Mirabilis jalapa is the botanic name of the plant commonly known as the four o'clock flower. Native to the the Andes in Peru, M.jalapa is a perennial flowering plant that blooms in a wide variety of colors on the same plant, sometimes on the same flower. The flowers, which bloom in the afternoon, are highly fragrant, and the blooming period lasts from June until late fall. Mirabilis jalapa is hardy to USDA zones 7b to 11. Plant the seeds in early spring in a sunny location.
Place the Mirabilis jalapa seeds in a small bowl, and cover them with tap water. Allow them to soak overnight.
Pull any weeds in the planting area.
Dig into the soil to a depth of eight inches, crushing any large clods of dirt with the back of the gardening fork.
Level the area with a rake and water it well, allowing the water to puddle and then drain.
Remove the Mirabilis jalapa seeds from the soaking water and place them on a paper towel to remove the excess moisture.
Plant the seeds two inches deep and 12 inches apart. Keep the soil moist, not soggy, until the seeds sprout, generally within one week.