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4 O'Clocks

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by LandOfOz on November 10, 2006 09:38 AM
I got some four o'clocks in a trade and immediately planted them, way back in July or August. They are only about 4-5 inches tall and I was just wondering what I should do to take care of them over the winter? They are right now in a pseudo-greenhouse (emphasis on pseudo), but it will definately cool off out there once we get real cold weather. Any suggestions?

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Sarah - Zone 5b/6
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by Bestofour on November 10, 2006 11:22 AM
I don't know that the plants will actually overwinter if the get that cold. Are they in pots?

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by LandOfOz on November 10, 2006 10:23 PM
Yeah, they are in pots. I was just bored when I planted them, didn't really think about what I'd do if they grew. Bringing them in the house wouldn't be a problem but would they grow over the winter?

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Sarah - Zone 5b/6
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by alankhart on November 11, 2006 12:02 AM
4 O'Clocks make tubers, sort of like dahlias, so you might try simply overwintering the tubers wrapped in paper or stored in peat. You could also try bringing them inside, but I don't know how well they would grow in the house...however, as long as the tubers are "alive" they would regrow next year.

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by LandOfOz on November 11, 2006 12:20 AM
Should I just let the plants naturally die back, then dig up the tuber? Would the tuber need to be dried or left moist before putting in paper/peat? I'm sorry, I'm new to gardening and am very uninformed.

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Sarah - Zone 5b/6
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by alankhart on November 11, 2006 06:30 AM
You don't have to wait for them to die back...you can cut off the foliage and dig up the tubers. Let them dry out or they may rot. I'm in zone 6b/7a and I leave mine in the ground. You might be able to overwinter them in the ground in your zone if you plant in an area with good grainage and cover with 3 or 4 inches of mulch. Don't fret if they don't make it. There are plenty of people on this site who'd be glad to send you more seeds.

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by njoynit on November 12, 2006 12:39 AM
He's right,they could overwinter,you'd want to be sure the area drained well,but with them already being in pots could just move the pot. I started a seed last year was suppose to be soloman colored.was near end of season.so the pot actually went through a winter-sowing stage.It came through.it had already started to form its tuber that fall.With your shorter season your tubers would bloom slower versis doing the seeds yearly as an annual.you could wintersow your seeds.I have them mass planted in areas throughout the yard,so no tuber or seed shortage here.I have fushia,pink,dirty pink,yellow& white.I also got a white with pink speckles& a yellow with pink splashes.

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by LandOfOz on November 14, 2006 12:09 AM
How about if I snip the leaves down, don't water, and just set them out on my breezeway? It doesn't get really cold out there, probably around freezing or so. What do you guys think?

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Sarah - Zone 5b/6
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by njoynit on November 17, 2006 02:09 AM
they should be fine.I think its the freezeing ground thats would zap them.

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I will age ungracefully until I become an old woman in a small garden..doing whatever the Hell I want!

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by LandOfOz on November 17, 2006 10:11 PM
Great! Thanks!

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Sarah - Zone 5b/6
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by Vera_M on December 09, 2006 11:54 PM
4 O'clocks will MAY make it through a zone 5 mild winter in the ground. The tubers are hardy to about 10 degrees. You might want to dig up the tubers and store just above freezing. Dry them out for a few hours; brush off the soil and store in a brown paper bag in an unheated basement or fridge, ect.
I'm in zone 5b-6a and tempertures often fall below 10 degrees so I wouldn't chance it.

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