We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Moss Rose?

By B. Schreiber
Updated Jan 30, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A moss rose is a flowering succulent plant, often grown as an annual ornamental. It is also known by the names rose moss and portulaca, and portulaca is also the name for the genus it belongs to. This low-growing plant bears small, rose-like flowers that come in a variety of colors, often red or white. Like other succulents, it has fleshy leaves that store water. Its scientific name is Portulaca grandiflora.

The plant is usually low-growing and often has a sprawling or trailing habit, though it sometimes grows upright. The cylindrical stems are also somewhat fleshy, and grow to lengths of about 6 to 10 inches (15-25 cm). The leaves may be rounded or flat, usually about 1 inch (3 cm) long at most. Moss roses are grown primarily for their small, cupped, rose-like blossoms, which come in a variety of colors. Common colors include a deep red as well as pink, white, and green.

Germinating and growing best in warm and hot weather, the moss rose thrives in sandy or below average soil. As the plants retain some water, moss roses can tolerate dry periods and require minimal watering. Plants are often grown in full sun in dry conditions, and can be planted in the ground or in containers. Moss rose flowers close at night and are open only during the day. The leaves behave similarly, closing in toward the stems after sunset.

Moss roses are typically grown from seed in new beds and containers. This is usually done in midspring, after which the plants grow quickly. After flowering, seed can be collected for use in the next year. The moss rose produces a large amount of tiny seeds, and often self-sows in the ground or in containers. If the plants are grown in the same place year after year, collecting or buying seeds probably won't be necessary.

The moss rose is related to common purslane, another low-growing succulent that is often considered a weed. Purslane is frequently found naturally growing between the cracks in walls, sidewalks, and garden paths. Moss rose also thrives in these places and can be used in such spaces as a more attractive alternative.

Although the term moss rose can refer to a flower of the rose family, Rosa centifolia, most authorities use the term to refer to P. grandiflora. R. centifolia is also called the Provencal or cabbage rose. A true rose, R. centifolia produces cupped, often pink flowers noted for their fragrance.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By QuirkyMango — On Dec 14, 2014

@Diwrecktor- Did you notice the article stated that they self-seed? I pull the little dried seed heads off my plants, but I break them open and sprinkle the tiny seeds around my other plants, and the next year I have more moss rose.

By Diwrecktor — On Dec 14, 2014

My neighbor gave me a few moss rose seeds one year, and I have had them come back up every year. They must come back from dropped seeds because I only planted them once.

These are lovely flowers, and they grow well in an area where it's kind of dry. I couldn't get other flowers to grow in that area, so I'm happy to have this little beauties come back year after year.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.