Four O' Clock: Rose (Mirabilis jalapa)
Also Known As: Marvel of Peru.
Grown as: Perennial: 9a-11
Maturity (Blooms): Summer to Fall
Light: Full Sun to Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Medium
Attracts Beneficial Insects?: Yes. Attracts a number of important pollinators, including a variety of native bees and several types of butterfly, including the Monarch butterfly. Locate this towering plant behind shorter wildflowers.
Containers?: Yes. You can plant four-o-clocks in 1 to 5 gallon-sized pots growing 2 to 5 plants per pot depending on the pot size.
Sow Depth: 1/8"
USDA Zone: 3a-11
Produces: fragrant two-inch funnel-shaped rose colored blossoms.
Plant in a full sun or part shaded bed in well-drained, compost-amended soil. Sow seeds or transplant seedlings 1 to 2 feet apart. You can also plant four-o-clocks in 1 to 5 gallon-sized pots growing 2 to 5 plants per pot depending on the pot size. Keep the containers well watered and fertilized monthly.
Separate the green leaves that were around the base of each flower before the petals fell. Locate the large black seed nestled in the center of the old flower.
Slip the seed out of the center of each dead flower with your thumb. Alternatively, snip off the old flower heads then remove the seeds from the old flower heads.
Spread the seeds out on a paper plate in a single layer. Dry them in a low-moisture, warm area out of direct sunlight for five to seven days.
Store the seeds in a tightly sealed jar or container in a cool, dark area until planting. Label the container with the four o'clock variety and year harvested.
In herbal medicine, parts of the plant may be used as a purgative, diuretic and for wound healing purposes. The leaf juice is used to treat wounds. The leaves are diuretic, while a decoction is used to treat abscesses. They are used to reduce inflammation.
The root is considered a diuretic as well as an aphrodisiac and purgative. It is used in the treatment of dropsy. A paste of the root is applied as a poultice to treat muscular swellings and scabies. The juice of the root is used in the treatment of diarrhea, fever, and indigestion. The powdered root, mixed with corn flour (Zea mays) is baked and used in the treatment of menstrual disorders.
Some gardeners plant Chinese Southern giant mustard (Brassica juncea) in borders to divert flea beetles from their cole crops (broccoli, cabbage, mustard and collard greens). Four o’clock (Mirabilis), which attracts Japanese beetles, then poisons them with a toxin in its foliage is another good companion.
Broccoli: Purple Sprouting (Heirloom) (Brassica oleracea var. italica)
Broccoli: Green Sprouting Calabrese (Organic) (Brassica oleracea var. italica)
Broccoli: Waltham 29 (Heirloom) (Brassica oleracea var. italica)
Cabbage: Early Jersey Wakefield (Heirloom) (Brassica oleracea var. capitata)
Cabbage: Late Flat Dutch (Heirloom) (Brassica oleracea var. capitata)
Cabbage: Red Acre (Heirloom) (Brassica oleracea var. capitata)
Cabbage is considered one of the oldest cultivated vegetables, since historians trace it back to 4,000 BC in China. The Romans also cultivated it and praised it for its healing qualities; philosophers Pythagoras and Cato both made the lowly cabbage the subject of a book. Jacques Cartier brought the first cabbage to America in 1536. Cabbages were quite popular in colonial America, being pickled and preserved in every possible way to provide food for the winter.
Cabbage, Chinese: Pak Choi (Heirloom) (Brassica rapa var. chinensis)
Collards: Vates (Heirloom) (Brassica oleracea var. acephala)
Mustard: Red Giant (Heirloom) (Brassica juncea)
Mustard greens originated near the Himalayan region of northern India, where they have been growing for thousands of years. Chinese, Japanese, and African cuisine also make use of this peppery vegetable. Though not particularly well known in most parts of the United States, mustard greens are a traditional part of culture in the southern region.