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How to sow and grow winter purslane

This compact purslane has fun spade-shaped leaves. The whole plant is edible, full of vitamins and minerals, and delicious. Purslane is cold resistant and can survive even severe frost.
Winterpostelein in de Makkelijke Moestuin
Winter purslane

What is winter purslane?

Winter purslane is an annual plant that can tolerate severe frost. That makes it one of the few vegetables you can eat fresh in winter. Winter salads? What a treat.

Purslane originally comes from North America and Greenland. The plants came to Europe via Cuba. In parts of the US it was a staple vegetable for Native Americans. During the gold rush in the 1800s, miners ate winter purslane to fight off scurvy in early spring, when they didn't have enough vitamin C.

Purslane sows itself - with help from ants. The seeds include elaiosomes, which the ants love to eat. They drag the elaiosomes, and the rest of the seed with it, to their nests. That's how the seeds are sown naturally.

Tasty and healthy

Purslane is a true superfood. It's rich in minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. It also contains vitamins A, B, C, and E. So, plenty of antioxidants.

Winter purslane is one of the few vegetables that also contains omega 3. You can taste it too if you focus on the flavor.
Winterpostelein bevat als een van de weinige groentes omega 3
Superfood 🙂

More about our winter purslane seeds

Our purslane is compact, delicious, and does great in winter. It can even handle severe frost. It tastes even better than your average purslane and is very easy to grow. The whole plant is edible, packed with vitamins and minerals - even omega 3.

  • Species name: common purslane
  • Family: leaf
  • Plants per square patch: 9
  • Height: 10 to 20 cm
  • Sowing time: March - October
  • Sowing depth: 0.5 - 1 cm
  • Time to harvest: 4 - 8 weeks
  • Germination: 15 - 20°C in 5 - 10 days
  • Sunlight: purslane grows best in the shade in summer, the rest of the year in full sun

Want to buy winter purslane seeds? We sell seed bags separately, or you can get them as part of a seed pack:

What do you need to grow your own winter purslane?

Here's everything you need:
  • a 30x30 cm patch with airy, nutrient-rich soil mix
  • purslane seeds
  • a place with at least 4 hours of sunlight a day

In other words, an MM-Mini, or a square patch in a garden box, filled with MM-Mix.

Growing your own purslane in this perfect soil mix is super easy. If you use poor-quality (potting) soil, it's much harder and the results will be disappointing. So just go for the best.
Winterpostelein in een mini-Makkelijke Moestuin
Winter purslane can handle severe frost

How do you sow and grow winter purslane?

Purslane is included in the free Planty Gardening app. Use it, and you'll get step-by-step guidance from seed to harvest.

Each plant goes through a number of stages - we call them levels. The app tells you exactly what to do at each level and checks in when your plants are ready for the next one.

So you don't need to know how to grow winter purslane before you start: the app takes you through every step.

But if you'd like to read more about those steps, here's what the process looks like:
Winterpostelein in hartje winter
Winter purslane after a light snow

Level 1: Sowing winter purslane

Choose a square patch in the 3rd or back row of your garden box. Loosen up the damp MM-Mix and sow like this:
  • poke 9 holes in the patch (no deeper than 1 cm)
  • put 3 to 4 seeds in each hole
  • carefully cover up the holes with soil mix

After about 5 to 10 days, you'll see some brown stems come up. It depends a bit on the weather and the time of year.

Level 2: Winter purslane seedlings

As soon as you see the first seedlings, you know things are going well. They probably won't all come up at once, but give it another day or 2.

Then it's time for the next level.
Zaailingen van winterpostelein
Winter purslane seedlings

Level 3: No thinning necessary

Winter purslane plants remain small, so if clusters of seedlings come up, you can just leave them there. No need to thin them out. 

If you see spots where nothing came up, sow a few more seeds.
Kleine plantjes winterpostelein: uitdunnen hoeft niet
No need to thin out purslane

Level 4: Caring for your winter purslane

After 3 weeks or so, your seedlings will become small plants.

You hardly need to do anything: if the weather's dry, give them some water and remove the odd dead or yellow leaf. Easy 🙂

Purslane grows best in cool weather. If you're growing in summer, give the plants some shade and keep the soil mix moist.

Other than that, there's not much do to. The plants pretty much grow on their own. Even snails leave purslane alone.

But beware: winter purslane likes self-sowing. So, harvest the plants before they start to go to seed.
Jonge winterpostelein plantjes
Young purslane plants pretty much grow on their own

Level 5: Harvesting

About 7 to 8 weeks after sowing, the plants are ready for the first harvest.

Cut or pick the leaves. As long as you leave about a centimeter of stem behind, the leaves will grow back.

This way you can keep harvesting for weeks. The cute white flowers and stems are edible too.
Knip winterpostelein 1 cm boven de grond af
Cut winter purslane off 1 cm above the soil mix

How do you use winter purslane?

Use the young leaves for salad. Stems, flowers, and older leaves are delicious in green smoothies, stir fries, or added raw to mashed potatoes (we call that a Dutch mash pot).
Lekkere recepten met winterpostelein
Endless ways to enjoy winter purslane

Level 6: Harvesting all year long

If you cut leaves off and leave the center of the plants, new leaves will continue to grow. Then you can continue to harvest. I'm still amazed by the huge harvests you can get from just 1 purslane patch. 

If you sow late in the fall, the plants grow more slowly. In the middle of winter, they may stop growing altogether. But as soon as the weather gets milder, they start again. 

After a few harvests, you'll notice that the leaves start looking less appealing. Then it's time to remove the plants and get ready to sow something new.
Van één vak winterpostelein oogst je veel
You'll harvest a lot from just 1 purslane patch

So: ready to grow your own winter purslane?

It practically sows and grows itself and you harvest the tastiest salads from it in the middle of winter.

Plus: our materials and app make it almost impossible to fail 🙂

Order your winter purslane seeds here or get started with a complete starter kit:

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