-blooming jessamine with with flowers and green leaves

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Though not a true jasmine, the night-blooming jessamine plant is sometimes referred to as a night-blooming jasmine. You may miss the small, non-showy, white flowers on this sprawling shrub or tree, but you won't miss the scent. Popular in warm climates, the tubular flowers open in the evening and produce a strongly perfumed smell.

Night-blooming jessamine is in the nightshade family: The flowers, leaves, and berries of the plant are toxic if ingested.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 8 to 11.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun.
  • Soil Needs: Light, sandy soil.
7
of 15

Chocolate Daisy (Berlandiera lyrata)

Chocolate daisy flowers with yellow petals and red and green center

Melburnian / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

The fragrant yellow flowers of the chocolate daisy bloom in the evening and provide a pop of color to borders and walkways. The chocolate daisy is a perennial native to southwestern North America and can tolerate hot, dry conditions. In cooler climates, the plant blooms from spring until the first frost; in warmer areas, the chocolate daisy blooms year-round.

A member of the sunflower family, the chocolate daisy gets its name from its chocolate aroma.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 10.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun.
  • Soil Needs: Average, dry to medium, well-draining soil; tolerates dry, shallow, and rocky soil.
8
of 15

Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia)

Foam flower in bloom along a paved walkway

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Planted along garden paths, the foamflower's airy racemes of tiny white flowers will light the way for night walks in the garden on spring evenings. Plants form clumps one-to-two feet wide, and flowers reach up to twelve inches tall. Foamflower plants spread easily and make a good ground cover.

In the southern part of the plant’s range, the perennial foamflower bears heart-shaped leaves when flowering.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9.
  • Sun Exposure: Part shade to full shade.
  • Soil Needs: Humusy, rich, organic soils are best, but can be grown in average, well-draining soil.
9
of 15

Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata 'David')

white Phlox paniculata 'David' blooming in a field under a blue sky

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The garden phlox cultivar David stands out in evening gardens due to its snow white color. Its fragrant, tubular, one-inch flowers last from midsummer into fall. Garden phlox is a perennial that typically grows in an upright clump two to four feet tall. 

Remove dead flowers—known as deadheading—to lengthen the blooming season.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade.
  • Soil Needs: Rich, moist, organic, well-draining soil.
10
of 15

Jimsonweed (Datura wrightii)

white Jimsonweed blooming in the desert

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The large, funnel-shaped white flowers of the jimsonweed, also known as thorn apple, bloom in the evening from March through November and close by noon the following day. The plant is also identified by the name angel trumpet, but can be differentiated from the angel’s trumpet (Brugmansia) by its showy flowers, which stand upright.

The branched, sprawling perennial grows up to five feet tall and six feet wide. As a drought-tolerant plant, it is frequently used in xeriscapes. Jimsonweed comes with a warning, though: It's a member of the deadly nightshade family. All parts of the plant are poisonous; ingesting the plant or seeds can be fatal.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 8 to 12.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Soil Needs: Sandy, well-draining soils.
11
of 15

Colorado Four-O’Clock (Mirabilis multiflora)

pink desert four o'clock flowers blooming in the desert

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The bright purple blooms of the Colorado, or desert four-o’clock, open from late afternoon through evening from April through mid-September. 

This herbaceous perennial can grow up to two feet tall and six feet wide. It thrives on natural precipitation only, even in the high dry deserts of the Southwest. The Colorado four-o'clock requires dry, well-drained conditions and full sun to look its best. The seeds of the plant may cause toxicity if ingested; the roots may cause dermatitis.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 10.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Soil Needs: Gravelly and sandy soils; drought-tolerant.
12
of 15

Smooth Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens)

Smooth hydrangea plant with clusters of white flowers and large green leaves

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Native to the eastern U.S., the smooth hydrangea produces small white flowers in flattened clusters that stand out in the light of the moon. A deciduous shrub, the smooth hydrangea typically grows to between three and five feet tall.

The delicate flowers only bloom on new wood, so pruning is essential prior to spring blooming season. The bark, flowers, leaves, and stems of the plant may cause toxicity if ingested.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 9.
  • Sun Exposure: Part shade.
  • Soil Needs: Slightly acidic, well-draining soils.
13
of 15

Ten-petal Blazing Star (Mentzelia decapetala)

Yellow ten-petal blazing star blooming in the desert

Jim Morefield / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

The ten-petal blazing star is a drought-tolerant, biennial perennial that displays serrated rough leaves in a beautiful rosette in its first year. In its second year, the plant produces long stems with large, pointed white buds. The buds open into four-inch, creamy white stars with ten petals and a golden starburst of anthers in the center.

From midsummer through fall, these lightly fragrant flowers open in the late afternoon or early evening and close before morning.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 9.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun.
  • Soil Needs: Well-draining soil.
14
of 15

Moonflower (Ipomoea alba)

white moonflowers blooming with large green leaves

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Named for its evening blooming cycle, the moonflower is a perennial vine. From summer through fall, the lightly scented, white flowers remain open from dusk through midday. 

The moonflower plant can reach a height of 15 feet, even higher in its native tropical climate. Attach the plant to a trellis or other structure where it can climb freely. The seeds of the moonflower plant may cause toxicity if ingested.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 10 to 12.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Soil Needs: Moist, well-draining soils.
15
of 15

Queen of the Night (Epiphyllum oxypetalum)

white queen of the night cactus plant in bloom

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A cactus with large, white flowers, queen of the night, or Dutchman’s pipe cactus, blooms only at night. This special succulent displays its fragrant, showy flowers on rare occasions—sometimes only once a year. The six-inch flowers make a stunning addition to a garden—but only until they close at dawn. 

Those who don’t live in the plant’s native tropical climate can grow this special perennial plant indoors.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 10 to 11.
  • Sun Exposure: Indirect sunlight or shade, under a tree.
  • Soil Needs: Well-draining succulent or cactus mix.

To check if a plant is considered invasive in your area, go to the National Invasive Species Information Center or speak with your regional extension office or local gardening center.