Origins and Characteristics of Purslane Perennials
The perennial purslane is part of the portulacaceae, it is a succulent plant and exists in several varieties, some of which are not perennials, but annuals. It grows wild in many areas, especially in its native countries i.e. North American countries and Australian countries. Its leaves are fleshy, elongated and light green in color and have a fine white hair below. The flowers grow at the top of the branches, they are usually red, but at this stage there are varieties of all colors: they are fleshy flowers and grow very densely, it is no coincidence that this plant also serves as a border or ground cover. The peculiarity of these flowers is that they close at dusk and then reopen at sunrise. Purslane is a small plant that rarely exceeds eight inches in height.
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Cultivation of perennial purslane
Perennial purslane should be planted in a sunny location, otherwise it will not produce flowers. It is a plant that does not tolerate cold; during the winter months, annual varieties die off quickly. To survive, they need heat and light, so if they are grown in pots to keep them in the cold period, they must be moved to a sheltered place. They should be watered sporadically but regularly, only when the soil is dry. It is not necessary to keep the soil always moist because the plant would be damaged and in any case it is a species that tolerates drought. From early spring to early fall, it should be fertilized every two weeks with fertilizer for flowering plants. Purslane adapts to any type of soil, even if you prefer sandy, well-drained soils.
Maintenance and propagation of perennial purslane
Perennial purslane specimens are constantly expanding if grown in the ground: the basal branches elongate a lot and can also take root if they are placed in contact with the ground. It is thanks to these branches that one can make cuttings in the spring, take them and plant them individually in a pot or in another part of the ground. Alternatively, always at the beginning of summer, the plant can be propagated by seed: the seeds should not, however, be buried deep in the ground, as they need light to germinate. Future seedlings should be kept in a pot, planted around May and watered regularly. Purslane is a species resistant to attacks by parasites: it can only be attacked by aphids sporadically,
Not everyone knows it, but the seeds, flowers and leaves of perennial purslane are edible and are often used in cooking, mixed with other vegetables, to prepare rich salads. The plant contains important substances, useful for our body, such as omega 3. Also in the garden, this plant has different uses: in addition to the classic flowerbeds, purslane lends itself very well as an ornamental plant in rock gardens, with other plants. . such as sempervivum or geraniums. It is also excellent as a balcony plant, as an alternative to other species such as geraniums, as it is easy to grow and has continuous flowering throughout the summer. However, be careful: there are several varieties of perennial purslane that are considered harmful. The main variety is that with yellow flowers, which at first may seem harmless and even beautiful to look at, but in the long run it can become a problem. Indeed, this plant tends to develop impressively if it is not contained immediately: if it appears spontaneously in our garden, it is therefore better to resize it if we like it, or to pull it out immediately.