9 O Clock Flower—Care And Propagation

The 9 O clock flower plant is an exceptionally beautiful, deeply fragrant annual bedding succulent with plump narrow leaves used for pots as well as landscapes. It is named so because of its unique feature to bloom around 9 to 10 o’clock every single morning. It is a drought and heat tolerant tropical flower native to hot, dry plains in Southern Brazil, Argentina,and Uruguay.

It has thick trailing stems with alternate, narrow, fleshy and pointed leaves. It brightens the garden area with its colourful ruffled rose-like blooms that vary in colour, from yellow, orange, red, pink, white to cream shades. Large amounts of tiny dust-like seeds are produced every season. 

9 O clock flower

It is distributed around the world mostly in tropical regions and beachfront locations as a salt tolerant garden annually. Since it produces many seeds and blooms every year, it is also called short-lived perennial. Its lifespan is limited to a season only. It is preferred both for flowers and foliage.

The seeds planted are first kept indoors and transplanted outdoors in pots or hanging baskets to ensure the provision of ample sunlight. It can grow about 30 cm tall and 1 foot wide. It is commonly seen in most of the gardens however some of its varieties are rare. It is a self-seeding non-invasive species known by common names like moss rose, sun rose, pigweed, purslane, bichhu bel etc. It is grown as an annual plant in USDA hardiness zones 2 to 10a. However, It is also possible to grow as a perennial in USDA hardiness zones 10b through 11. 

9 O clock flower is a fast growing trailing plant which can be grown with minimal care suitable even for first time plant owners. It forms a foliage mat which can be used as a ground cover. Its special feature is that we can produce these flowers even in winter.

This plant can be used for the treatment of swelling, pharynx pain, hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver with ascites. Furthermore, juice can be prepared from its fleshy leaves and stems to apply for the external injuries like burns, scald, eczema, snake and insect bites.

Botanical Classification

Kingdom: Plantae

Clade: Tracheophytes

Clade: Angiosperms

Clade: Eudicots

Order: Caryophyllales

Family: Portulacaceae

Genus: Portulaca

Species: grandiflora

Is It Toxic?

Portulaca grandiflora can be poisonous to childrens as well as pets. The portulaca species are found to be toxic to both cats and dogs. The portulaca poisoning in dogs may develop symptoms like lethargy, hypersalivation, tremors leading to kidney failures and even death. Any part of portulaca ingested by dogs causes metabolic imbalances and kidney failures. They should be taken immediately to the veterinarian in case of an emergency after inhalation.

Care

9 O clock flowers are self seeding which can produce beautiful blooms all summer long even with little or minimal care and low maintenance. Here, we will be discussing some ideal conditions to grow this plant more gracefully.

Light

It thrives in direct as well as indirect bright sunlight. It needs medium direct sunlight for about 3-4 hours in order to bloom properly. The blooms become more vibrant in exposure to ample light.

Temperature

Temperature ranging from 20 to 30 degrees celsius is ideal for this plant. Being a high heat tolerant plant, it can even easily tolerate afternoon heat and is sensitive to cold. It should be taken indoors during winter.

Soil

9 O clock flower grows best in well aerated sandy and sandy loam soil. The soil should be loose and quick draining in order to flush out lodged water in no time. This plant can even grow in the small amount of wind deposited soil in old cracks and stone walkways.

Water

This plant doesn’t need frequent watering as it is drought tolerant succulent. Water it only when about 2cm deep soil feels dry by inserting the fingers into the soil. Overwatering can lead to root rot. While watering, one should keep in mind not to water the plant and its flower directly from above, but at its base.

Humidity

This plant is sensitive to cold as it is native to high heat climates. The plant should be transferred indoors on increasing humidity.

Fertilisers

Fertilising the plant frequently may lead to increase in foliage size but reduction in flower numbers. FYM or vermicompost can be mixed into the soil to increase drainage and nutrients during its blooming period once a month. However, the plant can grow well even without any fertilisers.

Potting And Repotting

9 O'clock flower potting

While potting, some amount of perlite and sand can be added to make sure to drain water quickly.

