Does Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) root where stems touch soil?

peterk312July 16, 2013

Limited info on the web about this. I just got two hanging baskets of portulaca and I love it. I'm thinking if I can give it a bigger basket it might spread more if the stems can touch the potting mix. Will it root more if I do this?

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

I just got two hanging baskets of portulaca

==>>> really??? someone is selling baskets of a common weed .... man you gotta give that old entrepreneurial spirit a high five.. lol ...

this is one of the easiest weeds to pick out of the garden.. because you can grab a whole 12 to 18 inch plant ... pinch on the one single stem.. and pull up the whole plant ... its like weeding 18 square inches with one plant ....

so i would say.. no.. not in my experience.. does it root in ...

if you are talking about moss rose.. you have the wrong latin name.. and confused me.. now i have seen baskets of those ...

crikey.. purslane in a basket ... lol ...


ps: i would not repot anything in july/august.. unless i had years and years of practice.... its 100 today in MI ... nothing would appreciate that .... and its not going to get very cool at night for things to recover ...

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 3:23PM
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Ken, there's a beautiful flowering hanging "purslane" being sold in garden centers. I think this is the portulaca Peter is talking about, not the common weed.

Sorry I don't have the answer, but take a look at the leaf nodes and see if there are any roots coming out near soil. It's worth an experiment.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 4:44PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i googled the name he gave.... its the weed.... common purslane

if its not the right latin name... then i am wrong ...


Here is a link that might be useful: common purslane

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 5:40PM
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juneroses Z9a Cntrl Fl

I think the ornamental purslane is a cultivar of the portulaca oleracea weed.

But, to answer the OP's question, I don't notice that the purslane has a tendency to root when it touches the ground (I have a sizeable patch that is root hardy here and returns each year). BUT you can easily propagate more plants by pinching off a stem with about 3 sets of leaves. Remove all but the top set. Poke a hole in the soil (or, in your case, the basket) with a pencil, dowel, etc. Place the pinched stem in the hole, leaving the top set of leaves above ground. Gently press the soil around your cutting and water to settle the soil all around the buried stem.

The cuttings are very resilent and root easily.


    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 6:16PM
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How could I have posted a question about A WEED! MY GOD! And the genus and specific name?-- Completely wrong? On the contrary. The name is 100% accurate. Portulaca oleracea, and I don't care what the cultivar name is (possibly "Pizazz"). It's Portulaca oleracea. Common names include Purslane, Portulaca, Moss Rose, and Mexican Rose. The other portulaca is portulaca grandiflora, distinguished by pointed leaves not flat.

And I could care less if someone claims this plant is a "common weed." It's also edible and quite nutritious (not that I expect someone to care who considers it a "weed"). See the link below if interested.

I posted a simple question and someone is ready to insult my intelligence? Nice. I am so sick of Internet bullying.

Here is a link that might be useful: Great info on a great plant

This post was edited by peterk312 on Tue, Jul 16, 13 at 20:42

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 8:30PM
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I have grown Portulaca for years and had never heard it called anything but Portulaca until I came on this site. In fact that is what they are called in seed catalogues. Ken went off on a tangent about the dreaded weed purslane which may be a relative of Portulaca but that is all. If purslane darkens my door I pull it and I make sure I get every scrap of it and throw it in the garbage because the tiniest piece will root.

Knowing this I can understand your question but I don't think Portulaca has that characteristic that it's wild cousin has. Of course I have never tried it so I could be wrong. It wouldn't hurt to try though with a piece or 2 and see what happens. You have my curiousity aroused now so I may just try it too.

By the way your "weed" --tongue in cheek--is looking beautiful

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 2:00AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Ken has never claimed to be an expert, but he is no bully. (Just irritating, sometimes....,lol) It would be extremely easy for someone to come to the same conclusion as he did after an internet search of the Latin name you used in your post. Many might not know that there are many ornamental cultivars of the common weed.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 2:22PM
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Carolinaflowerlover NC Zone 7b

A lot if people seem to hate purslane. I LOVE it! I was told it would come back and take over, but it did nothing of the sort. It is a beautiful flower. :)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 3:12PM
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juneroses Z9a Cntrl Fl

Apparently a lot of other people share the OP's high opinion (and mine) of ornamental purslane. Pazazz Tangerine was one of the top plants chosen by visitors during the July Open House at the Trial Gardens at the University of Georgia.

Here is a link that might be useful: The public's favorites at the UGA Trial Gardens

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 8:26PM
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Back to the rooting issue. Indeed, cuttings will only root at the base of the cutting. I pulled one out so you could see the roots that grew in about two weeks. I put three cuttings into a mix of mostly perlite with a little peat to help retain some moisture. I misted the cuttings every day.

It's interesting to note that the cuttings even produced flowers despite having no roots.

As for the transplanting, I had enough from the two baskets I purchased to fill a small rectangular planter. Not one sign of transplant shock. No wilting either.

