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How to Grow Four O'clock Flowers- Urban Farmer's Guide
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About Four O'clocks
Mirabilis jalapa (more commonly known as Four o’clock flowers) received their name because of its habit of opening in the late afternoon. It is not actually the time of day that causes the flowers to open, but the drop in temperature. These flowers are very beautiful and can come in many different colors.
Four O'clocks originate from tropical South America but have become naturalized to tropical and warm locations. In colder regions it will die at first frost but will survive the winter to bloom again the following spring from the tuberous roots. Tends to do best in Zones 9-10 as a perennial and may be used as an annual in other zones.
Planting Four O'clocks
Four O'clocks can thrive in all zones of the United States. They tend to bloom in early through late summer. The seeds will germinate in 8-10 days and should be placed in a sunny location with light shade. Plant the seeds about 1/2" inch deep and space the plants 12-18" inches apart. When fully grown, Four O'clocks can reach 24" inches high.
Growing Four O'clocks
These plants are very easy to care for because they don't require much attention. The soil can be average soil that drains properly and they will thrive. Be sure to water occasionally during a drought. These perennials will pop up every year and will spread their seeds on their own.
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