Silver Dollar Plant

Typically referred to as lunaria or silver dollar plants, these iridescent “leaves” are literally the seed pods from the plant referred to as honesty . Native to both Europe and Asia, lunaria is really a part of the Brassicaceae family, making them the plant relative of foods like broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

While their botanical name alludes to them being annuals, lunaria plants are literally classified as biennials. Lunaria is suited to USDA hardiness zones 4 through 8 and is best planted in spring after the ultimate frost—it will grow quickly, with seedlings emerging in only 10 to 14 days. However, because the plant is biannual, don’t expect to ascertain any flowers or seedpods until the subsequent year.

Botanical NameLunaria annua
Common Name Lunaria, silver dollar plant, money plant, honesty, moonwort
Plant TypeHerbaceous perennial
Mature Size2–3 ft. tall, 1–2 ft. wide
Sun ExposureFull sun, partial shade
Soil TypeMoist, rich
Soil pH Neutral to acidic
Bloom TimeSpring
Flower ColorPurple, pink
Hardiness Zones4–8 (USDA)
Native AreaEurope, Asia

Lunaria Care

Lunaria plants have an extended taproot and don’t transplant well, so they’re nearly always grown from seed. Sow the seeds outdoors in spring as soon as you’ll work the bottom, covering them lightly with soil and water. Many gardeners like to plant Lunaria along woodland borders, where they won’t need to fuss with them—they’ll thrive and see on their own as long because the conditions are right.

These unique biennials are grown not for his or her leaves, except for the flowers that are available the spring of their second year and even more so for what their flowers produce: the seed pods that eventually become the namesake “silver dollars.” The foliage in their first year consists of a basal rosette of leaves, and therefore the flowers that eventually emerge within the spring of year two are typically purple.

The seed pods that follow the blooms are referred to as “silicles.” they begin out green in color, later shedding the shade along side their seeds. The fully dried seed pod that is still (which is really just a see-through membrane) is an off-white color with a sheen that creates it shine sort of a coin. These “silver dollars” are papery to the touch and not perfectly round but rather oblong, with a brief , needle-like projection that hangs down from rock bottom of every seed pod.

The pods are often utilized in dried floral arrangements, wreaths, and more. In fact, you are doing not even need to be proficient at floral design to use them—simply insert a couple of dried bundles into a vase for a singular display, or hang them from a hook over a window in order that the sun can shine through them.


Lunaria plants had best in both full sun and partial shade locations. during a hotter summer climate, a touch of afternoon shade is appreciated, but ultimately the plant should get around eight hours of sunlight daily so as to grow strong roots and eventually flower.


Grow your lunaria plants during a friable, deeply cultivated soil to accommodate their long taproots. Additionally, they like a soil mixture that’s well-drained and humusy—it should stay evenly moist without becoming waterlogged. soil that stays (or, through irrigation, are often kept) evenly moist.


Keep the soil your Lunaria is housed in consistently moist throughout the growing season—about one inch of water (through rainfall or manual watering) every week should do. confine mind, the precise amount of water your plant needs can depend upon your environment and its location in your landscape. Plants located in constant sunlight could also be more thirsty than their shade-dwelling counterparts.

Temperature and Humidity

Lunaria plants need temperatures between 60 degrees and 70 degrees Fahrenheit to germinate and become established within the landscape. then, as long as they’re planted within the proper USDA hardiness zone, they need no special temperature or humidity requirements.


Once a year within the spring, treat your Lunaria plant to feeding with an organic or slow-release fertilizer to assist encourage ample blooming.

Pruning Lunaria

A potential drawback in growing silver dollar plants is that the ease with which they spread. ask your county extension office before planting any to work out whether or not they are listed as invasive plants in your region (in which case they need the potential to displace native vegetation). As invasive plants go, though, Lunaria plants are hardly among the worst offenders.

Under the proper growing conditions, one plant will eventually multiply into many plants, and it’s their ability to re-seed that creates them such aggressive spreaders. However, if you’re hoping to contain your lunaria collection, controlling the plant is simple enough. Harvest the plants after their seed pods are fully developed but before they will drop any seed. This practice kills two birds with one stone since you’ll want to reap them anyway so as to use the attractive seed pods.

When you’re able to harvest, stop the plant at its base and convey it indoors. Tie your bundle of lunaria with some twine or string and suspend it upside-down during a room that boasts low humidity levels. The seed pods should be fully dried in about two to 3 weeks—you’ll notice that the husk (which is that the green, outer layer) has likely fallen off by itself, but if it doesn’t, you’ll gently rub it off. Caring for the pods consists essentially of harvesting and drying them properly—they require virtually no maintenance beyond that.

Common Pests/Diseases

While extremely easy to worry about, Lunaria can encounter a couple of disease issues that will be a nuisance. Beyond being vulnerable to aphids (which are often treated using an insecticidal soap or horticultural oil like neem oil), Lunaria plants also can come down with diseases like septoria leaf spots. Septoria leaf spot may be a fungal disease that makes gray and black marks on the leaves of the plant. LIkewise, clubroot, another issue for Lunaria, can cause the leaves to wilt or yellow. If you notice signs of either of those issues, remove any part of the infected plants and isolate it if possible until signs of infection pass.

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