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How to Grow Portulaca Flowers

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Annual, Portulaca Grandiflora

Portulaca is a low growing, flowering ground cover, that is sure to please. Native to Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, is should be no surprise to discover, that Portulaca plants are drought and heat tolerant.

Portulaca is an easy to grow annual plant. Flower colors include: shades of rose, yellow, white, orange, red, purple and pink. Flowers will bloom in early summer.

Portulaca flowers attracts butterflies.

Try growing Portulaca as a ground cover, along walkways, around the house or garage, in rock gardens, and on hillsides. They spread easily.

Other Names include: Sun Rose or Sun Plant

Did you Know? Portulaca seeds are edible raw or cooked. Seed can be ground up and put into recipes, soups, and sauces.

Plant Height: 3-6 inches


Plant Propagation:

Grow Portulaca plants from seed. These annuals are prolific re-seeders. Make sure to plant them where they can reseed and grow, year after year.

When planting seeds, it is not necessary to cover them. They require light to germinate.

For indoor starts, sow seeds 6 weeks before the last frost in your area.

Seeds germination period is 10 - 15 days. For indoor starts, try a seedling germination mat.

Do not set out seedlings until after the last frost date your area.  Plants are susceptible to frost. Ideal plant spacing is ten inches apart.

Established plants can also be propagated by cuttings.


How to Grow Portulaca Plants:

Portulaca plants are easy to grow. Grow plants in full sun.  

The plants prefer loose, sandy or loam soil. A well draining composition is important.

Portulaca plants are drought and heat tolerant.

Water only during droughts. The plants retain water. If growing in containers or hanging pots, allow the soil to dry between watering. 

Feed the plants a general purpose, high nitrogen fertilizer when first planting, to help them to get a good start. Add a high Phosphorous fertilizer just before blooming. No other fertilizer applications should be needed for the season.

Portulaca produce long lasting, rose-like blooms in early summer. Pinch or deadhead spent flowers, to promote more blooms.

Prune plants to create a fuller, neater appearance. Provide plenty of air circulation through the plant to help avoid fungal disease.

Plants are annuals that are very susceptible to frost. Cover them up whenever cold temperatures are expected.

Flowers Bloom: Summer


Insect and Disease:

Aphids, gnats, and other insects can pose a problem. Treat with insecticide or repellents, as needed. Snails and slugs can also be a problem. See more on Snail and Slug Control.

Fungus diseases can occur. Use a general purpose fungicide in humid weather, and when problems appear.

Stem and root rot can occur.  This is a problem in wet soil. Avoid problems by planting in sandy, or other well draining soil. A slightly elevated planting bed also helps to avoid this problem.


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