Today yesterday and tomorrow

The Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow plant is a shrub or small tree that blossoms late into the season. A native to the Brazilian rainforests, this plant enjoys warmer climates in zones 9, 10 and 11, or can be grown in cooler zones in containers to be brought indoors when frost threatens.

How the Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Plant Got Its Name

The Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow plant, or Brunfelsia latifolia, got its more common name because of its fragrant two-inch blooms. These flowers last for three days and change color with each day. The first day they are purple (yesterday), the second day they change to a pastel lavender shade (today), and on the third day they change to an almost white color (tomorrow). Because each flower lasts for three days and goes through this colorful transformation, it is easy to tell whether it is a yesterday bloom or a shade representing today and tomorrow.

This unique plant creates variegated clusters of color and breathtaking beauty when all three shades are present. Unlike some plants that flower for two to four weeks, one thing that makes these shrubs so desirable is that flowering starts in the summer and promises plenty of yesterdays, todays and tomorrows as flowering lasts into September and October.

Poisonous: Plant with Caution

While these flowers are pretty, offer months of blooms and give off a sweet-smelling fragrance, it is important to note that these plants also contain poisonous alkaloids and may not be the best choice for households with young children. Seeds from the flowers are poisonous and berries from the Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow plants are especially toxic. To avoid accidental poisoning, caution should be taken and extra safety measures put into place such as adult supervision when toddlers, young children or pets are playing outdoors.

Where to Plant

In all, there are approximately 40 species in the Brunfelsia genus. While these tropical perennials do well in warmer climates, they do not enjoy extreme heat, and grow best in tropical climates in areas with partial shade. They make an ideal choice as a garden shrub in milder climates while varieties that grow in zone 8 and up are more like small evergreen trees that don’t lose their green leaves (three to seven feet tall). They do best in slightly acidic soil, and as natives to the Brazilian rainforest, they should be watered well, soaking the soil and then letting the soil dry out before watering again.

Growing in Containers

If you live in a cooler climate, the Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow plant can be successfully grown in containers ideal for a patio or entryway. This way they can be brought indoors when the weather turns too cold or frost threatens. Growing these plants in containers will keep them smaller and requires some pruning. However, they will still produce prolific fragrant blooms from summer into fall.

Incorporating In Your Garden Plan

These evergreen shrubs make a popular choice when landscaping your garden. Not only do they provide fragrance and long-lasting blooms, but when paired with complementary low-growing flowers the evergreen foliage from the Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow provides a perfect backdrop to make the color of your other flowers pop. For complementary flowers, choose varieties that bloom in spring and summer to create a garden that bursts with color for most of the year.

Toxicology Brief: Brunfelsia species: Beautiful but deadly

The genus Brunfelsia belongs to the alkaloid-rich Solanaceae family. It consists of about 40 different species and is native to South and Central America and the West Indies. Brunfelsia species are erect, compact evergreen shrubs that are about 1.5 to 6 ft in height and diameter. In the United States, they are grown as ornamentals in gardens, especially in the warmer southern coastal regions where they can better withstand the winter season. Brunfelsia species are also grown as potted plants and, thus, can be available in the colder states year-round.

Brunfelsia species flowers are showy and appear in clusters (Figure 1). The deep-purple flowers gradually change to lavender and then white over a three-day period. This change in color has given some Brunfelsia species the popular common names the morning-noon-and-night plant and the yesterday-today-and-tomorrow plant. One plant may have all three flower colors (purple, lavender, and white) at the same time. The flowers bloom in midspring, and green to blackish-brown berries develop in summer and autumn. Each seedpod contains about 20 small, hard, dark-brown seeds.1-3

1. Brunfelsia species flowers, leaves, and seeds. Note all three flower colors-purple, lavender, and white-are present on the plant on the left. On the right, note the brown seedpods. (Photos courtesy of Dr. Linnaea Stull.)

