Lunaria Annua ‘Money Plant’

August 4th, 2008

Silver Dollar PlantI got this plant courtesy of my grandfather, it is one of his favorites and always grew at his house in a large mass planting.

This is one interesting plant with many phases for you to enjoy.

It is a biennial, which means it lives for two years and then dies. The first year it grows around 6 inches or so high, it takes the snow without losing it’s green, and then the second year it rapidly shoots up to spring to as high as 3 or 4 feet high and has bright purple flowers. It flowers in early Spring when there is not very much else of height flowering like it does, more or less between tulips and irises. It then slowly forms seed pods which then flake away revealing shiny silver disks, which give it it’s many names.

My grandfather called them “silver dollars” the more common names though seem to be “Money Plant” or “Honesty.” Apparently the plant can make you money as well. My grandfather always insisted that you could take the dried stalks with the shiny seed pod remnants and sell them to florists for big bucks. I don’t know about that, I’ve never tried it, but I do like this plant.

It reseeds very very well, you can literally just toss the seeds on the soil and they’ll grow. I cut down mature plants and just shake the seeds off and where they land they will germinate, but it isn’t really invasive, if it sprouts somewhere you do not want it to it is very easy to control.

Since it is a biennial I recommend planting your seeds one year, holding some back, and sowing those the next, so you get staggered plantings so that eventually you’ll have some plants blooming every year.

Lunaria Annua Money PlantI’ve grown this plant in both full sun and part shade, even full shade, it doesn’t seem to care. I have noticed where it has grown in less than idea conditions (a seed germinates somewhere I didn’t mean for it to, but I let it grow anyways) it doesn’t grow as high or get as many blossoms, so it seems to really react well to good fertile soil, but that is about it.

I want to make an offer to blog readers, my seed pods are mostly ready about now, so if anyone mails me a self-addressed stamped envelope I will mail you back free seeds so you can get your own started. This offer is only good until the end of August though, and if like 100 people send me letters I may run out, but I’ll do my best to send everyone free seeds.

You can send your envelopes to
1730 Ichabod Ln
Chattanooga, TN 37405

113 Responses to “Lunaria Annua ‘Money Plant’”

  1. ann parks  Says:

    Lunaria grows well all over my yard, in and out of flower beds and in pine needles and mulch around shrubbery and trees. It is gorgeous when forsythia, dogwood, azaleas, bulbs, etc., are blooming in their season. People stop and ask me about it! I just let it go and welcome it for its prolific and heartwarming happiness!
    Tip for people who do not have time or green thumb for gardening: this is the plant for you!
    A tip for control freaks: the green leafy plant is easily spotted in spring, and can be dug up fairly easily where it is not desired.
    I live in Greensboro, NC. (central NC)
    Thank you for your excellent info, and for sharing your seeds.

  2. Anastasia  Says:

    So I just bought my home and there are so many different things planted in front and back yard and the previous owner never told me any of the things that are planted. Well the backyard was ravaged by their big dogs last year before we moved in so nothing was back there when we moved in. Now this spring all kinds of perennials popped up and these purple flowered plants started growing all over kind of out of control and getting very tall so I thought they were weeds bc the blooms are gone now and started producing these weird circular leaves. Had no idea what they were and pulled them. After research I now know they are money plants. Whoops! Can I take the seeds from the plants I pulled and replant them in a more uniform area? Or did I pull them too soon? (Kicking myself now!) I did just cut the big ones down some and didn’t pull them so hoping they will come back. Any advice would be great! Thanks!

  3. Administrator  Says:

    If you find the little brown disc seeds inside the “coins”, yes you can plant them. They’re biennial. They’ll grow the first year, lowly, building up roots, then send up flowers the second year.

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