Plant Portulaca, which is also referred to as dander, is part of a family Portulaceae. In nature, it is found in the Northern hemisphere, or rather, in areas with a tropical climate. According to data taken from their various sources, this genus combines 100-200 species.
The plant prefers to grow on sandy wet soil along the banks of various reservoirs, including rivers, and it can be found in fields, gardens, and orchards. The genus name comes from the word “portula”, which is translated from Latin as “small gate, collar”, this is due to the fact that the seed box of the plant opens like miniature doors.
In the middle latitudes, this flower is called “rug”. Even in the middle ages, portulaca was very popular in Europe. However, most often it was grown by the British, while at first, they raised it as a vegetable garden, not a garden crop. Gardeners cultivated only 1 species, namely: Portulaca grandiflora.
Brief description of cultivation
- Landing. In seedlings, seeds are sown in April, and grown seedlings are planted in open soil in June.
- Flowering. It starts in June and ends in the middle of the autumn period.
- Illumination. Needs a lot of bright sunlight.
- Soil. Grows well on rocky or sandy soil, which should be dry and poor.
- Irrigation. Systematic. Its abundance depends on weather conditions and can range from lean to moderate.
- Fertilizer. Does not need feeding.
- Reproduction. Seeds.
- Pest. APHIS.
- Disease. It is highly resistant to diseases but can be affected by the disease, the causative agent of which is the fungus Albugo portulaceae.
- Properties. This medicinal plant has an anti-parasitic effect.
Features of Portulaca Plant
In the middle latitudes, portulaca is cultivated by gardeners as an annual, as it is not able to overwinter in the open ground even under cover. The height of the Bush is not more than 0.3 meters. The root of a flower of branched and spindle-shaped.
Brown shoots are juicy and branched, they are decorated with fleshy leaf plates that are hollow inside, the shape they can be cylindrical or similar to a flattened egg. During flowering, which is observed in June–September, the Bush flowers appear yellow, white and dark red.
Portulaca Perennial or Annual
Portulaca is both annual and perennial plant, and the genus of this plant includes up to 40 species. The lifespan of a single flower only 1 day, by evening it is already fading. However, due to the fact that the flowering is very lush, it may seem that it lasts continuously. The fruit is a multi-seeded box of spherical shape.
In addition to garden Portulaca, which is cultivated in pots, on beds, in hanging containers and baskets, in the garden you can often meet vegetable Portulaca, or garden Portulaca, which is considered as a weed grass and medicinal and salad plant.
Growing Portulaca from seeds
Most gardeners believe that the best way to grow purslane seedlings. However, in opinion, when it is better to start sowing seeds, gardeners disagree. Someone claims that the sowing of seeds should be done in the last days of February or the first ― March, but in this case, the seedlings will need additional coverage.
Other no less experienced gardeners are sure that it is not necessary to hurry and to sow portulaca better in April, as at this time the light day is already becoming longer, and young plants have enough natural light.
Before proceeding to the direct sowing of Portulaca, it is necessary to prepare a suitable substrate for this. The fact is that in any finished soil mixture, sold in a specialized store, contains peat, which helps to slow the germination of seeds of this plant.
To prepare a suitable substrate, connect the garden soil with sand in a ratio of 1:5. Mix everything well and disinfect the mixture, calcining in the oven. Take a low container, at the bottom of which there are holes for drainage, and put a layer of small expanded clay or gravel in it.
Next, a disinfected substrate is poured, which is poured with meltwater (you can take well-settled water). Evenly distribute the seeds on the surface of the soil mixture, the distance between which should be about 10 mm, it is very convenient and easy to do it with a moistened toothpick.
Seeds are not sprinkled on top of the substrate, and they are only slightly pressed into the soil mixture. Then over the capacity is the frame to which the stretched film, as a result, you get a mini-hothouse. It is transferred to such a well-lit place in which the air temperature is not below 22 degrees. However, the best portulaca rises at a temperature of about 30 degrees.
Care of seedlings
If everything is done correctly, then the first seedlings will have to appear after 7-15 days, immediately after that, the shelter is removed from the container. Further care of seedlings is reduced to systematic watering through a pallet, for this purpose well-settled water is used.
If you see that the seedlings are beginning to actively stretch, it means they do not have enough light. In this case, the seedlings are recommended to provide illumination. To do this, it fluorescent lighting in the morning for a couple of hours, and artificial light is turned on for a few hours in the evening. You can also use a simple table lamp for illumination.
If the day turned out to be cloudy, then the lamps are not turned off throughout the day. However, if the seeding would be conducted in April, and the seedlings are to be at the window, South orientation, then they do not need more supplementary lighting.
After the plants form the first pair of these leaf plates, you will need to pick them. For this purpose, small cups are taken, in diameter reaching from 70 to 80 mm, they are planted immediately on three seedlings, and try to keep the earthen lump on the roots.
