Purslane (80 photos): types and care
The name of this delicate exquisite flower, translated from the Latin language, means “collar”. Indeed, this is exactly the look that the ripe seed pod acquires, as if opening the doors of the storage of new material for planting. The homeland of the purslane is South America, while in European countries it has won great love of flower growers with its unpretentiousness, naive beauty of long flowering throughout the summer. But these are not the best qualities that the plant can boast of. Some of its types have been used as medicines since the time of Hippocrates, helping to heal ailments, heal wounds, and relieve inflammatory processes..
In the wild, there are about two hundred varieties of purslane. However, for cultivation in personal plots and apartments, two main types are used – garden and large-flowered, each of which has many varieties.
This species can grow on absolutely any soil and practically does not require attention to itself. Moreover, in some cases, it develops well in spite of the reluctance of the owners of the site, who consider it a difficult weed to remove. Garden purslane has a long fleshy stem, which sprouts crimson shoots up to 60 cm. Its leaves are green (sometimes yellow), also juicy and dense, oval in shape. The flowers are inexpressive, rather small, so this species has no decorative value. The most common varieties: “Makovei”, “Paradox”, “Firefly”.
Its main advantage lies in its medicinal properties. Purslane leaves and shoots contain a large complex of useful substances: vitamins (A, E, C), proteins, carbohydrates, organic acids, mineral salts, etc. Medicines made on its basis are used to relieve inflammation of the bladder, kidney disease, liver, with eye ailments. Purslane juice helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar.
The culture is also known for its culinary uses. Green juicy shoots added to various dishes give a sour, refreshing taste. Purslane is used as a component of salads, an additive to vegetable dishes, an ingredient for gravy to meat and fish delicacies. It is pickled, salted, harvested in a dried form.
It is this type of purslane that is used to decorate plots, balconies, apartment windowsills. A wide variety of its varieties makes it possible to choose the desired color palette for decoration or create an area brightly dazzling with delicate, colorful flowers. The most common varieties include:
– “Scarlet” – has a small height of about 10 cm with a highly branched stem and double purple flowers. The flowering period lasts until October;
– “Cherry” – has cherry flowers, the diameter of which is about 5 cm;
– “Cream” – a low plant, the color of the flowers of which has an overflow from light cream at the edges of the petals to dark closer to the center;
– “Slendeks” – has a double pink-scarlet color;
– “Orange” – the name speaks for itself, indicating the color of the flowering.
Also popular are the Flamenco and Kalambur varieties, famous for their large multi-colored flowers..
Proper care of purslane
Although the plant is not demanding (for which many growers appreciate it), some rules for its maintenance must be followed. To a greater extent, this concerns good illumination and special soil composition, where preference is given to light, sandy, poor soil. In rich soil, purslane will gain green mass, but most likely will not bloom.
Purslane loves good lighting – when placed in shady areas or during periods of prolonged cloudy weather, the buds do not open well, there is a danger of a complete lack of flowering. In the shade of the plant, the stem is significantly lengthened and the overall attractiveness of the flower cover is lost. But it is not afraid of direct sunlight. When choosing a place of residence for a flower in an apartment, the choice falls on the southern window sills, and in the summertime it is better to transfer the flowerpots to the balcony or loggia. It is also a good idea to rotate the pots from time to time so that the plants grow equally..
Since purslane is native to South America, care must be taken to ensure that it receives enough heat. The optimal temperature regime should be at least + 22C. The most beautiful lush bloom can be observed when the thermometer reaches + 30C. It is also recommended to plant a purslane in a warm season, when the temperature does not drop below +20.
The culture does not apply to lovers of excessive moisture – waterlogging of the soil can lead to rotting of the root system and death. Purslane does not need additional spraying, except for the period of seedling growth. At the same time, with a strong lack of moisture, the plant may begin to throw off its leaves, so a modest but regular moistening of the soil is necessary, which must be equipped with drainage (especially for indoor species). In rainy summers, watering is applied as needed..
