Trailing Portulaca Plant

Last updated on June 12th, 2023 at 07:48 am

Trailing portulaca (Portulaca grandiflora) is a hardy, fast-growing succulent plant with bright, colorful blooms that are perfect for adding a touch of color to any outdoor space. It grows in an upright form but will trail over the sides of containers or hanging baskets to create a cascading effect. With its low-maintenance nature and ability to bloom in even the driest climates, trailing portulaca is an ideal choice for gardeners looking for an easy-care annual that can survive without much attention.

Biological CharacteristicsDescription
Common NamesPortulaca, moss rose
Scientific NamePortulaca grandiflora
Plant TypeAnnual
Growth HabitTrailing
Height6-8 inches tall
Spread8-10 inches wide
Flower ColorsShades of pink, red, orange, yellow, white
Bloom PeriodSummer to fall
Light RequirementsFull sun
Soil RequirementsWell-drained, sandy soil
Watering NeedsLow to moderate
USDA Hardiness Zones2-11
Propagation MethodsSeeds, stem cuttings, division
Common UsesHanging baskets, containers, ground cover, borders

Portulaca, also known as moss rose, is a trailing plant because of its growth habit.

It has a sprawling, low-lying growth pattern that allows it to spread out horizontally rather than growing upright like a tree or bush. This trailing habit is due to the way that portulaca branches out and produces new growth from the base of the plant.

Trailing Portulaca

As the branches grow longer and new growth emerges, the plant continues to spread out and trail along the ground or cascade down the sides of a container. This makes portulaca a great choice for hanging baskets or as a ground cover in garden beds, where its trailing habit can create a beautiful and eye-catching display.

The care

The fleshy leaves of trailing portulaca are thick and round with thick stems and a faint yellowish tinge around the edges. The plant has large flowers which come in several shades including pink, red, orange, white, and yellow; most often they appear in multiple colors on one stem.

Frost will kill this plant so it does best when planted away from colder microclimates or where temperatures don’t drop below freezing during the winter months.


If provided enough light—at least 6 hours per day—trailing portulaca should bloom all summer long until frost appears. They require well-drained soil and thrive best when watered infrequently as root rot may occur if these plants receive too much water at once; instead, water regularly by setting up an automatic drip system similar to how you would care for other succulents such as aloe vera or jade plants.


To ensure maximum blooming potential fertilize every two weeks with a diluted liquid fertilizer formulated specifically for succulent plants or use slow-release granules added each spring before growth begins.


Deadheading faded flowers will encourage additional flower production throughout the season; trimming back overgrown stems at the end of summer may help your trailing portulaca maintain vigor between seasons as well since old stems quickly become woody if left unchecked on this variety of flowering succulent.

Whether displayed alone in hanging baskets or surrounded by stone pathways with gravel mulches beneath their cascading foliage you won’t go wrong showcasing these vibrant blooms within your landscape design plans!

Trailing portulacas add just enough color to draw attention yet blend beautifully into their surroundings thanks to their naturally low-growing habits which rarely exceed 8 inches high while sprawling horizontally across up to 3 feet wide when mature!

What are the benefits of growing trailing portulaca?

Trailing Portulaca Plant
  1. Low Maintenance: Trailing portulaca is a great plant for gardeners who don’t have the time or energy to devote a significant amount of resources to caring for an annual flower. This variety of succulents requires very little in terms of upkeep and can survive even in harsher climates such as desert regions with temperatures that are too extreme for other flowering plants.
  2. Colorful Blooms: With its vibrant flowers ranging from pink, red, orange, white, and yellow you won’t be left without options when it comes to adding a touch of color to your outdoor space!
  3. Versatile Growth Habits: Trailing portulaca may be planted in containers both indoors and outdoors or used as a low-maintenance edging along pathways thanks to their “spilling” nature which makes them ideal for curving around corners and edges without taking up much vertical space—perfect if you need something that needs to fit within limited areas!
  4. Ease of Propagation: Portulacas are easy-to-propagate plants and will quickly reward those who choose to propagate them; simply place cuttings from existing plants into the soil and keep away from direct sunlight until established – then watch them take off!

Moss Roses/ Trailing Tortulaca in containers?

Trailing Portulaca hanging basket

Trailing portulaca, also known as moss roses, are perfect for planting in containers due to their low-maintenance nature and ability to thrive in a wide range of climates. The compact size and cascading foliage of this type of succulent make it an ideal choice for sprucing up any container garden or balcony while still retaining its traditional trailing habit that’s often associated with its growth habits when planted outdoors.

Fill your container with well-drained soil and be sure not to overwater–they require infrequent watering just like other succulents do! You can create a visually appealing display by mixing different colors of trailing portulaca such as pink, red, orange, white, and yellow (allowing for various shades to combine within the same planter).

They’ll also benefit from being fertilized every two weeks with a diluted liquid fertilizer made specifically for succulent plants. Enjoy watching your lush containers bloom throughout the summer months until frost hits!

Does portulaca come back every year?

Portulaca, commonly known as moss rose is an annual plant. This means that it completes its life cycle in one growing season and then dies off. However, portulaca is known for producing a large number of seeds, which can often reseed themselves and come back in subsequent growing seasons. So while portulaca is technically an annual, it can sometimes behave like a perennial if the seeds are allowed to self-sow and new plants are able to grow from them.


In conclusion, trailing portulaca (Portulaca grandiflora) is a great choice for gardeners looking for a low-maintenance annual that can survive in various climates and provide vivid color all summer long. Trailing portulacas are perfect for planting in both containers indoors and outdoors as well as along pathways, gravel mulches, and other low-lying areas within your landscape design plan. With its ability to be propagated easily through cuttings and its remarkable blooms, this succulent variety is an ideal option for anyone who wants to add some vibrancy to their outdoor space without needing much attention or care!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *