Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sun Loving Plants

PORTULACA GRANDIFLORA, originally from Argentina and Brazil, are sun-loving herbaceous perennials. Flowers of the original plants are orange or purple but the hybrid varieties grown in gardens have yellow, white, pink, crimson, purple, scarlet and apricot coloured flowers. The double flowered varieties with carmine red, white, pink or light pink flowers are popular.
The succulent herbs with low spreading branches have cylindrical, pinkish leaves. Flowers bloom only when the sun is shining. The double flowers are 5 cm long with several layers of petals resembling a rose and hence the name Rose Moss Plant.
Stem cuttings readily develop roots. Seeds are produced. These are tiny and look like old iron filings. Seeds should be mixed with fine sand before being sown in seed pans and should not be buried too deep as it will prevent germination. The plant should be watered carefully.
Flowers of Portulaca grandiflora bloom by 9 a.m. and droop by afternoon. Because of its dependence on the sun for flowering, the plant is sometimes known as the Sun Plant. The plants grow well in a well-drained sandy soil. The Ross Moss plants have to be watered well, but being succulent, these plants decay during water stagnation.

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