The genus Mirabilis is comprised of annuals and tuberous perennials in about 50 species from dry, open areas of the southwestern U.S. and Central and South America. They are grown for their big, brightly colored or white, trumpet-shaped flowers that are often fragrant. Plants bloom for most of the summer. Hummingbirds and moths will visit the flowers. Grow in a bed, border, container, or greenhouse.
Noteworthy CharacteristicsLarge flowers over a long period in summer. M. jalapa can have several colors of blooms on the same plant.
CareSite in full sun in moderately fertile, well-drained soil. Provide ample water during the growing season, but protect from excessive winter moisture. Mulch half-hardy plants or lift tubers and store indoors. In the greenhouse, grow in full light, and keep dry in winter.
PropagationSow seeds in the garden after the frost-free date, or start indoors in early spring at 55-64°F. Tuberous species can be divided in spring.
ProblemsWhite rust, brown rust, and leaf spot commonly affect plants.