Four-O'Clock Flowers Around the World Cancer Memorial

Providing Free Four-o'clock Flower Seeds as a Living Symbol of Hope
to Plant in Gardens Across America and Around the World

New Orleans, Louisiana Since 1994

This is a cluster of white four-o'clock flowers in full bloom under a Southern afternoon sun in Louisiana. Four-o'clock flowers are trumpet-shaped flowers which bloom in the late afternoon after 4 p.m., hence their name. Four-o'clock flowers come in several colors, including yellow, pink, magenta, white, and mixtures of those colors. Http://







Growing and Planting Four-o'clock
"Mirabilis jalapa" Plants

Planting Instructions

Four-o'clock plants (Mirabilis jalapa) are very easy to plant and grow throughout America and around the world. Planting should be done when all chances of frost have passed in your area. Four-o'clocks thrive in partially sunny locations, but will do well in sunny locations. Loosen the soil in the bed where you will plant the seeds. The seeds should be pressed into the soil with a small covering of soil no more than a half an inch. Space the seeds approximately one to two feet apart. Gently water. The seeds will sprout in 7 - 14 days depending on the temperature. The warmer the temperature, the faster the germination. A mild, water-soluble fertilizer applied once a month would be beneficial to the plants. The plants will grow to a height of three feet in most climates and produce an abundance of scented flowers. The flowers bloom in the late afternoon, hence the name - Four-o'clocks. Four-o'clocks come in a variety of colors, including white, yellow, pink, magenta, and combinations of those colors. They will continue blooming until the first frost.

Harvesting Four-o'clock Seeds

Four-o'clocks produce an abundance of black seeds about the size of a pea. The seeds are formed when the flower dries up and falls off the stem leaving the seed. The seeds can be harvested by picking them from the bush by hand, or allowing them to fall onto the ground and picking them off the ground. Place the seeds on a paper towel to thoroughly dry which takes approximately five (5) days. The seeds can now be stored in paper bank envelopes or in paper bags. The paper allows air circulation around the seeds. Do NOT place the seeds in any type of plastic container or plastic envelope as this will result in the seeds mildewing and rotting. Once the seeds are dried, they can be shared with your family and friends.

Cold Climates Planting

Four-o'clocks are considered as a perennial in the South and as an annual in the North. This means those living in colder climates should harvest and save seeds from their four-o'clocks to be planted the next year. There's been some reports of four-o'clocks surviving winters after being heavily mulched with leaves, grass clippings, newspaper and other materials. It is good to be on the safe side and save seeds. Four-o'clocks produce cone-shaped tubers which can be dug up and stored in a dry location for planting the following year. It is important not to store tubers in plastic or a closed container because the tubers will rot. It is ideal to store tubers in-between layers of newspaper in a cardboard box.

Container Growing Four-o'clocks

Four-o'clocks are easily grown in small containers for apartments. A one (1) to five (5) gallon container obtained from your local garden center or nursery is ideal for growing four-o'clocks. Fill the container with a qualify potting mix, such as Hyponex. Water the container, then press the seeds into the soil. Place 4 - 7 seeds in a gallon container. A saucer under the container is helpful. The seeds should germinate within 7 - 14 days depending on the temperature. Place the container on a porch or balcony so the plants are receiving some direct or indirect sun light. A light solution of water soluble fertilizer once a month will be beneficial to the plants. Container plants need more attention and watering. A suggestion is to use mulch on the top of the container to reduce the evaporation of water from the pots. Plants not receiving enough sun will become long and spindly. Four-o'clocks can have the main stalk "pinched back" to have the plant become more bushy. Four-o'clocks have been grown indoors in Alaska and cold climates, such Minnesota and Wisconsin. An elderly lady in Minnesota had a single four-o'clock growing in a quart flower pot in her kitchen window.

Additional Information

Persons can obtain more information on growing and caring for four-o'clock plants by contacting their local County Agent or Cooperative Extension Service. Information can also be obtained at your local garden center and nursery.

Read the Numerous Newspaper and
Magazine Articles on the Cancer Memorial
  View Photos of Cancer Events in New Orleans
This is a thumbnail picture of anan article written by The United States Postal Service - USPS - which wrote an article on the breast cancer awareness stamp and on the four-o'clock flowers cancer project which appeared in Postal Life. Several thousand postal employees requested free four-o'clock flower seeds.  The article has several embedded pictures, including a yellow flower, a photo of the breast cancer awareness stamp with a pink ribbon in the corner, and a picture of a postal employee hugging her mother who battled cancer. Http:// This is a thumbnail picture of an article on the cancer tribute which appeared in the University of Louisiana at Monroe alumni publication. The article has several photographs in it, including a photo of Kevin Donahoe holding a handful of four-o'clock flower seeds; a photo showing Kevin Donahoe packing envlopes with four-o'clock flower seeds, and a photo of former President George H. W. Bush congratulating Kevin Donahoe for receiving a Point of Light Foundation award for national volunteerism. Http:// This is a photo of several ladies walking in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure event in New Orleans in 2008. Http:// This is a photo of several cancer survivors who participated in the annual National Cancer Survivors Day which was held in New Orleans in 2009. Http://
USPS Postal Life

Cancer Survivor's Day


of the Tribute

Eulogy for Jim

Poetry by Jim

Free Four-O'clock
Flower Seeds

Four-o'clock Flower Pictures from Around the World

Letters from
U.S. Postmasters

Newspaper and
Magazine Articles

Television and
Hollywood Celebrities

Awards and Honors

Doubloons for
Cancer Project

Upcoming Events

Information on Kevin


This is a picture of the front page of the Tulane University school newspaper - The Tulane Hullabaloo. The front page shows Kevin Donahoe holding an American flag in his right hand and a sign stating, THank you, america, in his left hand. The sign was in appreciation for what Americans have done to help New Orleans in its recovery from Hurricane Katrina. THe picture was taken at a parade on Poydras Street in downtown New Orleans during a parade on the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Http://

Copyright 2009 New Orleans, Louisiana

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