The so-called night owl, also known by its scientific name Mirabilis jalapa or by one of its many nicknames, such as don Pedro plant , pedritos, marvel, galán de noche or parakeet plant , belongs to a genus of plants with about 60 species. They are plants from America, specifically from the tropics, and the most used are the Mirabilis jalapa and the Mirabilis longiflora . The don Diego at night or night dondiego reaches heights of up to 1 meter when it develops properly and, although its leaves are very beautiful, the most striking thing is the night dondiego flower, with bright solid and mixed colors and that only opens at sunset, to close again when the sun rises.
If you want to learn more about this plant, stay in this interesting GreenEcology article and discover everything about the care of the maiden at night or gallant at night.
Location and weather for the morning glory
As a tropical plant , this species does not tolerate very low or excessively high temperatures, nor does it tolerate droughts well. The dondiego needs a place protected from the cold, where the temperature never falls below 10 ºC . Due to this, in non-tropical countries the most common is to have the night bird in a pot, so that we can control the environmental conditions more easily by changing the place of the pot. If you plant it outdoors and see that it weakens with the arrival of the cold, you will have to transplant the morning glory plant at night to a more protected area as soon as possible.
As far as your light needs are concerned, it is best to expose it to full sun , unless you live in an extremely hot area or with exceptionally intense sun, in which case it will be better to opt for semi-shade, protected from the worst hours of the day. noon and afternoon. This plant also supports the saline air of the coast without problems.
Watering the Morning Glory
The dondiego needs abundant and frequent waterings , since it is a species of naturally humid climates. This need for humidity is accentuated if we grow it in a pot, as it usually happens, since its roots have a much more limited growth.
In the warm months, it will be necessary to maintain a certain level of humidity in the substrate , although always without flooding it. In the cold months it is necessary to space the waterings more, since the plant absorbs much less water.
Substrate and compost for the morning glory
It is not a particularly demanding plant in terms of substrate, but since we will have to water it often in summer, it is important that it offers the best possible drainage . To achieve this effect, it is a good idea to add a third part of sand or river gravel to the mix or other materials, such as coconut fiber , to make the substrate lighter, aerated and drained.
Regarding the compost, your flowers will appreciate a good contribution of organic matter , being the worm humus an optimal option as almost always. If the plant is planted in the ground, a good annual contribution will suffice, while in a pot this should be done every two weeks.
Pruning the Morning Glory
The morning glory has no need for pruning beyond basic maintenance pruning . Therefore, it will be enough to regularly check the condition of the plant and remove the leaves and branches in poor condition.
Remember that when you remove leaves or branches in poor condition , if you use a pruning shears or other tool you will have to disinfect it before and after use to avoid spreading diseases and pests, such as fungi, through the plant or other plants.
Reproduction of the Morning Glory
Regarding the multiplication or reproduction of the morning glory , this is done very simply by seeds. It is possible to make cuttings of the morning glory at night , but since its seeds have a great capacity for growth, it is usually more convenient to use them, since they do not involve long waiting periods.
¿ When to plant the morning glory night ? The ideal is to do it during the spring months, although if the weather is good it can be done practically throughout the year. The seeds of morning glory should be planted in seedbeds or small containers in an area with a warm temperature and without great variations. Then they will have to be transplanted to their final location once the seedlings reach about 25 cm in height.
When the gloom blooms at night
The Mirabilis jalapa produces flowers continuously for almost all the summer and fall , reaching the same plant to be able to present flowers of different colors , even mixed in the same flower, among which are different shades of white, yellow, pink and red.
However, its greatest peculiarity is the one we already mentioned at the beginning: its flowers only open in the hours of absence of sun or when it is low. Thus, it is common to use this plant to bring its pleasant fragrance to gardens and spaces in the afternoon and at night, giving them a very unique touch.
Plagues of the night maiden
This plant is not particularly susceptible to any specific pests, being in fact quite resistant to the most common ones. You have to be very careful with the aphid , which is often accompanied by ants and the characteristic black fungi .
If aphids are detected on the leaves of the morning glory, it is recommended to treat it immediately with an ecological pesticide such as potassium soap, garlic solution, or neem oil.