Moon Gardening

Ilona Erwin

Whether you simply like the moonlight shining upon your garden, a specific garden for such nights, or learn the old lore of gardening by phases of the moon, you might be interested in a little moon lore. This page will introduce you to a little more about the moon and your garden.

Gardening by the Moon

Based upon the gravitational pull of the moon, the ebb and flow of water, not only in seas, but upon rivers, streams and even the in the vascular system of the plant itself, the effect of the moon’s pull is used by some gardeners to improve success. In such things as planting, watering, pruning and harvesting the effects of the moon are represented as follows:

Moon Gardening Phases

moon phases

  • Waxing moon = increasing light between a new and full moon [1st Quarter] – energy of the plant is drown into its upper parts. Time to sow and plant such things as shrubs, trees, and flowering plants.
  • Ascending Moon [2nd Quarter] -the sap of the plants is drawn upwards. Time for grafting, and harvesting above ground produce, like leafy vegetables and soft fruits.
  • Descending Moon [Quarter 3] – sap drown downward. A good time to transplant seedlings.Time to plant root crops.
  • Waning Moon= decreasing light after the full moon and before the next new moon [4th Quarter] – energy of the plant is pulled down into the roots. Time for watering, fertilizing, hoeing and weeding.
    Increasing light means you can

  • * Repot and take care of pruning houseplants
  • * Sow seeds of plants that grow above ground
  • * Fertilize
  • * Graft fruit trees
  • *Plant evergreen and deciduous shrubs and trees.
Decreasing light means you can

  • * Plant bulbs
  • *Plant crops that grow below the ground, such as potatoes, carrots
  • *Cultivate weeds
  • *Plant biennials and perennials (let the strength go into rooting)
  • * Eliminate slugs
  • *Prune

The Lunar Garden: Planting by the Moon Phases | Gardening and Planting by the Moon 2010: Higher Yields in Vegetables and Flowers

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Flowers for a Moon Garden

Make a Moon Garden

Make a Moon Garden

Flowers don’t have to be white since there are pale yellows and pinks that also reflect light well.

Flowers inspirations for a moon garden:
Cleome hasslerana ‘Helen Campbell’
Dianthus alpinus, Dianthus plumarius ‘Itsaul White’, Dianthus plumarius ‘White Lace’
Missouri Evening Primrose, Oenothera macrocarpa
Evening Stock ‘Matthiloa longipetala
Madonna Lily, Lilium candidum
Phlox, Phlox paniculata ‘David’, ‘White Admiral’,Phlox carolina ‘Miss Lingard’
Moon flower,Ipomoea alba
Tuberose, Polianthes tuberosa
Ideas for an all white plan or moon garden planting, here.

Planning & Planting a Moon Garden

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Moon Month Names

Many of the old names for full moons had to do with natural phenomenon and agricultural practices. The American Indian tribes named their moons according to the important events of their climate and territory regions. Many English names had to do with practices that reach back into historic agricultural culture in the island of Britain. Settlers brought those to America. If you live in Australia, “down under” , you’d have to turn the terms around for many of the full moon names. I looked for something comparable in Aboriginal terms, but didn’t find any information on that.


Names for the December Moons include Cold Moon, Oak Moon, Wolf Moon,Long Night’s Moon, Aerra Geola (Month Before Yule), Wintermonat (Winter Month), Heilagmanoth (Holy Month), Big Winter Moon, Moon of Popping Trees, Deer Shed Their Horns.

Names for the January Moons include Chaste Moon, Cold Moon, Disting Moon, Moon of Little Winter, Quiet Moon, Snow Moon, Wolf Moon. Strong Cold

Names for the February Moons include Big Winter Moon, Horning Moon, Hunger Moon, Ice Moon, Red Cleansing Moon, Storm Moon, Sun Moon, Quickening Moon, Wild Moon, Chaste Moon Dark Red Calves, Trapper’s Moon

January’s wolf moon is taken from medieval English, but February’s ice moon is of Celtic origin.
November: Snow or beaver moon — snow moon is medieval English. Beaver moon is Colonial American. The Chinese knew it as the white moon, and the Celts called it the dark moon.

December: Cold moon — the Celts called this moon the cold moon. It was Christmas moon to the Colonial Americans, and bitter moon to the Chinese.

Names for the March Moons include Worm Moon, Crow Moon, [Snow]Crust Moon, Sap
Moon, Lenten Moon, Windy Moon, Moose Hunter Moon, Cottonball Moon,

Names for the April Moons include Pink Moon, Sprouting Grass Moon, Egg Moon, Shad Moon, Moon of the Red Grass Appearing, Sugar Maker Moon, Moon of the Big Leaves, Ice Breaking Moon,Gray Goose Moon,

Names for the May Moons include Corn Planting Moon, Milk Moon, Blossom Moon, Frog Moon, Mulberry Moon,


Names for the June Moons include Strawberry Moon, Rose Moon, Honey Moon, Turtle Moon,

Names for the July Moons include Buck Moon, Thunder Moon, Hay Moon, Moon of the Horse, Raspberry Moon, Buffalo Bellows Moon, Little Ripening Moon, Maedmonat (Meadow Month), Hewimanoth (Hay Month), Fallow Moon.

Names for the August Moons include Red Moon, Green Corn Moon, Cutter Moon, Geese Shedding Moon, Big Ripening Moon, Yellow Flower Moon, Plum Moon, Weodmonath (Vegetation Month),Sturgeon Moon


Names for the September Moons include Harvest Moon, Corn Moon, Barley moon, Rice moon, Snow Goose Moon,
Little Chestnut Moon, Papaw Moon, Witumanoth (Wood Month)

Names for the October Moons include Harvest Moon, Big Chestnut Month

Names for the November Moons include Snow Moon, Dark Moon, Fog Moon, Beaver Moon, Mourning Moon, Blotmonath (Sacrifice Month), Herbistmanoth (Harvest Month), Mad Moon, Moon of Storms, Moon When Deer Shed Antlers,Trading,Falling Leaves

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Ilona Erwin, author

Meet the Author

Ilona Erwin

I started working on this website beginning in 1998, when it was part of Ilona's Reflecting Pool. Since then I've branched out into a number of online endeavors and work at writing lots of content for my sites. "Ilona's Garden" remains my primary site and is dedicated to home gardener's success.