Plant of the Month September 2014

Desert 4 O’clock 

Mirabilis Multiflora


This large, sprawling wildflower is native to our
It has thick, leathery greenish-gray leaves and profuse, funnel shaped magenta blooms. It is prolific in bloom from mid summer to frost and each year it spreads even wider. The bright flowers open in late afternoon and stay open until the next morning when the heat of the day sets in.

This plant is easy to grow, assuming you follow one main directive, it wants little to no water. The quickest way to kill this plant is to overwater it. When I use it in my landscapes I do not put it on the irrigation system, I advise my clients to water once or twice and then let it be. The desert 4 oʼclock has a deep taproot that stores the water it needs. It loves sun and heat and even lean soil. It can be vigorous and will spread up to 5ʼ or more in the right setting. You definitely want to give it a space of its own in the garden, so it doesnʼt overrun its neighbors. Maintenance is simple, the old growth simply detaches when pulled away in spring and new growth emerges from the taproot. Truly a spectacular pop of color in the landscape.


Quick facts

  • Wants little to no water
  • Loves heat and sun
  • Easy to grow and maintain
  • Native
  • Spectacular color