The Rose Moss Plant is also called the Sun Plant because it depends on the sun for flowering
PORTULACA GRANDIFLORA, originally from Argentina and Brazil, are sun loving herbaceous perennials but, in gardens, they are grown as annuals.
Flowers of the original plants are single and orange or purple in colour but the hybrids grown in gardens have yellow, white, pink, crimson, purple, scarlet and apricot flowers.
More popular are the double-flowered varieties with carmine red, white, pink or light pink flowers. A double-coloured variety, with yellow and red single flowers, is now seen in portulaca patches in some gardens.
The succulent herb with low spreading branches have cylindrical pinkish leaves. Flowers do not open in the absence of sunshine. The double flowers are 5 cm in width with several layers of petals resembling a rose and hence, the name Rose Moss Plant.
The plant is self hybridising and varieties grown together, when propagated through seeds, produce flowers that are mottled or striped. Portulaca grandilflora is excellent for annual beds and also as a ground cover and for rockeries.
Cuttings readily strike root and Portulaca grandiflora is propagated thus. Seeds are produced. They are tiny and look like iron filings.
Seeds should be mixed with fine sand before sowing in seed pans. Seeds should not be buried too deep as it will prevent germination. Watering should be done carefully.
Flowers of Portulaca grandiflora open by 9 a.m. and close by afternoon. Because of its dependence on the sun for flowering, the plant is sometimes known as the sun plant. The plants prefer a well-drained not too rich sandy soil. They like good watering but being succulents cannot tolerate water stagnation.
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