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How to Propagate Portulaca

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How to Propagate Portulaca

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Overview

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.

Seeds

Step 1

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.

Step 2

Place the seed pods in a paper bag to dry at room temperature. The seed pods split open when they are ready.

Step 3

Place a strainer over a large bowl to catch the seeds.

Step 4

Rub the seed pods against the mesh of the strainer, forcing the seeds through the mesh and leaving the shell debris in the strainer.

Step 5

Plant the portulaca seeds on the surface of moist, well-draining soil and in light.

Cuttings

Step 1

Fill your containers with potting soil. Rinse the containers with 1 part bleach and 9 parts water to sterilize them.

Step 2

Cut a 2- to 5-inch long stem tip with a sharp, clean knife.

Step 3

Remove the lower leaves from the stem so that there is at least 1 inch of bare stem.

Step 4

Place the stem into the potting soil to a depth of at least 1 inch.

Step 5

Spray the cutting each day with water until the soil is wet. Portulaca roots will form in a couple of weeks.

Tips and Warnings

  • Portulaca fails to flower if grown under the wrong conditions. This flower enjoys hot, dry areas in full sunlight exposure.

Things You'll Need

  • Mature portulaca plants
  • Paper bag
  • Strainer
  • Containers
  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Sharp knife
  • Spray bottle

References

  • University of Hawaii at Manoa: Portulaca lutea
  • University of Vermont: Portulaca
  • University of Kentucky---Kentucky Garden Flowers: Portulaca
Keywords: propagating portulaca, seed propagation portulaca, cutting propagation portulaca

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.