If you are looking for a plant that’s fairly of low maintenance but produces an abundance of brightly colored blooms, portulaca is a good choice. Portulacas can tolerate a little neglect, which makes them perfect for any level of gardening expertise.
Portulaca is a popular drought-tolerant annual. Plants are low-growing spreaders with thick succulent stems and vibrant, cup-shaped flowers.
Portulaca is especially well-suited for growing in containers on patios and decks but can also be grown on the stone walkways, hanging baskets, rock gardens xeriscapes and as ground covers.
Other names- Moss rose, Eleven O’Clock, Purslane, and Sun Plant
Portulaca loves full sun and can tolerate any soil type.
Soil- Portulaca grows well in poor, gravelly, sandy soil or loam soil.
Plant height- 3’ to 8’
Propagation- Portulaca plants are grown from seeds and can be transplanted later. Established plants can also be propagated by cuttings. When planting the portulaca seeds, it is not necessary to cover the seed at all and, if covered, only very lightly as they need the sun to sprout and grow.
Days to germination- 10-15
Germination temperature- 70o F to 85oF
Watering- Regular watering is not required as the cylindrical succulent leaves store water. Also heavy watering is not necessary as the plant is shallow rooted.
Flowers- the plant bears beautiful small flowers of various colours such as red, orange, yellow, violet, white, pink etc. certain double coloured, shaded bloom are also noticed.
Flowers are 1 to 1 ½” in diameter and resemble cactus blooms. Flowers can be single-type or double-type. Most have ruffled petals. They open on sunny days and close at night or when it is cloudy.
Flowering time- Mid-summer, late summer, early fall and mid-fall.
The Margarita series early-flowering plants with compact, mound-forming habits and reliable garden performance. Flowers in shades of red, pink, orange, white, yellow and purple.
The Sundial series are early-flowering variety with double, rose-like flowers in shades of white, pink, red, orange, yellow and purple. Grows 4 to 6” tall.
The Calypso mix produces double flowers in shades of yellow, red, pink, orange, purple and white.
The Tequila Series has a tendency to tolerate cool, wet conditions better than others. Spreading plants grow 2 inches tall by 14 to 18 inches across. Try Tequila Red, Tequila Orange, or Tequila Mix.
Yubi Hybrids are often sold in pots or hanging baskets. They produce plump, paddle-shaped leaves and spectacular 1- to 1 ½- inch blooms. The exposed stamens at the centers of the flowers give them a two-toned color effect.
Double Sunset Fire
Double Sunset Fire is an exciting new moss rose. One-inch, double flowers feature a vibrant combination of ruffled magenta centers backed by bright yellow/gold petals. Plants grow 2 to 4 inches high.
Hot Shot is another popular series of plants, available in several colors including fuchsia, rose, mango, and orange. They grow between 4 to 6 inches tall.
Fertilization- does not require too much of fertiliser as it may lead to thickening of foliage and fewer blooms but liquid fertilizer may be applied to provide them required nutrients with a balanced ratio such as 20-20-20.
Insects and diseases– Aphids, gnats, and other insects can cause a problem. Treat with insecticide or repellents, as needed. Snails and slugs can also be a problem.
Fungal diseases can occur. Use of general purpose fungicide in humid weather, and during occurance of problem can be helpful.
Stem and root rot can occur. This is a problem in wet soil. Avoid problems by planting in sandy, or other well draining soil. A slightly elevated planting bed also helps to avoid this problem.
Pinch off wilted blooms to prevent the plant from self-seeding. Removing the blooms, a process known as deadheading, also promotes continued blooming throughout the season.