Trimming And Pruning

9 O Clock Flower Propagation

The 9 O’clock flower plant can be easily propagated mainy by two methods:

1. By seeds

2. By cuttings

The detailed procedures to propagate it through these methods is described below:

By seeds

Growing a new 9 O’clock plant from seeds is quite an easy process. As they are self seeding plants, the seeds are easily available.

  • First, a quick draining soil with good water retention quality is prepared by mixing Loamy soil, coco peat, FYM or vermicompost and some Neem khali as anti-fungal.
  • Take a wide pot or any container and make some holes to favour drainage and ventilation.
  • Fill up the pot tightly and make it moist by watering.
  • Spread the extracted seeds uniformly over that soil.
  • A thin layer of soil is added above it making sure not to interfere with the light rays required during germination.
  • Water it again lightly and keep the pot in shade.
  • Water it only when the soi becomes dry by measuring it with your fingers.
  • Once it germinates in about 1-2 weeks, move the plant to the sunlight area as it starts growing quickly.
  • Place the plant in an area with direct sunlight and enjoy its beautiful blooms.

By cuttings

The propagation by its cutting is quicker than by seeds. We have to follow some simple procedures listed below:

  • First, prepare a well-draining potting mix and select the container.
  • Fill up the container and make it moist.
  • Take a 2-3 cm cutting of a 9 O’clock plant with leaves.
  • Prepare a hole of about half inch at the centre and bury the prepared cutting in it.
  • Water it lightly and keep the container in shade.
  • After 3-4 days a significant change can be seen in the plant due to development of its roots.
  • Relocate the plant to direct sunlight and let it bloom beautifully.

Common Problems

Pests

Aphids: It infests the plant by sucking out the juice from its leaves. Whole plant may get infected on prolonged infection.

Applying neem oil in the branches and leaves can help eradicate such pest infections.

Mealy bugs: It looks like tiny white fuzzy things which can infect the plant badly.

The best possible way to treat this pest is by using 70 % isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle to rub out the pest or by using cotton dipped in alcohol to dab it out.

Diseases

Root rot and stem rot: It is controlled by stopping overwatering.

White rust in Portulaca: It is recently seen disease which may cause discolouration, wilting and declining. It can be eradicated only by treating the fungus associated with it.

Price

You can buy this flower plant within the range 7 $ to 18 $ based on the number of seeds. It is available in different online sites like Amazon.

Pros

  • It is a self seeding plant.
  • It is high heat, drought and salt tolerant.
  • Can be used as a bedding plant, in hanging baskets and landscapes.
  • No need to worry about relocating in case of high heat.

Cons

  • Sometimes, it acts as weed and can’t be controlled.
  • It is not recommended for one with childrens and pets.

9 O’ clock Flower Benefits

1. It produces diverse blooms with minimal care.

2. Fresh juice of plants and its flowers used for treating some external infections.

3. This plant can be used for the treatment of swelling, pharynx pain, hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver with ascites.

4. The garden area or indoor space can be decorated without any special effort.

Conclusion

This 9 O clock flower plant is the most popular annual garden which is used to create delightful and cheerful vibes in one’s space. This plant is used as pot plant, in hanging baskets, as a bedding plant and these days people have developed different creative ways of decorating the house with it like in a painted bottle, in a plastic basket, creating holes and giving different shapes to the plant, etc. Propagating this flower plant is quite easy and quicker. Once propagated, it produces its own seeds and grows itself every year although it is still counted as an annual plant. Even without flowers, its foliage beauty attracts visitors. Not to forget about some health benefits like being used for treating external injuries, hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, etc as discussed above, this flower plant definitely holds the upper position among the gardener’s houseplants options.

Having said that, it has some drawbacks as well. It is difficult to eradicate completely and acts as a weed which may frustrate the gardener for not being able to renovate their garden completely. Also, one with pets and childrens should consider it twice before planting it. Taking all these advantages and drawbacks in consideration, one should make a decision of purchase. Once you plant this plant and start seeing diverse blooms in your garden, this flower plant won’t let you down and prove itself worth-buying. So, when are you gonna adopt a 9 O’clock flower plant as your houseplant?

Author

    by
  • Sochan Limbu

    A graduate of the Agriculture and Forestry University, Nepal, Mr. Sochan Limbu is an agriculture professional. The author has worked in the gardening field for more than three years and has practical knowledge on how to handle and care for succulents. Get started gardening with his articles.

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