Wednesday, May 13

Garden Pic Wednesday: Amazing 4 O'Clocks!

Today was mowing-the-back-yard day, especially since thunder showers are possible this evening.
I also tied up tomatoes & hibiscus, trimmed off the outer edges of both Pampas Grass out front and watered the veggies & blackberries with Miracle-Gro.

Today's interesting Garden Pics are 4 O'Clocks, which are an old-fashioned flower.
It also has a more elegant nickname: "Marvel of Peru," which comes from it's genus-species name, "Mirabilis Jalapa."
4 O'Clocks were exported from Peruvian Andes around 1540.

Three years ago I bought seed from Park Seed for 2 specific colors of 4 O'Clock: Limelight & Broken Colors.
And they've performed beautifully. They are short & bushy in form and bloom profusely at dusk every evening. They also come back faithfully every spring.

Pictured below: Limelight 4 O'Clocks
Bright lime green leaves with fushia blooms.


Next: Broken Colors:
An heirloom, this is the original 4 O'clock color with blooms of mixed colors like paint was spilled or spattered on them!
Leaves on this one are a dark green.


Normally, 4 O'Clocks are classed as an annual.
I assumed mine were coming back because they re-seeded themselves--but I made a huge discovery this year when I decided to dig some up and move them to other locations!
Here in the Deep South where the ground doesn't freeze, 4 O'Clocks become become perennial
They develop fat little tuber roots and come back from that root as well from any seeds they drop with each new seedling, in turn, developing a tuber root, too.
So all my Limelight & Broken Colors that have been coming back every year are the same ones I planted from seed 3 years ago! 

Pictured Below: 4 O'Clocks with Tubers:
I dug up some of the Broken Colors to move and took this shot of their tuber roots to show. I noticed older plants have bigger tubers; younger have smaller. 
They put up multiple stems from one root.


Because it's coming back from root, that Limelight 4 O'Clock in the first picture is still growing in the same place as when I took that picture! 
In a climate where getting good performance from anything I plant is troublesome, these 4 O'Clocks have proven a surprisingly good investment!  I just didn't realize till I dug them up how good!
Next spring I'll have to check the seed catalog for any other interesting colors!
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What's something amazing growing in your garden?
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That's it for today! Stop back for Mama Kat tomorrow!

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