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Do you plant Portulacas?

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

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.

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Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

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.

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

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.

Summertown, TN(Zone 7a)

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.

Bartlett, TN(Zone 7b)

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.

Southeastern, NH(Zone 5b)

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. :)

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

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.

Southeastern, NH(Zone 5b)

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.

Lake Charles, LA

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.

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

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.

Idyllwild, CA

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

Hemet, CA(Zone 9b)

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!

North of Atlanta, GA(Zone 8a)

Love them!

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Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

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.

Southeastern, NH(Zone 5b)

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! :)

Pocono Mountains, PA(Zone 6a)

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

Liberty, United States

What do the seeds look like?

Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

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.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

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?

Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

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!

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Elba, NY(Zone 6a)

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.

Hemet, CA(Zone 9b)

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.

Southeastern, NH(Zone 5b)

All I know is I started mine at least 2 months ago and they are still puny little things!

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

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!

Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

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.

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Southeastern, NH(Zone 5b)

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.

Lake Charles, LA

Mine haven't bloomed much. I'm not sure what the problem is.

Southeastern, NH(Zone 5b)

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

Lake Charles, LA

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.

Southeastern, NH(Zone 5b)

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.

Lake Charles, LA

I surely won't complain about the rain. I'm grateful for it. I think I will pot those moss rose in pots.

Southeastern, NH(Zone 5b)

I finally have some blooms! :)

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Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

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

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Greensboro, NC(Zone 7a)

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 ;)

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

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.

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7a)

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:

Bordentown, NJ(Zone 7a)

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?

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7a)

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.

Bordentown, NJ(Zone 7a)

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

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

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

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