Here's one of the baskets:

And a few closeup pics of the flowers:

I admit that the plant doesn't flower profusely, but it flowers reliably every day. I've been removing the spent blooms so that the plant won't put its energy into making seeds. Each flower only lasts about a day and opens only during the day, but unlike gazania the flowers open even on cloudy days. The colors are particularly nice.The flowers stand out well from a distance. Bottom line is this is a tough yet attractive plant, and because of its succulent characteristics is well suited for hot arid climates (I'm in NM).

This post was edited by peterk312 on Sat, Aug 3, 13 at 19:11

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 11:11AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The ornamental oleracea have been some of my most useful plants. I had the most and longest production from them when grown in full blazing sun and fertilized frequently with low doses of a soluble fertilizer.

Another climate in which Portulaca (both grandiflora and oleracea) thrives is a coastal location....even ocean front, where it will be buffeted with salt-laden breezes constantly.

Great plant!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 11:39AM
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started_with_bean(Zone 5--MA)

The Purslane I grew from seeds this year have been rooting themselves in the flower box where the stems contact the dirt. However, they have also been spreading right over the edges of the box too, so I haven't noticed if rooting have any effect on increasing their size, one way or another.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 10:11PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

I have grown purslane for years. As best I have been able to figure out, "Portulaca" usually refers to the plant with double flowers, but "purslane" is used for the plant with single flowers. Could be wrong, but seems so to me.

No one has remarked on how easily this plant reseeds. I have window boxes on my deck and every year, the purslane comes up with no help whatsoever. I just have to thin it.

My only complaint about it is the flowers don't stay open all day..... I tried "Toucan" last year. It's beautiful and the blooms are somewhat bigger, but they do not stay open all day, unfortunately. I believe the double flowering Portulaca does?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 5:08PM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

Moss rose (Portulaca grandiflora) tends to open early in the day and close either when bees visit it or later in the day. "Sundial" stays open longer than many cultivars. I suggested the names for Park's limited-color "Sundial" mixes (Passion Fruit and Tropical Fruit) because I thought the color range was wide enough to provide distinctive mixes compatible with peoples' garden color schemes. Years ago, they sold separate colors. If you look hard, you can find seeds for single Portulaca grandiflora, too.

"Toucan" is listed as Portulaca oleracea, but I have seen suggestions elsewhere that some of the flowering P. oleracea types are cross-species cultivars. Some can only be propagated with cuttings.

I am very familiar with the common weed P. oleracea, which goes by various names including Purslane. I our yard, it tends to be prostrate with long stems. I have friends who eat it. And there are cultivated forms, more upright with larger leaves, intended for the table. P. oleracea increases the Omega 3 levels of eggs when fed to chickens.

Here is a link that might be useful: P. oleracea 'Toucan' and P. grandiflora 'Sundial'

This post was edited by carolync1 on Mon, Oct 14, 13 at 12:16

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 12:06PM
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See the link below. The flowers of the "Pazazz" cultivar (little known newer variety) do stay open all day, even cloudy days.

It's now mid October and the plants I bought and separated are still doing amazingly well. Not one sign of distress.

And I still say, pretty darn nice for a "weed." Given it's listed as a "tender perennial" I'm wondering if I can bring it inside during the winter and save myself the task of sowing seeds in the spring.

Here is a link that might be useful: Purslane Pazazz

This post was edited by peterk312 on Tue, Oct 15, 13 at 11:28

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 11:21AM
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Having a lot of trouble trying to track down seeds for this particular cultivar.

I see that a close looking type called "Toucan" can be found, but it's not the same. It's Pizazz that stays open during the day, and there are more colors available.

Does anyone know a seed company that has Purslane Pazazz ( Portulaca oleracea "Pazazz")?

This post was edited by peterk312 on Wed, Feb 19, 14 at 5:33

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 6:22AM
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Hi Peter,
I am sorry that you got such a snippy response.
I think portulacas are very pretty. I love succulents, (though, I do not know if they are considered such, officially) and they flowers are a great bonus.
I absolutely fell in LOVE with the Portulaca pizzaz plants I found at a special nursery last year. I bought as many of them as I could snatch. I am eager to get more into my succulent garden beds this year.
I did not realize that they were annuals. I am hoping that maybe some reseeding may have occurred. Did you have anything come back up in your pots?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 12:18AM
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They do die down with cold weather but if your ground is favorable for the seeds, they should reseed fine also.

As for making more plants, like this thread suggests, they do root pretty easily, so you can spread them all over your yard if you want to.

Last year, I realized that some of the purslane I had been allowing to grow are the wild type (with the small flowers, which are probably the weeds referred to this in this thread), whereas the ones I prefer are the ones with the larger flowers (like the photos show).

Now that I know there is a difference and not just random conditions making large or small flowers, I will be actively pulling the little flower purslanes. Either version, however, are still high in nutrition if one wants to eat them.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 12:56PM
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Just checked my Home Depot recently and they finally have this cultivar of Portulaca, which I believe is "Pazazz." You absolutely can't get seeds for this in the USA. It appears that Home Depot is one of the few stores that you can get it. Still waiting to see if they get the pink flowering type (my favorite).