Extracts from some Brunfelsia species possess therapeutic properties, and, historically, some Brunfelsia species have been used in the West Indies and South America to treat various ailments. Some of the therapeutic properties and uses of Brunfelsia species include anti-inflammatory, cathartic, diuretic, antipyretic, antirheumatic, abortifacient, emetic, hallucinogenic, and hypertensive effects.1,2

This article describes the clinical signs and treatment of Brunfelsia species toxicosis in dogs. It also reviews Brunfelsia species exposures reported to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) from November 2001 to November 2006.


A search of the ASPCA APCC database AnTox for Brunfelsia species exposures from November 2001 to November 2006 revealed 38 cases involving 42 dogs (three cases involved more than one dog).4 No cases were reported in any other animal species. The most commonly involved breeds were Labrador retrievers (n=5) and golden retrievers (n=4). The age range of exposed dogs was from 1 month to 8 years. Weights ranged from 6 to 75 lb (2.7 to 34 kg).

Evidence of chewed Brunfelsia species was found in 25 cases, and in six cases, someone observed the dogs’ exposure to Brunfelsia species. The quantity of ingested plant was known in four cases: One dog ingested two leaves, and three dogs ingested 15, 20, and 30 seeds, respectively.4

The gastrointestinal tract and central nervous system (CNS) were most commonly affected. The outcome of 19 dogs is known: Thirteen dogs recovered with supportive care, two dogs died, two dogs developed sequelae (occasional seizure episodes), one dog was euthanized, and one dog had a continuation of clinical signs (lethargy) at follow-up.


There are case reports of Brunfelsia species toxicosis in cattle, dogs, rats, and mice.1-3,5-7 Several of these cases were fatal, with nonspecific necropsy findings. Although only a few Brunfelsia species (B. calycina var. floribunda, B. pauciflora, B. australis, B. bonodora) have been implicated in animal poisoning cases, all species and all parts of the plant (flowers, leaves, berries, and seeds) should be considered toxic to animals. Dogs appear to be particularly attracted to the berries and seeds. Four reports of Brunfelsia species toxicosis in dogs have been published—two in Australia5,6 and two in the United States.2,7

In the two Australian cases, the clinical signs of toxicosis included signs of buccal and gastric irritation (salivation, vomiting, and diarrhea), muscle spasm and rigidity, opisthotonus, and coma. Nystagmus was also described in one case. In one case, the dog recovered in two days with supportive treatment.5,6

In the first U.S. case, a 6-year-old female Siberian husky was presented for evaluation with excessive salivation, coughing, gagging, dilated pupils, muscular contractions, horizontal nystagmus, and clonic-tonic convulsions after eating B. pauciflora seeds. Convulsions stopped on the fifth day, and the dog completely recovered within three weeks. The dog was treated with activated charcoal, intravenous fluids, anticonvulsants (pentobarbital or primidone), corticosteroids, and a topical ophthalmic ointment.7

In the second U.S. case, an 11-week-old puppy was presented with acute-onset anxiety, persistent sneezing, vomiting, tremors, pyrexia, disorientation, ataxia, and seizures within two hours after exposure. The puppy died despite treatment with activated charcoal, diazepam, and prednisolone. The vomitus and stool contained several seeds of B. calycina var. floribunda. Necropsy findings in this puppy were unremarkable.2


The literature and the ASPCA APCC cases indicate that the onset of clinical signs of Brunfelsia species toxicosis in dogs may occur within two to several hours after exposure. Clinical signs may start with agitation, nervousness, or excitement followed by tremors, shaking, muscular rigidity, paddling, and tonic-clonic seizures. Table 1 lists clinical signs in dogs reported to the ASPCA APCC. The tonic-clonic seizures and other clinical signs such as muscular rigidity or the sawhorse stance may resemble the signs caused by strychnine poisoning.

Table 1: Clinical Signs Reported After Brunfelsia Species Ingestion in 42 Dogs

Clinical signs may last from a few hours to several days with or without treatment. Brunfelsia species poisoning does not seem to cause marked hematologic, serum chemistry, or pathologic changes in animals.


