The Four o’clock success in the garden continued this month when I was digging around the garden and discovered the Four o’clock tubers. I went from harvesting four o’clock seeds that I couldn’t germinate, to having a successful germination rate this year and even four o'clock blooms. In a previous post a garden commented that propagating four o’clocks vegetatively was easier than growing them from seeds and the reason I searched for these tubers in the garden.
Here’s a photo of some of my four o’clock tubers growing in the garden. The tubers were between eight to ten inches long and the brown, tuberous roots resemble woody carrots. The roots of four o’clock are supposed to get even bigger in warmer climates. Can you imagine? These tubers are the result of one season’s growth in a garden with less than ideal growing conditions. I never would’ve imagined that a handsome shrub with beautiful flowers would emerge from something so ugly.
Four o’clocks prefer to grow in full sun and in my garden they were growing in shade so I dug up the roots to transplant to a relative’s garden where they will should grow fine in a sunnier spot. When I transplanted the four o’clock tubers I planted them a little deeper than they had been growing in the hopes that they’ll survive the winter. The other reason I planted them deeper was because the knobby stems were looked to be hardening along the joints and I figured they would probably root from there. I hope they enjoy their new garden and grow as nice as the shrubs I saved seeds from.
If there are four o'clock shrubs growing nearby you should save some of the seeds. Here's a video showing how easy it is to harvest seeds from four o'clock plants.