Hardiness: USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F) USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F) USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F) USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F) USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F) USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Danger: Seed is poisonous if ingested Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Bloom Color: Pink Red Bright Yellow White/Near White
Bloom Time: Mid Summer
Foliage: Herbaceous Smooth-Textured
Other details: May be a noxious weed or invasive Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season
Soil pH requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral) 7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: From seed; sow indoors before last frost From seed; direct sow after last frost
Seed Collecting: Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry
On Jan 24, 2013, schmeeges from Sintaluta Canada wrote:
I live in Saskatchewan, Canada and Four O'Clocks do grow here. Started some by seed in June and had plants 2 feet and taller by mid-July! Covered in buds but only seen them open once on a cloudy day and once at 11:30 at night! They were in direct south sunlight all day. Just wondering if planted in shade will they bloom at all or not. I was so excited to see this plant grow so vigorously and then so dissappointed to never see the blooms. On the two occasions that I did see blooms they also had no scent unless you stuck your nose right in the flower!
On Oct 19, 2011, flowerlove60 from Denison, TX wrote:
i like this plant, so far. I live in far north texas .I harvested seeds from one I found in a field.I threw them out in front of my house in a small full sun garden. i only had one bush that grew, magenta colored and non scent. bloomed in the day, alll day. doI need to cut it back?It now has no leaves and is just seeding.
On Aug 21, 2011, sher_garden from Coraopolis, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:
I remember this plant from my grandmother's garden when I was a child growing up in Iowa and recently found the seeds. Now I live in Pennsylvania and this year I planted it from seed in an area that receives direct sunlight from the southeast. Only the yellow ones have grown for me but I am hopeful more colors will come next year as I have more seeds left over. These have been so beautiful that even my husband has liked and commented about the yellow color against the green color of the leaves.
On Jul 7, 2011, SpudShaw from Philadelphia, PA wrote:
I remember these beauties from when I was a kid. My mom had a plant at our front door. It got to be about two feet high, and no matter what time of day, was in bloom. Living in Philly, I have seen them in curb-side gardens -- again in bloom all day long. I started my seeds indoors the beginning of April in a hanging basket that had a coleus in it from last year (which came back again this year and is HUGE!). I placed the basket outdoors the middle of May, and the four o'clocks have grown to the size I remember as a kid. I have yet to see an open bloom. They are in direct sunlight for about 5 hours a day, and have plenty of buds, plenty of flowers which look as if they have bloomed and closed, and a few spent flowers on the ground, but have yet to see any fully opened. I even stayed up until 2 in the morning to try to catch them in bloom -- but no dice. I have a place to transplant them in the ground, and hopefully they will come back next year, and hopefully with better luck with blooming. I'd like my neighbors to enjoy them as much as I do!
On Sep 10, 2010, pegster57 from Charlottesville, VA wrote:
When I was a little girl, I used to collect the seeds with my neighbor chum. I was enchanted with them from that point on. I now live in zone 7 and grow them every year from seed, and I am always so excited to see what color they will be. They do well for me, produce tons of seeds (just wait till they turn black and pick them!) and the flowers are so pretty. I am going to start saving the tubers this year, as the seeds don't often come true to color if planted in a mixed color border. 4:00s. Ah, what's not to like? :)
I have white, yellow, light pink, magenta and yellow. I'd love to trade for a couple of colors I don't have.
About 15 years ago, my mom gave me seeds for both the magenta and the light yellow four o'clocks. As of this year, I have a hedge of flowers that is about 5 feet high in places. Nothing else would grow in that spot, but the four o'clocks love it! The foliage dies back with the frost, but returns with ever-increasing vigor in the spring. People in the neighborhood have commented about the scent - it is so strong that they can smell it as they walk by on the sidewalk. In the last two years, some white ones have blossomed in the midst of all the magenta. Can anyone tell me how that came about?
On Sep 4, 2010, forgottenfl from Crawfordville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:
We live in a beautiful hardwood hammock, with the land around the house cleared to a certain degree. A friend from Havanna, FL gave me a plant from her garden and I planted it in Crawfordville, FL where I live. Originally, I planted these near my foundation, however I learned that the tubers can get to be extremely large; so I moved the ones I had out from the house to the woodland borders. Our soil is a sandy loam (caused by the leaves from the hardwoods), but not very rich. I threw seeds into one area (which I call "the garden of weeden") a couple of years ago and I am shocked by how beautiful this plant is. We mow where we don't want weeds etc. every couple of weeks, so I don't anticipate these getting too out of hand. However I'll keep everyone posted.
The contrast of the magenta pink to the green foliage is totally outstanding. And since they are a night bloomer I am even more interested in investingating the white varieties.
On Jul 17, 2010, helenamcginty from Alhaurin de la Torre Spain wrote:
I have just moved to a house in the hills of Andalucia (southern Spain) and identified the beautifully perfumed plant growing in raised beds around my little patio as Mirabilis jalapa. Coming from the north west of England this is not a plant with which I am familiar. I can see, though, that it self seeds happily and could become a nuiscance.
my evenings reading outside in the shade are enhanced by the gentle perfume.
I note that the seeds are poisonous. are any other parts poisonous and if so which and how poisonous are they?
On Jun 13, 2010, Kiyzersoze from Coral Springs, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:
I love this plant. I thought I lost it during our cold winter but the orignal plant came back and it may have also self seeded some plants. I think it is fun when I walk by this plant and a bloom happens to be open. I have not tried to start them from seed myself but as I said I think a few plants self seeded. I am waiting to see for sure. I only have white but plan to get others. They might be a little invasive in some places but I don't care.
On May 30, 2010, canadianplant from thunder bay Canada (Zone 4b) wrote:
I planted about 20 seeds last year. It was an assorted packet, with variegated, yellow, red, and orange and even one or 2 blue ones. They all opened, were about 3 feet tall, and flowered continuosly till frost, even with out cold, wet summer last year. They were in FULL sun ( about 8 hours a day), and planted in sandy soil.
