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Cottage Gardening: Do you plant Portulacas?

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newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

May 2, 2010
10:43 AM

Post #7757075

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.

Closeup of the flowers.

Thumbnail by newyorkrita
Click the image for an enlarged view.

LeawoodGardener

LeawoodGardener
Leawood, KS
(Zone 5b)

May 9, 2010
6:37 AM

Post #7777161

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.

newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

May 9, 2010
9:05 AM

Post #7777510

I decided this year that they had a lot to add. I just wanted something to add instant color and keep on going that stayed small. I hope they go all summer.
happyNdirt
Summertown, TN
(Zone 7a)

May 9, 2010
9:24 AM

Post #7777554

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.
2racingboys
Bartlett, TN
(Zone 7b)

May 9, 2010
5:59 PM

Post #7778662

I have the pink ones. Not sure which ones ... have to look at the tag, but I love them. They are EXCELLENT in our heat, humidity & drought.
Meredith79
Southeastern, NH
(Zone 5b)

May 19, 2010
10:07 AM

Post #7807298

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. :)

newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

May 19, 2010
10:10 AM

Post #7807304

Well, I just bought the flats as they sell them at our local nurseries. So far I am really loving them. Always in bloom and I just love that.
Meredith79
Southeastern, NH
(Zone 5b)

May 19, 2010
10:21 AM

Post #7807375

I wish they had them at nurseries around here. I've never seen them, but maybe they don't get them in until it's a bit warmer.
angedawn47
Lake Charles, LA

May 20, 2010
10:19 PM

Post #7812611

I usually don't, but got some this year. I have also started seeds. I remember as a child my mom and I grew some from seed one time. She made it easy to grow from seed.

newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

May 21, 2010
7:19 AM

Post #7813251

My mom used to plant them too when I was a child. But the ones they have now are so much better than what they had back then.
bellerain
Idyllwild, CA

May 22, 2010
10:51 PM

Post #7818805

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
dillansnana
Hemet, CA
(Zone 9b)

May 22, 2010
11:20 PM

Post #7818835

bellerain

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!
LiliMerci
North of Atlanta, GA
(Zone 8a)

May 23, 2010
12:17 PM

Post #7820109

Love them!

Thumbnail by LiliMerci
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Pippi21
Silver Spring, MD
(Zone 6b)

June 1, 2010
12:01 PM

Post #7848996

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.
Meredith79
Southeastern, NH
(Zone 5b)

June 2, 2010
9:49 AM

Post #7851896

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! :)
GardenQuilts
Pocono Mountains, PA
(Zone 6a)

June 5, 2010
9:18 PM

Post #7862607

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.)

This message was edited Sep 17, 2011 11:33 AM
stephowser
Liberty
United States

June 6, 2010
12:10 PM

Post #7864148

What do the seeds look like?

LeawoodGardener

LeawoodGardener
Leawood, KS
(Zone 5b)

June 7, 2010
6:19 AM

Post #7866149

The seeds are black, very tiny - they look like dust.

I bought a few plants last week to tuck in along my walk to the compost pile. They really are cheery little plants.
Pippi21
Silver Spring, MD
(Zone 6b)

June 11, 2010
9:19 PM

Post #7880626

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?

LeawoodGardener

LeawoodGardener
Leawood, KS
(Zone 5b)

June 12, 2010
6:35 AM

Post #7881261

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!

Thumbnail by LeawoodGardener
Click the image for an enlarged view.

dancingbear27
Elba, NY
(Zone 6a)

June 15, 2010
4:02 PM

Post #7891561

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.
dillansnana
Hemet, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 2, 2010
2:57 PM

Post #7938571

Does anyone know if it's too late to start these from seed in zone 9.
So many, many seeds I loose track of time and when to plant.
Thanks for any and all input.
Meredith79
Southeastern, NH
(Zone 5b)

July 2, 2010
7:45 PM

Post #7939104

All I know is I started mine at least 2 months ago and they are still puny little things!
Pippi21
Silver Spring, MD
(Zone 6b)

July 11, 2010
5:07 AM

Post #7959229

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!

LeawoodGardener

LeawoodGardener
Leawood, KS
(Zone 5b)

July 11, 2010
8:12 AM

Post #7959547

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.

Thumbnail by LeawoodGardener
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Meredith79
Southeastern, NH
(Zone 5b)

July 13, 2010
6:29 AM

Post #7964596

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.
angedawn47
Lake Charles, LA

July 19, 2010
6:09 PM

Post #7981825

Mine haven't bloomed much. I'm not sure what the problem is.
Meredith79
Southeastern, NH
(Zone 5b)

July 19, 2010
6:43 PM

Post #7981913

That stinks! No blooms here yet, they look like they are getting bigger so I still have hope! :)
angedawn47
Lake Charles, LA

July 19, 2010
8:21 PM

Post #7982185

It has been raining off and on a good bit here. I think the soil is staying too wet, but I can't be sure that's what the problem is.
Meredith79
Southeastern, NH
(Zone 5b)

July 19, 2010
8:24 PM

Post #7982196

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.
angedawn47
Lake Charles, LA

July 20, 2010
6:48 PM

Post #7984517

I surely won't complain about the rain. I'm grateful for it. I think I will pot those moss rose in pots.
Meredith79
Southeastern, NH
(Zone 5b)

August 22, 2010
2:11 PM

Post #8055703

I finally have some blooms! :)

Thumbnail by Meredith79
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LeawoodGardener

LeawoodGardener
Leawood, KS
(Zone 5b)

August 23, 2010
8:35 AM

Post #8057098

I managed to catch a photo that is in focus - I really love the bright, jewel colors of this little plant!