Several biologically active compounds have been isolated from Brunfelsia species, although the exact toxins responsible for neurotoxicosis are unknown. The compound responsible for causing the clinical signs of toxicosis appears to be similar to a compound that interferes with neurotransmission such as that seen with strychnine toxicosis.

Two compounds that cause neurotoxicosis in mice or rats are hopeanine and brunfelsamidine.1 Hopeanine causes decreased activity, paralysis, seizures, and hypersensitivity, whereas brunfelsamidine produces excitement, tonic-clonic seizures, and death. It appears that brunfelsamidine may be the toxin responsible for neurotoxicosis in animals because of its ability to cause excitement and tonic-clonic seizures.1 According to one report, the unknown toxins isolated from B. calycina var. floribunda are water-soluble and highly stable, maintaining lethality for four months.2


A diagnosis of Brunfelsia species toxicosis in dogs is based on a history or evidence of exposure to the plant (flowers, leaves, berries, or seeds present in the vomitus or stool), an onset of clinical signs within hours after exposure, and the characteristic CNS signs (muscular rigidity, paddling, tonic-clonic seizures) and vomiting or diarrhea. The differential diagnoses should include toxicoses with strychnine, metaldehyde, methylxanthine, organochlorine pesticides, lead, or illicit drugs (e.g. amphetamines, cocaine) and infectious diseases such as canine distemper.


The main treatment objectives are decontamination, seizure control, and supportive care. If the animal has CNS signs, stabilize it (control seizures as described below) before starting decontamination or supportive care. In the case of a recent exposure (within two hours of ingestion) when no clinical signs are present, induce emesis with 3% hydrogen peroxide (1.5 ml/kg orally; repeat in 10 minutes if emesis does not occur after first dosing) or apomorphine (0.02 to 0.04 mg/kg intramuscularly or intravenously).

After emesis, administer activated charcoal (1 to 2 g/kg orally) mixed with a cathartic such as 70% sorbitol (1 to 2 ml/kg) or magnesium sulfate or sodium sulfate (250 mg/kg). Do not give a cathartic if the animal already has diarrhea. Repeated doses of charcoal (six to eight hours apart) can be useful if seeds or fruit have been ingested. If large amounts of seeds or berries have been consumed, consider gastric or enterogastric lavage followed by charcoal administration.

Control seizures with intravenous pentobarbital sodium (given to effect and repeated as needed) or with methocarbamol (100 to 200 mg/kg intravenously; maximum dose of 330 mg/kg/day). Intravenous propofol (4 to 6 mg/kg) or diazepam (1 to 2 mg/kg) may also be useful, although success varies with diazepam. If seizures are not controlled with the preceding treatment, administer isoflurane gas anesthesia. Severely affected animals may require intubation and artificial respiration.

Animals should be kept in a dark, quiet place. Monitor for hyperthermia or hypothermia, and treat as needed with cooling baths, fans, or heating pads. Monitor complete blood counts and serum chemistry profiles as needed. Intravenous fluid diuresis may be required for one or two days or longer. Complete recovery may take several days or weeks.


Although there are only a few published reports of Brunfelsia species toxicosis in dogs, the information collected by the ASPCA APCC from 2001 to 2006 indicates that the number of cases is on the rise, probably because of the increased popularity and availability of Brunfelsia species in the United States.

Clinical signs of Brunfelsia species toxicosis are usually observed within the first few hours after exposure and mainly consist of CNS and gastrointestinal effects. Some CNS signs may be similar to those caused by strychnine.

Treatment is aimed at decontamination, seizure control, and supportive care. Since Brunfelsia species toxicosis can cause potentially life-threatening effects, all exposures should be taken seriously and treated aggressively.

1. Burrows GE, Tyrl RJ. Brunfelsia L. In: Toxic plants of North America. Ames: Iowa State University Press, 2001;1107-1108.