We had a failry mild last winter ( im in zone 3B-4B it varies here), which was about a zone 5B winter, with one or 2 days at -28C at night. Our spring has been very mild.
I dug up all the beds, removing last years dead foliage, and tubers from the 4 oclock, heavily raking the soil, and addign another few CM of top soil.
Having planted my Canna, and the other beds, I was weeding today, and to my suprise, my 4 oclock has self seeded, and so far 1 seedling is sprouting. I had no idea it would self seed this far north ( NW Ontario). Now im just wondering what to do with it ( or them if there are more).
I had no experience with fragrance, but the plant grew exremely fast here, and even though I am not a big fan of flowers, these are a nice addidtion to your garden.
On May 26, 2010, spaceman_spiff from Saint Petersburg, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:
This is one of my favorite plants that I've ever had. I don't even understand the "Negatives" that people have posted on here.
I remember growing this plant years ago when I was in middle school and high school--back during the days that I first became interested in learning about plants and growing them. So, it was a nice surprise to find a four o'clock bush growing in the garden of the first home I purchased, back in 1996.
I was surprised to see it come back each spring--in my younger experience (which was in a much colder climate) it grew strictly as an annual that had to be re-seeded every year. After living in my 1996 home a year or two, I found I needed to move the plant because of remodeling and adding a deck to the spot where it was growing. When I dug it up, I was very surprised to find a HUGE tuber! Prior to this I'd never known these had tubers before! The immense size of it (not carrot shaped like some here have written, but more of a lateral small-watermelon shape) made me wonder how long it had been growing there. We'd bought the home from a 96-year-old widow who'd lived there since the house was new in 1925. I like to think she had cared for this plant for many, many years.
Anyway, it successfully survived the transplant to another spot in the yard. So, when we sold the house and moved to another in 1999, it was an absolute "must" that the four o'clock come with us. It has been here at our current home ever since! Each year it faithfully forms a large bush, covered with INCREDIBLY fragrant dark pink blossoms. Anytime someone comes over, I pick one or two of the flowers and hold them under their nose. They are always astonished at the powerful fragrance. I love to sit on my front porch in the evenings and smell this wonderful plant.
Each winter it dies back, with no sign of the plant at all. But I'm always confident of its return in the spring. NEVER have I had a single problem with having to weed any seedlings from it.
If I ever left this house and could only take one plant with me out of the multitudes I have growing in gardens all around the house, this would be the plant.
On May 8, 2010, dreamlayers from Windsor, ON (Zone 6b) wrote:
Only one seed germinated from the first seed packet. The second seed packet had a good germination rate. I guess this may have been due to soil temperature, because all seeds germinated around the same time, when warm weather arrived.
Early on, I lost one or two plants from stem rot at the base, maybe from overwatering. However, the rest were healthy, and they grew quickly and without any problems. They quickly outgrew their pots. When they got big, they could support themselves well, but they were vulnerable to storms, so I added some stakes.
The flowers started soon enough. Unfortunately, they did not open in the late afternoon as I hoped. Most opened around sunset (like evening primrose) and the red ones never fully opened. The flowers only opened fully in daylight during the cool days of early fall. The smell was very nice, but not especially intense.
I let the frosts kill the foliage outdoors. Then, I moved the pots into the garage before it got very cold. I also dug up two roots and stored them in garage. All of these plants died. All the roots left in the ground also died. I’m now growing new plants from seed I collected last year.
On Jan 17, 2010, CostaRica from Guayabo de Bagaces, Guanacaste Costa Rica (Zone 10b) wrote:
Here in Costa Rica, it could be invasive, but hasn't taken over the countryside and is very seldom seen growing 'wild'.
In my garden, I do have lots of 'pop up' but when small they are easy to remove.
A great plant to have when you have extremely dry conditions which we do for many months.
I have read elsewhere that hummingbirds love this plant, but I have never seen any of the 11 species we host throughout the year go near it.
Hey, you can't plant everything solely for these beauties!
On Nov 12, 2009, appublic from Belton, MO (Zone 5b) wrote:
I had one appear from one of those mixes of various seeds. It grows on the south side of my house where it gets shade probably half of the day. I noticed I had 2 of them this year, after probably 6 years. So at least where mine are at, they have not been invasive. After reading these reviews, I'm hesitant about trying it out in my garden which gets full sun. It sounds like they could be a little too successful, like my borage. (That self-sews so prolifically I'll never be without borage, whether I want it or not). I thought I'd mention that mine are perennial, growing from tubers, even though I'm in zone 5b/6a in Missouri. I'm guessing this is due to a warm microclimate up against the house on the south side. I'd be surprised to have them come back from the root out in the unprotected garden. I'd probably rate my experience as "positive" except that mine are not fragrant at all.
On Oct 23, 2009, GuerrillaGurl from Watsonville, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
These plants flower summer through fall, where they are irrigated, in our garden. The established, non-irrigated Mirabilis jalapa burst out of the soil with the fall rains, and then bloom until the frost. Our mother plants came with the house and are probably about 25 years old. Seeds are true to color, generally cerise or yellow, a few white, and one yellow-splashed-with-white. Gophers do not bother the huge beet-like root tubers these plants develop. A couple words of warning: if you are not sure you want them forever, plant them in a container; if you don't want them to spread, plant them at the bottom of a slope--never the top!
On Aug 4, 2009, moonriverguy from West Bridgewater, MA wrote:
I've struggled with a wooded lot for years. This year I just kept to basics, hostas, rug junipers, and four 0'clocks which grew under the front window of my house when I was growing up.
So I purchased seeds from 2 different companies and I have the basic colors, red, magenta, white, yellow, and pink. I seeded in rows, and placed garden cloth between the rows to keep down weeds and to achieve some order. I mulched over the cloth to give an attractive appearance. In the center, I placed a whiskey barrel with a shepherd's hood for 4 bird feeders. Three sides are lined with hostas. The background is a dwarf fringed red leaf maple.
