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Annuals/portulaca question

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Question
Hi, I purchased a one gallon portulaca two days ago. It was nice, several good flowers on it, with foliage cascading down the sides. Time did not permit me to transplant it into the larger vessel which I planned. This morning when I stepped outside my plant looked like it had been cut off. No flowers left. All the cascading foliage was down to about 2 inches, where before they had measured about 5-7 inches. We did have a rain shower yesterday with wind, but I could see no evidence that any of the foliage had been blown off; I only found 2 small pieces on the steps. It was like I was looking at a different plant than I bought! I've never had insect problems with moss roses; that's one reason I love them so. Do you have any ideas at all what could have happened? As I said, I searched all around and found no pieces of it that had been blown off. It is a real puzzlement. Thanks in advance.

Answer
Do you have rabbits in your neighborhood?

This sounds like a classic case of Peter Rabbit.  When there's not enough vegetables, bunnies binge on the flowering plants.

Portulaca is delicious, by the way.  You've heard of people eating Purslane?  This is a delicacy here in New York.  Salad mavens are always looking for produce in the park. The Latin name for Purslane is Portulaca oleracea.  So although you may be growing Portulaca for their sun-worshiping flowers, you can also put salad dressing croutons on them and stand by a tomato plant eating them for lunch.

I am not there in the dark, but if I had to guess, I would say it's Peter.  Get a cat.

L.I.G.

Annuals

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Long Island Gardener

Expertise

Decisions, decisions... If you can't make up your mind which Annuals to grow, you're not alone. Problem with your new flowering Annuals flats? I`ve been there, done that. Petunias, Sweet Alyssum, Larkspur, Marine Blue Lobelia -- they all grow here at my house on Garden Street on Long Island, N.Y.. Cutting and Cottage Gardens, Sun and Shade Gardens, White Gardens and Night Gardens, I`ve done them all. Annuals are the perfect summer flower, bursting with color June through fall's first frost. I can`t speak on Cactus or tender Tropical Plants -- they don`t grow outside in my Zone 7. I`m no Farmer, so I cannot guide you on Fruits and Vegetables. But whether it`s an Annual you want to start from seed, mail-order or pick up at your local garden center, I can help you grow amazing blooms this Summer. Yes, together, we can turn your neighbors green with envy.

Experience

I have a lifetime of gardening behind me here on the North Shore of Long Island. While I have degrees in related fields, there's nothing like hands-on work to build real knowledge. I stay on top of current science -- there's a boom in research, and Kingdom Plantae is filled with surprises. By the way, I really do live on Garden Street.

Publications
Gannett newspapers, The New York Times, and hundreds of others - but not on Annuals.

Education/Credentials
B.A., botany; graduate credits in European Intellectual History and Political Science; minor coursework in related fields, docent training at our local botanical gardens (required for volunteers). I'm currently working on an advanced biochemistry degree.

Awards and Honors
I could tell you, but then you'd know who I am.

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