3. Mason J, Khan SA, Gwaltney-Brant S. Toxicant exposures in small animals: recently recognized animal toxicants. In: Kirk RW, Bonagura JD, eds. Current veterinary therapy small animal practice (in press).

4. AnTox Database. Urbana, Ill: ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, 2001-2006.

5. McBarron EJ, de Sarem W. Letter: Poisoning of dogs by the fruits of the garden shrub Brunfelsia bonodora. Aust Vet J 1975;51(5):280.

6. Neilson J, Burren V. Intoxication of two dogs by fruit of Brunfelsia australis. Aust Vet J 1983;60(12):378-380.

Some Plants Can Be Lethal to Children

Many parents of young children are careful to childproof their homes, but they often overlook a major cause of poisoning in youngsters–toxic plants. A surprising number of plants produce reactions when their leaves, flowers or fruit are eaten. Reactions range from skin rashes to death.

“We get approximately 2,500 calls a year about children who have ingested poisonous plants,” said Anthony Manoguerra, a pharmacist who is director of the San Diego Division of the California Poison Control System, which serves Orange County.

“While most of the poisonings aren’t potentially deadly, we have had life-threatening situations,” said Manoguerra. “Recently a child ate some castor beans, which cause vomiting and diarrhea to the point of severe dehydration. There was potential for liver damage, and the child had to be hospitalized.”

Plants such as Angel’s Trumpet (Brugmansia), Foxglove, English yew, Western Yew and tree tobacco (Nicotiana glauca) are capable of producing severe poisoning in humans. Many of these plants can damage the heart and other major organs.


Most of the plant-related cases the Poison Control System gets calls on aren’t serious, but reactions can be severe and very uncomfortable for children, said Manoguerra.

“Eighty percent of the calls we get are regarding plants from the oxalate family,” said Manoguerra.

These plants cause irritation of the mucous membranes, pain or swelling of the mouth, lips and tongue and skin rashes, with symptoms lasting for about a day. Eating these plants usually isn’t fatal, unless there is enough swelling to obstruct breathing.

Plants that fall into the oxalate category include dieffenbachia, philodendron, elephant’s ear, caladium species, calla lily and nephthytis.



There are other categories of plants that cause skin rashes when plant sap comes in contact with skin. And many other types of plants also cause vomiting and diarrhea when eaten. Whether dehydration will occur depends on the type of plant and the amount ingested, Manoguerra said.

Oleander is one well-known poison plant that can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and in large amounts it can have an effect on the heart. However, it often isn’t a big problem, said Manoguerra.

“Fortunately oleander is very bitter, and most kids stop eating it, so they don’t ingest enough to cause much harm.”

Oleander may not be much of a problem with children, but it causes a great deal of trouble with puppies, says veterinarian Jeff Horner of Orange Veterinary Hospital.

“Puppies chew on oleander limbs and trunks for a couple of weeks and then collapse,” he said. “By the time I see them, it’s usually too late, because their hearts are completely shot. At one house there were two oleander poisonings. We were able to save the first puppy, but the second passed away.”

Another plant that Horner has seen cause death in animals is Yesterday-Today-and-Tomorrow (Brunfelsia pauciflora ‘Floribunda’). “This plant causes seizures, and by the time I see the animals, the liver has been damaged beyond repair,” he said.

Horner, who specializes in dogs and cats, sees potentially deadly poisonings about once a month and on a weekly basis less dangerous poisonings causing vomiting, diarrhea and irritation to the mouth, throat and skin.


“A lot of people are surprised when their animals are poisoned by plants,” he said. “Although the incidence is low, it still happens. In response, I recently created a list of poisonous plants, and many clients have said it has really helped them.”

For humans, symptoms of having ingested a lethal plant include nausea, vomiting, headache, diarrhea, lethargy and a drop in heart rate, usually occurring within 24 hours.