For variety I have magenta petunias in the whiskey barrell and rows of biannuals between the rows of 4 0'clocks. I planted the biannuals by seed so there are no flowers but just wonderful foliage this year which looks awesome with the profusion of four o'clock blossons. Although the design is formal, the four o'clocks give it a real homey look. As I write this a hummingbird is looking for an open 4 o'clock blossom.
Maybe any plant looks great when you showcase it like this, but for me, the success with the four o'clocks gave me confidence to begin another project in a difficult setting.
Four o'clocks are so easy to grow here in Massachusetts, I don't know if I need to dig out the tubers. I can simply plant seeds again and get a marvelous result. We'll see.
Ten Years ago, I spent a year working in Beijing, China. There is neither space nor really soil for the people to have gardens, but they had many pots and planters outside their small homes, and in them were 4'oclocks.
On my daily walk to the market, I would scoop up the seeds that had fallen from the flowers onto the sidewalk, take them back to my room and store them away. I brought them back with me to Boston, and every year since I have sown seeds and replanted tubers from the last season. My favorites are yellow with red stripes, and they smell incredibly.
I love the flower, and of course they are a live remembrance and souvenir of that incredible year.
On Mar 25, 2009, eatmyplants from Comanche county, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
I had no idea this plant had tubers and thought it only reproduced by seed. Until I started digging. Today I dug up this tuber that's over a foot long. Must be pretty old. It came from the wilds along a creek. These particular 4'oclocks are all blue.
On Feb 25, 2009, ZenSojourner from Fairborn, OH (Zone 8a) wrote:
Just a note. You do NOT have to tolerate tomato hornworms in order to have sphinx moths come to your 4 o'clocks. There are over 1200 species of sphinx moth of which the tomato hornworm is the larvae for only one. I don't know whether or not the adult version of the tomato hornworm would pollinate 4 o'clocks, but there are MANY MANY other species of sphinx moth that will do the job. Go ahead and kill off your tomato hornworms, you're not hurting your 4 o'clocks by doing so.
On Jan 10, 2009, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:
The yellow form seem to be the most stronger one- I keep getting more and more yellow every year - the main problem is that they have weak stems and have a bad habit of flopping over if not supported - they tend to shed seeds by the tons - they look like bullets - about the time of frost or late fall when you start removing the plants check the ground around them, or beat the plants against a solid surface to try to loosen the seeds. The tubers also can be storaged in the house - they have low disease rate (if any during the winter) - don't worry if you break the long thin taproot - it's easier to put in the ground anyway - I usually dig down only about 3 to 4 inches deep, even laying the tubers on the side and it will grow easily into a new plant the next year.
Clearly in warmer climates they are too invasive but in colder climate the winters will kill any you leaves outside.
On Dec 31, 2008, DMgardener from (Daniel) Mount Orab, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:
I LOVE this plant!!! I can't imagine why EVERYBODY does not grow this plant. The flower are in both electric and pastel shades. And they make a party with the sphinx moths at about 9:00 on hot summer nights. The moths are so involved with sipping the copious amounts of necter these plant produce, that they allow you (or children that vist your garden at night) to touch and even hold them!!! To get sphinx moths in your area to thrive, do these 2 things:
1. Grow Four O'Clocks
2. And let tomato hornworms eat your tomato plants for awhile!
Last year I dug up a tube from my dad's house in Texas and planted it this year in Michigan. I stored it in my basement in a cardboard box til planting time. It has grown about 3 feet tall and has 100's of beautiful blooms. Was hoping that someone could tell me how and when to collect the seeds? I am afraid it is to cold here for it to return on its own next year and want to have seeds just in case. Thanks in advance for your help!!
On Jul 2, 2008, PrettyPolly from Ljubljana Slovenia wrote:
I ADORE the plant.
I first planted it three summers ago, from bought tubers (said to be annual).
Even though I don't have a garden, I just wanted to give it a go as a pot plant, on my balcony.
Well, it worked magnificently. The "matriarch" - the plant that got more space (= a bigger pot) than the others - has grown full size (almost a meter high) and is now the lushest of them all. For three summers now has my otherwise typically Central European balcony ;) been a luxuriant cascade of white, yellow, white/yellow, pink, pink/white (the pattern of the two-colour combinations is striped and/or "freckled"), and, of course, deep red/purple flowers. (I have also planted some seeds of a gorgeous ORANGE variety, but it seems to have been "overrun" by the nearby red-flowering plants.)
I especially adore their heady yet sweet, sensuous yet tender scent.
In fact, it has become one of my favourite smells in the world.
In the winter, I simply cover their semi-exposed "roots" (bulbs) with a special plant-covering textile (the kind you can get in any store) or a few fir branches. If the winter is very dry, I water them - very moderately - perhaps once a month.
But, if you don't mind, I also need urgent HELP.
A few days ago, the "matriarch" plant opened its flowers, much to my delight (the others usually start flowering a month later). I inhaled with great pleasure its sweet smell, although I had the impression it was slightly less intense than the previous years. Still, it was her first flowering night, so I gave it little thought.
But yesterday, and again today, I have noticed, to my utter dismay, that the flowers have LOST THEIR SMELL. Totally!
How is that possible?
Can anyone, please, advise me?
There are no special conditions this year: the weather is hot, mostly humid, they are properly watered, they don't seem to be plagued by any pests (highly unlikely in M.J. anyway)... What is the matter?
I would be really grateful for any advice!
P.S To KELL and/or anyone else who might have uprooted the tubers by mistake: just put it back (and, if you're like me, say "so sorry!" ;)) and forget about it. M.J. is INCREDIBLY sturdy and resistant. It'll grow.
The same goes for any seeds that failed to grow this year.
Don't give up on them. In all likelihood, next year you'll be overwhelmed by an ocean of M.J.!
