Portulaca is a genus of flowering plants in the family Portulacaceae comprising about 40 to 100 species found in the tropics and warm temperate regions. The members of the genus are commonly known as Purslane, Sun Plant, Rose Moss, and Wax Pink. Common Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) is widely considered an edible plant and, in some areas, an invasive type of weed. Purslane can be eaten raw or cooked and lends itself to stir fry dishes.
Portulacas are relatively hardy or half-hardy easy-to-grow annuals that reach 6 to 18 inches (15 to 45 cm). They have fleshy leaves, bloom from summer to the second half of fall, and have cup-shaped flowers, which can be yellow, red, pink, or white.
Light: Full sunlight
Water: During the growing period, Portulacas need frequent watering but let the soil dry between watering. They do not like wet conditions and will rot in constantly wet soil.
Soil: Portulacas prefer sandy, well-drained soil.
Fertilizer: An application of a balanced slow-release fertilizer with minor elements every six months.
Portulacas love places with full sun and tolerate various soil types but prefer sandy, well-drained soil. These plants have high heat and drought tolerance. They spread quickly, and some control methods may be needed to keep them from becoming invasive in areas where they are not wanted. Species such as Portulaca oleracea require no attention when growing and flowering. However, you should remove them from the garden before setting seeds, as they may take over your garden. You do not need to water often for proper Portulaca care.
The seeds of Portulacas should be sown on the soil surface following the last frost of spring. Ideally, Portulacas should be grown in the sunniest part of the garden.
If starting Purslane indoors, sow the seeds about one and a half months in advance. It typically takes about one to three weeks for seeds to germinate at 70 to 86 °F (21 to 30 °C). Once ready, transfer the seedlings into the garden from 6 to 24 inches (15 to 60 cm) apart (depending on the size of the species). This should be done towards the end of spring.
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