Portulaca, or moss rose, is an annual flower with a profusion of sunny flower colors combined with its toughness to make it a natural for difficult garden sites. It will do even better under less difficult conditions.
Description: Moss roses grow nearly prostrate -- a mat of fleshy leaves with stems topped by flowers. Newer varieties are available in a myriad of jewel-like colors -- yellow, gold, orange, crimson, pink, lavender, purple, and white.
How to grow: Full sun, sandy soil, and good drainage are musts for portulaca. Since they are frost-tender, they should not be planted outdoors until the danger of frost has passed. Space them one to two feet apart.
Propagation: Sow in place as soon as danger of frost has passed and the soil is warm. For earlier bloom, start indoors four to six weeks ahead. Seeds germinate in 10 to 15 days at 70 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Uses: Reserve your problem areas for portulaca. They are notoriously good container plants that do not languish if you forget to water them one day.
Scientific name: Portulaca grandiflora