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Four O’clock Flowers

Q.My 4 O’clock flowers aren’t producing the right colors

Zone 47302 | Rebel Reviewer added on August 1, 2018 | Answered

I’ve been growing them for years started out with the basic, Pink, Yellow, White, Red, Last year (2017) I bought Marble and Broken 4 O’clocks, they bloomed wonderfully. I take some seeds and store them over the winter (I’m in Indiana) but for the most part I’ve always just mowed them down at the end of the season when they’re done, and they sprout right back up the following season, bigger and better than the previous years, however this year I am only getting almost all pink (fuchsia to be more precise) a few red and a few yellow, not a single Marble or Broken variety I have 3 different beds of 4 O’clocks (I love them that much!) I just don’t understand why I am not getting all the varieties I’ve had planted, and only getting basic colors.
if these pictures upload in the proper order the 1st one should be of last season showing All the varieties I had (the basic colors I’ve had for years, the Broken, & the Marbled) the 2nd picture is of this season just the basic color that is pretty much only the pink(fuchsia) Any clue why I’m not getting all the varieties I have planted I also started several from seeds indoors this year and transplanted them to my flower bed along with just having what seeded out on its own at the end of season, to insure I’d get the variety of each kind I have planted, and that didn’t work out!

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on August 1, 2018

They are all cross-pollinating. The colors and patterns that you find most attractive are extremely recessive traits. If any pollen from a dominant color reaches those flowers, then the offspring will take the dominant color.

To get those colors takes a few years of very selective in-breeding. It will be necessary to start from their seed each time, as any offspring will be outcrossed and will not have those traits anymore.

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Rebel Reviewer
Answered on August 1, 2018

Thank you. That never even crossed my mind as to why it was happening, but makes total sense.

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