What Is Portulaca Grandiflora?

The Portulaca grandiflora is also known as the moss rose, an annual flower native to Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. It has red, rose, white, orange or yellow blooms that begin blooming in June and medium green succulent leaves that are moss-like in appearance. It makes a great ground cover and is used in hanging baskets or rock gardens or as a container plant. It is low maintenance and drought tolerant.

The Portulaca grandiflora grows under a foot tall with a spread of about a foot wide. It is hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones of 2 through 11 and requires full sun and dry-to-moist, well-drained soil to grow. It goes by the name "moss rose" because its ruffled blooms resemble a rose. These blooms only open on sunny days, staying closed when it's raining or cloudy. Portulaca grandiflora may be afflicted with crown rot or aphids but is generally pest and disease free.

To plant, seeds are best started indoors six to eight weeks prior to the final frost date or sown directly into the ground after the threat of frost is over. Seedlings and purchased plants may be placed outside after the last frost. The Portulaca grandiflora plant may self seed to the next season.