How To Plant Portulaca

Portulaca image by JaniceEDG/


Portulaca, also known as moss rose, rose moss or sun plant, is a half hardy annual. According to, portulaca originally come from the "hot, dry plains of southern Brazil, Uruguay and northern Argentina. It grows 6 inches tall and spreads 12 inches wide, with succulent-like leaves and stems. The tiny rose-like blossoms comes in a wide range of colors including white, yellow, orange, pink and red. Once established, this drought-resistant plant is carefree.

Step 1

Select a location to plant the portulaca. If the garden soil is not heavily sand, choose a plant container to grow the flower. Make sure the container has adequate drainage holes; if the roots of the portulaca stay soggy, it will rot the plant.

Step 2

Mix equal amounts of the rich potting soil with clean sand. Add this mixture to the clean plant container, filling it more than half full.

Step 3

Remove the portulaca from its nursery container and place in the center of the new container with the potting mixture. Add more potting mixture around the portulaca's roots, until the roots are completely covered. Tamp down gently and water thoroughly to remove air pockets.

Step 4

Place the plant container in full sunlight. Water the portulaca only when it begins to wilt and then water it well, making sure the water runs out of the container's drainage holes.

Things You'll Need

  • Plant containers, clean
  • Rich potting soil
  • Clean sand
  • Portulaca plant


  • The Complete Garden Flower Book: Catie Ziller, Publisher; 2001

Who Can Help

  • Floridata: Portulaca
Keywords: planting annuals, portulaca, moss rose

About this Author

After attending Hardin Simmons University, Kay Dean finished her formal education with the Institute of Children's Literature. Since 1995, Dean has written for such publications as "PB&J," Disney’s "Family Fun," "ParentLife," "Living With Teenagers" and Thomas Nelson’s NY Times bestselling "Resolve." An avid gardener for 25 years, her experience includes organic food gardening, ornamental plants, shrubs and trees, with a special love for roses.

Photo by: JaniceEDG/