On Jun 23, 2008, schhdogs from Saint Petersburg, FL wrote:
My mother had hot pinks in her planter and I loved their color and fragrance, but she sold the house and there went the plant... So I tried a packet of mixed color seeds, but only the yellows actually germinated. While the resulting plant is loaded with blooms, they never actually open (no matter what the time of day).
On May 26, 2008, scarolinabelle from Lexington, SC wrote:
My dad gave me one of his four o'clocks last year which I planted on the western side of my home. It wintered well here in SC, but so far no flowers have appeared. We have clay soil but I mixed potting soil and compost when planting it. Any suggestions? After reading all these great reviews, I am anxious for mine to bloom. I have no idea of the color so it will be a great surprise!
On May 14, 2008, heironymous from Raleigh, NC wrote:
We like our Four O'Clocks. They bring hummingbirds in the mornings and those big beautiful sphinx moths at night, the ones that look like hummingbirds. I suspect their summer garden fragrance is part of what makes them so popular.
We have also found that four o'clocks kill Japanese beetles. Every year around July we find a few chewed leaves and a bunch of dead Japanese beetles underneath. A real plus.
On Mar 14, 2008, rebecca101 from Madison, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:
I didn't like these much. On the plus side, they do form a nice substantial bush, with more substance than most annuals (at least they are an annual for me up here!). They bloom for a long time. The flowers are nice and bright when they are open.
The main minus for me is that the dead/fading flowers remain on the plant - there are literally hundreds on the plant at any one time, many more dead flowers than fresh ones, and the overall impression is just yucky. Also, the flowers are open only for a brief period in the afternoon - the plant does not look so great when they are closed. There was no detectable fragrance. The colors are not my thing either - very harsh tones. I just hope it doesn't reseed too badly on me!
On Mar 11, 2008, Bookerc1 from Mackinaw, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
We bought 4 o'clocks last year in a child's gardening kit, and my 9 yo son loved them. They were easy to grow, and once well-started he moved them to his big whiskey barrel. Ours were in part shade, in a protected area near the back door, where I enjoyed them every afternoon and evening all summer every time I took our beagle puppy out. We saved a handful of seeds, and I am anxious to see if the original plants come back. I'm glad I found here that they can be invasive. I think we'll stick to planting them in containers for now!
Ours were mixed colors, white, yellow, pink, and lavender. Lovely smell, very easy to care for. Great project for a child! My other son started snapdragons from seed, same brand of kit, with much less success.
On Dec 17, 2007, gray_53 from Mcdonough, GA wrote:
Fortunately, I have not had to go through the ordeal of getting rid of these hardy plants. The only thing I hate is that I can not get any established at my house from seed. I have not tried very hard though. I'm sure I could grow them without too much effort. I love the variegated ones! My red ones grow tall and leggy, but the reds and yellows are nice and leafy. They survive our mild Georgia winters perfectly. ( McDonough is between Atlanta and Macon)
On Oct 1, 2007, irene678 from elhovo Bulgaria wrote:
hi, i grew this plant in england [south of] and truly enjoyed the spectacular display. i took seeds for the next year as i believed it to be an annual, not necessary, it came up all by itself......
i restyled my garden and took seeds in case i had lost it, which i did. i planted the seeds to no avail, i never saw the plant again.
i blagged a few seeds from friends who had this plant [wasn't aware of the tuber way of re-generating] and packeted them up for my move to bulgaria, where, low and behold, they grow in great profusion! i have managed to add to my seed cache and now have all the tips on growing that i need, thanks to this site.
i will be keeping in touch to let you all know how my 'marvel of peru' performs. btw i didn't realise they were scented, nor did i realise just how many colours they produce..... wish me luck.
I became acquainted with four o'clocks as a child in Illinois. 40 some odd years later, I bought a packet of seeds and planted them in my Arizona garden. In the winter, I clean out the flower bed and in the spring they come up like magic. I didn't realize they had tubers until a couple of them washed out of the ground. I just popped them into a bare spot and now I have a second bed. Their hot pink flowers and bright green leaves contrasts nicely with my fire engine red, dark green leafed salvias. The hummingbirds seem to like them too. I planted some white ones this season but as of yet I have not seen any flowers. The large seeds are easy to sow.
On Jul 4, 2007, Kell from Northern California, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
I still remember the day I tossed a handful of Four O'Clock seeds out into my front flower bed. 2 years later I came upon a huge white tuber that grew so deep. Too late I came to realize it was a Four O'Clock. I have rued the day I ever tossed that handful out.
If you have unlimited space and want a plant that self seeds, grows large and needs no care at all, plant them. But if you live in a warmer climate, like order and have limited space, DO NOT PLANT THESE!!! They take over and cannot be killed. Once you have them, you have them. I pull them and pull them and pull them. I can't dig them for I would have to dig up my whole garden, the tubers are so deep and far reaching. You can spray Round Up on them and at most they get is burned tips and a week later they are 3 feet tall, green and lush.
On Jun 23, 2007, beach324 from Myrtle Beach, SC wrote:
3 years ago I purchased a pack of seeds while traveling in Florence, Italy. Package was labeled "Bella di Notte". My plants thrive on the patio with little to no attention. Beautiful yellow trumpet flowers open after sun down. Would love to have other colors. Anyone want to share?
On Jun 1, 2007, zville123 from Zanesville, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:
I had several of these plants last year. The evening fragrance is wonderful! Unfortunately, I underestimated their size so I dug up the roots (not knowing I could save them) in the fall. I did save some seeds. I have found seedlings that have popped up on their own from last years plants. I just dig them up and move them where I want them. It's definitely a plant I won't mind returning each year. And it'll be interesting to see if it's root hardy here with a good mulch.
