Can Mirabilis Jalapa be Grown from Seeds

Can Mirabilis Jalapa be Grown from Seeds

Mirabilis Jalapa, also known as the Four O’Clock flower, is a beautiful and versatile plant that can indeed be grown from seeds.

This article will guide you through the process of growing Mirabilis Jalapa from seeds, providing you with all the necessary information to ensure successful cultivation.

What is Mirabilis Jalapa?

Mirabilis Jalapa is a perennial flowering plant native to the Americas. It is widely cultivated for its vibrant flowers, which come in various colors such as red, pink, yellow, and white. The plant gets its name from the unique characteristic of its flowers opening in the late afternoon, typically around four o’clock, and closing the following morning.

Benefits of Growing Mirabilis Jalapa from Seeds

Growing Mirabilis Jalapa from seeds offers several benefits. Firstly, it allows you to choose from a wide range of color variations available in the seed market. Additionally, starting from seeds gives you the opportunity to witness the entire growth cycle of the plant, from germination to flowering. It can be a rewarding experience to nurture a plant from its earliest stages.

Obtaining Mirabilis Jalapa Seeds

Mirabilis Jalapa seeds can be obtained from various sources. You can purchase them from local nurseries, garden centers, or online seed suppliers. Another option is to collect seeds from existing Mirabilis Jalapa plants in your garden or from friends who have them. Ensure that the seeds are fresh, as their viability decreases with time.

Germinating Mirabilis Jalapa Seeds

Preparing the Soil

To successfully germinate Mirabilis Jalapa seeds, start by preparing the soil. Choose a well-draining and fertile soil mix. Incorporate organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, to enrich the soil and improve moisture retention.

Sowing the Seeds

Sow the Mirabilis Jalapa seeds directly into the prepared soil. Make sure to follow the recommended spacing between seeds, as overcrowding can hinder their growth. Lightly cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil, approximately 1/4 inch deep.

Providing Adequate Water and Light

Keep the soil consistently moist during the germination process. Water the seeds gently to avoid disturbing them. Place the containers or beds in a location that receives at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. If growing indoors, consider using grow lights to provide sufficient light.

Ensuring Proper Temperature

Mirabilis Jalapa seeds germinate best in warm temperatures ranging between 70-80°F (21-27°C). Maintain a stable temperature throughout the germination period to promote healthy seedling development.

Transplanting Seedlings

Once the seedlings have grown their first set of true leaves and are strong enough to handle, transplant them to their permanent location. Ensure that the planting area provides adequate space for the mature plants to spread out.

Caring for Mirabilis Jalapa Plants

To ensure the healthy growth of Mirabilis Jalapa plants, proper care is essential.

Watering and Fertilizing

Water the plants regularly, aiming to keep the soil evenly moist without becoming waterlogged. Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season to provide the necessary nutrients for vigorous growth.

Pruning and Deadheading

Remove faded flowers regularly to encourage continuous blooming. Prune the plants to maintain their shape and control their size. Trim back any dead or damaged foliage to promote overall plant health.

Controlling Pests and Diseases

Monitor the plants for common pests like aphids, spider mites, and caterpillars. Use organic pest control methods or appropriate insecticides to keep infestations under control. Additionally, practice good garden hygiene to prevent diseases such as powdery mildew or leaf spot.


Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of Mirabilis Jalapa plants to conserve moisture, suppress weed growth, and regulate soil temperature.

Harvesting Mirabilis Jalapa Seeds

Mirabilis Jalapa plants produce seed pods containing multiple seeds. Allow the seed pods to mature and dry on the plant. Once the pods turn brown and start to split, harvest them by gently collecting the seeds. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place for future use or to share with fellow gardeners.

Common Issues and Troubleshooting

Seedlings not Germinating

If the Mirabilis Jalapa seeds fail to germinate, ensure that they receive adequate moisture, light, and warmth. Check the freshness of the seeds and consider using a heat mat to provide consistent warmth during germination.

Weak or Stunted Plants

Weak or stunted growth can be caused by insufficient light, poor soil quality, or pest infestations. Adjust the growing conditions accordingly, ensure proper nutrition, and address any pest issues promptly.

Pest Infestations

Keep a watchful eye for common pests like aphids, spider mites, and caterpillars. Regularly inspect the plants and take appropriate measures such as manual removal or targeted insecticides to control infestations.

Disease Outbreaks

Diseases like powdery mildew or leaf spot can affect Mirabilis Jalapa plants. Maintain good air circulation, avoid overhead watering, and promptly remove any infected plant material to prevent the spread of diseases.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Can Mirabilis Jalapa be grown indoors?
    • Yes, Mirabilis Jalapa can be grown indoors, provided they receive sufficient sunlight or artificial light.
  • How long does it take for Mirabilis Jalapa seeds to germinate?
    • Mirabilis Jalapa seeds typically take around 10 to 14 days to germinate, but it can vary depending on the conditions and seed quality.
  • Can I save Mirabilis Jalapa seeds for next year?
    • Yes, you can save Mirabilis Jalapa seeds for the following year. Ensure that the seeds are fully mature and dry before storing them in a cool, dry place in a sealed container.
  • What is the best time to plant Mirabilis Jalapa seeds?
    • The best time to plant Mirabilis Jalapa seeds is in the spring, after the last frost has passed and the soil has warmed up.
  • Can Mirabilis Jalapa tolerate cold temperatures?
    • Mirabilis Jalapa is sensitive to cold temperatures and frost. It is best grown in warm climates or as an annual in cooler regions.


In conclusion, Mirabilis Jalapa, or the Four O’Clock flower, can indeed be successfully grown from seeds. By following the steps of preparing the soil, sowing the seeds, and providing proper care, you can enjoy the beauty of these vibrant flowers in your garden. Remember to water, fertilize, prune, and protect your plants from pests and diseases to ensure their healthy growth. With patience and care, you can witness the fascinating growth cycle of Mirabilis Jalapa and enjoy its stunning blooms.

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