The Q&A Archives: Four O'clock Overwintering

Question: A friend gave me a four o'clock plant at the end of the season. She told me to let it bloom for the rest of the season in the pot, let it die back, and then store the root in wood chips in a cool dry place for the winter. What is the exact process for this?

Answer: It is possible to overwinter four o'clock roots by keeping them in a cool (about 45 degrees) place, and then replanting them the following spring, after the soil has had a chance to warm. Gently clean off the soil, allow the root to dry off for a few days, and then store it. The root can be nestled in wood chips, sawdust, or peat moss, then set in a paper bag or cardboard box which allows for some air flow. Like so many things in gardening, there aren't really specific instructions -- everyone finds their own most workable storage place and materials, and works from there. Good luck with your four o'clocks!

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