Plant Care for Portulacas


Portulacas (Portulaca grandiflora) are flowering annuals desirable for their trailing ability and brightly-colored blooms. Often called the moss rose, the plants have semi-succulent stems and foliage. These bright beauties thrive in warm weather and feature vibrant flowers in shades of red, yellow, pink, cream and orange. The flowers only open in bright sunlight. For that reason, portulaca plants grow best in USDA growing zones 7 through 11. Portulaca plants grow well in containers or in the ground in locations where they can trail attractively down a hillside or over a wall.

Step 1

Choose a location that gets plenty of direct sunlight. Portulaca plants flower best with a full day's worth of light.

Step 2

Make sure the soil is very well draining. While portulaca plants will grow in many different types of soil, including rocky and sandy soil, they do not tolerate standing water or soggy soil, according to Floridata. Plant them in a raised bed or on a slope to aid in drainage. The plants are especially attractive in hillside rock gardens.

Step 3

Water frequently. While portulacas will thrive in hot, dry climates and are drought-tolerant, they bloom best if the soil is kept moderately moist. Water when the top 1-2 inches of soil dries out.

Step 4

Monitor for aphids. There are no serious pests seen on portulacas, according to the University of Florida, but mealy bugs and aphids can still bother these plants. Rinse the insects off with a strong stream of water.


  • Floridata: Portulaca grandiflora
  • University of Florida: Portulaca grandiflora
Keywords: moss rose care, Portulaca grandiflora, growing portulaca plants

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. Previously, she worked as an educator and currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.