Honesty Growing Guide

Lunaria annua


Crop Rotation Group

Brassicas (Cabbage family) 


Fertile, well-drained soil enriched with plenty of compost.


Full sun to part shade in hot summer climates.

Frost tolerant

Honesty performs best when grown as a biennial or hardy annual. Once established in late summer, plants are hardy to about -20°F (-29°C). Where winters are too cold to permit overwintering, the plants can be grown as cool-season annuals.


Drench with a liquid organic fertilizer when plants show vigorous new growth in spring.


Single Plants: 1' 3" (40cm) each way (minimum)
Rows: 1' 3" (40cm) with 1' 3" (40cm) row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

To grow honesty as a biennial, start seeds indoors in late summer and expect seeds to germinate after 7 to 10 days. Set plants out in early autumn, while the soil is still warm. To grow honesty as an annual, start seeds indoors in late winter and grow under bright supplemental light. Set seedlings out early, while conditions are still cold, and protect them with row cover (garden fleece) until the last freezing weather passes.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


In early summer, after plants develop a thick rosette of leaves and send up vertical stems, pinch the tallest stems back to encourage the plants to develop more flowering branches.


Honesty is grown for its fragrant pink or white flowers and its showy seed pods, which dry into flat translucent disks that persist on the stems. Gather stems for drying after the seedpods lose their color. Hang them upside-down in small bunches for two weeks, then gently rub the outer membrane from the dried discs. Allow some plants to stay in the garden until they develop mature seeds, and for winter interest. With encouragement, money plant will reseed itself for many years.


Plants must be exposed to a period of cold before they will bloom well. In cold climates, start plants indoors in late winter and set them out in early spring so they experience several weeks of cold weather.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Honesty