Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Four O’Clock Flower – A Sweet Smelling and Long Blooming Perennial

Photo source - sgbrown aka Rockcreek Photography

The four o’clock flower is one of my all-time favorite flowers. My first seeds were given to me by a neighbor of mine and I have grown them ever since! They bloom in late spring all the way up until early fall and have the sweetest scent, similar to honey suckle.

The four o’clock’s name is actually “Mirabilis jalapa” and it is native to South American where it is referred to as the “Marvel of Peru” and “Beauty of the Night”. It gets its name as the flowers open up in the late afternoons when the temperatures begin to fall and remain open until the temperature begins to rise the next day.

 Four O'Clocks as a Hedge
Photo source: sgbrown

They are a perennial in zones 8-11 and can be over wintered in zones 6-7 with heavy mulching. I am in zone 7 and my four o’clocks come back thick and beautiful every year. They will spread by dropping little black seeds and you may want to thin them out from time to time. I dig up the small plants and replant them to another location each year. 

 Photo source: sgbrown

The blooms of the four o’clock can be red, magenta, pink, yellow and white. Many of mine are variegated, containing yellow and magenta colors in different patterns. The blooms are trumpet shaped and about 2 inches in length. They are wonderful for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds!


For more detailed information on this amazing flower, go to The Four O'Clock Flower - An Old Fashion Favorite

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