Thumbnail by LeawoodGardener
Click the image for an enlarged view.

dmac085
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7a)

January 3, 2011
9:19 PM

Post #8291343

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 ;)
Pippi21
Silver Spring, MD
(Zone 6b)

January 4, 2011
12:29 PM

Post #8292193

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.
dmac085
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7a)

January 7, 2011
3:59 PM

Post #8297917

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:
NisiNJ
Bordentown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

January 7, 2011
7:12 PM

Post #8298228

dmac085:

When you plant the seeds to they have to be really close together? Is each of those stems a whole plant?

I have read that they are sometimes sold in "multiseed pellets." So I thought they might have to be planted in bunches?
dmac085
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7a)

January 9, 2011
9:24 AM

Post #8300524

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.
NisiNJ
Bordentown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

January 9, 2011
6:27 PM

Post #8301530

Thank you, dmac, for the tutorial on collecting seeds and how to plant them. Will be trying it this summer.

newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

April 6, 2011
1:27 PM

Post #8476346

I don't see any coming up from seed dropped last year yet.

LeawoodGardener

LeawoodGardener
Leawood, KS
(Zone 5b)

April 8, 2011
12:36 PM

Post #8480841

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.

newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

April 8, 2011
12:51 PM

Post #8480862

Thanks. I didn't have them before so wasn't sure when they might self sprout. I am planning on planting some in a spot were I didn't have them before so will need to at least buy some no matter what.

newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

May 13, 2011
7:41 PM

Post #8561586

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.

LeawoodGardener

LeawoodGardener
Leawood, KS
(Zone 5b)

May 14, 2011
6:01 AM

Post #8562019

I hadn't seen any sign of seedlings either, Rita, but I just checked, and sure enough, there are a few small starts poking up. I'll bet you'll have some soon.

Thumbnail by LeawoodGardener
Click the image for an enlarged view.

dmac085
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7a)

May 14, 2011
9:57 AM

Post #8562365

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.

newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

May 14, 2011
12:52 PM

Post #8562595

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.


dmac085
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7a)

May 14, 2011
2:25 PM

Post #8562712

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.

LeawoodGardener

LeawoodGardener
Leawood, KS
(Zone 5b)

August 9, 2011
4:30 PM

Post #8747283

Did you ever find seedlings, Rita? Here are my volunteers from last year.

Thumbnail by LeawoodGardener
Click the image for an enlarged view.

newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

August 9, 2011
4:57 PM

Post #8747351

No. I never got seedlings. Good thing I bought flats of new plants and planted them. I do just love the flowers. They are so pretty.
Pippi21
Silver Spring, MD
(Zone 6b)

August 30, 2011
5:11 AM

Post #8784618

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!

newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

March 23, 2012
12:52 PM

Post #9054176

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.
LAS14
Albany, ME
(Zone 4b)

June 29, 2012
6:29 PM

Post #9186811

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.

LAS

newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

June 29, 2012
6:37 PM

Post #9186826

I planted Portulacas again this year same place as I had them last year. We have have a lot of rain so it is good they are in a spot with great drainage. Such pretty little things.
Pippi21
Silver Spring, MD
(Zone 6b)

June 30, 2012
3:58 AM

Post #9187147

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?
NisiNJ
Bordentown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

July 6, 2012
8:44 AM

Post #9195232

I had trouble using a bag of coir as a seed starting mix. I read online, including on DG, that some brands of coir are too salty and you need to rinse it several times before using it.

Here is a DG discussion about seedlings in coir:

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1127572/

It IS about seedlings, though, not transplants.

This message was edited Jul 6, 2012 10:57 AM
Pfg
(Pam) Warren, CT
(Zone 5b)

July 6, 2012
6:05 PM

Post #9195851

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.

LhasaLover
(Tammie) Odessa, TX
(Zone 7b)

September 1, 2012
8:30 PM

Post #9261980

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.
Thuvia
Macon, GA
(Zone 8a)

September 30, 2012
2:49 PM

Post #9291234

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:

Photoperiod
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!

psychw2

psychw2
(Pat) Kennewick, WA
(Zone 5b)

January 20, 2013
9:01 AM

Post #9391136

I'm hoping to add a few this year myself.
Pfg
(Pam) Warren, CT
(Zone 5b)

January 20, 2013
9:22 AM

Post #9391171

I grow under T5 lights, have them on 14-16 hours a day. I know that's not the same as daylight, but will they?

Pam

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