If you want to be the coolest gardener with the most interesting plant collection, you must consider getting a Lunaria annua a.k.a. Honesty plant. This beauty is a fabulous flowering plant, but the unique thing about it and the main attraction is the glowy, coin-like fruits it bears.
Lunaria annua, commonly known as Honesty, Silver Dollar plant, Money plant, Annual Honesty, or simply Lunaria, is a species of flowering plants in the Brassicaceae family. This eye-catching flower is native to the Balkan Peninsula and southwest Asia. But luckily for us, it has become naturalized in many regions, especially in temperate areas worldwide.
Honesty plants enjoy lots of popularity as ornamental plants wherever they can feel like home. They are very versatile, making for wonderful additions to various landscape decorations, such as wildflower gardens, cutting gardens, shade gardens, butterfly gardens beds, and borders. These plants are also excellent in containers or dried flower arrangements.
Keep reading our complete guide to Lunaria Annua and learn more about this unique plant!
About Honesty Plants
- Their genus name “Lunaria” is the Latin word for “moon-shaped”, referring to the overall appearance of their late fruits. Their common name “Honesty” may also refer to the translucence of their fruits membranes.
- Thanks to their lovely blossoms and showy silvery fruits, the L. annua var. albiflora and L. alba var. albiflora ‘Alba Variegata’ cultivars with the L. annua species have gained the well-known Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society.
- Some people, especially those who have a passion for witchcraft, consider Lunaria Annua a protective plant against evil monsters or spirits. Since the flat ripe fruit pods resemble coins, they use the plant in spells for prosperity and wealth.
- In the language of flowers, Lunaria Annua symbolizes honesty and money.
- Lunaria plants attract wildlife. Furthermore, their beautiful and fragrant flowers are highly attractive to butterflies, bees, flies, and moths. The blooms are a great edible and decorative ingredient in numerous salad recipes.
- Their peeled root is edible. The seeds of Honesty plants have a pungent, mustard-like taste. Some people mix the seeds with cold water to make a mustard substitute. Their leaves are also a nice green ingredient in salads before the blossoms appear.
- These plants are completely safe for both humans and pets if touched or ingested. You can grow them anywhere near your curious children or furry friends.
- Honesty plants will look absolutely gorgeous among many other species of plants including spring bulbs. Some of the most suitable companions are Common Foxglove, Hakone Grass, Tulips (Single Late Tulip, Lily-Flowered Tulip, Triumph Tulip, Viridiflora Tulip), Narcissus ‘Thalia’, and Forget-Me-Not.
Honesty Plants Features: An Overview
- These buddies belong to the Lunaria genus that contains exactly four species of flowering plants. They share this small genus with the L. elongata, L. rediviva, and L. telekiana species.
- Honesty plants are annuals or biennials that can reach from 2 to 3 feet (60-90 cm) in height and 1 to 2 feet (30-60 cm) in width. They usually grow at a pretty fast pace.
- Their foliage consists of large, coarse, hairy, pointed, oval-shaped, and green leaves that come with serrated margins. While the lower leaves appear on long stalks, the upper ones are stalkless. Some Honesty varieties feature variegated foliage.
- In general, Honesty plants bloom from mid-late spring through summer. During this period, they produce raceme inflorescences of many delicate, 4-petaled flowers that can exhibit different shades of purple, white, and rarely pink.
- The most interesting features of Honesty plants are, without a doubt, their fruits. Once their blooming period has come to an end, these plants bear showy fruits where the flowers were before.
- The fruits are translucent, disc-shaped, and green silicles that turn light brown with time. The ripe and dry silicles tend to shed the outside valves to release their seeds. After this process, silvery central membranes of 1 to 3 inches (3-8 cm) in diameter remain intact on the plants even during the winter months.
Growing Honesty Plants
With proper care, Honesty plants will be by your side for as long as possible. The good news is that these flowers do not have many unrealistic demands from their owner. If you manage to mimic the environmental conditions from their native habitat, growing and caring for Honesty plants will be nothing but a piece of cake. Now let’s get you more familiar with these easy-going ornamentals!
Lunaria plants typically do well in a location where they can receive any kind of lighting exposure from full sunlight to partial shade. Although these flowers are very tolerant, they need to receive at least eight hours of direct light for optimal growth and blooming. In regions with hot summer months, however, it is wise to protect your beloved Lunaria plants from direct sunlight during harsh afternoons.
When it comes to temperatures, Honesty plants can handle a wide range of conditions as long as you are growing them in the USDA zones 4 to 8. Still, these buddies will require temperatures between 60 and 70 °F (15-21 °C) to germinate properly and settle in their new home. Do not worry, though! These particular temperatures are mandatory only during their first season of growth, usually in spring.
Honesty plants may encounter various problems with pests and fungal diseases from time to time. The most common intruders that can bother your plants are aphids, which you can get rid of using neem oil or insecticidal soap. Disease-wise, you should pay more attention to septoria leaf spot and clubroot.
While septoria leaf spot shows its presence through grey and black spots on the leaves of your Lunaria plants, clubroot will cause them to turn yellowish and wilt. If you notice any of these signs, you must remove all the infected parts, then isolate your plants until the infection has passed.