If you suspect that a child has eaten a potentially poisonous plant, call the poison control center at (800) 876-4766 immediately, Manoguerra said.

“Most children who have taken a small bite out of a harmful plant will be fine, but the poison control center should be the judge of that,” he says.

When you call, if you don’t know the name of the plant, have a leaf from the plant on hand so you can describe it for possible identification.

If the plant eaten is an oxalate, wipe out the mouth and give the child something to drink to alleviate the discomfort. Popsicles work well to reduce swelling and relieve irritation.

In animals, ingestion of a harmful plant can result in lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea and drooling.

When you suspect that your pet has ingested a poisonous plant, time is of the essence, said Horner.


“Go into the vet with your animal and the suspected plant. Although we’re not botanists, seeing the plant can sometimes help us make an accurate diagnosis.”

Horner advises against owners inducing vomiting in dogs and cats, because none of the over-the-counter products work well or quickly enough. A vet can use an intravenous drug to make the animal vomit, or if necessary, pump your pet’s stomach.

To best protect animals and children from plant poisoning, remove poisonous plants from your landscape or at least fence them in so kids and pets can’t reach them.

“You might think you’ll keep the kids or a pet away from a poisonous plant, but accidents happen within seconds,” said Manoguerra. “It’s best to remove the plant.”

He suggests making a map of your yard, identifying all of the plants. When you run across a plant you can’t identify, take a snapshot or a cutting to a nursery that has certified nursery personnel and ask for assistance.

Before adding any plants to your yard, research them to make sure they aren’t toxic.


Toxic Plants

Some plants have foliage, flowers or fruit that can be highly toxic when eaten. For a list of plants toxic to animals, call the Orange Veterinary Hospital at (714) 978-6260. Here’s a list of plants that are known to be deadly to humans:

* Angel’s Trumpet/Red Angel’s Trumpet (Brugmansia arborea/B. sanguinea)

* Castor bean (Ricinus communis)

* Death camas (Zigadenus venenosus)

* English yew (Taxus baccata)

* Common Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)

* Jimson weed (Datura stramonium)

* Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum)

* Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)

* Rosary pea (Abrus precatorius)

* Tree tobacco (Nicotiana glauca)

* Western water hemlock (Cicuta douglasii)

* Western Yew (Taxus brevifolia)


There are many common plants that have foliage, flowers or fruit capable of producing a wide range of problems in humans, such as skin rashes, painful swelling of the mouth and vomiting and diarrhea.

If eaten in large quantities, some of the following plants may also cause more serious poisoning. This is not a complete list:

* Azalea

* Boston ivy

* Caladium

* Calla lily

* Chinaberry

* Daffodil

* Delphinium

* Dieffenbachia

* Elephant’s ear (Colocasia esculenta/Alocasia)

* English ivy

* Euphorbia

* Holly berries

* Hyacinth

* Hydrangea

* Iris

* Jerusalem cherry (Solanum pseudocapsicum)

* Lantana camara

* Larkspur

* Lily-of-the-valley

* Lobelia

* Mistletoe

* Morning glory

* Narcissus

* Nephthytis

* Nicotiana sylvestris

* Night blooming jasmine/yellow jasmine (Cestrum species)

* Oleander

* Periwinkle

* Philodendron

* Potato sprouts and leaves

* Privet (Ligustrum)

* Rhododendron

* Rhubarb leaf

* Tobacco

* Tomato vines

* Wisteria

Brunfelsia Shrubs: How To Grow A Yesterday Today Tomorrow Plant

The aptly named yesterday, today and tomorrow shrub (Brunfelsia spp.) produces a fascinating display of flowers from spring until the end of summer. The flowers start out purple and gradually fade to lavender and then white. The shrub also has delightfully fragrant flowers of all three colors throughout its blooming season. Find out how to grow a yesterday, today, tomorrow plant.

