How to Propagate a Portulaca


The portulaca is a self-seeding annual plant, generally used in the garden as a ground cover. The two most popular varieties of portulaca couldn't have more divergent common names: moss rose and pigweed. Portulaca can be easily propagated by seed or by cuttings and is hardy in USDA zones 5 to 11. They flower from summer to late fall.

How to Propagate a Portulaca From Seed

Step 1

Choose an area in your garden that gets sun all day. The portulaca will thrive where it gets lots of heat and sunlight.

Step 2

Prepare the soil by digging into the planting bed 4 to 6 inches, turning the soil and breaking up any large clods of dirt. Add a 1-inch layer of organic compost and a 2-inch layer of sand and mix with the existing topsoil.

Step 3

Rake the seed bed until it is level, and scatter a thin layer of seeds on top of the soil. Do not cover the seeds. Water the bed with a fine mist until it is moist, but not soggy.

Step 4

Water the portulaca sparingly, but deeply. Once a week should be sufficient.These plants are susceptible to root rot, so don't over-water them.

How to Propagate Portulaca From Cuttings

Step 1

Cut a 2- to 5-inch piece of portulaca off of the mother plant. Remove just the bottom leaves of the cutting.

Step 2

Prepare the planting bed as you would for seedings and place the cuttings, bare stem down, into the soil. Press firmly around the base of the cutting to make sure it has good contact with the soil.

Step 3

Water well and then don't water again until the top 2 inches of soil are dry.

Tips and Warnings

  • According to the ASPCA, Portulaca is toxic to dogs, cats and horses.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Sand


  • American Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals
  • University of Hawai'i

Who Can Help

  • University of Florida
Keywords: how to propagate portulaca, moss rose, pigweed

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.