Portulaca – what kind of plant is it?
Moss rose, also known as Portulaca grandiflora is a plant from the Portulacaceae family. It comes from the regions of Argentina and Brazil. But currently it can be found everywhere in the world thanks to its popularity. The plant can grow up to 20 cm (ca. 8 in) tall. It forms creeping and fleshy stems with leaves. During the plant’s blooming season, the singular flowers are about 4 cm (ca. 1.5 in) wide. They have different colors, depending on the variety. The blooming time falls between the beginning of June and the end of September.
There are three basic groups of portulaca varieties:
- with singular flowers, usually red, scarlet, white or golden yellow,
- with half-full flowers; tetraploid varieties are particularly noteworthy, as they develop large carmine-red flowers,
- with full flowers.
Moss rose – plant care and cultivation
Portulaca is commonly grown plant in gardens, mostly because it’s so easy to grow. It prefers loose soils – sand and gravel mixes are the best option. The ground shouldn’t be too dry. A moderately moist soil is crucial for this plant.
When picking a location for the plant, remember it prefers spots exposed to sunlight. Portulaca doesn’t grow well in shade, and its flowers won’t open as much as in full sun.
Removing flowers that finished blooming is an important element of moss rose plant care. This way, it can bloom longer.
Portulaca plant – watering needs
Portulaca is a plant which doesn’t require regular and intense watering. Make sure to control the top layer of soil in which the plant is growing. If it’s dry, it needs watering. But make sure to avoid too intense moisture and standing water. The plant prefers a slightly moist ground, it grows best in such conditions. A too damp soil creates a perfect environment for diseases.
Does portulaca grandiflora need fertilizing?
The plant is not demanding about its soil. A poor in nutrients ground is perfect for portulaca. Thanks to this, there’s no need to fertilize the plant with any additional products. During the blooming season, when the plant is the most vulnerable to external factors, you can use a single dose of plant food. A universal fertilizer is perfect for this purpose.
How to propagate moss rose?
Moss rose is an annual plant. In practice, it means new seeds have to be sown every year if you want to enjoy the plants in your garden. You can collect them from already existing moss roses. But keep in mind the new plants might develop either half-full or full flowers. If you want to grow a particular portulaca variety, it’s better to get the seeds from a nursery or from a garden shop.
Eating portulaca? A great idea!
Portulaca – common purslane is not only a perfect garden decoration, but also a plant that might become a cooking ingredient. Interestingly enough, it tastes different depending on the part of the day. It’s much more sour in the morning than in the evening. It’s caused by carbon dioxide absorbed during the night.
The plant is rich in antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins and mineral salts. It’s a valuable source of omega 3 fatty acids. It can be served raw in a salad with fresh herbs, or cooked. Portulaca is perfect boiled, fried or stewed. It can also be roasted in various dishes. It tastes great with various meats, but also rice and potatoes.
Growing moss rose on the balcony – unusual cultivation
Portulaca can be grown in pots and cultivated on balconies. It’s possible because it loves sunny locations. When growing the plant in containers, make sure to water it regularly and avoid letting the soil dry completely. Just like when planted in flowerbeds, the potted plant requires a permeable soil mix in the container. A potted moss rose doesn’t require additional feeding, the nutrients from the soil are enough.
What are the common diseases of portulaca?
Portulaca plant is highly resistant to diseases. If you take a good care of it and don’t overwater the plant, it will stay in a perfect condition for its entire growing and blooming season. Too intense watering or long periods of precipitation might cause fungal diseases of the plant. Powdery mildew and grey mold are the most common issues.
Is portulaca likely to catch pests?
Moss rose is highly resistant to most pests. Aphids might sometimes appear on its leaves, but it’s very rare. An adequate insect repellent quickly resolves this problem.
How much does portulaca grandiflora cost?
Moss rose is a low-budget plant. It doesn’t cost much, and because it’s easy to propagate, you can enjoy it for many years. Portulaca seeds can be purchased in a physical or online garden store. You can also buy living seedlings and transfer them to a spot in the garden or a larger pot placed on a balcony or a patio.
📍 What does portulaca look like?
Portulaca is a spreading plant. Its stems creep on the ground and can be up to 60 cm (ca. 24 in) long. Moss rose has characteristic fleshy leaves. The flowers are usually yellow and quite modest.
📍 When to sow portulaca?
Portulaca grandiflora should be sown directly in the ground. The beginning of May is the best time to do it. You can also plant the seeds earlier in containers – in March, so you can enjoy the flowers sooner.
📍 How to eat portulaca?
Moss rose is not only a decoration – it can also be eaten. You can use it as a seasoning or in its raw form, and add the leaves and stems to various dishes. Make sure to wash the plant thoroughly before eating it. Cook it for about five minutes.
📍 Where to buy portulaca?
Common portulaca is a popular plant. You can purchase it in many supermarkets and garden stores. You can also buy the seeds online and grow them into mature plants.