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow Planting Instructions

Yesterday, today and tomorrow plant care is easy when the shrub is grown in warm, nearly frost-free climates of USDA plant hardiness zones 9 through 12. In cooler climates, grow the shrub in a container and bring it indoors once frost threatens. Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow shrubs sustain leaf and twig damage when exposed to freezing temperatures.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow shrubs will grow in any light exposure from sun to shade, but they do best when they receive morning sun and afternoon shade or dappled sunlight all day. They aren’t picky about soil type, but the planting location should be well-draining.

Plant the shrub in a hole as deep as the root mass and twice as wide. Remove the plant from its container, or if it is wrapped in burlap, remove the burlap and the wires that hold it in place. Place the plant in the hole with the soil line even with the surrounding soil. Planting the shrub deeper than the level at which it grew in its container can lead to stem rot.

Fill in the hole around the roots with soil, pushing down on the soil as you go to remove any air pockets. When the hole is half full, fill it with water and wait for it to drain. Fill the hole to the top with soil and water deeply to saturate the root zone. Do not fertilize at planting time.

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Plant Care

As part of your yesterday, today and tomorrow plant care, water the shrub during dry spells to keep the soil from completely drying out and fertilize once a year in spring.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow shrubs grow 7 to 10 feet tall with a spread of up to 12 feet. Leaving them unpruned at their natural height gives them a casual appearance. By selectively pruning out the taller stems, however, you can maintain a height as short as 4 feet—an ideal height for foundation plantings. These shrubs are very dense, so thinning to open up the shrub a little improves the health and appearance of the plant as well.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow looks great in mixed shrub borders, in foundation plantings and as hedges. You can also try planting yesterday, today, tomorrow away from other shrubs as a specimen plant that stays interesting throughout the year.

Yesterday Today and Tomorrow

Brunfelsia grandiflora

The romantic name of yesterday today and tomorrow comes from the flowers that open purple, fade to lavender and then white – with all colors present at the same time on this beautiful shrub.

One of the most unusual plants with purple flowers, yesterday today and tomorrow should be used more in South Florida landscaping…not just for its abundant multicolored flowers in rare blue tones, but also because it will bloom even in a partly shaded location.
The deep violet, soft lavender and bright white blossoms appear on and off all year, more during warmer weather.
Brunsfelsia contains toxins that, if ingested, affect humans, and, according to the ASPCA, is toxic to dogs, cats and horses. Keep this in mind when choosing a planting location.

Plant specs

This shrub grows at a moderate pace and you can keep it about 4 feet tall once it’s mature.

It will grow in full sun but seems to prefer part sun to part shade.

The plant does best in Zone 10 but is moderately cold-hardy, so planting in areas of Zone 9B that border 10A should work.

In Zone 9B you might use it as a container plant to bring inside during colder weather.

Yesterday today and tomorrow is evergreen but may sustain winter damage, usually coming back in spring. For cooler South Florida areas, plant under a tree canopy or another spot that protects the shrub from frost.

Moderately salt-tolerant, these plants are great for coastal gardens.

Plant care

Add a combination of composted cow manure and top soil (or organic peat moss) to the hole when you plant.
Trim lightly if needed after a bloom cycle.

You can do a slightly harder pruning in spring for size (best after the plant has completed its first spring flowering).

Water on a regular basis. This shrub needs a regular drink to thrive.

Fertilize 3 times a year – in spring, summer, and autumn – with a good granular fertilizer. You can also supplement feedings with bloom boosters such as bone meal and/or liquid fertilizer.

Plant spacing

Place these shrubs 3 feet apart. Come out from the house 3 feet.

Along a walk or drive, come in 3 or 4 feet to allow room for growth.

This plant will work very well in a large container.

