pretty little annual from Brazil grows about 6 inches tall and
produces many flowers about an inch in size that open every morning in
the sunshine and form a carpet of color. The shining petals of the
roselike single or double blossoms appear in shades of rose, salmon,
pink, scarlet, orange, yellow, and white. It's narrow, fleshy leaves
are almost hidden by the flowers, which open only in sunshine. In a
hot, dry location where most flowers will not grow, portulaca will
prosper--on banks, along a driveway, in a rock garden, as a ground
cover, or in patio planters. To thrive, they need little more than
sunshine and soil, preferably rather poor soil.
seeds outdoors after the last frost or start them indoors four to six
weeks earlier. Outdoors, broadcast the very fine seed mixed with dry
sand. They need no thinning or spacing. Young plants transplant easily.
Mature plants may spread their own seed, so once portulaca is planted,
it often reappears from year to year. Portulaca is poor frost
tolerance. It has good resistance to pests and diseases. Water only
when dry. Flowers close at night, in shade and on cloudy days. No
deadheading in required.
Incorporate a slow-release
fertilizer like 18-6-12 into the soil at planting time, OR feed once a
month with a balanced fertilizer to keep plants green and flowering.