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If you need to cover hot and sunny ground or you’re tired of watering your hanging baskets every day all summer, look no further than moss rose! Whether you call it moss rose, portulaca, or purslane, this plant is tough as nails and can stand up to almost anything. And with a trailing habit and nonstop bloom power, it looks great in so many settings.
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Under 6 inches to 12 inches
Up to 18 inches
Moss rose comes in many colors—there is almost no end to the amount of combinations you can make with this plant. The blossoms of moss rose generally come in bright, vibrant jewel tones, but there are mild pastel options as well. Blooms are typically single flowers with five petals and a pom-pom of yellow stamens in the center. However, there are many variations. You can also find semi-double blossoms that have a few extra rows of petals. Also, fully double flowers exist that are many petals together with no visible stamens in the center.
If the many different varieties of petals to choose from weren't enough, there are also many variations of colors on the surface of the petals as well. Most commonly, the flower colors are a single color on all of the petals with the yellow center. There are also flowers with "broken color," where a solid colored petal is randomly streaked through with a secondary color. There are also other forms of this broken color patterning where the outside of the petal is one color with a splash of a second color in the center—it's truly unique!
The foliage of moss rose is fairly simple. These plants are adapted to dry conditions, so they have very fleshy, succulent leaves. These leaves store up water to use at a later time, and in very dry conditions, they may even fold up their stems to help with water loss. The leaves on moss rose can be different shapes, too. Some varieties, generally the ones derived from the species P. grandiflora, are needle-like, while others are more paddle-like in shape.
Moss Rose Care Must-Knows
Moss rose is an extremely easy plant to grow, almost to the point of becoming weedy. The biggest thing to consider when planting moss rose is location. Moss rose hates wet areas, and one of the few ways to kill this plant is by overwatering. Moss roses are adapted to dry, desert-like conditions. Because of this, it may take them a little time to get going in a cool, moist spring—but once the summer heat kicks in, these plants will be off to the races! Moss rose also grows well in slightly salty soil.
Another great thing about this plant is that it doesn't require any deadheading. Moss rose will keep blooming all season long with no additional care needed. However, the plants do produce large amounts of seed, so you may see volunteers coming back each year if you plant them once. Luckily, it's easy to weed out any unwanted seedlings. See our annuals care guide.