Moss Rose – How To Plant And Care For It
Little known, moss roses are definitely an option to consider when seeking to give your garden or patios a special chromatic accent. These very hardy ornamental plants, capable of adapting to various types of soil, especially dry, so planting and caring for them should not pose many problems at all. Here is more on how to plant and care for moss rose.
Native to South America, moss rose or portulaca, is a hardy annual. Portulaca is especially well-suited for growing in containers on patios and decks, with its fleshy, succulent leaves, red stems, and colorful cactus-like flowers in shades of red, orange, yellow, pink, purple and white. Plants prefer hot, dry, almost desert-like conditions. Flower blooms begin to appear in early summer and last until late fall.
Moss rose grows just up to 20 cm tall. Place it in the front of your flower garden. Try planting moss rose as border edging, in rock gardens, as bedding plants or ground cover. They also look good in containers and hanging pots. They’ll be forgiving when you forget to water them.
Moss Rose plants are grown from seeds. Scatter seeds outdoors where desired after frost danger has passed, or start them indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost. They do not like transplanting, so handle seedlings carefully. Do not cover the seeds, as light aids germination. If you grow them indoor at a higher temperature, this will translate into an earlier bloom. Plants will then propagate from year to year thanks to the seeds fallen on the ground.
The plants are drought and heat tolerant. In the flower garden, watering is seldom needed. If growing in containers or hanging pots, allow the soil to dry between watering. Add a general purpose, high nitrogen fertilizer when first planting, to help them to get a good start. Add a high phosphorous fertilizer just before blooming. No other fertilizer applications should be needed for the season. Plants are annuals that are very susceptible to frost. Cover them up whenever cold temperatures are expected.
It is also important to know moss rose has enormous curing qualities. In many traditional medicines across Asia, leaves and seeds are consumed raw, dried or marinated, with proven effects in treating various conditions, from a mere sore throat to tumors and hepatitis.
Sources: Gardening.cornell.edu, Gerdenersnet.com