On May 31, 2007, jenns_garden from Jacksonville, FL wrote:
Hi, ya'll! What a great website! I, too, remember the four o'clocks my grandma had with much fondness. A friend of mine recently gave me quite a few stalks with tubers. We planted the entire stalk and tuber and have it propped up. We treated with Black Kow. Should I trim them back or will they perk up? They are currently about 2-3 feet tall. Thanks in advance for all of your help! :-)
have just planted "tubers" that looked like little dead carrots. the broader end had tiny little colored nubs. not sure how to plant so put the pointed end , just like the carrot in first and left a small amount of the little nubs just above ground level. don't know what to expect . not to late to plant deeper or even change ends if that is necessary. can anyone help me? so anxious to know the correct planting procedure. thanks so much
On Apr 25, 2007, honeybee07 from North Ridgeville, OH wrote:
My childhood memories include picking off the flowers, and playing with the seeds of this beautiful plant (ours was between my house and my neighbors, about 4 foot high, and spanned the entire side of the house). I am planting four oclock's at my own home this year- I can hardly wait to enjoy this, and share it with my children someday.
On Sep 12, 2006, NanerMB from Seabeck United States wrote:
Haven't had any problems with this plant. I start the seeds in the greenhouse and transplant them when the weather warms just a bit here in the Pacific NW. I use them in one particular flower bed and they seem to do well as a beautiful, bushy plant, almost uniformly 2 1/2 feet tall. The flowers open up early mornings, later in the evenings and on cloudy days. They really do throw seeds (I've been out collecting them) and some of the "volunteers" are kind of weedy, but I just yank those out.
The best part - the bugs here don't seem to like them much! Except for an occasional slug, of course.
On Aug 31, 2006, fouroclocklover from Jacksonville, FL wrote:
It was so wonderful to see the other messages in the thread about four o'clocks and I just had to add my experience with them as I love the four o'clock a lot.
I was first introduced to the four o'clock when I was a little girl when my family and I were living in Houston. I loved their colors, and one of the plants we had had the flowers that were speckled. This one was with magenta as the main color with a speck of yellow on it. It was absolutely beautiful. I coud never understand why they were called four o'clocks until one day I was watching the clock we had and sure enough, at 4:00 in the afternoon the flowers were open.
I found out a number of years later when we went to visit my mom and grandma's home country of Panama one year (about 20 some years ago) and I found out that the four o'clocks grow there too.
I am in Jacksonville, FL now and about 4 years ago I decided to plant some of the seeds that I have and they have done real good even now. I do fertilize mine.
I found out the other day while doing a search on them that they are now calling the multicolored four o'clocks: "broken colors". A pic I saw on a website showed one that was like what another poster said, colors that made it look like peppermint candy.
I am hoping to get more seeds of white four o'clocks, try to get some red ones if I can as well as the salmon colored ones. Someone mentioned purple and I hope I can find some of them as well to add to my collection which includes magenta ones, and soon yellow.
I would love to hear from others in the Jacksonville, FL area that grow four o'clocks to see if some of them have the broken colored four o'clocks so I can see them up close and not just a picture.
On Jun 23, 2006, WillisTxGarden from Willis, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
I've grown 4:00's for 15 yrs or so....and have learned how
they can become invasive because of lack of attention...
yet,...with care,...can provide ongoing enjoyment
because of their beauty, fragrances, ease of propagation,
and for me the tendency to hybridize into a variety of shades and even patterns of colors,as well as, shapes of the petals...the arrangement of them.. Once had one with
bi-colored petals...(each individual petal with 1 half red, 1 half white)...looked like a peppermint candy piece almost.
(The reason for "had" is another story)
Like so many other plants....4:00's can be what you pamper or neglect them to be!
On May 20, 2006, ltcweo from Allentown, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:
At my parents former house in Allentown PA (zone 6) the Four O'Clocks have been coming back year after year for over 45 years from tubers that have found a home along the foundation on the east side of the house. I remember them from when I was a teenager. How sweet they smelled when I came home after 10 PM. Some of them grow to 5 to 6 feet every summer producing thousands of pink, yellow, red and occasionslly some varigated blossoms. They are growing in a rather alkaline clay and need little water. While I love them I can understand how someone in Florida might have an issue with these hardy and prolific seed producers.
On Apr 23, 2006, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:
I wanted to comment about the "potential" invasiveness of this gorgeous and highly fragrant plant. I have grown these for several years and have not found them to be invasive at all- I only wish they were! My 4:00 are NOT growing in improved soil nor are they in a bed. I think that may be the key to keeping them in control. It's very difficult for the seeds to germinate in the hard clay that they're growing in. Mine come back from the tubers.
On Mar 19, 2006, WUVIE from Hulbert, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:
I've been growing Four O'Clocks long enough for
the tubers to become quite large. I simply love them!
The fragrance is just amazing, and though it may be
my imagination, I swear the pink is more fragrant than
the yellow. Both grow on the side of our fence each year,
mainly from root, much from seed. It is so easy to
In late summer, my relaxation period is standing
at these large plants gathering seeds. Each night I
retire to my desk with pockets full of seed.
Will reseed and make many more plants, so not for
the lazy gardener. I simply till around the main plants.
Easy enough to run the weed trimmer over unwanted
babies, or give them to friends for their garden.
On Mar 11, 2006, smartdog from Cocoa Beach, FL wrote:
In Cocoa Beach, 4-o'clocks are hardy to being invasive. I'm still digging up tubers from a pkg of seeds I planted 7-years ago. I've unsuccessfully attempted to get rid of them w/herbicide, and during this period, it hasn't been cold enough to have much effect. They don't spread by suckering, but 'throws off' seeds (like that invasive Ruellia brittoniania purple Mexican petunia). Over the years it's migrated across my property from its original location. I'm still digging them up where they mix well with mother-in-law tongues (Sanservia), another hardy, invasive survivor!
On Oct 27, 2005, Nightwatcher from Auburn, WA wrote:
I live in the Seattle, Washington area.
I bought a plastic rectangular planter, it is against a white wall, outside, with mostly afternoon sun. I tried 5 packets of wildflower seeds, nothing grew, then planted some plants from a nursery in it. After some neighbor dumped his hamburger grease in it, all I had left was a Dianthis that curled into a little green ball, and never flowered again!
