Portulaca

(Portulaca grandiflora) Portulaca is a succulent annual member of the purslane family. It is native to South America and found growing in the hot, dry plains of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. The drought-tolerant plants are low growing and spreading, providing mats of attractive foliage smothered in vibrantly colored blooms. It is an excellent choice for hanging baskets, rock gardens and containers. The plants require well-drained soil and prefer full sun. Start seeds indoors six to eight weeks before last frost date, or surface sow outdoors once all chance of frost has passed. Ideal germination temperature is 70-80F. Sprinkle seeds onto moist soil, pressingly gently into the soil, as the seeds need light in order to germinate. Seeds germinate in 10-14 days. Space plants 8-12 inches apart.

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