Growing and Saving the Seed Of Purslane


Latin name Portulaca oleracea is an annual member of the portulacacea family. Purslane is a very common edible garden weed, but there are several domesticated varieties as well. The cultivated types tend to have larger leaves and a more upright habit than their low-growing, weedy ancestor. The succulent texture of purslane leaves makes it a tasty leafy green. The weedy versions are yummy, but cultivated versions are delicious! This easy-to-grow green can be integrated into row cropping, container gardens, raised beds and more. It is super versatile!


 

HISTORY

Native to a wide range, from North Africa to southern Europe and throughout the Middle East and Indian subcontinent. Purslane has become naturalized in a massive swath across the globe and has been growing in the Americas since pre-Columbian times.



USES

  • Edible potherb
  • Row crop
  • Container garden
  • Edible landscaping

 

 


 

  • Seeds germinate in 7-14 days.
  • Direct seed after all chance of frost has passed and soil has reliably warmed. You can start indoors 3-4 weeks before transplanting, but be careful not to let plants become pot bound.
  • Planting depth will vary depending on seed size, as sunflower seed sizes range widely. A general rule of thumb is to plant seeds twice their own width, so a seed that is 1/2 inch wide should be planted 1 inch deep. Most sunflowers are planted at 1 inch deep.
  • Ideal germination temperature is 70-75 F.

 

  • Prefers full sun to part shade.
  • Provide well-drained average to poor soil.
  • Space plants 8-10 inches apart.
  • A heat- and drought-tolerant plant.

PESTS/SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • A pest-and disease-free plant.
  • If you are concerned about purslane becoming weedy, simply cut the entire plant back to about 4 inches tall before the flowers open to prevent reseeding.

 

  • To save seed, keep an eye on the small seed capsules, which will change from green to dry and brown.
  • When brown, carefully pry open the capsule and collect the tiny black seeds.
  • Store seeds in a cool, dark, dry place.