Then this "weed" started growing.. My other half said "Pull it", but I said wait until it has flowers! I know now, from this forum, that the weed turned out to be a 4 0' clock! This plant put up with infrequent waterings, a transplanting, and to my joy, since I don't get home until 1:30 in the morning, I get to see the plant in full bloom! My plant is the yellow/red varigated type. After transplanting it was further away from the porchlight, and I came home tonight to find the whole plant had turned toward the light! Also it likes cooler temps.
A very hardy and interesting plant, I would recommend it.
On Oct 4, 2005, thefullbug from Midland, TX wrote:
Hello, I live in west Texas. I have 4 o'clocks in my back yard that have been growing year after year for over 40 years. I never do anything to them and they keep comming back. They have spread into my neighbors yard also.One year I tried to dig them up but they just came back thicker the next summer. Some of the plants are 6 feet tall but most are around 4 feet tall.They use to be bushy and full of flowers now they are geting alot of stalks and very weedy looking.
I wish I knew what to do to get them back under control.
On Aug 24, 2005, Dacooolest from Brandon, MB (Zone 2b) wrote:
An absolutely AMAZING plant!!! This is my first year growing it and I am very impressed by it's fragrance and how many flowers it produces. The blooms open around 7:30 here. They seem very well suited to containers. (however, if you do this, make sure it is a large container!) Any ideas on how to store the tuber?
On Jul 1, 2005, VeraJo from Wheeling, WV (Zone 6b) wrote:
I'm not sure where or how I got my 1st 4 o'clocks but I do love them and so do my neighbors. WE have alot of walkers around here and quite a few have asked me for seeds when they saw me havesting them in the fall. Of course, I love giving them to all my neighbors. And what goes around comes around...This year I've planted a few things I've been given.
On Jun 18, 2005, eddi1 from Southbridge, MA wrote:
I have been growing Four o'clock for about 10 years now I plant them with Asiatic Lilies which makes for a wonderful show. For a dazzling display of color try the kaleidoscope variety they resemble the old fashion multicolor carnival balloons. The heavenly scent of the Four O’clock is fresh and clean reminds me of being on the beach in Hawaii.
Since our winters in Massachusetts are to cold for this plant I dig up the tubers before the first freeze and store them like Dahlias. In the spring I start the tubers in large pots and then transfer them when the danger of a freezing is over. They also do very well in containers.
On May 9, 2005, TNPassiflora from Oliver Springs, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:
I got my "4-o'clocks" as tubers that were dug from a friend's bed. They were huge tubers, and planted in a protected (from wind), but sunny location, they come back every year here in Zone 6-7. They grow from the original tubers and also reseed. It is easy to transplant the small seedlings, once they are a few inches tall. They do like a lot of room, though. Mine flower in solid pink, yellow, and a striped or mottled version of both pink & yellow. I love these flowers-they smell wonderful!
On Aug 23, 2004, PADRETIERRA from trujillo Spain (Zone 10a) wrote:
I haven't tried to grow it yet. This is to advise that this flower grows all over, voluntarily, in Extremadura, Spain, springing up alongside city gutters, etc. My plant book calls it an annual, but it certainly behaves like a perenniel. The variety here may be a hybrid, as it grows only to about 2 feet high. The flower is known locally as the "perico." It's not fragrant but very showy.
On Jul 17, 2004, Sheila965 from Rincon, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:
These grow with minimal care. I leave the tubers in the ground over the winter and the next spring, they began to come up bigger and stronger than before. I let them come to seed and just harvest the seeds that have blackened every other day. I share with friends or trade on the internet. The smell in the evening in my backyard is magnificent. I love this plant!
On May 27, 2004, diggergirl from Coleraine VIC, AUSTRALIA wrote:
This plant appeared in the garden of my farm house in western Victoria, AUSTRALIA. I have both the yellow and the pink varieties. They came up in beds and even between pavers with no care at all. I have found them to be drought tolerant but with water and good soil can grow to about four and a half feet tall and same width. They have the most beautiful fragrance and mostly open at night. I have found that their opening is related to temperature and not light as on cool days they will stay open all day and when we had a 30 degree (celcius) midnight (very very hot) they were still closed. I have never seen this plant anywhere else but my garden. I think it is a great plant, colourful & tropical looking, so fragrant and can withstand temperature extremes and not much water. Great website by the way !
On Nov 19, 2003, Cathi from Copperas Cove, TX wrote:
This plant has light to medium green leaves. Is okay but the seed that drop are easily, easily turned into new plants. Blooms a very long time and repeatedly from earliest warm period to very cold conditions. Comes back year after year. Has two colored plants. One is a purplish pink color and the other bright yellow. Grows fast and tall. Draught tolerant.
On Nov 19, 2003, mrsmitty from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:
I first saw Four O'Clocks as a child at a neighbors house. The tiny 'grenade-shaped' black seeds were on his walkway. He let me have a few and they grew readily. My neighbor grew his like a hedge and kept them shaped very squared. They are a fun and sweet smelling plant!
On Sep 29, 2003, johnfromOttawa from Ottawa Canada wrote:
This plant grows extremely well in Ottawa Ontario Canada. Each year I start my plants from seeds in early May and move the plants outside after the last frost. The plants are bushy and flowers profously (pink, yellow, salmon and mixed). This year I tried something new. I pinched off the lower leaves as it grew to encourage a thicker stalk and greater height. The idea was to create a little flowering tree. It worked somewhat, but will need a little more refinement next year to make it look even better. Many people have commented on the beautiful flowers and I have given out hundreds of seeds to anyone interested in growing them. As anyone who have had success with this plant, seeds are easy to come by. For a low maintenance plant you couldn't ask for a better return for your efforts.
On Sep 22, 2003, seanpmi from Hollywood, FL wrote:
Have had one come up by itself in my backyard next to the fence. From where it came, I do not know (perhaps a bird dropped a seed from its beak). What a surprise! It really adds color to an otherwise green-only area. The flowers are purplish-red and open up around 5pm here in South Florida and the smell is very sweet. The soil in the area of the plant is coral sand, so I plan on spreading the plant around the yard where the soil is poor. My wife tried in vain to take a small branch of the plant and put it in water to see if it would take root. Since that did not work, I now know from previous posts how to propagate the plant.
