4 O'Clocks

loves_roses(z8a GA)June 19, 2003

I just bought some seeds. What's the best way to proceed, y'all? Should I soak them overnight, like I did with my moonflowers? Is it best to plant directly in the ground, or should I plant them in pots? (I am 60 miles west of Savannah, where it is humid and as hot as the devil.) Shade or sun? Partial or full sun?


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Four O'Clocks will reseed themselves easily, so I don't think you should have too much trouble with them. They form a good sized tuber, so if you start them in a pot, leave plenty of room.

I don't think it would hurt to soak them overnight. Someone else maybe able to tell you more. I have seen them bloom in both full sun and in semi-shade.

Once you get them started, they go on forever.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2003 at 8:04AM
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mstrgrdnr(8 GA)

Nick the seed coat with a sharp knife or rub with a piece of fine grained sandpaper to break through the skin.

Soak overnight in water.

Plant in the garden and water well. They prefer full sun, but will tolerate a light afternoon shade. You will notice that the amount of sunlight will affect what time they bloom. On days that are completely cloudy they may not bloom at all. However if it gets cloudy sometime in the early afternoon, then the flowers will follow shortly. The bloom time is triggered by the sunlight.

Stand back and watch 'em grow.

They are faithful, low maintenance performers....and they smell good too.

Good gardening!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2003 at 9:50PM
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This is my first year to try four o'clocks also, and I'm looking forward to them showing their pretty faces. I'm in Savannah, so not too far from you, Loves Roses. And yes, it can be really hot and humid here, but I'll not complain. I left my snow shovel behind when I left Ohio!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2003 at 10:55PM
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idixierose(z8b Coastal SC)

I wonder why my four o'clocks' flowers don't open. The bush is 3 years old and gets full sun from 11 a.m. until sundown.

Is it true they do better further inland? Maybe this is why I don't see four o'clocks in many Lowcountry gardens.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2003 at 10:26PM
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loves_roses(z8a GA)

My sprouts are only 4 inches tall so far. I'll try to find out something, though, and I'll let you know.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2003 at 10:54PM
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flicker(z8b LA)

Where can you get a variety of 4 o'clock seeds? I got a pack of 4'oclock called "Broken Colors" from selectseeds. 2 seeds germinated. The plants are 10" tall and setting buds. I will be curious to see the colors.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2003 at 11:29PM
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Ravensrun65(z9b Volusia Co.)

I was sent, by a very generous fellow Garden Webber, some pink 4 o'clock seeds, and I just put them in some sandy soil, in a pot, and got about 40% germination. I didn't nick them or soak them, just barely covered them with sand, and they are about 4-5" high right now. I look forward to them showing off. They are getting sun from early morning 'til about 4 pm, should I move them to direct sun all day? I'm curious if I've got them placed correctly. Thanks!!! Happy Gardening!!! :)

    Bookmark   August 1, 2003 at 11:32PM
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I have never experienced any problems w 4 O'clocks in terms of flowering in my coastal Zone 8 yard. The yellows flower just as well in the 'yellow bed' (full sun) as the pink/ pink& whites in a bed on the opposite side receiving some shade by afternoon.
The only problem with them that they selfseeed all over and choke out other plants. It is better pull out the seedlings till they are small; the huge tubers are more difficult to dig up.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2003 at 10:55AM
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idixierose(z8b Coastal SC)

Hmmm....I'm still wondering why my four o'clocks don't open, not even in the evening. The plants are in their third year, look healthy, get bright light, not direct sun.
I see lots of flowers, but the petals don't unfurl.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2003 at 9:31AM
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4 o'clocks are noxious, invasive weeds.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2003 at 3:47PM
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CCLou is right. They are better admired in someone elses yard.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2003 at 3:04PM
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flicker(z8b LA)

I have 4 o'clocks named Broken Colors. They do not open until after 11pm--and they have just now started doing that. For most of the summer the buds would open just enough to make a small opening. This was enough for them to be fertilized because seeds are produced. I have grown 4 o'c for yrs and have never seen them act like this before.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2003 at 11:27PM
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Just so you nay sayers know, hundreds of varieties of our most beloved flowers started as what you would call "weeds". In my opinion beautiful is beautiful. I admire them for their tenacity and invasiveness. I prefer them over many of the flowers that are constantly needy.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2003 at 6:34PM
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cassideesnana(7-B Moody)

Does anyone have any 4 o'clock seeds they would like to send an old gardener !!!! I would love anything, heck, I'm not picky. I just want to get started planting for a beautiful yard next year. I live in Moody, Al. east of I-20.
cassidees nana and proud of it !!!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2003 at 1:52PM
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JohnnyQuest(8a - N. Texas)

Someone posted here that bloom time is determined by sunlight. I have read that it is not the amount of sunlight, but the drop in temperature in the late afternoon/early evening that signals the tubular flowers to begin oepening. Where I live (Dallas), they normally start opening around 6pm in late summer due to the heat. I have also observed that if sometimes after a rain they will also open much earlier or stay open much longer due to the drop in temperature.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2004 at 10:13PM
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beetlebob(z8b SC)

I live in the coastal SC zone 8b and do not have any problems with the invasive 4 o clocks. Want some. Mine flower great in shade and spread just as good. Dry,no fert. and alot of neglect and they do great.All I do is throw the seeds on the ground and jump back.Everyone says I have a green thumb also.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2004 at 8:45PM
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loves_roses(z8a GA)

Thanks to all of you! I learn so much here. Have a happy day! Bobbie

    Bookmark   March 14, 2004 at 9:13AM
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loves_roses(z8a GA)

The 4 o'clocks that I pulled up last year are coming back. :)
Isn't that wild? As I remember, they would open around dusk, sometimes. Others it would be later.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2004 at 5:23PM
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Can someone tell me if 4 o'clocks have a bulb or do they have roots. Am having a disagreement with my brother in law,he says roots,,I say bulbs! Thanks!!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 10:21AM
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Its a tuber,not sure which catergory tubers fall into

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 9:45PM
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I have a little spot that's surrounded by concrete walkways, between our pool enclosure and the pool pump and filter. Only gets about four hours of direct sun from about mid-day until late afternoon. There's no irrigation and rain has to blow in just right to wet the area. 4 O'Clocks are planted there and I do absolutely nothing for them and they thrive on the neglect. They're beautiful and they smell good, reliably blooming in the afternoon when the shade from nearby trees covers them. If you have a spot that can contain them, it's a wonderful, carefree plant that comes back stronger year after year.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 6:28PM
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hahaha they do seem to like being neglected. I planted some seeds when i first moved here and they got hardly any sun, went straight into my sandy soil, and i gave up watering them because the dogs kept trashing them to get under the deck, and they came back over and over.Tried to grow some out front, watered them had them in nice soil, they got 2 inches tall and stayed like that.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 1:54AM
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