Surprisingly delicate exquisite flower won the gardeners with its unpretentiousness and naive beauty. Being popular in Europe as early as the Middle Ages, today in many European countries Portulaca grows as a field weed breeding self-sowing. Despite this circumstance, for many gardeners, Portulaca is a welcome guest in a flower bed, and the matter is not only in the bizarre flowers of the plant, but also in the long flowering period – from June to August.
Portulac is a large-flowered plant heat-resistant, therefore, in order to achieve abundant flowering, it is necessary to plant it in the most lighted place, keep this in mind! It is desirable that the place where the portulaca will grow is dry and warm, so I try to plant the plant at elevations, near the southern wall of the house, the benefit of the flower bed is very well located.
Portulaca is so thermophilic that even at + 10 ° C and below its leaves begin to fall off, so seedlings can be planted in open ground only closer to the middle of June. When planting, maintain a distance between plants of at least 15 cm.
I sow portulaca quite early (in mid-March) in small containers, on the bottom of which I fill a layer of fine gravel (about 0.5 cm), then fill the containers with soil. On the soil I want to say separately: the universal earth mixture I used to grow most of the plants in this case is not suitable. The reason is that it contains peat, the presence of which greatly complicates the emergence of portulac seeds. I prepare the earth mixture on my own, for which I take simple garden soil and add about 20% of ordinary sand to it. I will definitely disinfect the prepared mixture: I scatter it on a baking sheet, put it in a hot oven for half an hour. Only after such a heat treatment I use it for seeding portulaca.
Capacities filled with soil should be thoroughly moistened with settled, or even better, melt water, and only after that you can start planting.
The seeds are laid out with a step of about 1 cm apart and slightly, about 0.5 mm, push them into the soil. Above these containers from thin (prepared in advance) twigs I build a frame and cover it with a film – it turns out a mini-greenhouse.
Portulaca, as I wrote above, is very thermophilic, so its seedlings, literally from the first days of life, need warmth – not below + 22 ° C. To provide young plants with maximum illumination, I place the containers with them on the lightest windowsill in the house, near the radiator.
After the seedlings acquire a couple of true leaves, they need to dive into small (about 7-8 cm in diameter) pots.
With insufficient lighting, watering and lack of heat, portulaca seedlings grow very slowly and stretch out. With heat, thanks to the stretched film, the problem can be solved quickly, with water too (I water the plants as needed with warm settled water, trying to prevent the ground from drying out). But with the lack of light at the end of March, when the portulaca seedlings have already grown and want to actively develop, everything is a little more complicated. I compensate for the lack of natural light with electric light, for which I use an ordinary table lamp. Completing has to be long enough: until 9 am and in the evening, as soon as it begins to get dark, in cloudy weather – throughout the day.
Portulaca reproduces perfectly by cutting, for which the samples you like most during the winter period should be removed to a cool place. In the spring, cut the cuttings about 5 cm long and, having removed all the lower leaves, plant the purslane in the prepared soil.
Portulaca needs regular, but not very frequent watering: I do it every 4-5 days with warm defended water. Especially important is watering during dry periods, hot days, when the moisture in the soil is not enough for the plant – remember this!
Portulaca is an unpretentious plant that almost does not need additional feeding, it blooms equally beautifully on rich and poor lands. Even where the ground is sandy, with large admixtures of clay, any type of portulaca grows beautifully.
The portulaca genus combined over 200 species of perennial and annual herbaceous plants, which included succulent plants (with succulent stems or leaves). As a garden plant today they grow only one species – Portulaca grandiflora.
Although portulaca grandiflora
A perennial creeping plant, in culture it is grown as an annual, using most often in borders and stony gardens, window boxes and container culture.
A relatively small in height, about 20 cm, portulaca grandiflora attracts attention with beautiful flowers and fleshy leaves of cylindrical shape. Flowers can be different in color: white, yellow, coffee, red.
In height portulaca oleracea reaches only 30 cm, the stems are strongly branched, fleshy leaves oblong-spatulate. It blossoms rather inconspicuously – small light yellow flowers. But after all, it is not grown as a garden plant, the main value lies in the unique healing properties.