Portulaca from cuttings (say what?)

clibanarius(z8GA)August 4, 2005

My 6-year old son and I picked up a clearance, slightly tired P. grandiflora (moss rose) plant at Lowe's for all of a quarter (he knows mom likes the flowers). I, on the other hand, look at this plant and see the potential for a father-son project involving lots and lots of cuttings. Before we get started, I was wondering if anyone has bothered to try to propogate moss rose from cuttings? It seems like it should be simple, but I seem to get burned by that perception a lot!

Also, I know this plant is always called an annual, but does anyone know if it is really a tender perennial? In general, what happens to rooted cuttings of annual plants through the winter months? Seems like they'd be pretty confused, at best!

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

It is really and truly an annual plant, a self seeding annual. You can propagate it from cuttings, and when you do so your new plants are once again in the juvenile stage. Your rooted cuttings will have to be protected from the frost, and they won't appreciate being grown inside (they need full sun). Do you have a greenhouse?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2005 at 3:42PM
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ktd125(z6 WPA)

Hi! Although I'm a newbie, I love rose moss! I've never had success from cuttings but I've collected the seeds (one of my weird interests!!) and started plants that way. My mom has a little bed that gets full sun and some chlorine water from the pool and it just grows and grows and grows! Good Luck!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2005 at 10:44AM
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These are such easy plants to grow and I love the appearance of them. I got a six-pack at the local grocery store a couple of weeks ago, planted them, and started taking a lot of cuttings from them and just stuck the cuttings in the soil in another part of the garden and they are doing great!
I wish that there were more annuals that this could be done with. In fact, does anyone know if there are any other annuals that cuttings can be taken from and successfully grown?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2005 at 1:03AM
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Hi jt,

I didn't know the Portulaca would root from cuttings. I have a small planting of the pretty, bright double pink ones, located at the end of a long bed, where it drops off to a dry creek bed. It's very sunny and dry right there and they are doing beautifully. I'm going to try starting some from the cuttings, just to see if I can create more planted spots of these pretty ladies in pink! We have such hot weather here, they've been a real workhorse down there in that area of the bed. I'm learning which plants do well here and which don't. These Portulaca will be keepers and I do hope they re seed next spring and come true.

I didn't know it, (of course, I've never really tried to propagate plants) but some petunia's are so very easy and root so fast. The ones I've tried begin blooming almost immediately from the cuttings stuck down into potting soil. I keep them in the shade for a week or two, in damp potting soil. When they begin to make buds, I set them out. Next spring, I'm going to purchase one of the really fancy, double ones and see if it will root as easily.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2005 at 1:58PM
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jbcarr(7 VA)

Next to sedum, this is one of the easiest to root by just sticking a piece in the ground. As Ron Popiel sez "set it and forget it".

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 4:03PM
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I have had great luck cutting my portulaca back (they grow huge here) and just sticking them into the ground any old way. It doesn't seem to matter that they are in full sun here in Hawaii, the little devils root within a day or two. Also works with the fancy-dancy ones too. Great garden workhorse for me!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 12:44AM
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cncnorman(z7 FW/TX)

Does it root from cuttings? Ha! OMG! I started with a stray three inch piece that was in another plant purchased from a nursery. I had no idea what it was so I just plunked it in the container next to some dusty miller. From that one piece I now have a trough full of portulaca from cuttings and I have started growing them in my beds.

Once the pieces get about eight inches long I snap off four inches and strip the bottom two inches of leaves. After placing the bottom inch in soil, gently tap the soil around the stem to make contact and voila! Within a couple of weeks it will be off and growing in no time. Don't over water, don't bother with fertilizers. Oh, and a bonus for you - everywhere that the leaves were stripped - you'll get another branch. :)
Have fun!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 10:21AM
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I have found that if I plant purchased groups, they reseed and grow the next year, but in the third year nothing comes up and I have to plant new purchased groups or use collected seed.

A friend gave me a strip of paper towel with a lot of dried seeds on it, and I just stuck it in the top of a pot -- hundreds of moss roses came up, and they are really beautiful. Apparently some of the seed blew out because I see it growing in other pots sitting around the area!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 12:17PM
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I have a large terra cotta pot I planted one licorice plant in this year at the beginning of summer. I couldnt think of anything else to plant with it right away..good thing I waited, its full to overflowing with moss rose! I never planted a single seed, stem anything...arent birds wonderful? Also, its coming up in the cracks around the pool as well. You shouldnt have any trouble propagating it! :)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 1:12PM
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I have to disagree that they're annuals---I have a hanging basket of portaluca that's on its' third year and VERY happy!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 2:09PM
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I remember this flower from my childhood in Ohio. It seems to me they came back on their own every year in the front flower bed where they received full sun. I live in Charlotte, N.C. now and my attempts to get portulaca to return didn't work! They died at the first cold snap and though they were fairly large plants, the plants never came to life in the Spring. I noticed that those plants had small wide leaves and I remembered portulaca as having small tubular leaves. Are there two varieties? I now have the tubular leaf variety and hope these will winter over and grow again next Spring?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 8:39PM
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i'm in new york city and i just built myself a brand new greenhouse. if i take some cuttings from my summer portulaca, i seem to understand that i can just pop them into a pot with some soil and they will take off? will they bloom in the greenhouse this winter?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2007 at 11:17AM
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dampflippers(Tyne & Wear UK)

If it's what I think it is, it will root in about 2 or 3 days (literally) in water.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2007 at 7:33AM
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tbenton(Z7 VA)

I have had portulaca for years. They not only survive the winter but self seed too. Because of this I have so many of them that they are very crowded in solid 'mats' in their pots and never bloom anymore. I like the little green plants but is there a way I can get them to bloom again? I love to watch them open in the sun and close at night.


    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 3:25PM
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Every year my grandma would pick off some pieces to bring in for the Winter, root them and set them back out in the Spring. They would fill a whole bed. I do not remember her ever buying new plants

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 4:44PM
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