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MAIN Arrow to Home Life Home Life Arrow to GardeningGardening Arrow to Flower Gardening Flowers Arrow to Four O'Clocks Four O'Clocks

Four o'clocksFour O'Clocks, as the name implies, possess the curious habit of opening its blooms in late afternoon, remaining open all through the night.

Four o'clocks planted in full sun are likely to do well anywhere, although ideal conditions will naturally often produce a healthier plant and many more blossoms!

Perhaps the real beauty of four o'clocks is that often their delicate appearance belies their tough resistance to prolonged drought & poor soil - along with a steely resolve against smoke, fumes and other atmospheric pollution.

In country backyards, hummingbirds are often attracted to the plant's long, tubular blossoms. It has also been reported that the leaves of the four o'clock also irresistibly draw japanese beetles to them in a fatal attraction. The leaves are poisonous to the little garden pests they don't really stand a chance!

Four o'clocks should be planted directly into the ground in early spring. Although usually listed as an annual, four o'clocks are very efficient about reseeding themselves, and for all intents and purposes they are perennials that don't need replanting year after year ....

Top four fun facts about four o'clocks :

pink and yellow 4 o'clock1. Four o'clocks have the curious habit of growing different color flowers simultaneously on the same plant. The flowers themselves can also be varicolored, and may even gradually change their color over time (yellow to pink, for example.)

2. Since their flower petals remain open all night, four o'clocks are usually pollinated by moths or other nocturnal insects which are attracted by the flowers' flagrance.

3. In herbal medicine, the plant's leaves are used to reduced inflammation and to treat abscesses.

4. Four o'clock petals are used in food coloring.

On the Web - how to grow four o'clocks :


How to Grow Four O'Clock Annual Flowers - Basic information from the Gardener's Network including propagation and where & how to grow them.

Dave's Garden - Four O'Clock, Marvel of Peru (Mirabilis jalapa) - Good fact sheet on height, spacing, hardiness zones, sunlight requirement and more plus extensive tips & advice via contributions by site members.

Showy Four O'clock - Mirabilis multiflora - Pictures & descriptions of the flower, its habitat, and brief information on Native American medicinal uses.

Four O'Clocks - Night Blooming Beauties - Growing tips, plus entertaining history & four o'clock folklore.

Mirabilis - a fatally fragrant flower - Its poisonous seeds are briefly mentioned, but the fact makes a good backdrop for other four o'clock trivia & minutiae, along with practical propagation & growing tips.

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