Introduction to Growing Purslane in Containers
Purslane is a leafy vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked. It is also known as Pigweed, Little Hogweed, Fatweed, and Pusley. Purslane plant needs full sun to grow best. Growing Purslane in the garden can be beneficial for your health and also taste better. Purslane plant blooms open around 9:00 in the morning and closes for good at various times in the day, depending on the heat. Purslane is propagated easily from seed, but you can also grow it from stem cuttings, divisions, or transplants. In this article we also discuss the following topics;
- How to care for a Purslane plant
- How often should you water the indoor Purslane plant
- Do Purslane plants need sun or shade
- Best Purslane plant care tips
- Purslane plant growing indoors
- Does a Purslane plant need direct sunlight
- How often should you water Purslane
A Step By Step Guide to Growing Purslane Plants in Containers
Two Popular Purslane Varieties
The most common Purslane varieties are Portulaca oleracea commonly referred to as garden Purslane, which has a green leaf that sometimes features reddish tips and edges. The other plant variety is Portulaca Sativa commonly known as golden Purslane since its leaves have a gold tinge. There are around 40 known Purslane varieties.
Best Soil Type for Growing Purslane in Containers
The best soil type for growing Purslane plant is one that drains easily. The soil in most vegetable gardens is the ideal consistency for growing the Purslane plant.
Keep the soil moist but avoid overwatering the plant – Water the sprouting Purslane seedlings as needed. The best method to keep your indoor microgreen garden moist (but not overly wet) is to use a spray bottle or bottom-watering. First, fill a large tray with water, place the Purslane container in the tray, and let the soil absorb water through the drainage holes punched in the container bottom.
Grow Purslane in a Warm Spot
Purslane cannot tolerate cold and prefers seed germination temperatures of 21°C or more. Wait to place in the field until days are long and average temperature levels are above 21°C during the day and 10°C at night, preferably warmer.
Purslane plants can be started in seed containers or sown directly into beds. Seeds should be sown every 3/4 inch in rows about 8 inches apart. Thin to roughly 2 or 3 per foot in a row. If transplanting, sow in flats and transplant once first true leaves appear at 8 inches apart.
Conditions for Growing Purslane in Containers
- Purslane growing in full sun and well-drained soil. If you are growing Purslane in a container use a commercial potting soil mix. Feed plant with a little slow-release granular fertilizer at planting time, but after that additional feeding is not necessary.
- Purslane plant likes it best when the temperatures are above 21°C, and thrives even when it gets above 37°C. For best results, plant in average quality soil that’s well-draining, with a pH level between 5.5 and 7.5.
- The Purslane plants must have the full sun which is 6 to 8 hours of sun each day. The soil doesn’t matter and they will grow in any kind of soil.
- All Purslane plant needs to grow in part to full sun and clear ground.
- Growing Purslane from seeds, simply scatter the seeds over the area where you plan on growing the Purslane and don’t cover the seeds with soil.
- Purslane seeds need light to germinate so they should stay on the surface of the soil. If you are using cuttings, lay them on the ground where you plan on growing Purslane. Water the stems and they must take root in the soil in a few days.
How to Grow Purslane in Containers
Growing Purslane as a leafy green in containers is easy. Either buy Purslane seeds online or try to find Purslane plant growing wild somewhere. Purslane can be grown both from seeds and cuttings.
Choose a container or hanging basket that is at least 6 to 8 inches deep and 8 to 10 inches wide. Water the Purslane plant moderately. You don’t want to fertilize it regularly; the addition of compost or well-rotted manure to the soil is fine and enough. In frost-free climates, you can grow it year-round. In cooler zones, growing Purslane plant from the spring season.
Grow Purslane as Microgreens
Microgreens can be a nutritious treat, as well as a good market item. If you want to grow Purslane as microgreens, use a perforated seedling tray and then cover the bottom with organic potting mix to about 1/2-inch deep. Sprinkle Purslane seeds evenly but thickly over top, and cover with a thin layer of soil mix. Place in the sunny area at about 23°C, and keep moist until germinated. Once germinated, a slightly cooler temperature between 15 and 21°C is optimal. Keep the soil moist; irrigate the sprouts from underneath to avoid splashing the Purslane plants. Cut the microgreens when they reach about 2 to 4 inches.
