The so-called night owl, also known by its scientific name Mirabilis jalapa or by one of its many nicknames, as a plant of Don Pedro, pedritos, marvel, gallant at night or plant parakeets, 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 longif.webplora. Don Diego at night or dondiego at night reaches heights of up to 1 meter when properly developed and, although its leaves are very beautiful, the most striking thing is the morning glory 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 Green Ecologist article and discover all about the care of the late-night maiden or gallant at night.
What tropical plant That is, 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 does not drop never below 10 ºC. Due to this, in non-tropical countries, the most common is to have the morning glory 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.
When it comes to your light needs, 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 midday and afternoon. This plant, in addition, supports the saline air of the coast without problems.
The dondiego needs abundant and frequent waterings, as 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 warmer months, it will be necessary to maintain a certain level of moisture 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.
We recommend reading this other post about When to water plants to learn more.
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 a drainage that is as good as possible. 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 vermicompost 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.
The dondiego has no need for pruning beyond the maintenance pruning basic. Therefore, it will be enough to regularly check the condition of the plant and remove the leaves and branches in poor condition.
Remember when remove leaves or branches in bad conditionIf you use pruning shears or another tool, you will have to disinfect it before and after using it to avoid spreading diseases and pests, such as fungi, through the plant or to other plants.
Regarding multiplication or reproduction of the nightmareThis is done very simply by seeds. It is possible to perform cuttings of the night maiden, but since their 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? 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 morning glory seeds They 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.
The Mirabilis jalapa produces uninterrupted flowers for virtually everything 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 evening, giving them a very unique touch.
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 mushrooms.
If aphids are detected on the leaves of the morning glory, it is recommended to treat it immediately with some ecological pesticide such as potassium soap, garlic solution, or neem oil. Here you can see more Home remedies for aphids on plants.
We also recommend reading these other articles on How to remove ants from plants and Why do black spots appear on plants.
If you want to read more articles similar to Dondiego at night: care, we recommend that you enter our category of Cultivation and care of plants.