Portulaca

Double Portulaca flowers mixed

A useful, low growing, flowering succulent. Ideal for poor dry soils. Produces rich green succulent leaves and double or single poppy-like flowers in mixed colours.

Family: Portulacaceae
Botanical Name: Portulaca
Common Names: Purslane, Rose Moss, eleven o'clock, Mexican rose, moss rose, sun rose

Foliage: Narrow fleshy leaves, on semi-prostrate reddish stems.

Flowers: Attractive saucer shaped flowers with wide petals and a silky sheen. Available as single, semi-double and double forms, in shades of white, yellow, pink, carmine, orange and scarlet.

Flowering Period: June to August.

Soil: Moist but well-drained, fertile soil (chalk, sand or loam). Acid, alkaline or neutral pH. Avoid waterlogged conditions.

Conditions: Full sun essential. Best grown in a west or south facing aspect.

Habit: Low growing, spreading.

Type: Half-hardy Annual.

Origin: Argentina and Brazil

Hardiness: Half-hardy in the UK. Protect from frost.

Planting and Growing Portulaca

Thrives in well-drained, sandy soil and in a warm, sunny position.

Does not flower well in the shade. Dislikes heavy wet soil. Do not plant outside until all danger of frost has passed in your area.

Ideal for areas with excessively dry and poor soils, such as dry sunny slopes, cracks between paving and wall crevices, rock gardens, as well as pots and containers.

Drought-tolerant once established.

Taking Care of Portulaca

Water only when dry and protect from excessive wet.

Dislikes root disturbance.

Pruning

Deadhead regularly to extend the flowering period.

Pests and Diseases

Generally pest and disease free

Propagating Portulaca

Sow seeds in the greenhouse in trays in February or March. Do not cover the tiny seeds. Pot on, hardened-off and plant out in late May to early June after all danger of frost is past.

In warmer regions the seed can be sown directly into open ground at the end of April.

Popular Varieties of Portulaca

Sold as seed, in bedding trays or as plug plants, usually in mixed colours.

Portulaca Mixed A brightly coloured selection of semi-double flowers that smother the well-branched, succulent foliage. These early-flowering summer plants make a refreshing and exotic addition to garden borders or patio containers. Height 8-14in (20-35cm). For sale at Van Meuwen.

Portulaca grandiflora produces brightly coloured 1in (2.5cm) flowers, in shades of yellow, scarlet, orange, pink, purple and white. Cultivars include:

  • 'Double Mixed' with small rose bud like flowers. Height to 6in (15cm).
  • 'Happy Hour Mixture' bears a mixture of large semi-double flowers on succulent, dwarf plants that love hot, dry conditions. For sale at Thompson & Morgan.
  • 'Lazy Days' a double flowered variety, ideal for either hanging baskets or ground cover, producing a bright mix of flowers.
  • Sundial Series are spreading succulents with fleshy leaves and semi-double flowers, in shades of red, purple, pink, yellow and white. Height to 8in (20cm).