The Mirabilis jalapa (four o’ clock or marvel of peru) is the most common grown annual and comes in a variety of colors. Every year I swear that I will completely eradicate these from my garden, but they seed so prolifically that it is impossible. In the end, it’s my fault they are still here after all these years, because I’m too weak to rip them all out before they go to seed. Afterall, you have to admit they have some fine qualities such as blooming at night, fragrant, drought resistant and their simple beauty. I really like the combination of pink and yellow on this one plant and if you look close you will a splattering of pink speckles on the yellow flowers. According to Wikipedia, this is called the “color-changing phenomenon”. As the plant ages the yellow flowers will gradually change to pink. Because they bloom at night they are pollinated by sphynx moths. Another great quality is they seem to bloom no matter where I plant them. Full sun, part sun, great soil, poor soil etc… The seedlings are easy to remove from areas you don’t want them to be. Once that seedling matures they are somewhat tougher to remove because of their tuberous roots which will die back in the winter only to regrow in the spring. So I guess the best advice I give you is make sure you want them before you plant them, because you will have them forever.
Four o’ Clocks: Friend or Foe?