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How to Propagate a Portulaca

By Bridget Kelly ; Updated September 21, 2017

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

 

Things You Will Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Sand

Tip

  • Fertilizing the portulaca is not necessary.

Warning

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

About the Author

 

Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.