Portulaca also is called moss rose. This annual grows 6 to 8 inches tall and spreads 6 to 12 inches wide. Its green, succulent leaves are topped with red, orange, yellow, cream, pink and white summer flowers that are 1 inch wide. Portulaca is used in rock gardens, along paved surfaces, draping over walls, bordering flowerbeds and in containers. This ground cover is propagated through seeds and cuttings.
Collect the 1/4 inch oval seed pods growing on the portulaca plants. Pick the seeds before they ripen, as they scatter when the portulaca pods split open.
Place the seed pods in a paper bag to dry at room temperature. The seed pods split open when they are ready.
Place a strainer over a large bowl to catch the seeds.
Rub the seed pods against the mesh of the strainer, forcing the seeds through the mesh and leaving the shell debris in the strainer.
Plant the portulaca seeds on the surface of moist, well-draining soil and in light.
Fill your containers with potting soil. Rinse the containers with 1 part bleach and 9 parts water to sterilize them.
Cut a 2- to 5-inch long stem tip with a sharp, clean knife.
Remove the lower leaves from the stem so that there is at least 1 inch of bare stem.
Place the stem into the potting soil to a depth of at least 1 inch.
Spray the cutting each day with water until the soil is wet. Portulaca roots will form in a couple of weeks.
About this Author
Karen Carter has spent the last three years working as a technology specialist in the public school system. This position included hardware/software installation, customer support, and writing training manuals. She also spent four years as a newspaper editor/reporter at the Willapa Harbor Herald.