Rock Purslane Care: How To Grow Calandrinia Succulents

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The Calandrinia [ka-lan-DREEN-ee-uh] is a flowering plant species from the genus Calandrinia belonging to the Portulacaceae family and native to Chile, also found in some regions of Australia.

The common name for the plant is Rock Purslane. It’s popular as a landscape option in regions of Western North America, such as San Francisco, where it is used as a popular accent plant in dry gardens.

Bright pink flowers of Rock Purslane (Calandrinia Plant)Pin

In frost-free Southern California, this plant will bloom the entire year. To make this plant even more desirable, it really needs no deadheading to keep the petal power going.

There are many plant types of the calandria plant:

  • Calandrinia Spectabilis
  • Cistanthe Grandiflora
  • Calandrinia Grandiflora
  • Calandrinia Umbellata
  • Calandrinia Ciliata
  • Calandrinia Balonensis (Parakeelya)

The Rock Purslane succulent calls these plants cousins:

Tips On Calandrinia Rock Purslane Care

Size & Growth

The Rock Purslane is a perennial plant growing 6″ – 10” inches tall and has a width of 2′ – 3’ feet.

The succulent foliage is very thick and blue-green in color.

They are easy to grow, care for, and are drought tolerant.

They provide ground cover, a great measure to stop the erosion of sandy soils.

It has a 2 – 3-year lifespan.

Calandria Flower and Fragrance

The flowers of the Rock Purslane are one of the main reasons why the plant is so popular in gardens and for cultivation.

The purple flowers rise straight above the foliage and emerge from long stalks in a poppy shape at a height of about 2’ feet.

Different varieties, such as calandrinia spectabilis and pink rock purslane, have flower colors, including pink and magenta.

The pink calandrinia flower grows in small clusters and looks very colorful and intense against the green leaves.

Their bloom time is from mid to late spring well into summer. It produces a breathtaking display of brilliant magenta flowers from spring into fall along tall, slender stems above the evergreen foliage.

The poppy-shaped flowers are around 2” inches in diameter and have a sweet, strong fragrance.

Light & Temperature

Another important aspect to consider in calandrinia spectabilis care is lighting and temperature.

The Rock Purslane plant thrives in temperatures of 55° -60 ° Fahrenheit (13° -15 ° C).

Too much sun can burn leaves and lead to black spots on the leaf surface. This happens when the plant isn’t given enough water or is under stress from too much heat.

If you live in a climate with hot summers, the plant will do wonderfully in light afternoon shade.

If you reside in any other area, the plant will do well in full sun.

calandrinia succulent: Water and Feeding

The succulent Calandrinia is easy to grow and care for and does not require much water because it is drought-tolerant.

Water regularly during the first growing season to establish a root system. Once established, reduce frequency; tolerates drought.

However, novice gardeners may experience rock purslane problems relating to overwatering.

During dry and hot weather, you should be watering it occasionally.

After the ground thaws in spring, it is a good idea to spread a thin layer of mulch around the plant.

Apply a balanced, controlled-release fertilizer or a side dressing of compost in early spring.

This will help the plant grow and bloom.

Soil & Transplanting

As the plant starts to grow, you’ll see roots peeking out the drainage holes or climbing over the pot’s rim in search of more nutrients. This is the time to repot.

The best growing regions for the Rock Purslane are from hardiness zones 3-10; for perennial plants, it is 8-10.

The best possible pH level for the plant is 5-6, but it will also survive in other conditions.

Pruning will also help prevent the spread of disease and pests. Prune the plant in early spring before new growth begins.

If you are growing the plant from seedlings, they should be planted in the soil with a spacing of about 8″ inches.

The soil should be gritty or sandy for the plant to grow well.

Some growers also plant Rock Purslane in containers, but they need to be filled with a good-quality potting mix for this.

Mix in a little coarse sand to ensure the soil drains well.

The Calandrinia plant should be sown at a depth of 0.1” inches in the soil if you plan to plant it outdoors.

Plant it after the last frost of spring to avoid freezing of roots.

If you plant the Calandrias plant in part shade, it will take around 8 weeks for it to start off before you need to put it out in full sun.

Grooming and Maintenance

In late fall, it is a good idea to cut down the plant to around 6” inches to give it the best chance of survival.

When the last frost has passed, you must add a thin layer of mulch around the plant.

Usually, these plants are low-maintenance since they are hardy plants.

They are also drought-resistant and don’t need any fertilizer to thrive.

How To Propagate Rock Purslane

Rock Purslane propagation is easy by taking small plant cuttings from an established plant.

This is a great way to replace any overgrown or old Rock Purslane plants.

You could also wait for the plant to self-seed, but this takes longer and may look haphazard.

Calendrinia Purslane Pest or Diseases

There are no known diseases or pests of the Calandrinia spectabilis rock purslane.

These succulent plants are highly resistant plants found all year round.

They are deer-resistant and don’t have any serious pests.

Related: Deer Resistant Annual Flowers

Rock Purslane Uses

The Calandrinia has been a part of the native history of indigenous Australia.

It was even referenced in 1889 in a book called “The Useful Native Plants of Australia.” Native Australians were known to mix it with baked bark for food.

Europeans also ate the plant with bread. The plant’s seed was also used to make a kind of bread.

The Chilean plant is also used for ornamental purposes in many gardens.

The contrast of the magenta flowers with the blue-green foliage is pleasing to a lot of people.

It is a popular flower in all sorts of rock gardens in most USDA zones.

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