Thursday, 31 May 2012

Marvel of Peru flowers pictures.

Mirabilis Jalapa 
 The four o'clock flower-Mirabilis jalapa, this popular garden plant is starting to bloom in July.
The flowers open in the afternoon, that's where the name comes from. They stay open during the night, being pollinated by nocturnal pollinators, like the sphinx moths or hawk moths. Also called the Marvel of Peru, the flowers of this plant are splashed with different colours, like these yellow flowers with pink- magenta spots. More interesting is that as the plant matures, it can display flowers of different colors on the same plant; the yellow flowers can change to pink or white ones change to light violet.

Caring for Mirabilis plants

Once growing it is best to water beauty of the night regularly; it is also necessary to fertilise Mirabilis once a month. Once the flowering period has finished cut the plants back to ground level. If you require more Mirabilis plants then the tubers can be divided in the spring. Four o'clock plants are shrubby perennials in warm climates, growing from tuberous roots. In colder climate the foliage dies back to the ground in autumn but the tubers must be stored indoors during winter and replanted in the garden in spring.

Quick Mirabilis Growing Guide and Facts

Common Names: Four O'clock, Marvel of Peru, Beauty of the Night, Wishbone Bush, Heartleaf Umbrella Wort.
Life Cycle: Half hardy perennial commonly grown as a half hardy annual by gardeners.
Height: 6 to 50 inches (15 to 125 cm).
Native: Americas.
Growing Region: Zones 3 to 10. As a perennial in zones 8 to 10.
Flowers: Summer and autumn.
Flower Details: Yellow, red, white, pink; often two-toned. Deep throated trumpets. Fragrant. Flowers open in the evening.
Foliage: Green. Thin. Oval or heart-shaped.
Sow Outside: Surface. Following last frost or in autumn (warm areas). Spacing 4 to 40 inches (10 to 100 cm).
Sow Inside: Use peat pots. Germination time: one to three weeks in the light. Temperature 70°F (21°C). Seven or eight weeks in advance. Transplant outdoors following the last frost or in autumn.
Requirements: Full sunlight or light shade. Good drainage. Soil pH 6-7. Ordinary soil. Monthly feed. Regular watering. Perennials should be cut back to the ground once flowering has finished. Propagate: dividing in the spring.
Miscellaneous: Mirabilis is the Latin word for amazing/wonderful.
 The flowers are used for food colouring. Parts of the plant are used in herbal medicine as a diuretic and for wound healing.
Though its black seeds are poisonous, they are used as a powder in cosmetics.

How to grow marvel of Beauty of the Night

Beauty of the Night should be sown about a week after the last frost of spring on the surface. The plant likes to grow in an average soil that is slightly acidic to neutral (pH 6 to 7). Beauty of the night can be grown both in sunny and in partially shaded areas.
If starting Beauty of the night and other Mirabilis off indoors then start about one and a half months in advance. The seeds should be sown in peat pots and takes about one to three weeks to germinate in the light at 20 degrees Centigrade. Once ready transplant the young beauty of the night plants following the last frost at from 15 to 20cm (small Mirabilis) or 30 to 90cm (larger species) apart.

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