Annuals forum: 4 o'clock Tubers save and plant next year

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Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
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DavidLMO
Sep 29, 2015 11:00 PM CST
Many do not know that 4 o'clocks aren't annuals but are perennials in many southern zones. If You like a particular color, you can dig and store the tubers like a canna or dahlia. Or just get a leg up on next season without waiting for seeds to sprout. Planting a tuber speeds up blooming from 2 - 4 or more weeks.

I store most of my tubers each winter. Just check them periodically and lightly mist as they can dry out faster than a canna.
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Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Sep 30, 2015 6:47 AM CST
Do you store them in a 'frig?
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
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DavidLMO
Sep 30, 2015 8:07 AM CST
NO. Cool and dry in the basement. I put them in perlite, vermiculite, shredded paper or whatever and then put in boxes. I usually dust with powdered sulphur. Store em just like dahlia, canna, elephant ear, etc.
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
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CarolineScott
Sep 30, 2015 7:50 PM CST
I must try that!
Thanks for info.
This spring I purchased tubers and they came along quickly.
Usually have to do them from seeds.
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Oct 2, 2015 6:20 PM CST
Thumbs up I have done that for years. I found out by accident. I did not have a David. I had one in a pot I had put seeds in and when I brought my Cannas in for the winter the next year I was surprised to see the 4 o'clocks growing along with my cannas.

I keep my cannas in the pots and do not dig them up so I did not know the tuber was sleeping with the cannas. Hilarious!
[Last edited by Cinta - Oct 2, 2015 8:39 PM (+)]
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Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
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chelle
Oct 2, 2015 6:43 PM CST
Great tip, David. Thumbs up

I dug and saved mine for the first time last year. It's easy and it saves time next year. Just one caution; don't do what I did a plant them in good compost without support. They shoot up so fast that a bird landing on them will break off or knock over your plants. I've not had that happen with seed started plants...just the saved tubers.

I had no self-sown sprouts of my hot pink ones from last year, this year, so I was very happy that I saved those tubers. Smiling
Cottage Gardening

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Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
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DavidLMO
Oct 2, 2015 7:14 PM CST
You are right - the tuber ones seem to get much bigger than seed grown. Good point.

Like you, I have some colors that I really like and label them. The others I plant together in a 4 o'clock area.
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Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
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chelle
Oct 2, 2015 8:32 PM CST
You were more organized than I. I just saved two of each and tossed them all in the same bucket of vermiculite. As a result, I had hot pink and salmon intermingling this year too. Rolling on the floor laughing
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
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DavidLMO
Oct 2, 2015 10:44 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
I have found for Canna and Dahlia is is VERY important to elaborately label. nodding
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Nov 2, 2015 3:32 PM CST
My seed-sown 4 o'clocks never seem to form anything I would call a "tuber" -- maybe because I always grow them in pots? or maybe just because my growing season is too short?

BTW, Chelle - the Salmon Sunset 4 o'clock seeds that I got from you in the swap last year did great for me and were beautiful! (and gave me more seeds) Smiling
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Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
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chelle
Nov 2, 2015 5:39 PM CST
Weedwhacker said:

BTW, Chelle - the Salmon Sunset 4 o'clock seeds that I got from you in the swap last year did great for me and were beautiful! (and gave me more seeds) Smiling


Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!

Did you dig those up? Mine had decent-sized tubers last year (their first), and this year they're huge!! I'll try to get some pictures tomorrow. I have some pulled already that sprouted late this year (really small but I'm hoping they're white), and several two year old tubers that are maybe 7 pounds each! I don't have a scale, so that's just a guess...but they're definitely heavy!



Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
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DavidLMO
Nov 2, 2015 8:02 PM CST
Weedwhacker said:My seed-sown 4 o'clocks never seem to form anything I would call a "tuber" -- maybe because I always grow them in pots? or maybe just because my growing season is too short?:


Hmmm. I have never grown them in small pots, so can't say. But I have grown them in deck planters 20 " x 6 " and they made tubers.

Not sure about the length of the growing season. How long is your bloom period?

Mine that I planted from tubers just after Mother's Day are still blooming. I have already started digging up some of the tubers.

