Help with four 'o clocks

dorry2March 17, 2004

I just ordered 10 four o clock bulbs (local fundraiser for school). I thought they were grown from seeds? What is the difference between flowers grown from seed vs. a bulb. I have never grown these flowers, so am excited about trying something new in the garden. My mom had these flowers and I remember they had a sweet fragrances, characterisic of summer nights. Oh, what about sun exposure??? Full sun, partial, please help.

Are these easy to maintain - will I need to split or cut back each year.


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They can be grown from seeds--right now I have about a million coming up from seeds--LOL--but when you dig, or pull a 2nd year or older plant they have a root similar to a sweet potato. I have dug up HUGH roots! Since I live in NW Florida, I don't know how they will do where you are in the winter. Mine die back and come up from the roots each year, but the soil never freezes deep. You might experiment by leaving one in the ground and digging and storing the others. What colors did you get?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2004 at 8:39AM
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growlove(zone4 Ia.)

I have grown four o'clocks for years from seed only because in our zone 4 they simply would never survive through the winters though I imagine they could be stored like a dahlia tuber. In your zone, I imagine you could leave them in the ground and mulched, they should come back. Most certainly you will have seedlings in the Spring. Mine are in full sun. I believe they might need staking if grown in shadier areas. My plants make huge bushes that can be ruined in a heavy rain. Good luck. Mary

    Bookmark   March 30, 2004 at 8:41PM
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I've grown them from bulbs before......I planted them pointy end down (like a carrot) and had good success with them.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2004 at 3:47PM
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MeMyselfAndI(5/6 central OH)

With a seed, you don't know what color flowers you will get. The seedlings also produce smaller plants with foliage of a lighter color green.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2004 at 2:39PM
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law28025(7b NC)

This was my first year growing four o clocks, and I planted the seeds in containers. I didn't realize they had tubers! My question is, I want to dig them up and plant them in the ground next spring, how do I store the bulbs for the winter?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2004 at 10:31PM
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Since they're perennial in the ground here,
I don't store them through the winter,
but I do know you must keep them dry.
Water rots them within a couple of days.

I would think you'd handle them like caladiums or cannas:
dig them up, clean off the dirt, dry them on newspapers, & store them in hay or other dry material in a dry, coolish place.

If yours don't make it, email me next year:
I'll have bushels!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2004 at 7:20PM
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boomchuckchuck(southern CA)

I hear so many complaints about four o' clocks...
how they are so invasive. For me, they are cheep
filler, they hide the ground until I have more
cannas, dahlias and glads. It's easy to dig up a
tuber, and plant it somewhere else. They do
great in pots. The plant may wilt, even appear
to die, but a week later, you will see it emerging
again. I have dug up near football sized tubers,
which can grow plants nearly 5' tall. And overwintering...My mother in Idaho
(it's rather cold in winter) doesn't dig up her tubers, they reseed themselves
every year, or just grow back.
An easy, tough, perfumed, lovely plant and all my hummingbird freinds agree.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2005 at 2:22AM
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I planted mine 3 years ago south location next to the house and have had no problem. It dies back in the winter this year its about 4/12 feet high. I just love them. I just bought a yellow one.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 8:31AM
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i was wondering what r these white spots on my four o'clocks as you can see in the pictures and what can i do for them. This is a childhood flower my mother grew and i love them. Thanks for the help.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2014 at 6:21PM
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I love 4 oclocks. They have reseeded themselves in various places, and I just can't pull them out. They are gorgeous and so easy to take care of. Actually don't even need care. at all. I have some pinkish, yellowish, and the most gorgeous combination of chartreuse/pink/red. Only thing they MIGHT need is some staking. It is one of my favorite flowering plants.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2014 at 6:27PM
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