4 o'clock tubers

marricgardensApril 9, 2007

I read posting last year about saving the tubers over the winter and planting them the next year. The plants were supposed to be better than the first year plants. Well, I decided to try it. Two months ago, I checked my tubers and decided to plant them up, they looked healthy enough or so I thought. I planted them in a one gallon pot and waited. Nothing. I thought maybe they hadn't stored them properly and they had died. I just checked again, two months later, and saw that there were nice big roots coming out of the bottom of the pot! I guess it pays to be patient. Just thought I'd share. Marg

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mcpeg(5a)

Wow, I did not know this about 4 0'clocks. I am growing some this year and I will save the tubers to see if I can do the same.
Cheers,
McPeg

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 2:15PM
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bonniepunch(USDAz4 AgCanz5a)

This is actually a great thing to do with some of the bicoloured hybrids. Each one can be different, and if you get one you really like, you can keep it. The saved seeds from the plant will never be quite the same.

I've got one that is going on five years old now. It looks like a big hard ball now - not very root-like. I find that by the end of the growing season, there's no real difference between seed grown plants and ones from saved roots , but in the first half of the season, the plants are bigger, faster, and you get blooms much earlier.

I wait until it's time to haul most of my tender bulbs out of the ground and then I just hack off the above ground growth and let the root mass dry. I stick it in a paper bag and leave it in a coolish spot until early-mid April. That's when I pot it up. I think they're really quite tough, so one probably doesn't need to be extra-careful about storing it.

This reminds me I need to get cracking with some of my bulbs!!!

BP

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 3:20PM
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yugoslava

I know a gardener (very well known in gardening circles in Toronto) who has an enormous 4 o'clock. The tuber is like a dinner plate and the plant is like a small shrub in the summer. He has had it for 15 years at least. It's incredible, the number of stems that emerge from the tuber when it's actively growing.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 1:22AM
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marricgardens

I was looking forward to a nice large plant this year. I planted my tubers (inside) to get an early start. I must have let them dry out to much because they didn't grow. I still have some wintersowed so I hope they take. marg

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 7:35AM
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jroot(5A Ont. Canada (near Guelph))

I have been told for years that they can be overwintered, and I did what Bonnie described, exactly. Alas, they did not survive. Perhaps the corner was too cold. Maybe I'll try again, if I can find some room.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 11:05AM
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bonniepunch(USDAz4 AgCanz5a)

That's weird - I have no idea why mine has survived. I don't store it particularly carefully. It's one of the roots I don't consider fussy. Maybe certain hybrids are more delicate than others, and mine is a tough one?

BP

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 11:13AM
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triple_b(BC 5b)

*

I know a gardener (very well known in gardening circles in Toronto) who has an enormous 4 o'clock. The tuber is like a dinner plate and the plant is like a small shrub in the summer. He has had it for 15 years at least. It's incredible, the number of stems that emerge from the tuber when it's actively growing.
* * *
That must smell glorious in the evening!!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 4:14PM
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beth_ontario(z5 Ontario)

Hey...........I didn't know you could do this. Each year I carefully harvest the seeds and keep them in the fridge over the winter. Plant the seeds early in May. This year if I get a particularly nice plant I'll have to try this. Although we have a hot water (radiators) heating system and our house and basement is really dry and it is hard to over-winter bulbs but I'll give this a try. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 10:33AM
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yugoslava

When I first planted 4 o'clock grown from seed about nine years ago I had no idea they formed tubers. In the fall as I was cleaning up the garden and pulled up my plants I noticed nodules and thought there was a problem. Only in the last 4 or 5 years I learned about this. As for my friends' tuber, I have only visited in the daytime and seen his enormous 4 o'clock. This plants' name is Mirabilis and it comes somewhere in South America and in warm areas it must have looked like a miracle when it would show up again in the spring.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 12:41PM
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trillium15(z5a Ontario)

Hi everyone. I've been reading the thread about tubers but I have a question about growing the 4 o'clock seeds. I scattered so many different kinds of seeds that now i can't tell what's a weed and what's a flower starting to sprout. I pulled out one that I thought was a weed. but it had what I think was the seedpod case from the 4 o'clock. Do they look like long white stems as a root? It was just a really thick sprout that looked like a beansprout almost.

anyone?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 8:36AM
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triple_b(BC 5b)

the seedlings do rather resemble bean sprouts come to think of it. Here is a site that will help you identify alot of the seedlings growing.

Here is a link that might be useful: The seed site

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 5:01PM
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clairabelle(z4 Quebec)

Hollah! :D
I have almost a dozen 10 yr-old tubers... some as large as small footballs! I dig them up in early November and store them in my cold cellar in paper grocery bags filled with vermiculite, along with my begonia and dahlia tubers (happy family!). I plant them again in late April-early May and have a wonderfully scented hedge growing on either side of our side entrance. The smell is divine in the evening and provide a warm welcome to visitors. They grow easily to 5 ft and are drought tolerant.
Morning Glories are planted behind them to climb up the walls.
One tiny inconvenience: Mirabilis jalapa (4 o'clocks)produce about a gazillion seeds in the fall, so I almost have to get the shovel out! lol

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 2:42PM
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