The Old-fashioned Beauty of Four o’Clocks

Broken Colors is a dream of a plant, every bloom different and all sweetly scented!

Named for the time of day when they begin to open, Four o’Clocks are the best friend of gardeners who enjoy entertaining outdoors in the evening. Sweetly scented and very easy to grow, they spring right up from direct-sowing.

Here is the culprit, absolutely lovely with metallic colors that catch the sunlight. Japanese beetles have no pity on your garden!

Four o’Clocks are beautiful in their own right, with bright trumpet-shaped blooms and a fragrance that evokes old-fashioned cottage gardens. But some gardeners grow Four o’Clocks just as trap plants for Japanese beetles.

La Park Rose is too precious to be gobbled up by Japanese beetles! Plant Four o’Clocks nearby and lure the predators away!

If you have roses or other plants subject to Japanese beetle damage, plant Four o’Clocks around the edge of the planting. The beetles will be so drawn to the Four o’Clocks that they may leave your more valuable plants alone!

And just as a bonus, Four o’Clocks grow a tuber underground during spring and summer, so that if you live north of their zone 8 hardiness range, you can simply dig up the tuber before the first fall frost and store it indoors for replanting in spring!

Salmon Sunset is an unusual color for the Four o’Clock family, making it all the more valuable in the late-afternoon and evening garden.

Four o’Clocks are attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds, while being generally left alone by nibbling deer and rabbits. They don’t mind wet soils, and their blooms remain open all night, adding an exotic scent and luminous presence to the garden. Give them full sun to afternoon shade, and they will repay you richly, season after season!

About Sappho Charney

Sappho Charney is a garden writer living in Lubbock, Texas.

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