I never had these before but yesterday bought two flats, one of Sundial Mix and one of Tequilia Mix. Honestly they look the same to me. I think of these as REALLY old fashioned flowers as my mother use to plant them when I was a child many, many years ago.
But I just decided to buy them this year. I was wondering how popular they are. Judging by all the flats for sale people must like them. I am having trouble evisioning them as a cottage garden flower, probaly because of the folliage but going to give it a try.
Rita, I've used them along the rock wall in my garden for several years and last year I planted them outside my fence, along the street on the south side of my property. I love their bright colors and rambling habit, and the bees are attracted to them like crazy. In my experience, they usually 'wear out' by August and disappear, but I think they are a wonderful addition in the spring and early summer.
I've looked through my photos and can't seem to find any pictures that show them - I consider them an 'embellishment' in the garden, rather than a feature. Their presence adds that extra 'sparkle' to a border, so when your eye is drawn by the larger plants, you see the detail and beauty of the moss roses.
I have a really hot spot around a well where anything planted around it usually bakes in the summer heat, but not the moss rose plants! They seem to thrive in it, and I have set out more this year. They do make great filler plants.
This is my first year trying them. Mine are still just littleseedlings still. I grew them from seed and so far they are really slow growers. Yours in your picture look awesome, I hope mine will be that pretty eventually! Ilove the orange pink colored ones. :)
Great plant , they are also called Moss Rose's . They love the warm weather I have grown them in the desert in heat as high as 110 and in the mountains of Idyllwild,,ca in 70 degree weather. They produce alot of seeds so try and save them. Definately a great plant to have in your garden
You are right up the "hill" from us in Valle Vista. Love portulaca, my DD always grew it so easily from seed many years ago. Haven't put any seed in yet this year, must do, so easy. Lovely easy colors!
Yes, it is very easy to grow from seeds. This winter I decided to try using an old cracked bird bath for a planter. Put some potting mix in the bowl, scattered the portulaca seeds, tried to put plastic wrap on it in layers but it didn't stay for long because of the winter winds. It snowed 55 in. in one week and when the snow melted, and I saw seeds popping though the potting mix, I was amazed. I figured it would rot because of so much moisture but I never got around to putting drainage holes in the bottom of that birdbath bowl. I spray a mist on the plants every time I water the other plants. By golly, this morning I saw a bud forming. I had thought about trying to transplant it elsewhere but kind of wanted to see what would happen if I left it there, When it blooms it will add nice color there.
Wow that's great it is working out well! I did end up seeing them at the garden centers. I didn't buy any because I already have seedlings started. But maybe I should have, my seedlings are still tiny. Maybe even too small to be hardening off, but I am anyway. Keeping fingers crossed! :)
I planted some portulaca seeds last week. I put them around the edge of a somewhat shallow clay pot with seeds for a taller red sedum (cauli) in the center. I placed the pot on a metal base that used to hold a "witches ball". A friend had given me the ball, but it got broken in a storm. I was looking for a cobalt blue one to replace it. (I have a "thing" for cobalt blue glass.)
I have always bought starter plants of portulaca from the garden center or nursery and it has always been mixed colors blooms. I was by the public library near my daughter and was admiring the newly planted flowerbed and not only do they have bee balm that I'm keeping my eye on for dried pods but they had planted a pretty shad of pink portulaca..solid pink color. Have never seen anything but the mixed colors and was wondering if anybody else has seen the solid colors?
I have bought flats of the solid color in previous years. Last year I bought a flat of bright pink and a flat of yellow (I wanted mixed colors, but all the garden center had was single colors and I didn't feel like driving around to find mixed colors elsewhere).
This year I bought a few 4-packs of mixed colors at a local hardware store. I just took this photo, but it's so humid outside that my camera lens must have fogged up a bit!
I've used them for several years in my containers. They drape nicely over the edges. Then I save the seed pods and start over the next season when I start my seeds. I think they were originally hybrids because I've come up with a lot of new colors each year that I didn't originally have. My favorite features of these flowers are the fact that they aren't picky about getting watered regularly, have unique leaves and bright flowers.
Since I've seen the solid color portulaca, I think I have found a source..Stokes seeds..Margarita rosita portulaca 100 seeds for $5.25( Item P1237A) which seems high to me but if I'm willing to pay that if I had to.The picture on the internet shows a hot pink color where the ones at the library are more of a lighter pink but hey, beggars can't be choosy!
