Department of Horticulture New York State Horticulture Study Guide for Youth 4-H Logo


Flowers &
Indoor Plants

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Cornell University

Portulaca grandiflora
(port-you-lack-a grand-a-flor-a)

What about it?

Portulaca is native to the warm regions of Brazil. It is a small annual plant that is usually trailing or broad spreading. The flowers may have single or double blossoms and they come in rose, salmon, yellow, pink, orange, red, and white. If the conditions are good, the blooming period is long.

What is it used for?

Portulacas are often seen as border or bedding plants, in rock gardens, on steep slopes in the sun, or just in planters.

Where does it grow? How do we grow it?

Its best to keep this plant in well-drained but low fertility soil. Most importantly, keep it in the sunshine. Remove the faded flowers to prevent the plant from going to seed. Portulacas have a tendency to self-sow and the second generation is typically not as attractive as the first. The flowers are faded and the growth is shabby. Plant 6 inches apart.

What are its primary problems?

Full sunlight is necessary for good bloom. So a lack of bloom may result in partial shade or shady areas. If you can get the plants to flower you will be rewarded for your efforts.

How do we propagate it?

Sow the seeds outdoors after the danger of frosting has passed, or indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost. if sowing outdoors, mix sand into the soil to provide bulk and insure an even distribution of seeds.

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Copyright, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University.