Moss Rose – Portulaca grandiflora
Portulaca or Moss Rose is the type genus of the flowering plant family Portulacaceae, comprising about 40-100 species found in the tropics and warm temperate regions.
They are also known as purslanes. Common purslane is widely considered an edible plant, and in some areas it is invasive.
Moss rose is particularly suited to growing in containers in shades of red, orange, yellow, pink, purple, and white with its fleshy, juicy leaves, red stems, and colorful cactus-like flowers. Plants prefer warm, dry, almost desert-like conditions.
Moss Rose – Portulaca grandiflora – How to grow and care
- Soil: Any fertile soil with good drainage.
- Position: Full sun.
- Frost tolerant: None. Moss Rose is a warm-season flower.
Feeding: Mix a light application of a balanced organic fertilizer into the soil prior to planting. In early summer, drench plants with a liquid feed to support strong growth.
Dianthus. Moss Rose flowers open during the day, so plant them where they can be seen during midday hours. The low-growing plants are excellent for edging beds or slipping into outer corners. In containers, combine portulaca with taller flowers that like full sun.
Single Plants: 7″ (20cm) each way (minimum)
Rows: 7″ (20cm) with 7″ (20cm) row gap (minimum)
Sow and Plant
Start seeds indoors in spring and set out the seedlings after the last frost has passed and the soil is warm. Many gardeners save time by buying Moss Rose as bedding plants.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.
Moss Rose tolerates blazing sun and the delicate blossoms attract honeybees. Colors include red, orange, violet, white and pink.
In climates with long summers, Portulaca grandiflora often reseeds itself with seedlings appearing in early summer.
Phonetic Spelling: por-tew-LAY-kah gran-dih-FLOR-ah
Moss rose is a low-growing annual native of South America. The plant has juicy leaves that are fleshy and narrow and form a mat 8 inches long and 1 foot wide.
The flowers are red, orange, yellow, white and other pastel colors that come in single, semi-double and double forms.
Flowers do not open on cloudy or rainy days and close until the sun comes closer to the sunny season. This plant has high drought and heat tolerance and should be planted in well drained sandy or rocky soil in full sun.
Use Moss Rose in pots and hanging planters or allow to cascade under a wall, in front of the border in a rock or crevice garden.
It will be self-seeded, without being aggressive. Deadhiding will prevent self-seeding. They do not take well for transplanting and care should be taken when transplanting.
Problem: Aphid and slug can sometimes be a problem. Poorly drained soil can cause crown rot.