Growing Guide
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Annual Flower

Also known as Moss Rose, Rose Moss
Portulaca grandiflora
Portulacaceae Family

Portulaca is especially well-suited for growing in containers on patios and decks, with its fleshy, succulent leaves, red stems, and colorful cactus-like flowers in shades of red, orange, yellow, pink, purple and white. Plants prefer hot, dry, almost desert-like conditions.

Site Characteristics
  • full sun

Soil conditions:

  • tolerates droughty soil
  • requires well-drained soil

Special locations:

  • outdoor containers
  • rock gardens
  • xeriscapes
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: annual

Ease-of-care: easy

Needs hot, dry conditions, but otherwise not fussy.

Height: 0.33 to 0.66 feet

Spread: 0.5 to 2 feet

Bloom time:

  • mid-summer
  • late summer
  • early fall
  • mid-fall

Flower color:

  • red
  • orange
  • yellow
  • violet
  • white
  • pink

Flowers are 1 to 1 ˝” in diameter and resemble cactus blooms. Can be single or double. Most have ruffled petals. They open on sunny days and close at night or when it is cloudy.

Foliage color:

  • medium green
  • dark green

Stems are tinted red.

Foliage texture: fine

Leaves resemble fleshy spruce needles.

Shape: spreading mass

Quickly forms dense mats.

Shape in flower: same as above

Special Considerations
  • heat
Special characteristics:
  • aggressive - Self-seeds readily.
  • non-invasive
  • not native to North America - Native to South America.
Special uses:
  • direct-seeding
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by seed - Scatter seeds outdoors where desired after frost danger has passed, or start them indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost. They do not like transplanting, so handle seedlings carefully. Do not cover the seeds, as light aids germination.

Germination temperature: 70 F to 85 F

Days to emergence: 10 to 14

Maintenance and care:
Deadhead to reduce self-seeding.

More growing information: How to Grow Annuals

‘Margarita’ series: early-flowering plants with compact, mound-forming habits and reliable garden performance. Flowers in shades of red, pink, orange, white, yellow and purple.

‘Sundial’ series; early-flowering variety with double, rose-like flowers in shades of white, pink, red, orange, yellow and purple. Grows 4 to 6” tall.

‘Calypso’ mix: double flowers in shades of yellow, red, pink, orange, purple and white.