How to Grow Purslane - A Vegetable, a Weed
Annual, Portulaca, Oleracea
Millions of home gardeners have Purslane in their garden, and they only know
it as an all too common, persistent weed. This succulent plant is drought
tolerant, and grows just about anywhere, in almost any soil and weather
conditions. It comes back year after year, making it difficult to rid your
garden of this weed.
To the informed gardener, this plant is Purslane, an edible, highly nutritious
vegetable plant. Once you recognize it as a vegetable, you may still opt
to treat it as a weed. After all, it is not easy to begin eating a plant,
that you have always considered a weed.
Native to India and Persia, the roughly 500 varieties of Purslane plants
have made their way to home gardens around the world. Purslane is a drought
tolerant succulent, with thick stems and leaves. It produces yellow flowers.
If you do add this vegetable to your diet, it is good for you, raw or cooked.
It is low in calories, nutritious, and loaded with vitamins and antioxidants.
It has more beta-carotene than spinach. The leaves, tender stem tips and
seeds are edible.
Other Names: Duckweed, Fatweed, Pigweed Portulaca, Pursley, Wild Portulaca
Let's explore how to grow it, how to use it in your diet, and the medicinal
benefits...... read on!
Purslane is propagated from both seeds and pieces of the stem. A single plant
can produce over 50,000 seeds! The seeds are capable of being dormant in
the soil for 30 to 40 years. Pieces of the stem that break up as you weed
your garden, will produce more Purslane.
Seeds germinate at a high soil temperature of 90 degrees.
The plant begins to produce flowers and seeds in as little as three weeks.
The common varieties of Purslane that you see as a weed growing in your garden
produce stems that sprawl along the ground. You can purchase seed varieties
that grow more upright, making harvesting easier.
How to Grow Purslane Plant as a Vegetable:
Purslane plants are all too easy to grow. You can find them growing wild
in your flower and vegetable gardens, as well as in cracks in your sidewalk
Purslane grows in just about any soil, from a rich, fertile soil, to dry,
rocky soils. It is drought tolerant.
Garden Tip: If you are looking to control them as a weed, apply a
thick layer of mulch around your plants
As an aggressive plant, it will quickly take over the garden space you allot
Weed as needed.
Water plants occasionally in hot dry, drought conditions.
You can begin to harvest the leaves and tender stem tips, as soon as the
plants become big enough to pick leaves.
pH Level: 6.1 - 6.5
Adding Purslane to Your Diet:
Purslane can be eaten raw or cooked. It has a flavor similar to spinach or
watercress. To some chefs, it is a culinary delicacy.
Use it raw in salads and sandwiches. Add it to omelets, soups, stews, tortillas
or stir fried. Try substituting Purslane in in place of spinach, in your
Medicinal Benefits of Purslane Plants:
Purslane has been used medicinally for thousands of years.
It has been used as a remedy for Arthritis, and for treatment of respiratory
and circulatory problems. It is believed to lower blood pressure and cholesterol
levels, and to help avoid blood clots.