How to Plant Moss Rose


Moss rose plants (Portulaca spp.) are slow-growing, prostrate annual flowers. The fleshy succulent leaves reach the height of 6 to 8 inches. The summer blossoms are 1 inch across. These small, ruffled flowers offer color spots of red, orange, yellow, cream, pink and white. Moss roses are used in rock gardens, edges, borders, hanging baskets and containers. Moss rose plants grow well in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 to 11.

Step 1

Clear the planting area of grass, weeds, sticks and rocks. Choose a site located in full sun and begin preparing the site after all danger of spring frost has passed.

Step 2

Dig the soil up to the depth of 8 to 10 inches with a shovel. Break the soil clumps up with a garden hoe.

Step 3

Spread a 2- to 4-inch layer of sand over the soil. Work the sand in with the shovel. This creates a quick-draining soil that moss roses require. Moss roses will tolerate dry soils that other perennials will not grow in.

Step 4

Rake the soil level and smooth. Dig a hole as deep as the moss rose seedling's roots with a hand trowel. Place the seedling in the hole and fill the hole in with soil.

Step 5

Plant the rest of the moss rose plants 6 inches apart. Sprinkle the planting area with water until the soil is wet.

Tips and Warnings

  • Moss rose plants are subject to aphid infestations. Spray the succulent with soapy water and rinse it off with the hose.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Garden hoe
  • Sand
  • Rake
  • Hand trowel


  • University of Kentucky--Kentucky Garden Flowers: Portulaca
  • University of Vermont: Portulaca
  • FloriData: Portulaca grandiflora
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa: Portulaca Lutea
Keywords: planting moss rose, planting portulaca, planting succulents

About this Author

Karen Carter has spent the last three years working as a technology specialist in the public school system. This position included hardware/software installation, customer support, and writing training manuals. She also spent four years as a newspaper editor/reporter at the Willapa Harbor Herald.