Watering Purslane

Purslane is a flowering annual that makes a wonderful addition to a bed where it grows as a ground cover; or feature Purslane in a container or hanging basket, so the flowering stems can trail. This plant is a succulent, so while it needs water to survive, it has low water needs. Growing Purslane is easy; learning when and how to water this plant will help it grow and thrive in your landscape.


How To Tell If Purslane Needs Watered

It is time to water Purslane when the top one inch of the soil is dry. The soil may appear dry or cracked, but feeling the soil is generally the best way to know when the plant needs water. The stems and leaves may droop or wilt when too dry, although the plant is dehydrated and experiencing water stress by the time it shows these signs. Try to water the plant before it shows signs of water stress.

It is possible to water Purslane too much. This plant is a succulent, so it naturally stores water that is used to sustain itself. Giving the plant more water before it has used up its reserve can cause root rot.

How Often To Water Purslane

Newly planted Purslane will need consistent watering for the first couple of weeks. Regular watering helps the plant acclimate to its new space and recover from any stress related to being planted. Check the soil and water when the top layer is barely dry.

Established Purslane still needs water when the top layer of soil is dry, but these plants are more forgiving of dry conditions. Purslane is drought tolerant and can go for extended periods between getting water. Conditions like sunlight and rainfall impact how often Purslane will need water, so be mindful and check the soil to determine the best time to give the plant water. Overwatering Purslane can cause more harm than good, so wait if you’re unsure about watering. 

Potted Purslane will typically need water a few times a week. Container grown plants dry out more quickly, especially if the pot drains well. Drainage is necessary to support healthy Purslane, but it also means the plant will dry out more quickly. Water when the top inch of the soil is dry, and be mindful of sunlight, rainfall, and even heavy dew that will impact when the plant needs water.


Best Time To Water Purslane

Any time the plant needs water is the best time to give it a drink, but mornings are generally a good time to water Purslane. Early morning waterings allow the plant to soak up the moisture before the hot afternoon sun shines down.

How to Water Purslane

Step 1 - Feel the top layer of the soil 

Water the Purslane if the top inch of the soil is dry to the touch.

Step 2 - Saturate the soil around the plant

Water the soil when possible and keep the foliage dry to prevent fungus and mildew.

Step 3 - Routinely check the plant for signs of over- or under-watering

Adjust your watering schedule as necessary to best serve the plant.

Purslane Watering Tips

  • Inspect the plant for signs of water stress
  • Feel the soil
  • Water when the top layer of the soil is dry.

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Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 04-20-2023