Sowing Purslane Seeds
You’ll need to space the rows about 8 to 10 inches apart since the plants will trail outward along the ground. Plant Purslane seeds about ¼ inches deep and sprinkle fine-textured soil over them just enough to cover. Purslane seeds planted too deep won’t germinate. Purslane seeds take 7 to 10 days to germinate between 21 and 32°C. You can sow seeds about 1/4 to 1/2 inches deep directly in the garden. Spring season is the best time to plant Purslane from seed.
Propagation of Purslane Seeds Indoors
Step 1) Purslane plant is easy to grow from seed. You can direct sow the seed in your garden in the summer season when the soil temperature is 32°C. Plant the seeds ½ inch deep and they will germinate the following spring when the soil warms to 23°C.
Step 2) Start Purslane seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before setting them in the garden. Mix the seeds with moist seed starter medium at a ratio of about 1 part seed to 4 parts medium. Place the moistened mixture in a plastic bag, seal the bag and refrigerate it for 2 weeks.
Step 3) Fill 3-inch peat pots with seed starting medium to within about 3/4 inch of their rims. Sprinkle some of the refrigerated seed mixtures over the medium’s surface in each growing pot. Set the pots in a pan containing 2 or 3 inches of water for a few hours. Then, they will absorb enough water through their drainage holes to moisten the medium without disturbing the seeds.
Step 4) Place the pots in a brightly lit area out of the direct sun, with a temperature between 21 and 29°C. Water as needed to keep the medium moist and Purslane typically germinates in 1 to 3 weeks.
Step 5) Then, transplant the seedlings to the individual, 4-inch containers of moistened potting soil when their second set of true leaves appear. Insert a pencil into the potting medium to make planting holes. Work a seedling loose from its peat pot by using a small fork, lift it by its leaves and then drop it into the hole in one of the new pots. Firm the potting soil around it for support and then water it well. Repeat for all the seedlings.
Step 6) Wait a few days before moving the transplanted Purslane seedlings into direct sunlight. Water the plants to keep the soil moist, and feed them once with a half-strength dose of liquid fertilizer. They should be garden-ready in a month.
Growing Purslane from Stem Cuttings in Containers
Step 1) To propagate Purslane from stem cuttings, use a sharp knife or scissors to cut the about 6-inch-long stem from the parent plant. Remove the plant leaves from the bottom half.
Step 2) Plant the stem in potting soil with half of the stem buried underground. Place in an area with bright, indirect light, and then keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.
Step 3) After a week, you should notice your cutting beginning to grow, and it should hold firm in the soil when you give it a gentle tug. At that point, it’s ready to be transplanted.
Step 4) You can get away with cutting about 1-inch pieces of the stem and burying them entirely, 1/4 inch deep directly in the garden. In a few weeks, you will start to see new plants popping out of the soil.
Process of Growing Purslane Indoors in Containers
Step 1) Purslane is a hardy annual plant that can be grown indoors year-round. They are also popular as indoor plants for their flowers, which bloom in the summer and fall season. The plant leaves can be used in soups and salads and are particularly popular in Greek dishes.
Step 2) Purchase Purslane seeds, either at a garden supply store or through the Internet if you cannot find them there. Also, you can collect seeds from wild Purslane if it grows in your area, which is likely. The seeds are in black pods on the Purslane plant.
Step 3) Place the Purslane seeds with a bit of soil in a plastic bag and put the bag containing the soil and seeds in the refrigerator. Leave the bag in the refrigerator for 15 days.
Step 4) Remove the bag from the refrigerator and place it in the sun at or just above average room temperature that ideally between 21 and 30°C until germination, which should take anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks.
Step 5) Place the germinated Purslane seeds in a pot filled with rich soil. The sprouts must be coming out of the soil, but the remnants of the seed and the small roots should be covered.
Step 6) Water the soil so that it is moist and do not overwater to the point where the soil becomes soggy.
Step 7) Place the Purslane plant in a sunny location. This plant requires lots of suns and make sure to keep the soil watered, without overwatering.
