Portulaca “Moss Rose” The ten o’clock flower
It is also seen in South Asia and widely spread in most of the cities with old 18th-19th century architecture in the Balkans. In Bangladesh, it is called “Time Fuul”, meaning “Time Flower”, because the flower has a specific time to bloom. In Vietnam, it is called “Hoa mười giờ” meaning “Ten o’clock flower”, because the flower is usually in full bloom at 10 o’clock in the morning.
It is a small, but fast-growing annual plant growing to 30 cm tall, though usually less. However if it is cultivated properly it can easily reach this height. The leaves are thick and fleshy, up to 2.5 cm long, arranged alternately or in small clusters. The flowers are 2.5–3 cm diameter with five petals, variably red, orange, pink, white, and yellow.
Portulaca flowers tolerate many kinds of soils but prefer sandy well drained soils and love the full sunlight. These plants are excellent for high heat and drought tolerance and will seed and spread themselves very well. Some control methods may be needed to keep portulaca plants from becoming invasive to areas where they are not wanted.
You do not need to water often for proper portulaca care. The cylindrical foliage of the portulaca flower retains moisture very well thus regular watering is not needed. When they are watered just a light watering will do as their root zone is very shallow.
When planting the portulaca seeds it is not necessary to cover the seed at all and if covered only very lightly as they need the sun to sprout and grow. The seeds planted in the gravel mulch in my rose bed were scattered by hand over the gravel and the gravel lightly rocked back and forth with my hand to help the seed reach the soils below.
Portulaca flowers are truly beautiful in various garden and landscape settings and have been used to beautify old structures and stone walk ways, as they grow well in the old cracks in the structures where winds have deposited just enough soil to support them. Portulaca flowers are beautiful growing around the stones of a garden path with their mix of beautiful colors of pink, red, yellow, orange, deep lavender, cream and white.
These wonderful plants will help attract butterflies to your gardens as well as acting as “eye-catchers” for your gardens or landscapes. They may be planted in containers as well such as whiskey barrel planters and hanging baskets. The Portulaca plants will grow out and over the edges of the containers making a grand display of their cylindrical somewhat moss like foliage and truly strikingly vibrant colored blooms.