Alphabetical Plant Listing

Mirabilis jalapa (Marvel of Peru)

Marvel of Peru, Four O'Clock Flower, False Jalap, Four O'Clock Plant, Garden Jalap, Jalap Plant, Marvel of the World, Pretty-By-Night, Japanese Wonder Flower, Pearl of Egypt


Mirabilis jalapa (Marvel of Peru) is a shrub-like, erect and spreading, tuberous perennial often grown as an annual, with clusters of fragrant flowers from summer to fall. The trumpet-shaped, tubular blossoms, 2 in. long (5 cm), open in the afternoon (hence the four-o'clock common name) and have a strong, sweet-smelling fragrance. They remain open until the following morning. Available in a wide range of colors, they are produced in shades of white, yellow, pink, magenta, red and may even be bicolored. The blossoms appear in terminal or axillary clusters on erect, branching stems clad with ovate, bright green leaves, to 4 in. long (10 cm). Blooming over an incredibly long season, they attract hummingbirds and butterflies, and give way to large, dark, leathery fruits in the fall. This old-fashioned garden ornamental is a tender perennial that is killed to the ground by frost, but resprout from its large tuberous roots. Place it along walkways or near patios where the night-blooming flowers and fragrance can be enjoyed.

  • Grows up to 2-3 ft. tall and wide (60-90 cm). This plant self-seeds freely in optimum growing conditions.
  • Performs best in full sun, in moderately fertile, moist,well-drained soils. Shelter from cold, drying winds and provide a dry mulch in winter to protect from excessive winter wet.
  • A welcomed addition to Mediterranean gardens, cottage gardens or containers. This sturdy plant can also be used as an annual hedge if planted close together.
  • No serious insect or disease problems. Keep an eye out for aphids and slugs.
  • Sow seed directly in the garden after last frost date, or start seed indoors 6-8 weeks earlier. Tuberous roots may be dug in fall (like dahlias) and stored overwinter in dry, cool but frost-free conditions.
  • Cut back prior to lifting tubers.
  • Propagate by seed in early spring, germinate at 55-65°F (13-18°C). Propagate by division of tubers in spring.
  • Ingestion may cause severe discomfort
  • Native to Tropical America.
  • Find where this species is invasive in the United States. Mirabilis multiflora is a beautiful U.S. native plant alternative

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Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Heat Zones 1 – 11
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden

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Isabel Sala Casteras, ChWeiss, Ltd1963 / Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Heat Zones 1 – 11
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spread 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Rabbit, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden

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