Very bushy, vigorous plants growing to 60 cm (2′) in height are covered in bright, clear yellow and creamy coloured white striped flowers. As the name implies. the flowers open later in the afternoon although they will open somewhat earlier on cloudy days. Flowers are fragrant and attractive to butterflies. Due to their size and bushiness, Four O’Clocks are quite suitable for use as an informal flowering hedge. Plants produce tubers that often grow large enough to be lifted and stored over the winter much as dahlias. The tubers can be replanted the following spring after the danger of frost has passed. Four O’Clocks are prolific bloomers and can often self sow.
How to Grow
10 seed/gram. Soak seed for a few hours before planting as this may speed germination. Sow seed directly in the garden in late May and early June about 1 cm (3/8″) deep and at least 60 cm (2′) from other plants. Thin the seedlings to 45 cm (18″) apart when seedlings are 5-8 cm (2-3″) tall. For earlier flowering, start seed in a soil-less mix indoors 6 weeks before your typical last frost date. Germination occurs in 7 to 10 days at 21 C (70 F). Grow-on under lights at 15 C (60 F) then harden off and transplant out to the garden in late May to early June in an area with full sun or a slightly shaded site.