Purslane, or Portulaca oleracea, is a half-hardy annual herb that can grow in all USDA gardening zones. Often considered a weed because of its prolific ability to spread, many gardeners grow it for its medicinal properties. Young foliage of purslane can be eaten in salads. The flowers of purslane are bright yellow, with five petals that soon turn into a seed head.
Fill a shallow planting container, like an unused sandbox, with a soil mixture that is half rich, loamy soil and half sand. It is preferable to plant your purslane seeds in a contained area instead of directly into your garden, because not only is purslane very invasive, but each purslane plant can contain over 240,000 seeds, and those seeds can stay in your soil for more than 40 years.
Plant purslane seeds after the last frost in your area. Purslane plants and flowers are sensitive to frost and cold but thrive in heat.
Sow purslane seeds thinly over the surface of your shallow planter. The seeds can be planted on the surface and do not need to be covered with soil. In fact, purslane seeds may not germinate if planted too deep into the soil.
Keep the purslane seeds watered and the soil moist, particularly during the germination period. Purslane plants can tolerate drought conditions, but because of their shallow root system, they grow better if you keep the soil moist.
Use garden shears to trim off clippings from a purslane plant. It does not matter what length the clippings are.
Lay the purslane clippings on the surface of your shallow planting container. The clippings do not need to be buried in soil, simply laid on the surface.
Keep the soil that your purslane clippings are on very moist until the clippings develop a root system. Then, cut back on your watering, letting the soil dry before watering again. Your purslane clippings will root quickly, within a week to ten days.
Things You Will Need
- Purslane seeds or cuttings
- Shallow planting tray
- Garden shears
- Trim off the flowers on your purslane before the flowers turn to seed to avoid a purslane takeover of your garden.
- Always burn or dispose in your garbage all trimmings of purslane, and never put them into your compost pile, because the trimmings will root anywhere.
- Try to avoid digging or tilling any area where you have planted purslane, because you will either spread the seeds more, or you may be bringing up to the surface purslane seeds that were too deep in the soil to germinate and grow.