The Q&A Archives: Four O'Clocks

Question: I planted Four O'Clock seeds between my dahlia tubers last spring. The stem of the plant looks like the annual, but the root I accidentally dug out looks like a long dahlia tuber. I cannot locate the common name for Four O'Clocks so I can't find information about it. Is it possible I developed a cross between the seed and a dahlia root?

Answer: Mirabilis jalapa is commonly called Four O'Clock. The plants grow from tuberous roots that are dug and stored like dahlia tubers. Although you started your perennial Four O'Clocks from seed, they will grow plump, tuberous roots within the first growing season. Dig them when you dig your dahlia tubers after the first frost, then replant them next spring.

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