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Can purslane/portulaca be grown under control outdoors?

 
Posts: 19
Location: Taos, New Mexico at 7000 ft. - Zone 5
2
forest garden solar
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OK, folks. I LOVE the taste of purslane. It grows in crap soil next to my fertile soil no problem. But... and this is a big but... will it seed itself relentlessly and will I regret it? This year I'm going to grow lamb's quarters on purpose. It volunteers here and does not seem to spread too far. And... what about this wonderful weed purslane? Such an opportunity... but such fear. What are your experiences?
 
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No! Here in Louisiana it grows in the cracks of the cement. It is relentless. Normally when a plant is used as food, it will give up and move on, not so with this one. I dought that a herd of sheep could keep it under control.
 
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Location: SE Oklahoma
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Mike Musialowski wrote:OK, folks. I LOVE the taste of purslane. It grows in crap soil next to my fertile soil no problem. But... and this is a big but... will it seed itself relentlessly and will I regret it? This year I'm going to grow lamb's quarters on purpose. It volunteers here and does not seem to spread too far. And... what about this wonderful weed purslane? Such an opportunity... but such fear. What are your experiences?



Whether it spreads or not will depend on the soil or probably the ph of the soil. It grew and spread somewhat, but not terribly, at one place I was living. I ate purslane every day there. But where I live now it just doesn't do well. I think it may like acidic soil because the only place around here I've seen it growing well is among the blueberry plants.

I've tried growing it here, brought some home from the blueberry farm, planted it several times and it is tiny compared to normal and barely lives, much less spreads. But it would definitely spread if it likes your soil better than what I have here. It has tons of tiny seeds.

Lamb's quarters seems to only spread in disturbed ground where either the horses or long ago pigs were kept. We have tons of it, but it only seems to spread where there is nothing else well-established already.
 
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Location: USDA Zone 8a
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You might consider growing it in a container.  Mine were the kind with the larger bloom, so maybe a hybrid??  I kept them indoors over the winter one year which worked for me.  I didn't have a problem with their seed spreading.  Rabbits love them so I lost mine.  I had hanging baskets, unfortunately  I set them on the ground so the seeds could get sun and rabbits got the babies.
 
Gail Gardner
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Anne Miller wrote:You might consider growing it in a container.  Mine were the kind with the larger bloom, so maybe a hybrid??  I kept them indoors over the winter one year which worked for me.  I didn't have a problem with their seed spreading.  Rabbits love them so I lost mine.  I had hanging baskets, unfortunately  I set them on the ground so the seeds could get sun and rabbits got the babies.



If you keep them indoors they need to be in a well-heated space. Mine died even indoors at the first really cold night.
 
Anne Miller
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I kept mine in the shower.  We went out of town for Thanksgiving and stayed three weeks, much longer than planned.  

I had put them in a pan of water and pulled the limbs up into a white plastic grocery sack to keep it out of the water.  The only heat was an electric heater to keep the pipes from freezing.  

I am in Texas so you can't predict the weather.  70's last week and got down to 22 this week with freezing rain.
 
Mike Musialowski
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Location: Taos, New Mexico at 7000 ft. - Zone 5
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forest garden solar
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Thanks all! My instinct based on your replies is to not risk it. Someday I may try a part of the land that's isolated from the rest. Purlsane is just too risky.
 
Gail Gardner
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Mike Musialowski wrote:Thanks all! My instinct based on your replies is to not risk it. Someday I may try a part of the land that's isolated from the rest. Purlsane is just too risky.



Grow it somewhere where the seeds can't fall or blow onto soil. That would contain it. Grow it in a container or inside a walled area or next to a retainer wall or fence where you can put cement blocks or pallets or whatever to keep it contained. You could grow it in a deep bucket with the soil down quite a ways from the top.

It likes to crawl on the ground and drop seed downward. You could easily contain it while still getting it sufficient sun. It grew in the shade right next to the front door of a house where I lived. It also seems to like a LOT of water, usually found where water stands first. So if it is dry where you are, it might not want to take off. Also, if the pH doesn't suit it then it won't spread.
 
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