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Portulaca grandiflora - Sun Jewels

Genus: Portulaca.

Species: Portulaca grandiflora.

Common name: Sun Jewels
Botanic name: Portulaca
Family: Portulacaceae

Portulaca, or moss rose, is a popular drought-tolerant annual. Plants are low-growing spreaders with thick succulent stems and vibrant, cup-shaped flowers. Flowers come in a wide range of colours.

Portulacas love it hot and dry. You can plant them in poor, even sandy, soil. They also adapt to average garden conditions. Just give them full sun and any well-drained soil.

Portulacas don’t need much care. Water them after planting and watch them go. They’ll grow 4 to 8 inches high and spread 6 to 18 inches. You don’t even have to deadhead. If plants get scraggly, you can cut them back. Don’t fertilize too much; it will encourage plants to produce thick foliage but fewer flowers.

Portulaca grandiflora has thick stems covered with succulent, needle-shaped leaves. Flowers are about 1 inch in diameter and can be single, semi-double, or double. They come in a wide range of bright colors including neon pink, red, orange, and yellow. More recent introductions include pastel shades such as apricot, cream, and white. Some plants have mottled, bicolour flowers.

All portulacas need sun for their flowers to open. The flowers of older varieties closed up around noon. But most plants sold today have blooms that stay open all day, only closing at night and on cloudy days.

Photos of this plant

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