What’s a 4 Oclock Flower Plant?

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Be taught extra concerning the 4 Oclock flower vegetation together with their traits, rising situations, makes use of, and a few of its species. We have included tips about learn how to propagate these distinctive blossoms which have extra makes use of than simply being decorative.

Incredible flecked four oclock flower plant with blossoming evening flowers

Mirabilis Jalapa

Crops are actually cool! However we don’t must inform you that, you wouldn’t be right here should you didn’t already know that. In the present day we’re going to cowl the 4 oclock flower plant for a number of causes.

Primary, it’s beautiful. Quantity two, it blooms within the night which is wild (ever heard of a flower clock? Plant a morning glory, tomatoes, and 4 oclock flower all beside one another and also you’ll shortly discover out), it smells unbelievable, and it has extra makes use of than simply being decorative!

Mirabilis jalapa is simply one of many many varieties of flowering vegetation that we cowl in our large article of Lovely Flowers so as to add to your backyard. If this plant doesn’t match the invoice, you might be certain to search out the right match in that big checklist.

Desk of Contents

Absolutely stunning four oclock flower in evening bloom with yellow and white petal and bright red stamen

What’s a 4 Oclock Flower Plant?

Mirabilis jalapa should you’re a botanist, 4 oclock flower should you’re a gardener, or marvel of Peru should you’re Peruvian, mirabilis jalapa is probably the most generally grown decorative number of the 4 oclock flowers.

4 oclock flower vegetation have been round for fairly some time, and had been first cultivated by the Aztecs as each a medicinal and edible plant. Although certainly they didn’t thoughts taking a look at them an excessive amount of both.

The 4 oclock flower household (mirabilis) is a genus of vegetation that’s a part of the nyctaginaceae botanical household, in any other case often known as the 4 oclocks or the umbrellaworts. Bougainvillea is a part of the identical household. The latin time period, mirabilis, interprets to “admirable”, which is all one can handle to do after they come throughout this wonderful plant species.

4 oclock flowers will develop as perennial species of their native habitat, the place they may proceed to blossom 12 months after 12 months so long as their rising situations stay good. In colder areas they may exist as annual species, properly they may perish as soon as the chilly climate arrives.

What do 4 Oclock Flower Crops Look Like?

Macro image of a stunning yellow and magenta flecked four oclock flower with bright red stamens


The 4 oclock flower plant is clearly most notable due to its impeccably pretty flowers. They’re distinctive as a result of these flowers open at nightfall (normally between 4-8pm) and shut up by the morning. That is the place their widespread title comes from.

When open, for oclock flowers emit a really sturdy perfume that’s stated to odor like candy flowering tobacco. The scent wafts by means of the cool night air, and makes for a really enchanting ambiance for a night backyard social gathering.

One other distinctive side of the 4 oclock flower is their coloring. The flower patterns are known as both sectors (complete sections of the flower) or flakes (stripes upon the flowers).

A single plant can bear flowers of various coloration sectors and flakes. A single flower generally is a mixture of colours as properly. Colours of patterns can embody yellow, purple, magenta, pink, white, and a mixture of any of these. It’s a somewhat hanging sight.


Mirabilis foliage is the lesser decorative a part of the plant however nonetheless offers pretty accompaniment for the flowers. Leaves are borne on brief leafstalks. Every leaf can be an ovate form and a glabrous inexperienced coloration.

Development Behavior

This herbaceous, perennial, bushy plant has fairly the stature. They’ll develop to be between 1 and a couple of metres in peak. Flower stems are full and thick and boast a quadrangular form.

A single plant will bear many tubular formed flowers of various colours with many ovately formed leaves that create fairly a formidable shrubby progress behavior.


As soon as a 4 oclock flower is fertilized, it can produce fruit within the type of a single seed. The seed can be inexperienced when immature, and turns into wrinkled and black upon full maturity.

Although a single seed for one flower doesn’t appear to be a lot, a complete plant can bear many flowers. If the plant is left to self seed, it will probably achieve this surprisingly very vigorously.

What are Some Different Mirabilis Species?

Beautiful four oclock flower bush bearing white flowers with pink flecks and solid pink flowers against dark green foliage

Colorado 4 Oclock Flower (Mirabilis Multiflora)

One of many lesser identified and lesser widespread of the 4 oclocks is mirabilis multiflora. They develop within the southwestern United States in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, and Utah.

This selection is completely different by its peak and flower coloration. They produce very vibrant magenta or pink flowers which can be tubular in form with 5 lobed cups as a substitute of petals. In addition they have extra of a forking progress behavior somewhat than bushy.

Rising to solely about 18 inches tall, the Colorado 4 oclock has a lot darker inexperienced foliage, although flowers nonetheless solely open within the night and are closed by morning.

Wild 4 Oclock Flower (Mirabilis Nyctaginea)

A extra widespread 4 oclock selection is mirabilis nyctaginea. It is a herbaceous perennial plant that’s current all all through Northern, Central, and South America.

The variations on this selection lie in the truth that they’ve unscented blossoms (what a disgrace), they solely develop to be between 2-4 toes tall, and have gentle inexperienced leaves which have extra of a coronary heart form to them.

Flowers are a magenta coloration that also solely open within the late afternoon. This selection can also be splendidly drought tolerant, and will be discovered rising as a wildflower in lots of uncommon locations.

The place are 4 Oclock Flowers Native to?

