Moss rose leggy, appears exhausted

horkus1(7)August 12, 2011

I have been growing moss rose for over 15 years now and they have always thrived here in Atlanta. Goodness knows we have the heat and the average level of humidity makes caring for these just about as easy as possible. This year I planted them as usual (I am a container gardener) and, as usual, they took off with huge gorgeous blooms in no time. Now that we are late in the summer, I am seeing something I have never seen before with these flowers: they are far too leggy and look rather ragged despite that they continue to bloom.

I know these normally do not require deadheading let alone pruning but they just look terribly tired. Any idea what would happen if I pruned them back? Will I just kill them if I do so?

Thanks for any and all advice!

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I'm wondering if you are getting new plants from the nursery, planting from purchased seed, or are you using your seeds saved from previous years?

I have been puzzled by the way my moss rose/portulaca/purslane behaved this year too. I had a hanging basket of an apricot colored bloom that did great, blooming all over in the morning, but in the afternoon it sort of closed down and looked sort of wilted. Is that what you are noticing?

I also put another plant in the ground near this container plant, and it behaved the same way. So I do not think the roots are getting too hot for the container plant, any more than they do for the soil plant. Both opened buds all over the plant, grew like crazy and became quite large. I did not have any "leggy" look, but noticed the increase in size.

It has been super humid in Mobile, feels like a sauna to be honest. I'm not sure if portulaca likes the humidity or not, but surely Atlanta is not as humid as south Alabama with Gulf moisture always present.

I do deadhead mine when they look a bit slow at blooming, and sometimes pinch off the growing tips. Like you say, they are usually strong and dependable growers. I do not think they will suffer if you pinch them back.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 10:52AM
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