Gardening is not trivial. If you believe that it is, closely examine why you feel that way. You may discover that this attitude has been forced upon you by mass media and the crass culture it creates and maintains. The fact is, gardening is just the opposite - it is, or should be, a central, basic expression of human life.
― Andrew Weil
The joy of gardening can be denied by none. The surprises it holds every morning are truly special to those who sow the seeds and even to those who do not. The beautiful colors, alluring scents, and the mirth of watching a life take form are some of the simple, yet grand joys of making a garden. If you are someone who truly enjoys gardening and are looking to make some special additions, then moss roses are perfect for your garden landscape. These easy-to-grow and easy-to-care-for plants are ideal for every amateur as they reap great rewards with minimal effort. Available in a variety of colors, these desert flowers are very easy to grow and care for. Moss roses (Portulaca oleracea
) are easily found in most of the nurseries. These can be grown in dry weather conditions, and hence, they are known to be extremely tough plants.
These plants are generally used for bedding in a garden, since they do not grow very tall. They can totally be grown in arid and dry conditions. All they need is bright sunlight and some care to bloom into beautiful colors of yellow, orange, white, pink, red, and other bi-colors depending on the sapling. Let's take a look at how to grow and care for these plants.
How to Grow Moss Roses
✿ You can easily buy the seeds or the sapling for moss roses from a nearby nursery or a greenhouse. As these plants are very popular, you might even find one at a local departmental store. Pick one that you like to get started with.
✿ While planting your moss roses, ensure that there is at least a space of 6-8 inches between two saplings. These plants need their space to grow; hence, plan and plant ahead of time.
✿ Moss roses love the sun. These are essentially succulent in nature and have a cacti-like growing mechanism. Thus, sow your seeds out in the sun. If you are planting them in a pot, ensure that you place them in a sunny spot or hang them outdoors.
✿ Since these plants do not grow much in height (usually around 6-12 inches), these are used to make colorful garden beds. Driveways and small mounds in the gardens are ideal spaces to plant these flowers.
✿ The best time to plant moss roses is just after the last frost if you live in zone 4 or below. If you are someone residing in zone 5, sow the plant outdoors in fall.
✿ It is important that you plant the moss roses in well-drained dry soil. These plants do not grow in clay soils or in ones that tend to retain water. They love the sun and heat and thus, make perfect plants for yards or your rock gardens.
✿ Sow the seeds, and lightly cover them with mud. The thin layer of mud will allow maximum exposure to the sun, giving the seeds ample scope to grow faster.
✿ Moss roses have shallow roots. Hence, you will have to water them adequately for the roots to grow in strength at first.
✿ Once they start growing, pinch or deadhead the flowers to promote further blossoms.
How to Care for Moss Roses
✿ Moss roses do not require much of fertilizers. In fact, you require just a small dosage of general high nitrogen while planting and then some high phosphorus fertilizer a little prior to the blooming period to get healthy moss roses.
✿ These plants need their space while growing. Thus, ensure that you remove all the weeds and other little irritants growing in their way.
✿ These colorful plants love dry soil and arid growing conditions. So, prevent watering excessively. Every time you water the plant, wait for the water to dry up completely till you water next.
✿ Just like other types of roses, moss roses are prone to aphids, slugs, snails, fungus, and rot. Thus, watch out for these plant diseases, and take the right action when needed.
✿ The best way to avert such problems is to plant these roses in well-drained sandy soil or slightly raised beds.
Planting and caring for moss roses is very easy. Thus, they are recommended plants for an amateur gardener. With just a little effort, these plants can introduce nascent gardeners to simple techniques to growing a garden full of bright colors and soothing scents.