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Four O Clock Plant

Four O Clock Plant

Four O Clock Plant

I came across a plant at a market in Uruguay that looked identical to mine! I didn't buy it because of that, but because I knew that it would be hard for her to find one back home in NYC.Marie Iannotti is a life-long gardener and a veteran Master Gardener with nearly three decades of experience. She's also an author of three gardening books, a plant photographer, public speaker, and a former Cornell Cooperative Extension Horticulture Educator. Marie's garden writing has been featured in newspapers and magazines nationwide and she has been interviewed for Martha Stewart Radio, National Public Radio, and numerous articles.

Plant

They get their common name because of the way they bloom. The flowers open in the late afternoon, typically around 4 p.m. or so, and then remain open until the next morning. The approximately 2-inch-long blooms are trumpet-shaped with five petals, and they come in several colors, often shades of pink and red. Some four o’clock plants produce flowers in multiple colors, sometimes with marbling or other markings. This is a fast-growing plant that often sprawls in the garden. It’s best planted in the spring.These plants can be sown directly in the garden in the spring once the danger of frost has passed. For best germination, soak the seeds overnight in water. Then, plant the seeds about 1/4 inch deep in your garden soil. You also can start seeds indoors roughly six to eight weeks prior to your area's projected last frost date. Plant them in a seed-starting mix about 1/4 inch deep, and place them by a light source. Keep the soil moist but not soggy as you wait for seedlings to appear.

The flowers usually open from late afternoon or at dusk (namely between 4 and 8 o'clock), giving rise to one of its common names. Flowers then produce a strong, sweet-smelling fragrance throughout the night, then close for good in the morning. New flowers open the following day. It arrived in Europe in 1525. Today, it is common in many tropical regions and is also valued in Europe as a (not hardy) ornamental plant. It is the children's state flower of Connecticut under the name of Michaela Petit's Four O'Clocks.It is a perennial, herbaceous, bushy plant that reaches stature heights of mostly 1 meter, rarely up to 2 meters, in height. It may also be grown as an annual, especially in the temperate zone. The single-seeded fruits are spherical, wrinkled and black upon maturity, having started out greenish-yellow. The stems are thick, full, quadrangular with many ramifications and rooting at the nodes. The posture is often prostrate. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)

 

 

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