Annual Overview: Portulaca



Discover how to grow portulaca with planting instructions, care and maintenance, pests and disease, and more.

Portulaca Stats at a Glance

Botanical Name: Portulaca grandiflora

Common Name(s): Moss Rose

Height: up to 6 inches

Soil Conditions: Well-drained

Sun: Full sun

Soil pH Conditions: 6.1-7.5


Best use: This mat forming plant is perfect for use in edgings, rock gardens, flower beds, containers

Starting Portulaca from Seed

Portulaca does not tolerate transplanting well and can be direct seeded into the garden as soon as threat of frost has passed in the spring.


To start indoors, fill individual peat pots with a fertile commercial soil starter and moisten.  Sprinkle the seeds on the surface of the soil, as they need light to germinate. Place in a room with a constant temperature of 70-75°F.  Cover with clear plastic wrap to maintain the soil moisture and temperature.  Keep the soil moist.  When seedlings appear, remove the plastic wrap and move to a sunny location.


When to Start Seeds: 10 weeks prior to last frost

Time to Germination: 5-10 days

Light/Dark Requirements: Light

When to Plant Portulaca

Transplant seedlings or purchased plants in the garden as soon as the last threat of frost has passed and the soil reaches 70°F.  Can be direct sown into the garden.

Soil Temperature: 70-85°F

Where to Plant Portulaca

Portulaca is not finicky and will tolerate nearly any type of soil as long as it is well-drained.

Portulaca Plant Spacing

10-12 inches

Portulaca Care and Maintenance

Plants thrive in heat and will tolerate drought.

Water during dry spells for optimal growth and flowering.

Water sitting on the soil will encourage fungal rot. Water in the morning to allow the water to drain into the soil.

Shear leggy plants down to 2 inches in the late summer for fall blooming.

Deadhead spent flowers to encourage flowering and discourage self-seeding.

Portulaca Diseases

The most common diseases associated with portulaca include fungal rot.

Portulaca Pests

The most common pests associated with portulaca include ants, aphids, meal bugs, scale, spider mites, slugs, and thrips.

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