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Low Maintenence, High Returns

PORTULACA

Try Portulaca if you need a plant that flowers where it's hot and dry. Portulaca, sometimes called moss rose, is a popular drought-tolerant annual that loves those hot, dry days of summer. These plants are low-growing spreaders with thick succulent leaves and vibrant, cup-shaped flowers. Flowers come in a wide range of jewel-tone colors, including neon pink, red, orange, and yellow.

They adapt to average garden conditions and really do not need a lot of care. Just give them full sun and well-drained soil. You can even plant them in poor, sandy, soil. Water after planting and watch them grow. 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.

How to use them:

  • Because they thrive in dry conditions, they're a good choice for strawberry jars.
  • Great planted in crevices of rock walls or on the edges of gravel paths.
  • Notoriously good container plants that do not languish if you forget to water them one day.
  • Plant them in a rock garden for season-long color.
  • Plant masses in flowerbeds for dramatic impact.
  • Reserve your problem areas for Portulaca as they make a great groundcover for hot, sunny areas.