This online guide has been created for you to successfully grow a variety of plants that thrive in the tropics, using native seeds and plants to get growing with wise advice from fellow backyard gardeners and farmers.   You are welcome to add your wisdom and share growing and harvest tips and recipes. Send to
Welcome to the Pro-Organic Belize
Tropical Garden Grow Guide

Where you are the student and the teacher


Botanic Name
Portulaca Oleracea
Plant type
Sun Exposue
Full sun to full shade
Soil Types
Wide range, but not too wet
Can grow in drought conditions
Anywhere with a 2 month growing period
Depth to Plant seeds
Cover seeds lightly
Low to ground
8 inches

July 2023

Purslane - Considered a weed, but highly nutritious

Contributed by Karin Westdyk
Also commonly known as pigweed, purslane grows just about anywhere. I have even seen it growing in the cracks of New York City sidewalks. Although commonly thought of as a weed, it is a highly nutritious vegetable plant full of antioxidants, minerals, omega 3 fatty acids and many other beneficial plant compounds.  It is now considered a superfood and is one of the easiest plants to grow.

Though still thought of as a weed by many, purslane is actually a succulent green leaf vegetable that can be eaten cooked or raw. 
It contains over 90% water, has reddish stems, tiny yellow flowers and small succulent leaves. Much like spinach or watercress, with its slightly salty/sour taste, it adds a nutritious dimension to salads, sandwiches, stews, and soups and makes a delightful tasty side dish as well.

Resilient to garden pests and diseases, purslane is also considered a medicinal plant for its antibacterial properties and its ability to strengthen the immune system.

Purslane will thrive in harsh conditions, such as drought, salty, as well as nutrient deficient soils. It can be grown from seeds, a cutting, or piece of stem and will root wherever planted. It spreads easily and takes root sometimes where it is not wanted -- so good to harvest before it goes to seed.

Purslane is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet containing several important minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and copper. It is high in antioxident vitamins such as A, C, E and in smaller amounts, several of the B vitamins.

If not using right away, after picking your purslane, keep it cool as heat will cause its texture to become mucilogenous.


Salad -- Combine sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, a bunch of purslane, salt to taste and extra virgin olive oil.

Side dishes:
Steamed purslane -- Steam with garlic until stems become tender.  Can sprinkle with lemon and mild cheese for added flavor.
Sauted purslane -- Saute with garlic and a splash of soy sauce until tender.

Purslane dip -- Wash purslane and drain in paper towels, then steam for about 5 minutes until it is wilted. Squeeze out any excess moisture and saute in butter and garlic. Mix with unsweetened/unflavored yogurt, adding salt and dill, then chill for about 1 hour and serve with chips, crackers, or bread.

Purslane is a great addition to most stew and soup recipes.

Send your purslane tips and recipes to