41015The recent unseasonably warm weather was no problem for any remaining moss rose, Portulaca grandiflora. They usually start to look rather tired as the weather gets cooler this time of year, and eventually succumb to the first frost. Where allowed to do so, they can regenerate next year from seed. I like to collect their seed during the summer or autumn so that I can sow them after the last frost of the following winter. Through spring and summer, I find that additional plants are easy to grow from cuttings.

The inch wide flowers are white, pink, red, orange or yellow, with only a few ruffled petals. Modern varieties that have rufflier ‘double’ flowers and richer colors still seem to be less popular than the more delicate traditional types. The cylindrical and succulent leaves are only about an inch long. The small plants can get more than six inches deep where they are happy or crowded. Moss rose likes good exposure and decent soil, but does not need the rich soil that most other annuals demand. Nor does it necessarily need such regular watering.

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4 thoughts on “Moss Rose

    1. I sort of think, from how it performs for us, that it would make nice bulb cover for summer bulbs like gladiolus. By the time it starts looking shabby, the bulb foliage is gone, so the whole thing could be replaced with new annuls, without bothering the bulbs. What concerns me is that, in the last few days, ours are starting to look slightly shabby. Would they have started too look shabby sooner if they had been planted sooner? In my own garden, I would not care. I would just let them grow wild and self sow as long as they wanted to, like alyssum. In the past, they did not self sow much at all for me. I actually collected the seed capsules and crushed them over bare spots, but it did not last long. I believe they are more reliable in more humid climates.

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