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 9:34AM
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I grow these in a wall pocket planter every year. Birds will eat the leaves for water if I don't get the birdbath filled quickly enough for them. Pieces have fallen to the ground and rooted without any help from me.
Ken occasionally gets carried away, I read where he said Columbines were annuals??

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 9:05AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Peterk, your plants look like Portulaca umbraticola. Misinformation about P. oleracea is rampant.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 9:15AM
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I love these plants. They are sold in 6 pack cells in my zone 7b. There is no informtion about them. My question: do they return every year?

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 1:21PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

P. grandiflora, umbraticola, and oleracea are true annuals. They may drop seeds.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 11:21AM
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I'm just seeing now that others had posted here. I was going to post that I finally got some plants. It appears they are still gaining popularity at Home Depot, at least in my area. These were in hanging baskets and really rootbound, so I separated them into individual plants for now. Here's the same pink type that I had last year:

And I also picked up a type with scarlet flowers and leaves that are tinged with red:

I thought these were the "Pazzaz" cultivar, which I thought were distinguished by flowers that open even when it's cloudy outside, and I thought they were developed by the Danziger company in Israel. See here:

Is it the case that all Portulaca umbraticola have flowers that open even when it's cloudy?

I thought it was odd too that the portulaca with the round pointed leaves and these with the flat leaves are both being called Portulaca oleracea, but it could be that Home Depot simply gives them the wrong name on their printed labels. They are so notorious for this.

Regarding my question about seeds, I see this from the same blog on Portulaca umbraticola:

"When grown from seed, these cultivars are recessive. This means that subsequent generations raised from seed will produce successively fewer fertile seeds. Also the flower colour frequently reverts to plain yellow in the offspring and I suspect the size and number of flowers may also diminish over a number of generations."

Sounds like you can only take cuttings for propagation? I know they root well because I did it last year (see above).

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 3:20PM
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Well to confuse matters more, a few weeks ago I purchased several hanging baskets of purslane from Lowe's. They are the same scarlet as pictured above. The flowers close before sunset, and on the only cloudy day since I planted them they remained closed all day (a few flowers opened, but not in mass as before).

The baskets are marked "Purslane Wine Asstd. / Portulaca umbraticola", and indicate, "Drought tolerant when established. Vigorous, low growing annual with thick, fleshy, oval leaves. Displays an abundance of flowers in a wide range of single colors or bi-colors. Thrives in hot weather and ordinary garden soil." Height: 1" - 4" Width: 8" Temp: 32F They're tagged Altman Plants, Giddings, Texas.

Whereas the Lowe's tags are marked "Purslane portulaca oleracea" and "trailing annual". Height: 3" - 6" Width 18" - 24"

Having read that they're edible, today I sampled it. The flower lacked any noticeable taste, though the leaf was fruity with a very slight, insignificant bitter finish. I read the taste described as lemony, but surely the tastes are cultivar dependent.

I've had wild purslane pop-up a few times. It's leaves are an attractive dark burgundy. I've always pulled or killed it prior flowering, but that was before I knew what it was, that it flowered, and had planted an ornamental version due to the beauty of the flowers alone. Hopefully another of these 'weeds' will sprout so I can see it to flower.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2014 at 10:35PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

About six years ago, I bought some purslane labelled as "Tropical Sunset". It was a mix of colors: red, hot pink, orange, and yellow. They are the most carefree plant I grow in my deck pots. They forgive me if I don't water but every few days and bloom nonstop from May to frost in November. AND, they never fail to come back from seed. Each spring, I pull out the pansies that grow in those boxes all winter and once temps warm up, the seedlings emerge. Thinning is all that is required. I suppose at that point, they are weedy, but they are very welcome weeds!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2014 at 6:04PM
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bugbite(z9a FL)

I tried the Toucan series of purslane from seed. They were fun but not as great as the vegetatively propagated varieties. In the spring you can pinch these and put them in the ground to propagate.
I do have the weed type also, that I pull.
Actually have a nice Toucan that over wintered. I say nice, but actually the plant is nice. But the blooms not so much. The color is beautiful, but the flowers are smaller and not abundant.
Always felt that if I wanted many good purslanes I would buy one nice mother plant and pinch it heavily immediately and try to get many plants from it.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2014 at 1:44PM
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conchitaFL(10 Hutchinson Island)

> someone is selling baskets of a common weed .... man you gotta give that old entrepreneurial spirit a high five.. lol .

Portulaca is a popular summer replacement for winter annuals hereabouts, but I for one would be thrilled to have a nice full basket of the weed purslane. It's my favorite salad green, both delicious and one of the most nutrient-dense greens around. Only in North America is it considered a noxious weed--you pay plenty for a bunch in a market in France, for instance.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2014 at 1:54PM
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bugbite(z9a FL)

No Problem :-)
Buy purslane seeds for the salad type at Geoseed:

5000 seeds for $3.50
Toucan Seed: 100 seed for $3.25.

I have purchased seeds from Geoseed for years because of price and service and a huge selection of seeds.
Some people think they only sell to wholesalers and growers, but that's incorrect. They will sell you 1 package if you want.

Here is a link that might be useful: Geoseed

    Bookmark   November 22, 2014 at 2:36PM
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