Four O’clock Flowers
Q.

Can I Leave the Roots in the Ground for Four O’clocks

Zone Boston Ma. | Paul walsh added on October 9, 2012 | Answered

Today I began cutting down and then digging up the roots of my four o'clock plants. After looking at the root itself, I wondered if I should should be removing at all.  Can I, or should I, remove the entire root? I will plant the four o'clocks in the same area. Am I wasting my time? Your site suggests root divisions. Not sure exactly what that means.

A.
A.Answers to this queston: Add Answer
Nikki
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on October 10, 2012

You do not need to dig up these roots if you are concerned with winter damage. They should naturally die back over winter but will regrow once spring returns. In fact, some of the dropped seeds may even sprout new plants in various areas of the garden.

As for root division, you should wait for spring to divide these plants and that's if they are outgrowing their boundaries and becoming crowded. You would simply dig up the clump and use a spade shovel (or whatever) to split the clump into as many sections as you require, each having their own root system. Then replant elsewhere.

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