Growing Purslane hydroponically
Purslane is an interesting plant. It is a succulent with a large stem and rather fleshy leaves. The leaves are edible and have been shown to be rather high in omega 3 content. Purslane also has a decent amount of vitamin A as well. As far as plants go, Purslane is often cited as having one of the highest amounts of omega 3s of any vegetable. Because Purslane is a succulent it can be challenging to grow in a hydroponic system.
Tips for growing a succulent such as Purslane in a hydroponic system
Purslane and other succulents tend to do best when grown in some type of media where the water can drain away. Purslane also seemed to do better with a slightly lower electrical conductivity (EC) as far as nutrient strength is concerned. Where as some leafy green vegetables do well with an EC of 3.0 or a bit higher, Purslane seemed to perform better below the 3.0 EC level. An inexpensive single part grow nutrient solution performed adequately when growing Purslane and did not appear to show signs of any deficiencies. We chose to use General Hydroponics MaxiGro powder nutrient solution. In our initial attempt to grow Purslane hydroponically we started the plants by seed in an aeroponic system initially misting nonstop. We lost several plants and then changed the misting pattern to intermittent. By the time the plants were large enough to transplant into the larger system they had developed a decent amount of aerial roots above the water line which may have contributed to the survival rate of those remaining plants. About 30% of the plants we started with survived to make it to full-size. When we grew Purslane outside in our soil garden the results were a much better survival rate and the plants even appeared to grow faster. Soil just tends to be a bit better suited to growing succulents although it is possible with the right approach to grow a succulent such as Purslane in a hydroponic environment.