Portulaca Plant Problems

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Portulaca, also called moss rose, thrives in almost any well-drained soil with little care. It flowers best planted in full sun but will grow in light shade.


  • Insects seldom bother portulaca, though mealy bugs and aphids can become a problem. These small, soft-bodied insects have a lot of natural predators, and harsh insecticides are more likely to knock out the predators than the mealy bugs and aphids. A strong spray of water is sometimes all it takes to get rid of aphids, and insecticidal soaps are effective against both insects.

    Crown Rot

  • The crown is the fleshy part of the plant under the foliage that sits at soil level or a little above. Portulaca is subject to crown rot when the soil stays wet. There is no cure and you should remove the plant. If your soil is poorly drained, plant portulaca in raised beds or containers.

    Root-Knot Nematodes

  • Portulaca is susceptible to root-knot nematodes. These tiny organisms live in the soil and attack the plant roots, causing swollen areas or knots. If you have root-knot nematodes, don’t plant portulaca in the area.

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