Amazing cluster of deep yellow four oclock flowers growing in a happy garden

The 4 oclock flower is a local plant to the dry and tropical areas of North America, Central America, and South America, in addition to Chile, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru.

As a result of they’re such a sturdy plant they’ve develop into naturalized in lots of different locations as a decorative plant within the temperate, subtropical, and tropical areas of the world as properly. They’re current throughout Asia, Africa, the Center East, and Europe as properly.

These great vegetation will be discovered rising wild in locations which can be heat and dry, although they are typically drawn to coastal environments as properly. They’ll exist in USDA hardiness zone 7 by means of 10.

When rising in additional delicate climates they may behave as a young perennial plant. In locations that have a harsh winter they may act as an annual flower, and in tropical climates they have a tendency to behave as sturdy perennials.

How do Propagate a 4 Oclock Flower?

Incredible four oclock bush with varying colors of flowers growing in a garden in full bloom on a summer evening

Any experience degree of gardener can efficiently plant a 4 oclock flower plant in their very own inexperienced area. An important half is knowing the property that you just stay on, and determining how finest to imitate the pure rising situations of your new plant. Listed below are a couple of tips about how to take action along with your 4 oclock flower seeds.

Decide a Spot

Typically, relating to planting a brand new backyard specimen, probably the most troublesome half is selecting the right spot! On the subject of the aromatic blossoms of the 4 oclock plant, they may solely achieve success if they will exist in gentle soil that’s properly drained. In addition they want not less than 6 hours of daylight per day.

Sow Seed

You may select to both direct sow your 4 oclock flower seed indoors or open air, simply do not forget that seed germination happens finest when temperatures have reached 64 levels Fahrenheit.

Place seeds 12 inches aside from each other and only a 1/4 inch deep into the soil. Make certain soil is a little bit bit moist throughout this part. If planting from their tuber roots, you’ll be able to comply with comparable spacing.

Plant Upkeep

The rest of 4 oclock flower gardening could be very easy. Seedlings require solely reasonably moist soil, and germination ought to happen in a brief 10-15 days.

As soon as they’re properly established, watering ought to solely encompass about 1 inch of water per week. The pure precipitation of your space ought to suffice until there’s a lengthy interval of no rain. In case you’ve planted from tubers, keep in mind to dig them up within the fall and retailer them in a dry, cool place for the winter.

What are the Rising Circumstances of 4 Oclock Flowers?

Looking down at a four oclock flower bush with bicolor flowers contained in a wooden picket fence

Soil Sort

Although a plant as majestic in look could appear to be it might have very particular progress and soil necessities, that is very a lot not the case with the 4 o clock flower.

It may well tolerate an excellent many soil varieties, although it tends to carry out finest in soil that’s gentle in texture, wealthy in humus, and could be very properly drained. It additionally prefers to have a impartial acidity degree.

Solar Publicity

Mirabilis species are a solar loving species, although their conduct within the solar could make you suppose in any other case. Their foliage tends to wither within the warmth of the day, although this isn’t an indication of under-watering or leaf scorch.

You’ll discover that as quickly because the solar goes down that the foliage will return vigorously again to its regular state. The total solar publicity is critical for affluent blossoms, and the beneficiant leaves assist allow this prosperity. They may even carry out properly in partial shade.

Water Stage

M jalapa are a splendidly drought tolerant plant (because of their hardy tuber roots), and they are often discovered rising wild in impressively dry websites. It’s best to let the soil dry out utterly between waterings to assist correctly mimic their pure rising situations.

Very striking bicolor four oclock flower of pink and yellow against dark green foliage


One of many extra delicate facets of the 4 oclock flower is its tolerance to temperature. It isn’t tolerant to frost or freezing in any way.

Annual species will deteriorate and die in a short time after the primary frost. Perennial species may have their above floor options wither away as soon as the chilly climate approaches as properly, however their extra hardy roots will return with vigor as soon as the spring arrives once more.

On the subject of seed germination, one of many solely necessities for them is temperature as properly. Essentially the most speedy seed germination happens round 64 levels Fahrenheit.


4 oclock flowers reply very properly to fertilizer. Use a properly balanced fertilizer and apply it as soon as a month throughout its complete rising season – by means of the spring and summer time.


The 4 oclock flower plant tends to exhibit a somewhat neat rising behavior, and the one pruning that should occur is deadheading!

Eradicating the spent flower blossoms will assist encourage new flowers to look. Moreover, the spent flower blossoms begin to look a little bit raggedy after a short while anyway.


Regardless of its pristine magnificence, the 4 oclock flower plant is splendidly low upkeep. The principle issues to recollect are that they don’t wish to be chilly, they don’t like an excessive amount of water, and so they don’t like shade!

How are 4 Oclock Flowers Used?

Differently colored four oclock flower plants growing in a hanging planter

Decorative High quality

As we’ve already defined in nice element, 4 oclock flowers are most valued due to their decorative high quality. Their strikingly coloured, aromatic flowers present ample bursts of coloration all through the spring and summer time, and their engaging bushy progress behavior brings a splash of greenery to backyards and balconies.

Culinary Functions

Spent 4 oclock flower blossoms are additionally used for pure pigment dyeing. The magenta flowers create a tremendous crimson dye which has historically been used to paint jellies and muffins.

Medicinal Advantages

The leaves of the 4 oclock flower plant have historically used for his or her medicinal high quality as properly. When cooked correctly, the leaves have been used to assist cut back irritation as a topical resolution to minor cuts, burns, and scrapes.