Four O'Clocks-QR - Manning's Greenhouse

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The Four O' Clocks
The Four O'Clock plant, scientifically known as Mirabilis jalapa, is a charming and historically significant flowering species. Native to tropical regions of South America, particularly Peru, this plant has a rich history dating back centuries. It gained popularity in Europe during the 17th century when it was introduced by Spanish explorers. Its name, Four O'Clock, is derived from its unique blooming habit, as its fragrant flowers typically open in the late afternoon and remain open until morning, often lingering until around 4 o'clock.
Scientific Name - Mirabilis jalapa

Cultivating Four O'Clocks is relatively straightforward, making them a favorite among gardeners. They thrive in full sunlight and well-drained soil, although they can tolerate partial shade. These plants are remarkably versatile and can adapt to a variety of soil types, including sandy or clay soils, as long as they are not waterlogged. They require regular watering, particularly during dry spells, but they are also somewhat drought-tolerant once established.
To ensure successful growth and prolific blooming, here are some best planting and gardening practices for Four O'Clocks:

  • Choose a sunny location with well-drained soil.

  • Plant seeds or transplants after the last frost date in your region.

  • Space plants approximately 12-18 inches apart to allow for adequate airflow and growth.

  • Keep the soil consistently moist but avoid overwatering to prevent root rot.

  • Apply a balanced fertilizer once a month during the growing season to promote healthy growth and blooming.

  • Deadhead spent flowers regularly to encourage continuous blooming and prevent self-seeding.

  • Mulch around the base of the plants to conserve moisture and suppress weeds.

  • Protect young seedlings from pests such as aphids and caterpillars by using organic insecticides or companion planting techniques.

  • In colder climates, dig up the tubers in the fall and store them indoors until the following spring to ensure survival over winter.

By following these planting and gardening practices, enthusiasts can enjoy the beauty and fragrance of Four O'Clocks in their gardens throughout the growing season.
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