Moss rose, known as Portulaca Grandiflora, 11 o’clock, purslane or sun plant, is an annual plant that is native to South America. It strives in areas that have a lot of heat and drought, needing little moisture to bloom and thrive. Moss rose produces various colors including shades of rose, yellow, orange, red, purple and pink. The blooms on the moss rose appear in the early summer.
How Moss Rose Grows
The moss rose plant grows between 4 to 6 inches in height. It looks good when placed in front of a flower garden, especially because of the vivid colors of the plant. They also look good on walkways, in rock gardens and as edging for borders. The best thing about moss rose, from a care standpoint, is that it does not require constant watering.
The Purpose of Growing Moss Rose
One of the main purposes for growing moss rose is the seeds. The moss rose seeds can be eaten raw or cooked and is used in many recipes, soups and sauces. You can grow your moss rose indoors and transplant it when the weather permits its further growth. Again the moss rose plant strives in conditions that are hot, arid and does not have a lot of water.
Keep the Moss Rose From Cold
Moss rose plants are susceptible to cold so it is best to keep the plant indoors if you live in a cold weather state. If planted outdoors, cover the moss rose plant at first sign of frost to avoid them dying off due to the cold.
The seeds can be germinated, which requires 1 to 2 weeks. Use a germination mat that can be purchased from a home and garden or plant store for moss rose that is grown indoors.
Planting and Growing Moss Rose
Growing moss rose is easy to accomplish. Plant it in sun and the soil type that it strives in and be average to poor in quality. Watering is not required. You can provide a general purpose nitrogen fertilizer when initially planting the moss rose and a phosphorous fertilizer as the plant blooms. After the application of fertilizer, no further fertilizer is needed.
You should prune the moss rose on occasion in order to promote growth and keep it looking neat in appearance. Pruning also increases air circulation for the moss rose and helps the plant avoid any fungal disease that can affect the plant’s further growth.
Treat Moss Rose with Insecticides
Moss rose is susceptible to various insects and diseases like other plants. This includes aphids, gnats, snails and slugs. These annoying bugs can be controlled using a proper insecticide that you can purchase at a garden store.
Moss rose can also be affected by fungal diseases as well as stem and root rot. Fungus can be treated with a fungicide, which should be applied in humid weather as soon as the fungus appears. As for stem and root problems, plant the moss rose in sandy earth or where the soil has proper drainage.