On Sep 7, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:
I grew white four o'clocks in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, from seed one year, and they reseeded themselves in a partly shady flower bed for a few years, but never really grew very large. It was in a "new house" yard of recently bulldozed heavy red clay.
I moved to Florida last year, and brought down a few of my plants in pots, and the past two summers I have had four o'clocks appear in some of my potted herbs. I'm now waiting to see if they will appear in the ground next year--I suspect that they will.
An attractive plant I would much rather have naturalized in my yard than the native poison oak and Virginia creeper I am currently battling in my flower beds!
On Jul 28, 2003, pomly from Pickerington, OH wrote:
I just found one growing in my front yard. I have no idea how it got there! I never had this plant before and I came online to find out what it was. I looked around the neighborhood and didn't see any other ones around. What a nice surprise!
On Jul 28, 2003, groovytee from Washington, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:
I love four o'clocks. I unfortunately have to dig for a drain were mine currently reside and I have no seed because I just moved to this house. I will be on the look-out for them though. I especially like that I have some that are mixed colors.
On Jul 21, 2003, darcymarsden from Campbellville, ON (Zone 6a) wrote:
About 5 years ago someone gave us a few seedlings from which we harvested seeds in the fall and replanted outside each year after last frost (about the first week of May in our part of southern Ontario). Absolutely wonderful. It is a beautiful late afternoon flowering shrub from about August 1 through first frost (late September here) does not need dead-heading, does not seem to get eaten by anything and requires no watering. I discovered the reason for the last benefit the first fall that I tried to pull the old plants up - the tap root must have gone down two feet. Two years ago I had stored all the seeds (hundreds) in an open aluminum tin in the garage for the winter. The mice ate everyone of them. I didn't find any mouse corpses around, so I don't know about the toxicity of the seeds (at least for mice). The eaten seeds put me into a panic though, because I had no idea what the plants were called and had never seen them grown around here at all (and I only discovered this site recently). Luckily, a few seeds germinated where they had fallen in the flowerbed, so I was back in business. This year I tried starting a few them inside, but found that because they germinated and grew so quickly, that I had started them way too early. In any case, they don't seem to boom outside until the weather gets really warm. The flower colours seem to randomize from plant to plant through salmons and yellows.
I grew 4 O'Clocks from seeds last year, transplanted them into my yard (under the eaves of the house) and they really GREW. Over the winter they died out (I forgot to cover them) and figured they were long gone...but they are back and in full swing ranging from 1 foot to 3 foot already. I can tell you that they grow very well in Texas (Zone 8), but I was trying to find out when is a good time to move them? they are taking over in the area I had. So if anyone knows WHEN to move them please let me know :o). BTW, mine are in the following colors: salmon, yellow, purple, white and striped. My grandmother said that they tend to breed together and produce some awesome colors. The ones I have that are striped are in these colors: yellow / white, pink / purple and red / yellow.
On Mar 28, 2003, EC from Edmonton AB Canada (Zone 3b) wrote:
I am new to this plant and have already started some seeds this year.
By the end of May, almost all seedlings have a height of 3-4 inches with 6-8 true leaves. I grow them in containters so that their roots are confined. Can anyone give me any idea the best fertilser ratio (NPK) for this plant and how often to fertilize?
On Oct 29, 2002, Bug_Girl from San Francisco, CA wrote:
I like this plant, but the roots do quickly grow very large and therefore can be difficult to remove. I grew them from seed and at first the tubers were small and compact, but by the time they grow big enough to flower, the tubers had grown carrot like extensions for which I am posting a photo. If your soil is hard clay, you may not be able to remove all of the roots, because the carrot like parts tend to break off and remain in the ground.
These plants grow in complete shade as well as full sun. However, expect a bit smaller plant with less blooms about 2 ft high is all they will reach in complete shade. I have one plant in full sun that is 7 feet tall, YES I said 7 feet tall about 4 ft wide its a marvel of hundreds of salmon colored blooms. Somehow in the same area from seeds from last year a solid yellow one grew beside it this year. as well as many more Salmon colored. How that occurs is anyone's guess.
In my area even though we do have hard freezes and some snow the 7ft tall one is from the original plant not seed produced, so mild winters make these perennials not annuals, as long as tubers don't completely freeze and rot. This 7 footer was transplanted here in Alabama from one grown in Oklahoma. Therefore they are hardy and you can grow from cuttings or from tubers as well as seeds. I say get some and enjoy the fragrance and beauty.
My mother and I have cuttings from my grandmother's four o'clock, which is more than 50 years old. We allow the plant to reseed itself every year. We think the plants have died, and yet they spring forth once more. What a pleasant surprise every year! So far, we have had no change in bloom color (vivid pink).
I have grown Mirabilis jalapa (4 O'clocks) for 5 years now, always from seed I have collected from the previous year. I can not say enough good things about them. They have very rewarding blooms. Mine get 3-4 ft.tall and 2 ft. wide. They bloom in mid-summer and last through the fall. The blooms open around (you guessed it) 4 O'clock in the evening.
I sow them in the house before the last frost and put them out when they have 4 leaves. All I do from there is water & enjoy! As soon as the flowers begin to die, I deadhead them until September, then I quit and collect my seed for the next year. Do Not mulch until it's seeded if you want them to self sow! Mulch after it's seeded for winter protection. Hope I helped. ENJOY!
