How to Deadhead Portulaca: Should You Deadhead Portulaca Flowers?

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The colorful, showy blooms of Portulaca flowers add cheerful beauty throughout the garden. Should you deadhead Portulaca to increase blooming? Learn how to deadhead Portulaca and whether you actually really need to or not.

Also known as Moss Rose, Portulaca grandiflora thrives in heat and produces beautiful, colorful blooms.

It’s reasonably possible you could plant these vigorous near-succulents in a hot, barely watered patch of your yard and they’ll likely do just fine.

Even with little care, this stunning flower produces lovely blossoms throughout the summer and beyond.

Thumb and finger showing how to deadhead portulaca plants
Thumb and finger showing how to deadhead Portulaca plants

Learn more about deadheading Portulaca as a means of plant care and plan accordingly for your needs.  

Keeping Portulacas Blooming

Any sort of pinching or pruning can help inspire new growth which technically can result in more stems upon which flowers can grow.

Therefore, you likely can increase Portulaca flowers by pinching away spent blooms / deadheading moss rose, or pruning back long and leggy stems.

My youngest daughter and I fell in love with the ‘Sundial Peppermint’ Portulaca flowers at Glick’s Greenhouse in Oley. We picked up three packs of them!

Portulaca Peppermint Sundial Plant
Portulaca Peppermint Sundial Plant

We’re growing our Sundial Peppermint Portulacas in pots and directly in the garden bed.

When we first came home, we had numerous stunning pink striped blossoms. Now, a few weeks later, many of the blooms have faded and fallen or we’ve pinched them away.

Pinching Portulacas can encourage new growth in more of a branching habit. This allows you to better shape your plants to your liking.

Pinching Portulacas for Deadheading purposes
Pinching Portulacas for Deadheading purposes – the stems are soft and supple and will break easily between your fingernails.
(Of course, you can also use scissors if you wish!)

And, with more branches, you’re likely to enjoy more blooms!

Likewise, deadheading Portulacas can speed up blooming a bit. If you’re impatient for more flowers, learn how to deadhead Portulacas.

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How to Deadhead Portulaca

Follow these simple steps on deadheading Portulaca flowers.

  1. Inspect your Portulaca plants for spent blooms.
  2. Pinch or snip off dead Portulaca flowers just below the dead bloom. Use caution not to harm new buds that are forming, or simply wait.
    Portulaca deadhead seed pod and new bud side by side
    (Take note of the deadhead / seed pod and the new buds side by side.)
  3. Discard moss rose deadheads.
  4. If you wish to save seeds or allow natural reseeding, stop deadheading in late summer.

Again, it is not always necessary to deadhead Portulaca as these plants usually drop their own spent blooms as needed.

If you have time and want to speed up the process, though, have at it!

More Tips on Deadheading Portulacas

Keep these tips in mind when deadheading Portulaca.

  • Make sure you don’t deadhead new Portulaca buds! When new to deadheading, it’s sometimes tricky to tell the difference between deadheads and new buds.
  • If pinching, wait until all blooms on that stem are done. You can try to pinch only the dead flower heads, but the new buds should bloom anyway, so why bother?
  • Cut some fresh flowers from long-stem plants! Enjoy the beauty of Portulacas indoors as well. New growth will result in short time.
  • If stems are too leggy, prune them. You can also put the snipped stems in moist soil to try to propagate them!

New Growth on Portulaca Plants

Check out the new growth just bursting from these Portulaca plants! This is only about 2 weeks after deadheading!

New growth on deadheaded Portulaca Moss Rose plants
New growth on deadheaded Portulaca Moss Rose plants – This is the status of the new growth 16 days after deadheading!

While they say it isn’t always necessary to deadhead Portulaca plants, I am glad I did! I think this show of new growth is a sign the plant is happy, too. (:

Should you deadhead Portulaca?

Before deciding if you should deadhead Portulaca, think about your intentions for the flower and your available time. Deadheading Portulacas as a means of pruning may improve blooming a bit, but it isn’t always considered necessary for this plant.

More than anything, consider deadheading and pruning Portulaca plants when they become leggy to preserve the health and vigor of the plants.

From another perspective, removing spent flowers from moss rose also gets rid of the brown, crusty blossoms. This tidies up the plant and makes them look even more beautiful!

Deadheading moss rose removes dried, brown spent blooms for a prettier plant!
Deadheading moss rose removes dried, brown spent blooms for a prettier plant!

Another point to consider regarding deadheading Portulacas is reseeding. If you want to encourage reseeding, do not remove the Portulaca blooms until they naturally fall on their own.

Do you have any questions about deadheading Portulaca or any other tips to share? What are your favorite Portulaca flowers of all time?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below – we always love hearing from you!

Happy Gardening!

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2 Comments

  1. When I deadhead mine I kinda twist the old blooms so it doesn’t interfere with the new one. It always drops alot of leaves but the growth is outstanding

    1. Hi Amanda! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your tip! I’ve started doing this same twisting trick on a whim whenever I’m near that part of my garden. I usually try to break up any seed pods into the soil in case they will grow, but so far no portulaca seedlings. Great idea!

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