How to Transplant Portulaca


Portulaca, (Portulaca grandiflora), or moss rose, is a hot-weather loving, low-growing plant that brightens up the landscape with blooms in vivid red, yellow, pink and orange atop juicy, succulent leaves. Once portulaca is established, it will grow happily with very little care, even in poor soil and drought conditions. Portulaca, an annual, is strictly a summer plant and will die with the first frost of the season. It is a sturdy succulent, and when transplanted, it easily adapts to its new home.

Step 1

Prepare the soil ahead of time by loosening the top 3 to 4 inches. Remove any rocks, roots and large dirt clods. Be sure the portulaca's new home is in full sunlight and that the soil drains well. Avoid planting portulaca anywhere that rain pools for more than a few hours.

Step 2

Water the portulaca lightly the evening before you plan to transplant it. Watering will ensure that the plant is well hydrated, and will help the soil to adhere to the roots.

Step 3

Dig in a circle around the portulaca with a shovel, then lift the portulaca from the soil, with the soil attached. Transplant the portulaca as soon as possible so the roots don't dry out. If you have to transport the portulaca, put it in a cardboard box, and keep the roots moist.

Step 4

Dig a hole in the prepared spot for the portulaca and plant it with the top of the roots just below the surface of the soil. Water the portulaca lightly, and keep the soil moist for a few days. After the portulaca is established in its new home, which is evident by the appearance of new growth, the portulaca needs to be watered only when the soil is completely dry.


  • NC State University: Scientific Name Portulaca grandiflora Common Name Portulaca; Moss rose
  • Floridata: Portulaca grandiflora
  • Portulaca grandiflora
Keywords: portulaca planting, moss rose, transplant portulaca

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.