Mine have self-seeded in a couple of places. I think they work great as little accents in a wall, along the border or even in the cracks between stepping stones where the seeds from the previous summer have drifted. These are along the curb, outside the fence on the south side of my yard (I dashed out in the rain to take this pic and it's out of focus, kind of like my day - I had planned a day of work in the garden). Last summer I planted magenta and yellow portulaca (all they had at the one garden center I visited on that day) in this area and this year I'm treated to white, pink and yellow 2nd generation blooms.
I finally planted mine, hopefully they'll turn into something, they already seem to be growing much faster now that they are in the ground.. No signs of transplant shock unlike some of my other seedlings.
Probably, they do seem touch prefer the sandy soil they are in now compared to the pro-mix I had grown them in... we have finally been getting rain here. We had a long spell with none. So I am thankful for what we have been getting.
I love them--have grown them for years. I like the doubles or semi-doubles, the colors and fluffiness of the flowers remind me of tissue paper flowers on a parade float. They have always done well for me in containers on my blistering hot full sun sidewalk at my apt. My neighbor used to think I was nuts when I would sit out there w/ a paperplate and tweezers collecting their seeds:lol: Ended up w/ half a sandwich bag full and you know those are some dinky seeds:)
They are great also because as succulents they are pretty forgiving of shoddy watering habits ;)
DMac..can we have a tuitorial on how to collect portulaca seeds? I'm serious..I don't think I'd go to all the trouble of using tweezers to collect vs buying fresh seeds the next year." Mr. Brown Thumb" has a blog showing how to collect a variety of seeds; will have to check his blog out to see if he shows how to collect portulaca. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. I order the double mixed colors from Crosmanseeds.com for only
59 cents a pack.
LOL:) I'm pretty sure my neighbors thought I was beyond ridiculous when I sat outside picking off seedheads--I was growing the peach variety in a huge container so I had a ton of them go to seed as the season rolled on (long hot summers through to falls here).
Really you just have to watch after the flowers fade and drop off or shrivel off. The seed head sits right beneath and looks like a little muffin top. It will turn tan and look dry when ready to harvest. There will be so many that you can open a few early to see how they look prior and up to being ready. They sort of will come apart with the top tan dome and a cuplike bottom attached to the stem. Remember those gumball/prize machines with the little domed containers w/ the prize inside them (rings, tatoos etc) from when you were a kid? That's sorta how they pop open. Lots of tiny seeds inside--20+ as a guesstimate. I do it over a white paperplate on the sidewalk or table (weighted down with a rock or something--or a breeze can snatch it up) and just funnel them into a baggie.
They are pretty inexpensive to buy but I was all about seed collecting at that time and particularly wanted to save that colored one. It was pretty relaxing though--except that one time w/ the wind and the plate flipping over:lol:
I usually just try to sprinkle them as evenly as possible in the container I plan to keep them in (not in 2 or 3 inch starters). They are very small and to me would be hard to plant by individual seed. I didn't sow them thickly though--so I did end up with 4-8 plants per pot. The fact that they sell the seed in pelleted form (as they do teensy petunia seeds also) supports that they can be grown in little clusters without a problem.
I think it's a little early, Rita. I don't see any coming up in my bed yet (zone 5b) either, but I'm sure there will be a lot by the end of May. You're one zone warmer, so maybe you'll see some by the end of April.
I still don't see any signs of seedlings. Meantime I bought two flats of Sun Dial Mix Portulacas today so I can plant them in a spot I didn't have them last year. They have flower heads but no blooms on them yet so I am not getting the usual instant gratification of blooming annuals I usually get. Guess I just have to wait.
They aren't usually good at showing early when it's still on the cool side. My in situ sowed seeds tended to not show until the cool temps gave way to consistant warm temps. I think for northern growers that buying plants is probably the right move if you don't have long drawn out summers like we do down south. My growing season starts a bit earlier and is pretty extended on many things. My Crystal Palace lobelia and Linaria were also early summer starters who then hung out till the first hard frost.
I went and got down on my knees and really, really looked in the areas that I had the portulacas planted last year. Not a hint of a seedling. This is never going to work, even if some show up I can't wait until August for plants to get large enough to bloom. The reason I go with annuals is to have bloom all season and I need it to start in May. So I will end up buying more portulacas.
