This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

September 15, 2016

The best annual flower for September in Phoenix - moss rose (portulaca)

If you're like me, and you live in the Phoenix area, you get all excited when the weather cools down from, like crazy hot to actually feeling pretty good early in the morning, and you want to plant annuals. In past years as soon as it's September I've gone crazy and planted a lot of annuals, like petunias, just to see them die in the afternoon heat, which continues all through September. That is, cool weather annuals need to wait to be planted until it's cool all day, not just feeling coolish in the morning. So this year I planted moss roses, and they're great. The petunias will have to wait for October, or November.

Moss rose, or portulaca, really does look like nothing until it blooms. If you pass over it at your local Home Depot, I can't blame you. But when it does start blooming, it's a knock-out. And it loves heat!

I planted some portulaca along the southern exposure of my garden, and it's doing fine. There were no blooms for about a week, and yesterday they started. They close up at night, and the gotta have a lot of sunlight, and a lot of heat. Luckily, Phoenix will have plenty of that for the next couple of months, especially in a southern exposure as the sun gets lower in the sky.

Portulaca (moss rose) beginning to bloom today, September 15th, Glendale, Arizona. For scale, my dog's legs are about two inches long.
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