Moss Rose

Portulaca grandiflora

Whether on the balcony or in the flower bed: Moss Rose flowers captivate with vibrant colors in the sunshine. We advise you on the proper way to plant and care for these arid performers.

Growth type
  • Succulent
  • one year old
Growth height (from)
from 10 cm to 15 cm
Growth width (from)
from 10 cm to 15 cm
Growth characteristics
  • overhanging
  • flat growing
  • carpet forming
Flower color
  • purple
  • yellow
  • orange
  • red
  • pink
  • white
  • multicolored
Flowering time (month)
  • June to August
Flower shape
  • Shell Flowers
Flower characteristics
  • lightly fragrant
Leaf color
  • green
page format
  • lancéolées
  • needle-shaped
Fruit shape
  • Capsule
  • sunny
Soil type
  • stony to sandy
Soil Moisture
  • dry to moderately dry
ph value
  • neutral to weakly acidic
Nutrient requirements
  • moderately nutritious
Decorative or utility value
  • Flower Decoration
  • Leaf ornaments
  • Flowerbeds
  • ground cover
  • Borders
  • Planters
Garden style
  • Flower garden
  • Roof Garden
  • Stone Garden
  • Pot garden
Bee Friendly
bee friendly plant

Moss rose (Portulaca grandiflora) is a species of plant from the Portulaca genus and belongs to the Portulacaceae family. The succulent grows on extremely sunny, dry, and sandy slopes in its native Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. Although the moss rose originates from South America, it has been partly naturalized in central and southern Europe.


The bushy summer flower grows between 3.94 and 5.91 inches tall and the flat, decumbent shoots spread out rapidly. The annual plant looks fantastic in window boxes and hanging baskets due to its wide, over-hanging growth.


The lanceolate, fleshy, thickened leaves of Portulaca grandiflora appear dark green and somewhat wavy. As the needle-shaped, 0.39 to 0.98 inch long leaves can store water and nutrients well, the succulent plant can also survive stressful summer phases.

Pink Moss Rose

Moss Rose displays its vibrant flowers from June until August. The fleshy, dark green leaves create a beautiful contrast to the silky, colorful petals

The large, rose-like flowers of the moss rose are enchanting from June to August. They often grow in pastel shades, but also with strong tones. The color palette ranges from white to yellow, orange, and pink, to red and violet. And the entire color spectrum can also appear in a single plant. The flowers have a diameter of around 1.57 inches and, as a rule, only open in the sunshine. Dense, golden yellow stamens appear between the delicate, bowl-shaped broad spread and silky shimmering petals. The flowers are particularly abundant during warm, dry summers. There are also double-flowered versions. Some varieties have a sweet evening fragrance.


Portulaca grandiflora forms capsules. They contain tiny seeds and appear gray-black to black.


The frost-sensitive Moss Rose needs a place in a fully sunny, rain protected position to be able to show its full flowering capacity. The flowers do not open at all or only partially on dull days. As a container plant, Moss Rose is happy on sunny patios and south-facing balconies.

Rose Moss with white flowers

Moss Rose forms a beautiful flower carpet in a sunny place in the flower bed


The substrate should be loose, well drained and rich in nutrients. Ideally, a light cultivated substrate should be mixed with about a third of sand. Make sure to create a drainage layer before placing the moss rose in a planting container with sandy-humus substrate. In this way, you can avoid harmful waterlogging.


Moss Rose can manage with low moisture levels and only requires a little watering. The succulent plant can compensate well for irregularities in the water supply using the reserves stored in its fleshy leaves.


Moss Rose is also very undemanding where the nutrient supply is concerned. Providing Portulaca grandiflora with a weak dosage of fertilizer every four to six weeks is absolutely sufficient.

Additional Care

Regularly remove withered plant parts from the moss rose. This stimulates the formation of new flowers.

Where to Plant

The modest Moss Rose is perfect for adding greenery to pots, boxes, and bowls in sunny locations. It looks particularly decorative in hanging baskets, as its shoots like to overhang. If you would like to combine Portulaca grandiflora with other plants, choose species that also have a low water requirement. Suitable companions include gazania or Livingstone daisy (Dorotheanthus). These are not only color coordinated, they also tolerate strong sun and heat. Moss Rose is also suitable as groundcover or as a border plant in flower beds and rock gardens. Despite its low growth, the flowering beauties also look decorative without companions.

Portulaca grandiflora ‘Margarita’

Portulaca grandiflora ‘Margarita’ in a pot ensures a veritable color explosion


Whether double, semi-double or single flowers: There are numerous varieties and mixtures of Portulaca grandiflora. Varieties from the ‘Margarita’ series are densely double-flowered. ‘Sundance’ is a color mixture of semi-double flowered, long opening flowers. Varieties from the ‘Sundial’ series are recommended, depending on the desired colors. Portulaca grandiflora ‘Sundial White’ charms with white flowers, ‘Sundial Gold’ is luminous in radiant yellow, ‘Sundial Chiffon’ in pink and ‘Sundial Fuchsia’ in hot pink.


Moss Roses are generally grown from seeds. Pre-cultivation is recommended indoors between March and May. Young plants should be kept moist during breeding and fertilized every three weeks. Planting three to five seeds in each pot saves pricking out. You can sow directly in the desired planting container, such as the balcony box, from the middle of May. If the small plants are cut back once they will grow bushier. You can plant the frost-sensitive young plants outdoors from the end of May at 5.91 inches apart. Alternatively, you can root cuttings in the summer that overwinter at 50 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit.

Diseases and Pests

Moss Rose is generally very robust and rarely a target for pests. While are not a threat, aphids, thunderbugs, and thrips may occasionally appear. Stem rot is also a possibility.

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