8 Practical Tips on How to Take Care of Portulaca Grandiflora hybrids

Portulaca Grandiflora popularly known at a variety of names which includes portulaca, sun rose, sun plant,moss rose, rose moss,moss-rose purslane,alembong,time flower,clock flower,table rose, Japanese rose, Vietnam rose, Mexican rose. Portulaca plants are native to Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.

In India,Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Philippines growers sometimes call them nine o’ clock flower,ten o’ clock flower or eleven o’ clock flower because the flowers open fully during this time. While in some parts of Latin America and in the country, Backyard hobbyists call this as flores alas diez which refers to the time the flowers open fully.

They have several species and colorful hybrids which looked like miniature roses.


photo courtesy of pixabay:BarBus ( single petal variety)

Portulaca Grandiflora hybrids was introduced into the country in the late 1940’s. About that time there were several venereal diseases which spread in the country. One of which is Syphilis nicknamed (Vietnam Rose). Whether the name is related to this is open for argumentation.

Another story from an old time plant collector said that they acquired cutting which was introduced from Vietnam in the early 1950’s to mid-1960’s thus getting the name. It was common garden plant. The hybrids have single petal or multiple petals varieties.

It is favorite flowering annual plant in many countries in United States, Canada, Southern Asia, Southeast Asia, Taiwan, Latin America and Mediterranean region.

carnation color (multiple petal variety)

8 Practical Tips on How to Take Care of Portulaca Grandiflora hybrids

8.) Propagation – The most common way to propagate Vietnam rose / Mexican rose / Japanese rose/ Sun Rose/ Moss Ross Purslane/ Portulaca is by cuttings and by seeds. Try to remove any buds or developing flower in the stem so that the plant can conserve its energy in producing roots. Seeds can take longer to grow.

7.) Water Requirement-Rose Moss is all time favorite among backyard hobbyists,local landscapers would plant portulaca hybrids in man made grotto,cement containers, terracotta pots, soft-drink plastic containers and as hanging pots. In United States, Canada and Latin America, portulacas are use as hedge plant and planted en masse.

6.) Lots of Sunlight- Vietnam rose needs between six to ten hours of sun to reach their flowering potential. If you try to grow portulaca in a shady area, their growth will be limpy and will have some difficulty in producing flowers. One will also notice that flowers are minimal and close early in late afternoon and on cloudy days.

5.) Soil- The preferred ones are a combination of 30% loam soil with the rest includes combination of compost, sand,pumice,aged cow or carabao dung,aged rice hull, bits of crush charcoal and coco coir.

4.) Temperature and Humidity – A native of Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina, moss rose likes heat and can tolerate dry conditions. It is commonly used for xeriscaping, hanging plant, hedge or as focal point in pocket garden. In the Philippines, This is popular in many community garden, public schools, pocket garden, vertical garden and hedge plant.


pink with shades of magenta ( multiple petal variety)

3.) Fertilizer- One can fertilize using any brand of water soluble fertilize 20N-20P-20K diluted between 1/2 to 1/4 strength sprayed over the foliage after watering on a weekly basis during their growing season. One can also put some slow release fertilize for those who cannot tend their garden in a weekly basis. Small amount of trace elements, calcium nitrate and epsom salt to boost its growth and blooms during rainy season. One can also add compost or vermicast which can also help in retaining soil moisture and nutrients.

Another good option is application of Naturamin which can help the ornamental plant to overcome stress like (sprouting, drought, pests and diseases). Try to dilute 3 grams per liter for matured plants. Once to twice a week spray in leaves and in parts of the plant.

Naturamin is available in Harbest Agricultural Business Corporation in Pasig and also had outlets located in Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao region.

Address: Harbest Main Office – No.5 Rosemarie Lane Brgy. Kapitolyo Pasig City Metro Manila.

Telephone : 6717411 to 14 Fax 671-22-32


dark magenta color (multiple petal variety)

2.) Varieties – There are several hybrids available in the market. Varieties includes Afternoon Delight which flowers stays longer and even blooms up to nigh time, Yubi series, Fairy Tale series among others. A lot of the seeds packs and cutting are sold in several online stores and price ranges from Php 30 ( seeds pack) to Php 200 for several cuttings.

1.) Pests- Try to regularly check for caterpillars, aphids,mealy bugs, slugs and snails. During rainy season, Botrytis blight or gray mold is a fungus disease can kill the plant. The disease can affect leaves, stems, flowers, seeds or any part of the plant except the root. Brown spots and gray spores of dead tissue form on the plant. The best way to avoid getting the disease is by regular inspection of the plant and sterilization of cutting tools before using them.

Sources, References and Bibliography

Personal interview with backyard growers.

Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.

Missouri Botanical Garden: http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org

Madulid, Domingo; Winner, National Book Award, Science, 1995. Revised Edition, 2000 with 388 pages. Portulaceae pages 307 to 308, Bookmark, Makati, A Pictorial Cyclopedia of Philippine Ornamental Plants.

Steiner, Mona Lisa, PHD;Care, M &L Licudine Enterprises, First Edition 1952, Second Edition 1960, Third Edition 1986, Atlag, Malolos , Bulacan. PURSLANE-Portulaca Family (PORTULACA Family) Page 193 to 194, Philippine Ornamental Plants And Their Care.

Kew Gardens: https://www.kew.org/


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