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Hell Strip Plants

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May 10, 2019

Today I’d like to share a couple of plants I’ve had success with growing in the hell strip today on Southern Gardening.

Purslane is a succulent that thrives in high summer temperatures. Purslane has long been regarded by many as a garden weed, and I have removed many of these from the garden and landscape. Purslane’s summer-loving qualities make the improved selections perfect for the landscape. Known botanically as Portulaca oleracae, purslane is a larger and more robust version of its relative, the popular bedding plant moss rose. Regular pinching will keep purslanes dense and full. Purslanes are heavy feeders that require adequate nutrition throughout the season for best flowering and growth. The flowers will close on cloudy days and when the plant is under stress, and they have been observed to close in late afternoon and early evening, as well. The other plant that really surprised me last year was the annual Gold Dust mecardonia. I planted this in the spring intending to use as a ground cover until I found some other plant to plant. I never did. The mecardonia created a gorgeous mat from the profusion of bright yellow flowers. That is until my drip irrigation had a problem and once the bed dried out so did my mecardonia. So you can imagine my surprise this spring when the mecardonia came back from seed. I have my drip irrigation fixed and I’m well on my way to having the bright yellow carpet again. Feeding weekly with a water soluble fertilizer will keep the continuous flowering going all summer long. I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.

Department: CREC-Coastal Research & Ext Center

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