Yesterday Today and Tomorrow: How To Grow and Care For Brunfelsia

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Do you know the Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow plant? You may know it as the Brunfelsia plant – Brunfelsia grandiflora or Brunfelsia pauciflora.

The plant is also known by a few other names – Kiss Me Quick, Morning-Noon-and-Night, and the Brazil Raintree.

brunfelsia - yesterday Today and Tomorrow plantPin

A native plant from Brazil, Brunfelsia grows in light woodland and thickets. It can reach up to 10′ feet tall and spread up to 12′ feet wide. 

When grown in the landscape, Yesterday Today and Tomorrow is grown more as a small evergreen shrub or bush.

It’s grown mainly for its sweet-smelling fragrant flowers. In fact, the species Brunfelsia pauciflora – the species name, “bonodora,” in Latin, means ‘sweet-smelling.’ 

Plant Brunfelsia close to your home, deck, or patio to enjoy the deep violet flowers and fragrance!

The name Brunfelsia comes from a German monk, Otto Brunfels, and it is often misspelled as Brunsfelsia.

The common name Yesterday Today and Tomorrow comes from the flowers which change from one day to the next. The flower begins with violet blooms, then change to pale lavender and white.

The flowers appear on the end of long stems which open singly. Under favorable conditions, a plant can bloom all year round.

Yesterday Today and Tomorrow Plants Quick Care Tips

  • Botanical Name: Brunfelsia spp.
  • Common Name(s): Yesterday-Today-and-Tomorrow, Kiss Me Quick, Lady of the Night
  • Synonyms: Brunfelsia pauciflora, Brunfelsia americana
  • Family & Origin: Solanaceae family, native to Brazil.
  • Growability: Easy to grow
  • Grow Zone: USDA zones 9-11
  • Size: Can grow up to 10′ feet tall and spread up to 12′ feet wide.
  • Flowering: Blooms in spring and summer with fragrant flowers that change color from purple to lavender to white
  • Light: Prefers bright, indirect light but can tolerate some shade
  • Humidity: Can tolerate low humidity but prefers higher humidity levels
  • Temperature: Thrives in warm temperatures between 60-80°F
  • Soil: Well-draining soil with a pH between 5.5-6.5
  • Water: Keep soil consistently moist but not waterlogged, water when the top inch of soil is dry
  • Fertilizer: Feed with a balanced fertilizer every 2-3 weeks during the growing season
  • Pests & Diseases: Susceptible to spider mites, mealybugs, and whiteflies. Can also be affected by root rot if overwatered.
  • Propagation: Can be propagated by stem cuttings or layering
  • Plant Uses: Can be grown as a shrub or trained as a small tree. Often used as an ornamental plant in gardens or as a houseplant.

Growing Yesterday Today and Tomorrow Plants In The Garden

Once you experience the Brunfelsia flowering, it will become a favorite in your garden as it brings a romantic touch to the space.

Yesterday today and tomorrow plant grows well in warm subtropical gardens, especially in areas with tropical climates. But can also flourish in cooler climates, able to endure light frost. During colder months, it will become deciduous.

If you’re unable to grow outside in the landscape in foundation plantings, you can achieve success by growing the plant in a pot. This makes it easy to move plants indoors when temperatures drop.

In gardens, the plants are easy to grow and do not require pruning. Prune brunfelsia to control the growth and spreading. Apply a light trim after flowering to keep the plant tidy and bushy.

What Kind Of Lighting Is Required?

Brunfelsia plants are tropical plants that do well in full sun but need some partial shade for protection during the extreme heat of the day. 

They also do well in filtered partial shade and grow well under tree canopies.

They thrive in USDA hardiness zones 9 to 12.

What Are The Soil Requirements?

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow needs moist, rich, and well-drained soil. Plants respond well to having their roots weaving their way through compost. 

It also prefers moist soil with an acid pH that is just below neutral 7. Mulch with moss, pine needles, or acidic compost on the base of the planting location.

Watering and Irrigation Needs

When watering the Yesterday Today and Tomorrow plant keep the soil moist. Try to avoid drying the soil, so it’s important to check the surrounding soil if it’s dry.

If growing in pots during the summer months, check the pots daily to ensure they are holding enough moisture to avoid the plant drying out.

How To Propagate The Yesterday Today and Tomorrow Plant

Propagation of the Brunfelsia flower is usually done during spring. That is when new spring tip cuttings are available.

Take cutting up to 5″ inches long and dip them in a rooting hormone powder. Place cuttings in pots containing a soil mix of equal amounts of peat moss and perlite – sand can also be included if you like.

If possible, put the potted cuttings in a propagating case (soda bottles work great) and place them in bright filtered light – NOT direct light.

When new growth and roots form, after about two weeks; you can start moderate watering with an application of liquid acid fertilizer or plant food every two weeks.

Yesterday Today and TomorrowPin

Growing Yesterday Today and Tomorrow Plants As A Potted Houseplant

The plant – Brunfelsia pauciflora can be grown indoors. Prune old plants back to half their size before you plant and move indoors. Pinch the light green growing tips to encourage more bushy growth.

The care involves providing good lighting, and a regular watering program. Without a sunroom, I personally think it would be a difficult plant to enjoy indoors.

What Are The Lighting Needs Indoors? – For satisfactory growing and flowering of brunfelsia, plants need three to four hours of direct sunlight. The light should be supplied throughout the year for the plant to do well.

The Temperature Needs Indoors – Normal room temperature is suitable for the Yesterday Today and Tomorrow plant during normal growth. For increased humidity, place trays or saucers with moist pebbles under pots. During cold months the plants will slow down their growth rate.

Required Watering Indoors – Water moderately during active growth periods, just enough to make the mixture thoroughly moist. Sub-irrigation works well for this.

Allow the top half-inch should dry between watering. If plants are resting, water them less to avoid them from drying up.

Feeding Potted Brunflesia – Apply a liquid acid fertilizer at 1/2 strength to plants every two weeks.

Potting and Repotting Your Brunfelsia – When potting or repotting plants, use a soil-based potting mixture.

Soil-based potting mixtures will contain things like peat, sand, vermiculite, or perlite.

Brunfelsia plants seem to flower best when their root system is confined in small pots – 6″ inches roughly.

When repotting, refresh the potting mixture each spring. Avoid increasing the pot size as you repot.

However, ensure to keep small children and pets away from this houseplant because it is poisonous and can be dangerous, especially when ingested.

Common Problems of Brunfelsia Plant

Pale or Yellow Leaves – When soil is not acidic enough, brunfelsia can develop pale yellow leaves. Repot the plant in a more acidic soil mix. You can also use iron sulphate mixed in water to water the plant.

Plant Has Weak Growth – The plant may exhibit weak growth due to the presence of aphids sucking the sap. Wash them off using a gentle stream of water. If you see a fine webbing under leaves look for a red spider mite that thrives in dry conditions.

Mealy Bugs and Whitefly – To get rid of these pests, try using natural neem oil spray.

Brunfelsia will soon become a favorite plant in your garden once it has been experienced. It truly is a plant you can enjoy Yesterday Today and Tomorrow!

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