- Lunaria Annua - Non-GMO - Open-Pollinated - 90% Germination Rate with current lot
- A flowering plant native to the Balkans and south west Asia, and naturalized throughout the temperate world. This plant is easily grown from seed and often planted one year to bloom the next!
- This is a fascinating plant that is often known as Honesty or Annual Honesty, Silver Dollar Plant, Moonwort, or Money Plant after the namesake silver, shimmery, disc-shaped seed pods.
- Blooms with beautiful magenta colored flowers and produces lovely silvery disc-shaped seed pods.
- Gaea’s Blessing is based in Illinois, USA. We are committed to promoting sustainable growing methods, to protect the biodiversity of our planet, to do our best to ensure the wellness of the environment, and above all, to ensure your satisfaction. As adopters of the Safe Seed Pledge, we do not consciously buy or sell seeds that have been genetically modified.
- NATURALLY GROWN - NO pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers are EVER used on Smoke Camp Crafts' products. The plant you order has been grown using only natural methods without any synthetic inputs.
- POLLINATOR PLANT - Lunaria plants bloom early and attract pollinators at a time of year when flower nectar is relatively scarce.
- GUARANTEED TO GROW - If you don’t have success with your seeds after following the planting instructions included in the package, let us know and we will send you a replacement free of charge. If you are simply unsatisfied with your order for any reason, please let us know and we will happily send you a replacement. No questions asked.
- WOMEN-OWNED - Smoke Camp Crafts is a WBENC certified small, woman-owned business located in central West Virginia.
- Lunaria biennis has several common names: Money Plant, Honesty, Silver Dollar or Lunaria. This biennial can reach a height of 36 inches, and it likes a position in full sun to partial shade. It has lovely foliage, and it produces white colored blooms in the spring that are followed by paper-like, round seed heads.
- Money plant is a 3 foot tall biennial growing in USDA zones 6 - 10.
- The seed heads can resemble silver dollars or small moons. Since Lunaria is a biennial, it will typically only produce foliage and possibly a few blooms the first year. The second year will be the show of blooms.
- Lunaria can self-sow, but it is not considered to be invasive.
- Sowing Rate: 3 - 4 seeds per plant. Start the seed outdoors in the spring after frost season is over. Cover the seed with 1/8 inch of soil and keep it moist. With a temperature of 68F, germination can occur within 14 days. Space the plants about 30 inches apart.
Last update on 2023-07-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Honesty plants feature long taproots that do not respond very well to transplanting. Because of this, most gardeners grow their Honesty plants from seeds. The best time to sow the seeds outdoors is in spring, but only once the last danger of frost has passed. Although the seedlings will show up quickly, do not discourage yourself if your tiny plants will not produce any flowers or seedpods this year. In many cases, you will see them only in the following spring or summer.
Lunaria flowers will have the time of their life if you plant them in a loamy, humus-rich, neutral to acidic, and deeply cultivated soil. This type of soil will help your plants accommodate their specific long taproots. Lunaria annua plants are big lovers of moisture but do not appreciate soggy conditions. Make sure you find a substrate that also comes with very sharp drainage.
Honesty plants will benefit from regular feedings, but too much fertilizer may affect their overall health. Keep in mind that you should fertilize your plants only once every year in spring. The ideal product for these plants to bloom sporadically is an organic or slow-release fertilizer.
Since Honesty plants tend to grow and spread like crazy, you will have to prune them quite often to prevent them from becoming invasive. Likewise, due to their self-seeding habit, they will eventually multiply into more specimens in the blink of an eye. You can avoid this from happening by harvesting your Honesty plants right after the seed pods fully develop but before they can drop any seeds.
Honesty plants need plenty of moisture to grow healthy and happy. However, this does not mean that you must keep an eye on them daily and worry about their watering routine. The secret of thriving plants is a constantly damp soil all year round. But how can you provide them with the perfect amount of water? Well, very easily!
In general, Lunaria plants can do just fine with only once inch (2.5 cm of water) weekly. The frequency of watering will surely vary depending on the climate and growing conditions. If you live in a region with regular rainfalls, you can skip watering your plants for good. If not, we recommend you check their growing medium in-between waterings and spoil your plants with a drink when the top inch (2.5 cm) of soil feels dry.
As mentioned above, the best way to make more of Honesty plants is through seeds. This method is super simple and, due to the fast-growing habit of your plants, it will show nice results in little to no time. And if you have too many of these stunning flowers in your collection, no worries! All you have to do is gift some of the seedlings to your family members or friends to show how much you care for them.
To propagate Lunaria plants using seeds, you will have to wait for their seed pods to emerge, usually after their blooming season. Once this happens, collect the seeds from the seed pods before they get the chance to release the seeds by themselves. We suggest you start the seeds indoors in pots in autumn or directly in the ground outdoors in spring.
Sow the seeds in the same type of soil in which you already grow your Honesty plants. After this step, cover the seeds lightly with the substrate, then water regularly to maintain it consistently damp. With proper care, germination will occur in 10 to 14 days after sowing.
Honesty plants are a must-have in every collection, especially if you are an edgy gardener that loves hypnotic and low-demanding specimens. Provide your Lunaria Annua companions with proper lighting conditions, temperatures, soil, and moisture, and they will reward you with their unique appearance!
Are you growing Lunaria Annua? Share your experience in the comments below!