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How to Grow Calandrinia Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Rock Purslane, Parakeelya, and Redmaids

Calandrinia Plants are half hardy perennials and annuals. As the perennials have a short life span, they are usually grown as half hardy annuals in the garden.

They are low growing, reaching heights of about 6 to 18 inches (15 to 45 cm), and bloom with hundreds of bright pink and purple flowers from middle to late summer.

Calandrinia ciliata Photograph

Calandrinia ciliata, Red Maids photograph by Joe Decruyenaere, Creative Commons.

Names for Calandrinia include Rock Purslane, Parakeelya and Redmaids. They are ideal for ground cover or as edging plants; they can also be used in rockeries.

Plants are able to grow in very hot conditions.

Information on Calandrinia and its Commonly Grown Garden Species

This genus of herbs contains around 150 species and is a member of the Portulacaceae family. Plants are natives of the Americas and Australasia.

Some of the commonly grown species belonging to this plant genus, and the countries to which they are native are given below:

  • C. ambigua - Desert Pussypaws, Desert Redmaid (Central America, USA)
  • C. balonensis - Broadleaf Parakeelya (Australia)
  • C. breweri - Brewer's Redmaid (USA)
  • C. calyptrata - Pink Purslane (Australia)
  • C. ciliata - Fringed Redmaid (Canada, USA)
  • C. grandiflora - Rock Purslane (Chile)
  • C. umbellata - Rock Purslane, Ruby Tuesday (Chile)

As a member of the 20 genus containing Portulacaceae family of plants, Calandrinia are closely related to species such as Pussypaws (Cistanthe), Bitteroot (Lewisia), Purslane (Portulaca) and Fameflower (Talinum).

Calandrinia Species and Cultivar Photographs

Calandrinia spectabilis

Calandrinia spectabilis

Calandrinia spectabilis photograph by Daderot, CC.

Calandrinia grandiflora

Calandrinia grandiflora
Calandrinia grandiflora by Sericea

How to Grow Calandrinia Plants

If you plan to grow outdooors from seed then Calandrinia species such as Rock Purslane should be sown at a depth of 3 mm (1/10th inch) after the last frost of spring.

If you prefer to start off Calandrinia as seeds indoors, then they should be started off about eight weeks before they are due to be put out.

They should be sown indoors at a temperature of 13 to 15°C (55 to 59°F), and should take from one to two weeks to germinate.

The seedlings of Calandrinia should be planted out with a spacing of about 20 cm (8 inches) following the last possible frost of spring.

Plant into an area that receives plenty of sun, and has a gritty or sandy soil.

Caring for Calandrinia Plants

Calandrinia Care: These plants are very easy to care for as they can tolerate prolonged dry periods. They do not like too much water, especially in the winter.

Plants are able to be grown as a short lived perennial in warm regions (e.g. Zones 9 and 10 in the USA; Australia), but should be grown as annuals elsewhere. Propagate by taking cuttings, or allow plants to self seed in situ.

Specific Plant Information and Tips on growing Calandrinia in the Garden

Calandrinia ciliata – Redmaids

These perennials are short lived and should be treated as an annual in all but the warmest of areas.

In the USA they are able to grow successfully in zones 7 through 10.

Calandrinia ciliata
Calandrinia ciliata photograph by Native orchids.

They make idea plants for a rockery, and come into flower in the from the middle of summer through to the start of Autumn, with bright magenta colored flowers.

They should be spaced at about 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) apart, and can reach heights of around one to one and a half feet (30 to 45 cm).

These plants are an ideal low maintenance plant as they are drought tolerant and do not require an application of fertilizer; ideally they should be grown in an area of the garden that requires exposure to full sunlight.

Calandrinia umbellata - Rock Purslane

For best results grow in sandy or gritty soils that are of pH 5 to 6; though they will survive in other conditions they will not thrive as much.

Plants are drought tolerant and like to grow in full sunlight; Rock Purslane is able to grow at very high temperatures.

Plants are low growing (6 inches / 15 cm) and have a prostrate nature. Ideally space plants about 6 inches (15 cm apart). They carry pink or purple flowers from the middle of summer.

How to Grow Calandrinia

Calandrinia Growing Guide and Facts

Common Names: Rock Purslane, Parakeelya, Redmaids, Felton's Flower, Calandrinia.
Life Cycle: Half hardy perennial commonly grown as a half hardy annual by gardeners.
Height: 6 to 10 Inches (15 to 25 cm).
Native: Australasia, Americas.
Growing Region: Zones 3 to 10. As a perennial in zones 8 to 10.
Flowers: Summer.
Flower Details: Pink, purple, red, white. Small. Clustered. Raceme.
Foliage: Linear to obovate. Lanceolate. Fleshy/succulent.
Sow Outside: 1/8 inch (3 mm). Following the last frost. Spacing 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm).
Sow Inside: Use peat pots. Germination time: one to two weeks. Temperature 60°F (16°C). Seven or eight weeks in advance. Transplant outdoors following the last frost.
Requirements: Full sunlight. Sandy soil. Gritty soil. Can survive in dry soils. Propagate: leaf or stem cuttings.
Family: Montiaceae
Closely Related Family Members: Bitterroot; and Mayflower.


Garden Plants Common Name Index

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