Gateway Trials #2 Favorite
Portulaca ‘Happy Hour Orange’
There are 7 colors in this series, deep red, fuchsia, orange, peppermint, coconut, lemon and banana from Ball Horticultural. We liked the soft warm papaya shade and vigor of the orange color best. It looks beautiful with blue shades of petunias or salvia, also works well contrasting with dark red and yellow shades of lantana. We planted Portulaca ‘Happy Hour Fuchsia’ and ‘Banana’ together in a bed with a backdrop of Celosia ‘New Look Scarlet’ and Agastache ‘Blue Fortune’ which made a very dramatic show. The banana is a dark yellow color flecked with red in the center. This was not only was a very bright and eye-catching combination but also bloomed the entire summer with very little maintenance. Drought tolerant and sturdy, these plants began blooming in early June when first planted are continuing to bloom now in mid October. They have weathered a cold spring, record heat, drought, rain and now back to cool again. No deadheading, no heat stall, no faded flower stalks, no cold damage. Plants, like people, are made better by the right companions. This has provided a beautiful entry piece to our campus.
Portulaca ‘Happy Hour’ had uniform germination and held well in the greenhouse during low light days of spring with no sign of powdery mildew. We had to keep them in the greenhouse 606 trays a little longer than we wanted to due to cold spring weather outside and they held on beautifully. They make a colorful and drought resistant ground cover in beds and show excellent tolerance to poor, salty soil next to sidewalks. One thing we noticed is that they do seem to be very sensitive to cold temperatures. We had a couple unusually cold nights in early September with temperatures in the low 40s and these did show signs of chilling injury.