Portulaca is a succulent flowering plant and it is native to Argentina, Southern Brazil and Uruguay. It belongs to the family Portulacaceae. It is known as 10'O clock, 9'O clock, 11'O clock and 12'O clock in various countries based on the time the flowers bloom completely.
The plant is quite hardy and can be grown with little care. It does not have any special requirements.
The plant prefers full sunlight throughout the day. The flowers require sun to bloom open.
Portulaca has beautiful colourful blooms ranging from pink, red and orange to lavender, cream and white. They create a beautiful juxtaposition of colour. The blooming season is in summer. You can deadhead the old flowers for better blooms.
The plants are drought resistant and grow fairly well in dry conditions. They do not require frequent watering. Allow the soil to dry between waterings. Make sure never to over-water the plant. Letting the plant stay in boggy conditions for long periods of time can lead to root rot and other fungal diseases.
They can tolerate a wide variety of soils but grow best in sandy, well-drained soils. Don't use very heavy or clayey soils. They do best in drier conditions.
The plant can grow up to 3 to 8 feet. You can prune the plant to control its size.
Fertilizing could help with better blooms. Add a general purpose nitrogen fertilizer when you first plant the tree. Apply a phosphorus-rich fertilizer every year before the beginning of blooming season. Water the plant before fertilizing to prevent fertilizer burn.
Aphids, gnats and a few other insects can be problematic for the plants. Treat them with appropriate insecticides or repellents.
It is perfect for those areas of your garden which remain bare because of too much sunlight or nutrient deficiency. The plant will thrive even in such areas and turn the once bare patch turn to a vivid colour palette. You can even plant them in hanging baskets. In some cultures, they are used in the preparation of herbal remedies and even cooking.