Marvel of Peru (Mirabilis jalapa)
Mirabilis jalapa (Marvel of Peru) also known as four o’clock flower is a tropical herbaceous plant that can reach more than a meter in height.
Its flowers have the peculiarity of opening only at dusk or on cloudy days with mild temperatures. The flowers are very striking (the main pollinating insects of this plant, which are some species of moth, are more active at dusk and are attracted by the smell of the flowers).
Another peculiarity is that it is possible to find flowers of different colors and patterns on the same plant. In addition, in some plants the flowers can change color. For example, the flowers may initially be yellow, gradually becoming pink.
Plant profileCommon name: Marvel of Peru, four o'clock flower, false jalap, garden jalap, four o'clock plant, jalap plant, marvel of the world, pretty-by-night, Japanese wonder flower, pearl of Egypt, pearl of Egypt
Scientific name: Mirabilis jalapa
Plant type: Perennials
Height: 50cm - 1.5m
Spread: 50cm - 1.5m
Flower color: Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow
Season of interest: Summer
Sunlight: Full Sun, Partial shade
Soil: Chalk, Loam, Sand
Moisture: Well drained
Garden type: Informal Garden, Patio & Container Garden
Planting type: Containers & Pots, Flower borders and bedding
The range of flower colors in marvel of peru includes white, yellow, red and pink, and they can be of a single color, bicolored or tricolored. Considered an easy plant to grow, it produces many flowers and it is common to be planted alone or in groups in the garden.
South America (Peru).
It does not withstand temperature extremes, but can be grown in various climatic regions.
In regions where winter has low temperatures, the aerial part of the plant dies, sprouting again in the spring. In warmer regions, it can be cultivated all year round.
Direct sun or partial shade.
The soil should remain slightly moist. This plant, when well developed, withstands short periods of drought.
Watering should be suspended until early spring if the aerial part of the plant dies in the winter months.
It tolerates several types of soil, but the ideal is a fertile soil, rich in organic matter and well drained. They are very tolerant of soil pH, but a pH between 6 and 7 is recommended.
It blooms from summer to autumn. In warm regions where it is evergreen it can bloom all year. It usually begins to bloom around 90 days after planting.
Perennial plants, but sometimes grown as annuals.
Propagate Mirabilis jalapa by seed, which can be sown to a depth of 1 cm. Leaving the seeds in water for a day before sowing them boost germination, which usually takes a week or two.
By division of well-developed plants and tuberous roots.