Meanwhile, today I planted the two flats I bought yesterday. They are going to look really really nice as I have an area about two foot wide by 11 foot long that is in front of another gardenbed and I planted that area all with portulacas. Will give me color all year until frost.
The rest of them I put out in my front yard around some upright sedum plants. I think it will look really great blooming there.
Mine never reseeded and I let plenty go to seed. I did collect seed and sowed it where I wanted it outside once it warmed up. You'd think with all the seed they produce and scatter when the pods bust that they would but I've never had it happen even with mild winters.
I found a few pots of solid pink color at a nursery about 20 plus miles from here and put them into pots. They have done amazing. I'm going to leave them in those pots over the winter and see what happens next spring, if they'll reseed themselves. What do I have to lose? In the meantime, I'll search the internet for less expensive seed pkt. of the solid color. If all else fails, I break down and pay Stoke's price. (MAYBE!) At that price, they better d*** grow!
Gosh, I can't believe this old thread from 2010 is here on page one still.
I still love Portulacas and intend to plant them again in the area I had them in last summer which is the mid section of the bottom terrace of my terraces garden. They bloomed all summer there and of course never seem to need any special care. I love the vivid colors of the flowers all mixed together.
Meredith79, it's been two years, so I don't know if you're still trying, but I had the same problem last year. My portulaca sprouted but sat there at 1/2 inch. Didn't move. Someone from Dave's Garden advised me to be careful about watering, because they like dry conditions. This year I didn't plant until the weather was warm. And I moved the flat indoors when we had one of our many, many rains. I think the advice is good. They're doing well.
I have been growing portulaca from seeds in an old cracked, bird bath that doesn't hold water for last 2 years. This year I bought a small bag of coir and used it and those portulaca's have been so slow growing. Don't like the coir..will not use it again, as it dries out too quickly. Maybe I was supposed to add the coir with other potting mix? Couln't read all the fine print on the bag. I thought it was supposed to be used like soil..Guess I should research it better on the internet. I sprinkled the portulaca seeds with a tad of sugar as they are so fine..would do that again but I think I've only had one bloom so far..
I saw somebody's pictures of a beautiful apricot color portulaca that I plan to order those seeds next year. I always buy the double flowered ones..variety of colors and they usually do really well. Guess it was the coir and I watered them every day or every other day because of the dryness of the coir.
Jill, I think I read that you use coir..what's your secret to using it?
I too used coir this year, from several sources and with mixed results. In some cases things grew OK, but I'm used to mass market fert added mixes, so didn't fertilize enough. In other cases, the seedlings seemed stunted, and the roots looked almost burned. I liked the ease of use, as I start my seeds in a city window and it was much neater to just add water to the blocks, but if I have to rinse and rinse, it's not worth the trouble.
I have a few portulacas from nursery 6- packs this year. Perfect timing I guess, as we've had record highs and not so much water lately. They've only been in a couple of weeks, but seem happy-- good soil, excellent drainage, and dry conditions.
My mother has pots of moss rose for probably the past 20 years and I don't think she has actually bought any in all that time. I collected seeds the first few years and scattered them into all her pots... they have continued to reseed since then. She just makes sure to water and ferterlize all the pots well starting in the spring. There are always a few that come up... it sometimes takes a month or two into the season to get them going but they eventually always appear as long as she keeps the pots watered. She also plants other things in the pots but has to carefully watch to make sure she does not disturb any that have started growing... they are so teeny tiny when they start it is easy to miss them and kill them.
I'm a little late coming to this discussion, but I've got something to add about slow growing / non blooming portulacas from seed. Portulaca is very sensitive to day length, which can make it tricky to start from seed in the North.
Here's some info from a PanAm seed grower fact sheet for the Margarita variety:
Portulaca is sensitive to short days, even during the plug stage. When daylength is shorter than critical,
plants can rosette (stop growing without flowering). Once plants rosette, they will not recover even when
given long day treatment. To prevent plants from rosetting, sow seed when the natural daylength is longer than 11 hours for Margarita. If sowing earlier than suggested here, provide long day conditions (daylength extension to
12 to 13 hours) during all phases of production until critical natural daylength is achieved.
I hope this helps anyone starting portulacas from seed, which I do myself - I love them!