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, Dniprovka, Kose Parish, Rosseau, Jasper, Alabama Loxley, Alabama Saks, Alabama Toney, Alabama Vincent, Alabama Flowing Wells, Arizona Mesa, Arizona Amity, Arkansas Amesti, California Chowchilla, California Concord, California Encinitas, California Fresno, California Glen Avon, California Laguna West-lakeside, California Lompoc, California Long Beach, California Manhattan Beach, California Pleasant Hill, California Sacramento, California San Francisco, California San Jose, California San Leandro, California Aurora, Colorado Clifton, Colorado Federal Heights, Colorado Pueblo, Colorado Sterling, Colorado Mansfield Center, Connecticut New Milford, Connecticut Ellendale, Delaware Alford, Florida Anthony, Florida Bartow, Florida Beacon Square, Florida Black Diamond, Florida Bradenton, Florida Campbell, Florida Cocoa Beach, Florida Coral Springs, Florida Crawfordville, Florida Eatonville, Florida Ensley, Florida Gainesville, Florida (2 reports) Hampton, Florida Homosassa, Florida Hudson, Florida Jacksonville, Florida (6 reports) Kenneth City, Florida Keystone Heights, Florida Lake Forest, Florida Old Town, Florida Palm Aire, Florida Palm Beach Shores, Florida Rockledge, Florida Shady Hills, Florida South Daytona, Florida Spring Hill, Florida St Petersburg, Florida (2 reports) Tampa, Florida Umatilla, Florida Zephyrhills, Florida Athens, Georgia Braselton, Georgia Brunswick, Georgia Cordele, Georgia Covington, Georgia Dacula, Georgia Dasher, Georgia Douglasville, Georgia East Griffin, Georgia Lavonia, Georgia Norcross, Georgia Rincon, Georgia Boise, Idaho Lewiston, Idaho Aurora, Illinois Divernon, Illinois Donovan, Illinois Glen Ellyn, Illinois Itasca, Illinois Jacksonville, Illinois Mackinaw, Illinois Mount Prospect, Illinois West Chicago, Illinois Cambridge, Iowa Derby, Kansas Galena, Kansas Haysville, Kansas Benton, Kentucky Ewing, Kentucky Mc Dowell, Kentucky Plum Springs, Kentucky Bossier City, Louisiana Epps, Louisiana Ferriday, Louisiana Hessmer, Louisiana Lafayette, Louisiana Old Jefferson, Louisiana Pineville, Louisiana Prairieville, Louisiana Zachary, Louisiana Cresaptown-bel Air, Maryland Millersville, Maryland Halifax, Massachusetts West Bridgewater, Massachusetts Bellaire, Michigan Belleville, Michigan Dearborn, Michigan Flint, Michigan Minneapolis, Minnesota St Paul, Minnesota Mathiston, Mississippi Paden, Mississippi Saucier, Mississippi Water Valley, Mississippi Belle, Missouri Belton, Missouri Blue Springs, Missouri Saint Martins, Missouri Sheridan, Montana Blair, Nebraska Lincoln, Nebraska Nashua, New Hampshire Camden, New Jersey Highlands, New Jersey Moorestown-lenola, New Jersey Ramblewood, New Jersey Roswell, New Mexico , New York New York, New York Niagara Falls, New York Bayshore, North Carolina Brices Creek, North Carolina Cary, North Carolina Clemmons, North Carolina Fuquay-varina, North Carolina Half Moon, North Carolina Kure Beach, North Carolina Pineville, North Carolina Bucyrus, Ohio Cherry Grove, Ohio Cleveland, Ohio Holiday Valley, Ohio Mount Orab, Ohio North Zanesville, Ohio Orrville, Ohio Enid, Oklahoma Friendship, Oklahoma Hulbert, Oklahoma Idabel, Oklahoma Mountain View, Oklahoma Owasso, Oklahoma Sulphur, Oklahoma Valliant, Oklahoma Gold Hill, Oregon Myrtle Creek, Oregon Portland, Oregon Silverton, Oregon Allentown, Pennsylvania Blakeslee, Pennsylvania Coraopolis, Pennsylvania East Washington, Pennsylvania Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania Hasson Heights, Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2 reports) Glocester, Rhode Island Warwick, Rhode Island Briarcliffe Acres, South Carolina India Hook, South Carolina Jackson, South Carolina Lexington, South Carolina North Augusta, South Carolina Algood, Tennessee Bartlett, Tennessee Clarksville, Tennessee Eagleton Village, Tennessee Hendersonville, Tennessee La Follette, Tennessee Lafayette, Tennessee Lenoir City, Tennessee Mc Donald, Tennessee Murfreesboro, Tennessee Oliver Springs, Tennessee Pocahontas, Tennessee Sweetwater, Tennessee Wildwood Lake, Tennessee Alamo Heights, Texas Anderson, Texas Bastrop, Texas Baytown, Texas Bear Creek, Texas Belton, Texas Benbrook, Texas Brazoria, Texas Broaddus, Texas Bulverde, Texas Cameron Park, Texas Cedar Park, Texas Colmesneil, Texas Corpus Christi, Texas Dallas, Texas Dalworthington Gardens, Texas De Leon, Texas Desoto, Texas Eagle Mountain, Texas Euless, Texas Fate, Texas Fort Worth, Texas Glenn Heights, Texas Houston, Texas (4 reports) Huntsville, Texas Irving, Texas Kerrville, Texas Lakehills, Texas League City, Texas Longview, Texas Macallen, Texas Midland, Texas Midway, Texas Missouri City, Texas Murchison, Texas Newton, Texas Rowlett, Texas San Angelo, Texas San Antonio, Texas (2 reports) Stephenville, Texas Talty, Texas Victoria, Texas Waco, Texas Waxahachie, Texas Willis, Texas Winnsboro, Texas Yantis, Texas Magna, Utah Big Stone Gap, Virginia Coeburn, Virginia Mc Lean, Virginia Auburn, Washington Ellensburg, Washington Navy Yard City, Washington North Sultan, Washington Seabeck, Washington Pleasant Valley, West Virginia Appleton, Wisconsin Franklin, Wisconsin Lisbon, Wisconsin Muscoda, Wisconsin Pewaukee, Wisconsin Shorewood Hills, Wisconsin Twin Lakes, Wisconsin Waukesha, Wisconsin