Landscape uses for yesterday today and tomorrow

  • accent in a mixed garden bed
  • single yard specimen
  • grouped around tall palm trees
  • large foundation shrub
  • along a fence
  • lining a walkway or drive
  • backdrop for smaller plants
  • around the edge of a deck or patio
  • shrub for the corner of the house
  • along a blank wall
  • hedge

A.K.A. (also known as): Kiss Me Quick, Morning Noon and Night
COMPANION PLANT SUGGESTIONS: Variegated arboricola, crape jasmine, dwarf powderpuff, star jasmine, azalea, tiger grass and heliconia.

Other plants you might like: Tibouchina, Ruella (“Mexican Petunia”)

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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.

Originating from Brazil, Brunfelsia grows in light woodland and thickets. It can reach up to 10 feet and can spread up to 12 feet. When grown in the landscape Yesterday Today and Tomorrow is grown more a small shrub or bush.

It’s grown mainly to its fragrant, sweet smelling flowers. In fact, the species Brunfelsia pauciflora – the species name, “bonodora,” in Latin, means ‘sweet-smelling’. Plant Brunfelsia close to you home, deck or patio to enjoy the 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 for the flowers which changes from one day to the next. The flower begin with blooms of violet colors, then change to pale lavender blue and finally white.

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

Growing Yesterday Today and Tomorrow In The Garden

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

Yesterday today tomorrow plants grow well in warm subtropical gardens. But can also flourish in colder climates, able to endure light frost. During colder months it will become deciduous.

If you’re unable to grow outside in the landscape, 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 busy.

What Kind Of Lighting Is Required?

Brunfelsia plants do well in full sun but need some shade for protection during the extreme heat of the day. They also do well in filtered shade.

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 though compost. It prefers an acid pH which is just below neutral 7. Mulch with moss, pine needles or acidic compost on its base.

Watering and Irrigation Needs

When watering Yesterday Today and Tomorrow plants keep the soil moist. Try to avoid drying of the soil.

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 Brunfelsia Plants

Propagation of yesterday today and tomorrow flower, is usually done during spring. That 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 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 in bright filtered light – NOT direct light.

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

Growing Yesterday Today and Tomorrow As A Potted Houseplant

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

The care involves providing good lighting, 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 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 standard liquid 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 roots are confined in a small pots – 6 inch roughly.

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

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 – Plant may exhibit weak growth due to the presence of aphids sucking the sap. Wash them off using a gently stream of water. In you see a fine webbing under leaves look for red spider mite which 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!

Brunfelsia grandiflora Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow1

Edward F. Gilman2


This may be one of the most beautiful group of plants grown in Florida landscapes, although many people are not aware of them (Fig. 1). They grow to about 8 or 10 feet tall and are most known for their beautiful flower display. Flowers range from white to lavender. B. pauciflora and B. australis flowers emerge lavender or purple and fade to white during the next day or two. B. australis may be the best one adapted to a partially shaded location. Other species have purple flowers with white centers. In south Florida, plants fill with flowers during the warm months of the year. Flowering is restricted to the summer and fall in the northern part of its range.

Figure 1.


General Information

Scientific name: Brunfelsia grandiflora Pronunciation: brun-FELZ-ee-uh gran-dif-FLOR-uh Common name(s): yesterday, today, and tomorrow Family: Solanaceae Plant type: shrub USDA hardiness zones: 9B through 11 (Fig. 2) Planting month for zone 9: year round Planting month for zone 10 and 11: year round Origin: not native to North America Uses: specimen; accent; border; foundation; mass planting; screen; trained as a standard Availability: grown in small quantities by a small number of nurseries Figure 2.

Shaded area represents potential planting range.


