4 O'Clock tubers -- when to dig up?

CrazyDaisy_68August 14, 2005

I've got some 4 O'Clock plants that I would love to dig up. At this point they aren't even blooming let alone budding. I've started to kinda give up on them and then I remembered something about being able to dig up the tubers?

Does anyone do this around here? How soon do you do this? Any info would be great.

Ang

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abgardeneer(Z3, Calgary)

Don't dig them up until after frost - they may yet bloom. Did you start them from seed? It's odd that they haven't been blooming for some time already.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2005 at 4:44PM
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luv2gro(z3a AB)

Mine were purchased transplants (couldn't get the seed to germinate for the life of me) and they are just starting to bloom. I'm hoping they'll put on a show yet. Yours should be coming soon.

Shauna

    Bookmark   August 14, 2005 at 6:11PM
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kat3(z3AB.Can.)

Mine are just budding out too... Started them from seed..

    Bookmark   August 14, 2005 at 9:50PM
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CrazyDaisy_68

Mine were started from seed. I had done them from seed last year too and had a good showing and lots of buds by now. I'll hang in there and see what happens.

I had thought they couldn't take any frost at all.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 9:53AM
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abgardeneer(Z3, Calgary)

Well, no, they can't take frost - you are right. That's why, if you want to keep them over, you would dig up the tubers after the plants have been knocked down by frost. Don't wait too long though, as the tubers will be killed later on (likely, unless they're in a very sheltered spot) by harder frosts and extended cold. It is only the tubers that you would store over the winter, like a dahlia tuber, not the entire plant.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 11:11AM
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CrazyDaisy_68

Thanks ABgardeneer! I get what you are saying now.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 12:29PM
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Crazy_Gardener(Z2b AB Canada)

Ang, when you say you started them by seed, was it indoors or wintersowed? I have to start mine around April 25th indoors in order for them to bloom around this time of year.

Sharon

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 7:57PM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

I grew Mirabilis jalapa as a houseplant for several years. Treated it as a caudiform(sp?) species. It would go through 3 or 4 growth spurts a year, dying back to the caudex-like tuber and going through a short "dormant" period between each cycle. I planted the tuber so it would show above the surface for added interest. Most of the cycles produced flowers, and sometimes seeds.

Rick

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 6:04PM
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abgardeneer(Z3, Calgary)

Cool! Rick, did they need any special conditions during the dormant period? Did you have them under some sort of lights during the growth periods? If so, was fluorescent adequate, or did they need more intense light?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 10:44PM
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CrazyDaisy_68

Awesome Rick! Guess what I'd be doing today? I have two smaller ones out there that I will try this with. I have a south facing window that could use some more winter colour.

Ang

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 10:15AM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

I just grew it in a south window. Day/night temp fluctuations were a little more than normal house settings because it was in a room that had winter heat semi-shut off. A good thing for nearly all plants.

The four o'clock just seemed to decide on its own when to go dormant, and it was very abrubt. In a matter of just, say 3, days, it would go from a seemingly healthy plant to wilted and "dead" (but not crispy) plant. I am not a diligent waterer, so it could have been affected by that, but I never realized a definite correlation.

Now it did bloom, but I am not saying it put on a show. But hey, I'll take anything in the winter!

Rick

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 4:50PM
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