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[Last edited by DavidLMO - Nov 2, 2015 8:05 PM (+)]
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Nov 2, 2015 9:35 PM CST
chelle said:

Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!

Did you dig those up? Mine had decent-sized tubers last year (their first), and this year they're huge!! I'll try to get some pictures tomorrow. I have some pulled already that sprouted late this year (really small but I'm hoping they're white), and several two year old tubers that are maybe 7 pounds each! I don't have a scale, so that's just a guess...but they're definitely heavy!



Holy moly -- 7-lb tubers??!

I have to admit... I just pulled them out of the pots and threw them on the compost pile Rolling my eyes. I'll try pulling one of the root balls apart tomorrow to see what is actually there, but it definitely can't be anything very large. I had the pots inside my (unheated) hoop house; I think next year I'll try planting the 4 o'clocks directly in the ground in there.

David -- I'm afraid I didn't keep track of when they started blooming, but our first freeze this year was mid-October, which is pretty typical; and I never put anything tender out before June 1st (and even that can be pushing my luck). Oddly, I can't find any notes as to when I started the seeds of the 4 o'clocks... but probably around the beginning of May? Mostly I was just/ really happy that they grew at all this year, I don't have a very good record of getting 4 o'clocks to sprout!
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Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
Seed Starter Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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DavidLMO
Nov 2, 2015 10:26 PM CST
Check your compost pile and look if there is something that looks like a carrot - that is their standard shape, though they do vary. I have some that look almost like ornamental sweet potatoes.
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
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Cinta
Nov 3, 2015 2:55 PM CST
Sandy your growing season is not much less than mine. They say we are usually frost free after Mother's day but it does not hold true most years. June is my only absolutely safe time. I prefer the tubers because I have flowers sooner and it seems they bloom more the older the bulb.

I am a lazy pot gardener so I do not dig anything up. The the pots are brought inside after a good soaking so there is no bugs hiding. It is easier for me to move the pots outside early spring and if we get a frost I just throw a blanket over them. All my pots are combo pots so I am moving mini gardens outside on the patio and not single plant pots. If something needs color until bloom or when there are no blooms any longer I throw some coleus in the pots.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Nov 3, 2015 4:33 PM CST
DavidLMO said:Check your compost pile and look if there is something that looks like a carrot - that is their standard shape, though they do vary. I have some that look almost like ornamental sweet potatoes.


Okay, I dug around in the root balls today and there were some fat roots but only about the size of a very small baby carrot. I think next year I'll try putting my plants in the ground inside my hoop house and see if that gives them a better chance of making something that could be stored. (I'm making progress in the 4 o'clock department, though -- took me several years to even get any seeds to sprout Hilarious! )

Cinta, despite the new USDA zone designation for my area as 5a, we really are much more like 4b or maybe even 4a... I think our summer nighttime temps might be the biggest difference, they're generally pretty cool and a lot of plants seem to have a hard time making good progress that way! Shrug!
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Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
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Cinta
Nov 3, 2015 6:38 PM CST
Sandy I feel your pain. They say I am a zone 6 and I feel it is more a zone 4 or 5. We have strange heatwaves through the winter as high as 60s and 70s in Jan with as low as -20s for weeks. But when they average out those high with the lows they put us in a higher zone.

Meanwhile back in the garden the plants are dead because they do not know about those darn average temps and died when it was minus 20 waiting for us to get back to the 60s and 70s in a few weeks.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Nov 3, 2015 7:39 PM CST
Exactly -- the zones are a helpful starting point, but experience growing in your area is the best teacher!
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
Seed Starter Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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DavidLMO
Nov 3, 2015 7:39 PM CST
Weedwhacker said:

Okay, I dug around in the root balls today and there were some fat roots but only about the size of a very small baby carrot.


Save em and plant em next year. nodding
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
Seed Starter Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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DavidLMO
Nov 3, 2015 7:43 PM CST
Weedwhacker said: Exactly -- the zones are a helpful starting point, but experience growing in your area is the best teacher!


I agree

And you can have micro-climates areound yer property. I am "5B". I have Cannas that have been in the ground since 2010. Rolling on the floor laughing
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976

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