Height: 7 to 10 feet Spread: 5 to 8 feet Plant habit: upright Plant density: dense Growth rate: moderate Texture: medium


Leaf arrangement: alternate Leaf type: simple Leaf margin: entire Leaf shape: oblong Leaf venation: pinnate Leaf type and persistence: evergreen Leaf blade length: 8 to 12 inches Leaf color: green Fall color: no fall color change Fall characteristic: not showy


Flower color: lavender; purple; white Flower characteristic: pleasant fragrance; spring flowering; summer flowering; fall flowering


Fruit shape: unknown Fruit length: unknown Fruit cover: dry or hard Fruit color: yellow Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: not particularly showy; typically multitrunked or clumping stems Current year stem/twig color: brown Current year stem/twig thickness: medium


Light requirement: plant grows in part shade/part sun Soil tolerances: acidic; slightly alkaline; sand; loam; clay Drought tolerance: moderate Soil salt tolerances: moderate Plant spacing: 36 to 60 inches


Roots: usually not a problem Winter interest: no special winter interest Outstanding plant: plant has outstanding ornamental features and could be planted more Invasive potential: not known to be invasive Pest resistance: no serious pests are normally seen on the plant

Use and Management

The shrub is nicely suited for displaying by itself as a specimen or can be combined with others in a shrub border. It can be used along the foundation of a large commercial building but grows too large for planting along most house foundations. Surprisingly, flowering is acceptable in the partial shade. Selective pruning can keep the plant at any height from 4 to about 8 feet.

This plant is well adapted to a variety of well drained soils, acid, or alkaline.

Pests and Diseases

Few problems seem to affect this nice shrub.


This document is FPS77, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Reviewed February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at

Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county’s UF/IFAS Extension office.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.

Plant Finder

Yesterday Today And Tomorrow flowers

Yesterday Today And Tomorrow flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height: 10 feet

Spread: 10 feet


Hardiness Zone: 8b

Other Names: Brazil Raintree, Morning Noon And Night


This variety is spectacular in bloom; pansy-like flowers open deep purple, progress to lavender and then finally white, showing all three colors on the plant; perfect for the shrub border or containers; can be maintained as a small tree with pruning

Ornamental Features

Yesterday Today And Tomorrow is covered in stunning clusters of purple round flowers with lavender overtones and white streaks at the ends of the branches from mid spring to early fall. It has dark green foliage with light green undersides. The glossy pointy leaves remain dark green throughout the winter. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Yesterday Today And Tomorrow is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season’s flowers. It is a good choice for attracting bees and butterflies to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Yesterday Today And Tomorrow is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Yesterday Today And Tomorrow will grow to be about 10 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 10 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn’t be allowed to dry out. It is particular about its soil conditions, with a strong preference for rich, acidic soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America, and parts of it are known to be toxic to humans and animals, so care should be exercised in planting it around children and pets.

Yesterday Today And Tomorrow makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. Its large size and upright habit of growth lend it for use as a solitary accent, or in a composition surrounded by smaller plants around the base and those that spill over the edges. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag – this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

•Scientific name: Brunfelsia australis

•Growth habit: An evergreen upright to rounded shrub growing to 8 feet tall and wide. The leaves are dark green, oblong in shape and grow to 2 inches long and half as wide.

•Light: Plant in full sun to light shade.

•Water needs: Prefers a moist soil. Water weekly for best growth and flowering.

•Feedings: Apply a general landscape fertilizer in March, June and August if needed to encourage growth. Slow-release fertilizers can be substituted following label instructions.

•Propagation: Start new plants from seeds or cuttings.

•Hardiness: Medium; may be damaged by severe freezes but usually grows back from buds at the base.

•Major problems: Develops yellow leaves due to minor nutrient deficiencies when growing in alkaline soils. Grow in acid soils or treat with minor nutrient sprays. Scale insects are occasional pests but seldom need control.

•Pruning: Keep compact and bushy plants with grooming as needed throughout the year. Heavy pruning can be done in late winter to remove cold damage or in early summer after a major bloom.

•Uses: A conversation starter to set near an entrance, patio or walkway. The flowers are a curiosity, opening purple and gradually fading to white over a period of about three days thus the common name. A major flower display is provided in April and May, then plants produce sporadic blooms through summer. Plants can be clustered together or set in rows to form a view barrier or hedgelike planting. Specimens can also be grown in containers to display on decks, patios and balconies.

•Florida native: No; native to Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina.

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