And after 7 days after they fully take root, they are fed for the first time, using a complex mineral fertilizer. After that, the bushes are fed regularly 1 time in 1-1.5 weeks before the transplant to a permanent place.
Planting of Portulaca in the open ground
What time to plant
Portulaca planted in the open ground around the first half of June, when the threat of return frosts. To do this before does not make any sense, because if the street is colder than 10 degrees, then the bushes will fly around the leaves.
For planting such plants choose a well-lit and elevated area. Remember that if you plant such a flower even in a small partial shade, it will not bloom. And in that case, if the landing will be selected place in the lowland, where there is often stagnation of water, or where groundwater is very close to the surface of the site, then the roots of the bushes can rot, which will lead to the death of Portulaca.
It is best for the cultivation of such a flower suitable sandy poor soil, if the bushes are planted in fertile soil, then they will begin to actively increase the green mass to the detriment of flowering.
Planting in open soil is recommended only after the plants will form from 10 to 15 real leaf blades and a few buds. When planting seedlings, it should be borne in mind that the distance between the bushes should be at least 15-20 centimeters.
After planting the plants in the ground, for the first two or three days, they are provided with daily watering, especially if the weather is dry. The first flowers on the plant will appear after only 6-7 weeks after the appearance of seedlings.
Care of Portulaca
For normal growth and development of Portulaca grown in the open ground, requires systematic watering. Despite the fact that its leaves can retain moisture if the bushes watered untimely, it is an extremely negative impact on flowering.
This flower throughout the growing season do not need any weeding, fertilizing, pruning, and you do not have to loosen the surface of the soil near the bushes. Caring for portulaca is reduced only to timely watering.
Diseases and pests
Even a novice gardener can grow a portulaca, and this is by virtue of the strength and the one who does not have time to care for flowers. In the cultivation of Terry Portulaca also there is nothing complicated since sowing and caring for it is no different from the cultivation of large-flowered Portulaca or vegetable garden.
The gardener problems with such a flower are extremely rare because it has a high resistance to both diseases and harmful insects. But in those years, when a large number of aphids attacks the gardens, portulaca may suffer from it.
In order to get rid of such a sucking pest, experts advise resorting to the help of an insecticide drug. For example, with aphids effectively fights Aktellik, a solution of which is necessary to process, if necessary, re-spraying is carried out after 7 days.
Quite rare, but purslane can affect the fungus Albugo portulaceae. In this case, the patient plants deformed stems, and its foliage formed spots. All affected parts will need to be cut, after which the bushes are treated with a copper-containing fungicide.
Care after flowering
Regularly break off from the bushes all started to wither flowers and remember that if they dry up, because of them you will not be able to notice the ripe fruit, which can open at any time, and its seeds will fall to the ground.
In warm, dry weather, after pollination, seed maturation will be completed in about 15 days. But if in the summer and autumn on the street is quite cool, then the aging of seeds can last for 30 days. In addition, you need to take into account the fact that the seeds that you have just collected, will germinate only with the onset of next spring, but they retain good germination for 3 years.
Useful properties of Portulaca Flower
Portulaca, as a healing plant was known in the days of Galen and Hippocrates. In those days, people were sure that the seeds of such plants contribute to the purification of the body, while its foliage was used as an antidote for snake bites.
Of sheet, plates made a paste, which is used to relieve swelling from his eyes, and took in wine, which helped eliminate the pain in the bladder, and to cure the sick stomach. An Arab healer combined with wine finely chopped leaves of the plant and used the resulting mixture to remove erysipelas, warts and acne treatment.
To date, the official medicine widely used antiparasitic properties of the flower, and doctors advise to include it in your diet for those people who suffer from mild diabetes.
Types and grades of Portulaca grandiflora
This perennial plant comes from South America, but in the middle latitudes, it is cultivated as an annual. The height of this plant is not more than 0.3 m, as it has lodging shoots. Small fleshy leaf plates have a cylinder shape. Single flowers, reaching a diameter of 30-40 mm, are Cup-shaped and can be double or simple.
Externally, the flowers are similar to a tea rose, and they can be painted in cream, yellow, purple, white, beige or red. There are varieties that have a two-color. Flowering long ― from June to the last days of October.
- Double Mix. Terry grade. Most often on sale is found as a mixture of Portulaca seeds.
- Cherry. The height of such a short variety of about 10-12 centimeters, powerful shoots decorate Terry cherry flowers, in diameter reaching about 50 mm.
- A Hybrid Cream. Cream double flowers in diameter can reach about 50 mm, in the middle they have a darker shade.
- Sunglo. This variety is different from the rest of the largest flowers. They are not closed even on a cloudy day, as well as varieties Cloudier and Sundance.
The height of such an annual plant is about 0.3 m. It reproduces very well by self-seeding. In highly branched shoots are the leaf plate is oblong-palmate forms. Yellowish flowers are in the diameter range is from 0.7 to 0.8 cm Grows this kind of groups. Flowering begins in June and ends only at the end of the summer period. It is valued for its medicinal properties and good taste.