It is easy to grow a silver dollar plant in your outdoor garden. Silver dollar does not need much care and maintenance. Just sow the seeds give them enough sunlight, water, and correct temperature. It will grow healthy and brilliantly beautiful.
If you too want to grow silver dollar plant in your garden. But don’t know how to start then this post is for you.
Because today you will know how to grow, care and maintain this plant.
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About the Silver dollar plant
It is famous by many names according to its growing region. But common English names are Money plant, Honesty plant, and Moonwort.
Lunaria Annua is its scientific name. The plant is a member of the mustard or cabbage family. Therefore, it is a cousin of Broccoli and brussels sprouts.
In some places, they grow on their own because they have self-seeding abilities. In the US this plant can be successfully grown in zones 4 to 8. Most of the time silver dollar plants are best to grow from seeds.
The best part is you don’t need to start it indoors and develop seedlings. Then transfer it to the outdoor garden. Like you do with the many other plants. It has high tolerance power and resistance powers. This makes it a perfect plant that is easy to grow and care for outdoor and indoors.
Silver dollars grow 3 feet in height if care for properly. The plant has heart-shaped foliage with thin straight stems.
Their blooming period starts in April or May. It depends on the area you live in. They produce purple color bright flowers. But to get purple flowers you need to give it plenty of sunlight. If you are planning to grow it in pots then you need to use grow light for it.
Due to the silver color and dollar-like shape of seed pods, we call this plant the silver dollar plant.
Planting the silver dollar plants
If you want to grow the plant for its purple flowers. Then just spread the handful of seeds in your garden. They will grow their own and you have a beautiful large group of silver dollar plants.
But if you like that your children learn about gardening. Then grow this plant in steps. Because your children learn gardening easily in steps.
When to Plant
Because it is a biennial plant means you will not see the flower and seed pods until the next year. The best time to plant the seeds is after the last frost. It cannot handle the extreme cold weather. So, don’t try to plant the seeds in extreme cold soil.
Plant the seeds at any time after the frost. The early days of spring or summer are good times for planting seeds of Lunaria annua.
Best place to plant seeds
The good news is, for this plant all kinds of sunny and partially sunny locations are good. It grows healthy in full sun or in shade. Direct sunlight or indirect light both works equally for the plant. But for the best possible growth, direct sunlight is necessary.
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How to plant seeds
First of all, add some organic matter to the part of the soil where you want to grow it.
Then sprinkle few seeds on the area and cover them with a thin layer of soil. For good air circulation, you need to plant them 1 to 12 inches apart. Once they grow in their place you cannot transplant them to another place. It is really hard to transplant Lunaria annua.
The reason behind adding organic matter in the soil is to keep the soil fertile and loose.
Caring Lunaria Annua
The Sun Light
As long as it is only about growing Lunaria. Plant the seeds at any part of the garden. It doesn’t care about the direct sunlight or indirect light. But for a good number of flowers, it needs a sunny location. If you have already planted it in the sunny location of your garden. Then make arrangements so that it gets morning sunlight and then indirect light for the remaining hours of the day.
You can use any piece of cloth to arrange some shade for the plant.
Watering Lunaria Annua
Here you need to do some work because the plant needs moist soil all the time. Do not let the soil dry between watering. Also do not make the soil too wet. because in such conditions the plant gets affected by root rot.
If you use mulch in your garden. Then you only need to water it once a week. Otherwise check the soil condition after every 3 days especially on sunny days.
This plant has friendly nature it can grow in any type of garden soil. It will not mind if you plant it in 5 pH or 6.5 pH soil. For the full-size silver dollar plant, you need to fertilize it with normal plant fertilizer twice a year. But if you are using compost mixed soil then no need to fertilize it.
You can also plant it with other plants. It will not suck their nutrients. It is a friendly plant.
Harvesting and Storing it
Dry silver seed pods are used for the decoration of other flowers. Kids love to décor their room by using dry seed pods. To do so let them dry on the plant and turn brown.
Once they turn brown remove them from the plant. Rub the pods between your fingers and remove the outer layer. Then collect the seeds in a plastic container and store them in a cool and dry place. but not in the refrigerator.
Pests and Diseases
Not no doubt this plant is resistant to weather conditions, pests, and to many diseases. But still, there are some stubborn pests that attack the plant.
Aphids are common pests that you can see under their leaves. They suck the plant nutrients from plant leaves. This slows down the photosynthesis process. The plant face difficulties in growing long and strong.
To get rid of aphids use neem oil spray or any insecticidal soap and water.
Septoria leaf spot is a fungus disease. It does not kill the plant it does weaken the plant.
Neem oil spray is the solution for all types of pests and diseases except root fungus.