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How To Grow a Yesterday Today and Tomorrow Plant

If you are looking for a shrub that produces fragrant flowers that change color from one day to the next, you might want to consider the yesterday, today and tomorrow plant (Brunfelsia pauciflora).

This tropical evergreen shrub is native to South America and belongs to the nightshade family.

It blooms from spring to fall, with flowers that start out purple, then fade to lavender and finally white. The flowers also release a pleasant scent at night, ranging from musk to clove.

The yesterday, today and tomorrow plant is easy to grow in warm climates (USDA zones 9-11) where it can be planted in the ground. In cooler climates, it can be grown in containers and brought indoors for the winter. Here are some tips on how to grow and care for this unique plant.


The plant prefers partial shade or filtered light, as it can get sunburned in direct sun. A good location is under the canopy of tall trees that provide some protection from the scorching sun.


The plant likes moist, acidic and fertile soil with good drainage and high organic matter content. You can add composted cow manure and peat moss to the planting hole to improve the soil quality.


The plant needs regular watering to keep the soil from drying out completely. Water deeply and thoroughly, but avoid overwatering or soggy soil. During dry spells, water more frequently.


The plant benefits from a yearly application of fertilizer in spring. You can use a balanced or acid-loving fertilizer, following the label instructions.


The plant can grow up to 8 feet tall and 6 feet wide, depending on the variety. You can prune it lightly after each bloom cycle to maintain its shape and encourage more flowers. 

You can also prune it harder in spring for size control, but do it after the first spring flowering. To prune the plant, use sharp and clean pruning shears and cut back any dead, diseased or damaged branches.

You can also remove any crossing or crowded branches to improve air circulation and light penetration. Cut back the stems by about one-third or more, depending on how much you want to reduce the size. Make sure to leave some healthy buds on each stem for new growth.


The plant is generally pest and disease resistant, but it can be affected by aphids, scale insects, spider mites, mealybugs, root rot and fungal diseases. Inspect the plant regularly and treat any problems promptly with organic or chemical methods.


The plant can be propagated by seeds or cuttings. Seeds can be collected from ripe fruits and sown in pots with moist soil. Cuttings can be taken from semi-hardwood stems in summer and rooted in pots with moist soil or water.


If you live in a cooler climate, you can grow the plant in a large pot with drainage holes and a saucer. Use a potting mix suitable for acid-loving plants and water regularly. Place the pot in a bright spot indoors during winter and protect it from frost. Move it outdoors in spring after the last frost and gradually acclimate it to the outdoor conditions.

The yesterday, today and tomorrow plant is a beautiful and fragrant shrub that will add color and interest to your garden or patio. With proper care, it will reward you with its stunning flowers that change color every day.

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