The 9 o’clock flower is known by this name because it blooms around 9 o’clock in the morning, which is quite shocking and interesting at the same time.
The best thing about the 9 o’clock flower is that one single plant brings out so much diversity by showering different colored flowers. It is also popularly known as Bicchu bel in India.
It is quite easy to grow and care for it and that is what you are going to learn today through this post.
9 o’clock Flower – Plant Care & Growing Guide
9 O’clock flower plant care
9 o’clock flower plant care includes fast-draining potting soil, watering it carefully when a good portion of the soil has dried & providing it an adequate amount of sunlight.
|Medium Direct Sunlight (3-4 hours)
|When the soil dries
Let’s get into detail.
9 o’clock flower plant is succulent & drought tolerant (can live without water for a long time) which means it can hold water in its leaves and stems.
Often people water it according to other plants and end up overwatering it which leads to root rot and the plant dies.
So, the most important point of 9 o’clock flower plant care is only water it when the soil gets completely dry.
Do a finger test before watering it, by inserting your finger inside the soil to check if it’s wet or dry. If it feels wet then don’t water it.
And whenever you water it, make sure to make flood it with water.
Water sparing but deeply is the key to keeping this plant healthy.
Right Potting Soil
Potting soil will play a big role in caring for the 9 o’clock flower plant.
As this plant is succulent it requires fast draining soil that is able to flush out excess water in no time.
Enough amount of sand and perlite will make sure to drain the water quickly.
I recommend this potting soil for Portulaca. (Succulent Potting Mix)
Watering Properly – 9 o’clock flower plant care
The other point you need to remember while caring for portulaca is, how to water it.
As it is a succulent plant, never water the plant and its flower.
Always water at the base of the plant with the help of a pointed watering can (like this one).
Another important point in 9 o’clock flower plant care involves sunlight.
Often people complain that their portulaca is not flowering and most of the time it’s because of improper sunlight.
9 o’clock flower can survive well under shade but in order to produce blooms it requires a good amount of low – medium direct sunlight (4-5 hours)
So, if your 9 o’clock plant is not producing flowers then consider moving it to direct sunlight.
9 o’clock flower plant doesn’t require much fertilizer and will keep on growing well without it.
But if you add too much fertilizer to it then it can cause some problems with its growth.
It is best to apply only a handful of fertilizer (cow dung or vermicompost) during its blooming period to the plant every 20 -25 days and water immediately to release its nutrient.
The best vermicompost for Portulaca is this one.
Best Time to Grow 9 o’clock Flower Plant?
This plant loves sunlight and will need direct sunlight for at least 5-6 hours daily.
So, the best time to grow the 9 o’clock plant is just before the arrival of the summer season. That is in India, you can grow it from late March – early April.
Before growing make sure that the weather is clear and there is no forecast of rain in near future.
9 o’clock plants bloom in summer.
How to Grow 9 o’clock flower plant (Portulaca)
Growing 9 o’clock plant From Seeds
Growing a 9 o’clock flower plant from seeds is quite an easy process and for the same:
You will need fast-draining potting soil with good water retention quality.
You can use the following ingredients to make potting soil for Portulaca.
- Loamy Soil – 60% (fast drainage)
- Coco Peat – 25% (for better water retention quality)
- Organic Compost – 10%
- Neem Khali – 5% (Anti-fungal)
You can sow the seeds directly into the container you are growing it (you don’t need to use a different seedling container).
For growing it simply:
Take a wide container as its roots are shallow and don’t go that deep.
Make a few holes at the bottom for drainage and passage of air.
Fill it with potting soil, by continuously pressing the soil to remove air pockets.
Once it is done, water the soil making it just moist.
Now sprinkle the seeds evenly all over the soil.
After sowing seeds, add a very thin layer of potting soil over them.
Be very sure of adding a thin layer as its seed need light to germinate.
After this water, it again lightly to provide it with the perfect moisture.
Then put this container under shade or somewhere it gets filtered light.
And only water it once the soil gets dry.
The germination period of 9 o’clock flower plant is somewhere around 1-2 weeks if everything goes well.
Once it germinates then it will grow very quickly and starts blooming in no time.
So, after a few days from germination, you will need to relocate to a position where it gets direct sunlight otherwise it won’t bloom.
How to Grow 9 o’clock From Cutting Method
The cutting method is more preferred to grow a 9 o’clock flower as it is faster compared to growing it from seeds
For growing it from cutting.
The process is quite simple and straightforward:
Fill a wide container with fast draining soil and make it moist by watering it.
Get a healthy small cutting of portulaca of around (2-3 cm) with some leaves on it.
Remove the leaves from the bottom part, leaving the other leaves intact.
Make small holes of about 0.5 inches in the potting soil & bury the cutting inside it.
After this water, it lightly and keep the container under shade for 3-4 days so that they can develop roots.
You will see a significant change in the plant once it develops roots and then you can transfer it to a location where it receives full sunlight.
Also, check – How to grow Rajnigandha in Pots
Why is it called the 9 o’clock plant?
You might be wondering, why it is called the 9 o’clock flower plant.
It is so because its flower opens up or blooms between 9 – 10 o’clock every morning.
Wish! I could have this much dedication in my life.
Okay, enough of crying…!!!
Is the 9 o’clock flower (Portulaca) perennial or annual?
9 o’clock flower is an annual plant, but an exception, which blooms year after year.
Annual flowers are those which grow, produce seeds, and die in one season.
But portulaca is a special one that comes again next year to shower its beautiful bloom.
Grow this exceptionally beautiful easy-to-grow plant and enjoy its amazing blooms.
Do share your experience or if you face any problems while growing it.