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miagardener
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How long do Four O'Clock Flower Seeds take to Germinate?

I collected tons of four o'clock flower seeds and planted them. I also soaked some overnight, and removed the hard black shell casing on others and planted them, still no sprouts! When my husband cut down the plant one time and all the seeds fell to the ground, there was a brand new plant in it's place the same size within a month, yet I'm having trouble germinating these seeds. Do they need cooler temps to germinate? About how long should they take? Thanks!
Rachel [miagardener]
Miami, FL - Zone 10B

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I couldn't get any of mine to sprout. Here they all sprouted in the ground in the fall and flowered close to winter, so I'm thinking they're fall plants
Home Gardener from Austin, TX; by way of Iowa.

thanrose
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Nope, they do well in the summer heat here, maybe wilt at midday.

The plant that came back the same size after your father cut it down was growing from the root. An already large root of a couple seasons or more will always grow more vigorously than a seedling.

Mine reseeded prolifically. I would just transplant seedlings as I found them rather than growing from seed I saved. You can scarify the hard black seed, and try sprouting after soaking for several hours in warm water.

They do need warmer weather to sprout. They don't seem to need really fresh seed, but maybe I've just been lucky. Sometimes I can turn over dirt where no Mirabilis jalapa has grown for years, and a seed will adventitiously sprout, most likely from seed that has lain dormant for a few years in several inches of soil.

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miagardener
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Thanks, I only planted them less than a week ago so hopefully they sprout.

And I see what you mean about the root system. :)
Rachel [miagardener]
Miami, FL - Zone 10B

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Hmm, they never seem to grow in our heat, maybe I just accidentally cut down ones Ive seen without knowing. I've had seeds in pots for weeks on end, and they'd all rot, same with the ground. I've tried watering more and less, and nothing seems to get them to sprout.
Home Gardener from Austin, TX; by way of Iowa.

thanrose
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I've actually ripped all of mine out a few times because of the prolific reseeding. Late last summer, I found yet another seedling growing beneath a coontie, after being without any for two years or so. I pulled that tiny four leaf seedling, put it in a pot, and it grew in October and November with only a few flowers. That's the substantial root I had going this season. Yesterday I had the first half dozen blooms, with three times that many this evening. The plant is about four feet tall, plus I have three other seedlings sprouting up here and there.

A mature root is black and carrot like in shape. White inside, I think. The seedlings have wispy roots, but the one from last fall is a slender carrot shape right now in early May.

Maybe it helps to have it grow in cooler weather at first, but this is the first time I really paid much attention to it, mostly because I had been trying to eradicate it again.

Could be other things operating here, though. I suspect you are hot and humid, too? Like mia and me in Florida? We have sandy soil, fast draining.

I'll have to do some experimenting with the handful of seed I collected last fall, and the seed I'll have in a couple of weeks.

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miagardener
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Well, the seeds in my pot didn't sprout yet but when I was collecting seeds off of my 4 o'clock flower bush I saw a new plant growing (and very healthy might i add) and I also caught a new sproutling under the bush which I transplanted to another spot. :)
Rachel [miagardener]
Miami, FL - Zone 10B

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4 O'Clock seeds sprouting

I soaked my 4 O'Clock seeds over night back in mid May then planted them, one each in peat pots and they took almost 2 months to sprout!! A couple are just 2" tall now and most are still sprouting, I thought they had rotted. I grew up in Denver where these were perennials but am wondering now if they will keep over the winter here at 8,300'? At times we get to -20, will compost keep them from freezing? What kind of compost?
gldnram

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Maybe you are thinking about something else but from what I knew four o'clocks were annual so no they will not survive in the mountains. If the stuff I planted in Florence that came from NC then your will not.

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