Purslane must be thoroughly watered both during planting and throughout its growth. Then the amount of feeding is reduced, since maturing fleshy leaves have the ability to accumulate water. An adult flower should be watered once a week. In this case, you need to loosen the soil to provide the roots with a sufficient amount of oxygen. In especially dry periods, the frequency of watering increases up to 1 time in 3-4 days. Indoor representatives can be without moisture for a very long time..
Fertilizers and feeding
An adult purslane does not need feeding. The main thing is to provide him with a suitable soil. Sandy soil with no peat will be most favorable. If the soil is heavy, you can fertilize it with charcoal..
Increased attention is paid to seedlings – they are fed twice. The first feeding should be two weeks after the pick with nitrogen fertilizers. The second is introduced shortly before planting the plant in open ground. In this case, you need to use complex formulations with a high content of potassium and phosphorus..
Pests and diseases
Purslane rarely suffers from ailments, but they can still overtake the plant under adverse conditions. The fungus is especially dangerous, the signs of which are spots on the leaves, damaged shoots. The infected parts of the purslane must be removed, and the remaining vegetative system must be treated with a fungicide containing copper..
The main pest of culture is aphid, which attacks the shoots during flowering. Insecticidal solutions help to cope with it. Thrips feeding on plant sap are also dangerous. Their presence is characterized by the appearance of silvery droplets on the leaves and wilting. Be sure to need insecticide treatment.
How to transplant purslane
Purslane tolerates transplanting well. Thus, you can plant a young plant or transplant a part of an adult culture, separating the part with a shovel along with the rhizome. It is necessary to provide a suitable light, loose, sandy soil, sunny area. It is better to replant it in the warm season – at the end of spring. In cool conditions, when the temperature fluctuates within + 10C, the purslane may not take root, the leaves will begin to fall.
Bushes are located at a distance of 15–20 cm from each other. During the first days, it is necessary to ensure daily watering, especially during drought..
Reproduction at home
In nature, purslane easily multiplies by self-sowing, so in many European countries it grows like a field weed. At home, the most common way to reproduce it is to obtain seedlings by sowing seeds. You can also increase the number of a favorite species by grafting, but this method is preferable for areas located in warm climatic conditions..
Reproduction of purslane seeds
As mentioned earlier, the seeds are located in small capsules, which open slightly when ripe. Since some seeds can ripen a little faster than others, it is better to collect the material in advance, without bringing it to overripe, since you can not wait for seedlings. The collected seeds are spread on paper for ripening. An easier and safer way for beginners is to buy planting material.
Sowing is done in late February – early March. To do this, you will need a container with sandy soil and a thick layer of drainage. Seeds are poured onto the surface without deepening or sprinkling with earth. Cover the container with glass or foil and place it in a warm place, preferably in the sun. The optimum temperature should not fall below + 20C. Every day, the greenhouse needs to be opened and the seeds are sprayed with a spray bottle. After the sprouts of purslane have reached a height of at least 5 cm and 8-10 new full-fledged leaves have appeared, they can be transplanted into pots or pots. Landing in open ground is recommended no earlier than the end of May.
Reproduction of purslane by cuttings
To propagate purslane by cuttings, it is necessary to cut branches from an adult bush in the spring. It is better to additionally treat them with a stimulating solution. Next, the branches are planted in a prepared container with a loose substrate for rooting. Often it is also covered with a glass lid to create a favorable microclimate. The first sign of rooting is the appearance of new leaves on the cuttings. After 2-3 weeks, the purslane can be transferred to a permanent place.
Purslane – photo
Due to its unpretentiousness and ability to take root on any soil, purslane is widely used in landscape design. With its help, you can form a whole flower carpet, arrange a rockery, an alpine slide, complement a colorful flower garden, or significantly transform a balcony or loggia. All the richness of the colorful variety of the plant can be seen in our photo gallery, which also presents various ways of planting it. Happy viewing!