The Q&A Archives: Seeding of Portulaca

Question: I have approximately 35 ft of portulaca planted along an east facing wall in backyard. When they go to seed I leave them until they have completely died back. Although natural seeding occurs all over the rest of the yard & planters the area where the original plants are located does not re-seed itself. This has been the case for several years now. I remove the new spring plants in unwanted area and transplant along the wall once again. This is becoming a time consuming pain in the neck. I must be doing something wrong or improper in the care & handling at end of season. HELP!

Answer: Portulaca generally self-sows without any encouragement at all! Is it possible that the flowerbed is so thick with plants that the seeds can't make contact with the soil? You might try pulling the plants up at the end of the season, when the seed pods are ripe and shaking the plants over the bed. Seeds should germinate where they fall. The seedlings you're digging from the rest of the yard are from seeds blown by wind, transported by water, or dropped by birds. Try pulling the plants just as the seed pods are ripe and collecting them in a bucket. Then work the bed over, adding organic matter and raking it smooth. When it's all finished, shake the plants upside-down over the prepared bed. Hope this helps you get Portulaca plants right where you want them!

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