Brunfelsia – Yesterday, Today, & Tomorrow

Photo Credit: Randy Lemmon
Brunfelsia (Brunfelsia pauciflora) (aka: Yesterday Today & Tomorrow)

If you’ve read a lot of my content for years, you know I love plants with what I call ‘Bounce-Back-Ability! These are plants that can be added to a landscape at almost any time of the year. And while they may take a hit in a typical Gulf Coast landscape during a ‘normal’ winter, they’ll bounce back as soon as spring hits. They’ll even come back even after unusual winters like that of February 2021!

They may not look particularly attractive right after a hard freeze, but I promise that all of them will have a “bounce-back ability” that helps them revive as soon as spring arrives. They should also bloom in their first season after a freeze.

As a perfect example, I give you the Brunfelsia which most everyone in the Houston area knowns as ‘Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow’.

I’ll tell you a funny story – I, Randy Lemmon, Garden Guru, have personally never planted one/never had one! But I feel like I have, and I know I’ve saved dozens because I see this plant on so many of my on-site consulting jobs. (Randy Lemmon Consulting is a side hustle of mine.)

The Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow is a true a one-of-a-kind landscape specimen. There is actually nothing quite like it. This profuse bloomer lives up to its name by opening deep violet, turning to light violet, then white, all in three days!

It prefers filtered light or, as some call it, dappled shade. And it can make a great border plant, covered in blooms. The flowers are also quite fragrant. I can’t tell you exactly what they smell like, but it’s a sweet aroma that I thoroughly enjoy. It’s most fragrant in the evening.

This plant makes my list of bounce-back-from-winter plants because it’s supposed to withstand temperatures as low as 25 degrees without looking damaged. Even if we get hit with a freeze and you forget to cover it or something silly like that, it may look ragged in December and January, but it will come roaring back in the spring.

There is one caveat, though: If you think they might face a true frost or get covered with ice, it’s worth throwing a sheet over them. Nevertheless, when they bounce back in the spring (and they always do), just prune them back past any damaged wood.