Moss Rose

moss rose1

 Succulents are plants that have learned to survive in hot climates or salty areas by storing water in their fleshy leaves or stems. These plants do not all belong to the same family, in fact succulents can be found in more than sixty different plant families. If asked about succulents, cactus is the one most likely to come to mind. All cactus are succulents, but not all succulents are cactus. The non-cactus group includes aloe, sedum, jade plant, hens & chicks, burro’s tail and yucca. Most succulents live for years, with very little care, and stay green all the time. But, there are some exceptions, such as the Moss Rose, which is one of the few annual succulents.

moss rose2Moss Rose belongs to the family Portulacaceae and the genus Portulaca. Besides Moss Rose, it’s also called eleven o’clock, purslane, sun plant and rose moss. This plant is native to South America and thrives in dry, hot conditions. This is a low maintenance plant, drought tolerant and nearly pest free. It can be grown in containers, rock gardens, strawberry jars, and in hanging baskets. Moss Rose can be used as ground cover or border edging. It rarely needs water and does not mind poor soil. It’s easy to propagate by cuttings or by planting seeds, and self seeds in hot climates.

Blooms appear in early summer and can be a wide range of reds, oranges, pinks, purples and yellow. They also are available in spotted, striped and double varieties. The flowers are about an inch wide and the plant itself grows less than 6 inches tall, though it can spread up to two feet horizontally. Moss Rose flowers need sun to open. The older varieties closed in the afternoon, but the newer types stay open all day. The flowers close when it is cloudy, and at night. 

In my own garden, I grow Moss Rose as an annual, in a rectangular container mounted on the end of our porch. It is in direct sun almost all day. Rather moss rose5than take the time to grow them from seed, I just buy plants at a local nursery. Once planted, I rarely pay much attention to them, except to water once in a while. For this neglect, I am rewarded with loads of bright flowers. Moss Rose is an easy plant to grow and would be a great addition to just about any garden.




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One Response to “Moss Rose”

  1. Aunt Mary Says:

    I love hen and chicks but have no luck growing them. Itret them as nnuls but stillhave little luck.

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