Four o'Clocks (Mirabilis jalapa) in the Mirabilis Database

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Four o'Clocks
Give a thumbs up 4 o'Clock
Give a thumbs up Marvel of Peru
Give a thumbs up Belle de Nuit
Give a thumbs up Gul-e-Abbas
Give a thumbs up Queen of the Night
Give a thumbs up Night Missy

Botanical names:
Mirabilis jalapa Accepted
Mirabilis jalapa var. jalapa Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Plant Height: 2 to 4 feet
Plant Spread: 3-4 feet
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Orange
Multi-Color: Some species bear several colors of flowers on a single plant
Bloom Size: 2"-3"
Flower Time: Summer
Late summer or early fall
Underground structures: Tuber
Uses: Will Naturalize
Suitable as Annual
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Tolerates dry shade
Toxicity: Leaves are poisonous
Roots are poisonous
Fruit is poisonous
Other: Seeds are poisonous
Propagation: Seeds: Needs specific temperature: 65 to 85
Days to germinate: 7 to 21
Sow in situ
Start indoors
Other info: self-seeds
Propagation: Other methods: Other: tubers
Pollinators: Various insects
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Needs excellent drainage in pots

This plant is a Hummingbird magnet. The flowers aren't even open

The 2014 All Things Plants Top 25 Summer Bulbs and TubersThe 2014 All Things Plants Top 25 Summer Bulbs and Tubers
By dave on May 17, 2014

What a fun and diverse group of plants! Come on in and check out the report of the top 25 most active summer bulbs and tuber entries in our plants database. You will be surprised at some of the plants that made the list!

(Full article6 comments)
Give a thumbs up

This plant is tagged in:
Image Image Image

Posted by critterologist (Frederick, MD - Zone 6b) on Jun 4, 2018 3:44 PM

"Miracle Plant" (yeah, right). A couple of cute, fast-talking youngsters were pitching "Miracle Plant" at the Philly Flower Show, selling these dark carrot-looking tubers. I looked at the photos and thought, that looks a lot like a 4 O'Clock, but no botanical name is given. Hmm. Oh no, I was told, this is no 4 O'Clock, it's a Miracle Plant! I don't know, I said, those blooms sure look like Mirabilis japonica to me. Well, OK, it's actually related, but this one starts blooming much earlier and blooms right on through until frost!! OK, I said, I'll try it, in fact I'll buy 3. The tubers sprouted quickly when plunged into planters on my deck, and there's little doubt -- they are regular old 4 O'Clocks. It's early June and mine are about 15" high, no blooms yet.

So although this plant isn't the advertised miracle, my experience taught me 2 things: 1) it's probably worth digging and saving those Mirabilis tubers from year to year for a quick-starting, large plant and 2) as always, if it sounds too good to be true -- it is. At least I didn't line up to order that blue tulip.

[ Reply to this comment | Give a thumbs up ]

Posted by DdeTex (Jacksonville, Texas - Zone 8a) on Sep 29, 2011 10:50 AM

One of the few plants that survived the 2011 Texas heat and drought.

[ Reply to this comment | Give a thumbs up ]

Posted by Newyorkrita (North Shore, Long Island, NY ) on Sep 29, 2011 4:18 PM

Four o'Clocks do self seed in my garden, but I consider that a good thing as this way I have them each year. Very easy to pull out from areas were I don't want them growing.I have tried planting them from tubers and from seed and either way works just as well.

[ Reply to this comment | Give a thumbs up ]

Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Sep 29, 2011 7:41 AM

Quickly becoming one of my favorites. A great plant here in zone 7a. It requires little attention, thrives in the blazing sun and humidity, and isn't picky about soil. Also fairly drought tolerant. Although it can reseed profusely and can be considered invasive under some circumstances, to me it is worth the effort to pull out the extra plants.

[ 2 replies | Give a thumbs up ]

Posted by jmorth (central Illinois) on Nov 27, 2011 6:29 PM

Hummingbird Moths draw sustenance from 4 o'clocks as their equipment is adapted to be able to utilize long-funneled flowers.

[ Reply to this comment | Give a thumbs up ]

Posted by plantladylin (Sebastian, Florida - Zone 10a) on Sep 29, 2011 9:45 AM

Mirabilis jalapa is native to tropical South America but has escaped cultivation and become naturalized in some parts of the U.S. Four o'Clocks are a fast-growing, shrublike perennial here in the south and reach heights of 4 feet. Four o'Clocks are proliferate self-seeders and have large, heavy, deep-rooted tubers that are difficult to eradicate. I have both the dark pink and the white variety growing in my yard and although the late afternoon blooms are beautiful I consider them pest plants because I can't seem to keep them under control.

[ Reply to this comment | Give a thumbs up ]

Plant Events from our members
piksihk On October 5, 2018 Obtained plant
piksihk On May 4, 2018 Bloomed
piksihk On May 29, 2017 Bloomed
chelle On May 29, 2015 Transplanted
Saved, sprouted tubers planted out.
chelle On May 25, 2015 Plant emerged
(Est. date)

Seedlings observed, but only two so far...out of (possibly) hundreds of dropped seeds from last year's plants.
chelle On October 20, 2014 Miscellaneous Event
Collected last batch of seeds, pulled plants, saved four tubers for winter storage experiment.
chelle On October 3, 2014 Harvested
Collected seed from fuchsia pink.
MrsBinWY On April 18, 2020 Seeds germinated
3; all 9 germinated
MrsBinWY On April 12, 2020 Seeds sown
3 pots with 3 seeds each from 2016G
AndreA33 On May 10, 2016 Seeds germinated
AndreA33 On April 20, 2016 Seeds sown
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
What is this plant? by SoulReaver009 Jun 20, 2020 6:29 PM 7
Flower ID. by PlantMatt Sep 8, 2019 6:32 PM 3
Plant name by o910 Aug 3, 2019 1:35 PM 7
Need to Identify a Plant/Bush by Mom3ubed Jul 21, 2019 11:25 AM 5
Dahlia seedlings by SummerStorm93 Oct 7, 2019 7:59 AM 7
Banner for April 18, 2019 by krobra by krobra Apr 18, 2019 10:06 PM 12
Mirabilis jalapa by frankrichards16 Dec 24, 2018 7:14 PM 19
Plants and History by Esperanza Jan 23, 2019 5:49 PM 27
Are these gardenias? by girthworm Oct 25, 2018 8:02 AM 5
moon plant by reginaswinborne Sep 6, 2018 6:27 AM 12

« Add a new plant to the database

» Search the Mirabilis Database: by characteristics or by cultivar name

« See the general plant entry for Mirabilis

« The Mirabilis Database Front Page

« The Plants Database Front Page

Today's site banner is by greenappleagnes and is called "Nigella Seed Pods"

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.