Purslane Plant Care
- Purslane grows almost anywhere from poor, arid soils to rich garden soils. It is best planted in a sunny part of the garden and the soil should have a soil pH level of 5.5 to 7.
- The care of the Purslane plant is very simple after it starts growing and you don’t need to do anything. The same traits that make it a weed also make it easy to care for Purslane plant. Make sure to harvest plants regularly and be aware that it can become invasive.
- Harvesting before the plant develops flowers will help cut down on its spread. Also, keep in mind that the Purslane herb is an annual plant. While the chances are high that it will reseed itself, you could want to collect some seeds at the end of the season so that you have some on hand for next year.
Why Purslane Does Not Bloom
Purslane is beautiful, vibrant plants, but when there are no flowers on this plant, it can be disappointing and downright frustrating. When a Purslane doesn’t bloom, there may be problems with the plant growing conditions. Purslane plant is a low-maintenance plant that thrives on neglect, it still has certain requirements for healthy plant growth.
Purslane plant prefers poor, dry, well-drained soil. If Purslane won’t bloom, it may be because the soil is too rich or too soggy. Although you can add sand or a small amount of compost to the soil, it can be easier to start over in a new location. Although Purslane plant thrives in difficult conditions, they still benefit from a regular drink of water. As a general rule, one deep watering per week during hot, dry weather is sufficient for Purslane. However, a little extra water won’t hurt the plant if the soil drains freely. Purslane thrives in intense heat and punishing sunlight. As a general rule, Purslane needs 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day.
Purslane Growing Problems
Pests – Purslane plant rarely affected by diseases or pests except for Purslane sawfly and the portulaca leaf-mining weevil. The larval form of Purslane sawfly pest looks like a caterpillar and can be picked off of the plants by hand. Severe infestations of these pests can kill the Purslane plant. Adult sawflies emerge from the soil in the late spring season and lay several batches of eggs during the summer. Portulaca leaf-mining weevils are grub-like in appearance and burrow into the Purslane leaves, visible below the leaf’s surface. Checking your Purslane plants regularly and removing pests or infested plant leaves when you see them is the best way to control these pests.
These pests are easy to treat with regular applications of insecticidal soap spray. Apply the spray in the morning or evening when temperature levels are cool and the sun isn’t directly on the plant. Also, use Dawn dish soap in a pump-up sprayer.
When and How to Harvest Purslane
Harvest whole Purslane plants by pulling them from the soil during spring for use as a fresh or cooked green vegetable. You can eat the leaves and stems of the Purslane plant by picking them individually. Purslane seeds are edible fresh or ground up and added to baked goods.
Your seedlings must be ready for harvest in 6 to 8 weeks. You can harvest the entire plant or if you prefer to cut and come again cut the plant down to about 2 inches. It will readily regrow. You can continue to do this all summer. Most growers prefer successive sowings so that they are harvesting a constant supply of young tender leaves rather than older tougher leaves. Keep your plants well-watered all summer season. While the plants are drought-tolerant, leaves that receive a constant supply of water taste better than leaves that have been starved of water and are bitterer.
You should not miss this: Growing Borage In Pots.
Commonly Asked Questions about Growing Purslane in Containers
Will Purslane survive winter?
No, the Purslane won’t live in winter. You’ll need to bring the plants indoors and keep them in the sunniest place.
Does Purslane need full sun?
Purslane plant needs full sun to grow best. If you want to encourage flower production, plant Purslane in an area that is partially shaded from the heat of the day. These Purslane plants also like it warm the more heat, the better.
Is Purslane annual or perennial?
Purslane is an annual succulent plant. The scientific name of Purslane is Portulaca oleracea, which is an annual, edible succulent plant.
How do you take care of Purslane?
Plant Purslane in full sun and well-drained soil. If you are growing Purslane in a container use a commercial potting soil mix. Then, feed with a little slow-release granular fertilizer at planting time, but after that additional feeding is not necessary.
Why is my Purslane not blooming?
Purslane prefers poor, dry, well-drained soil. If Purslane won’t bloom, it may be because the soil is too rich or too soggy. Though you can add sand or a small amount of compost to the soil, it may be easier to start over in a new location.
You should not miss this: Container Vegetable Gardening Ideas.