There are a lot of different plants that are known by the name ice plant. Ice plants belong to a species known as delosperma cooperi. The delosperma cooperi are warm-weather plants that have an intense red and purple flower color, making them attractive in a range of environments. Installing an ice plant in your garden is a great way to ensure that you will see a lot of color during the late spring and summer, as they are often used for spreading ground cover and can bloom virtually all summer long.
There is a great range of additional plants that are similar to the ice plant delosperma cooperi family, including a range of yellow, orange, scarlet and pink flowers. If you are looking to add some color to your garden during the upcoming late spring/summer growing season, then an ice plant maybe your best option due to their ease of care and beauty.
What is an Ice Plant?
An ice plant is a warm-weather perennial that has intensely bright colored flowers that can be red, yellow, or pink flowers. There is a sizeable range of ice plant delosperma cooperi available, and these are popular plants due to the fact they bloom in late spring and late summer, offering color throughout the growing season.
The name ice plant comes from the tiny hairs that are present on these plants. These tiny hairs reflect sunlight in a manner that resembles ice crystals, hence their name of ice plants. Despite the fact they have ice in their name, the ice plant requires full sun and blooms best during the spring and summer seasons.
This plant hardy ice has beautifully colored flowers, with fleshy foliage. The foliage on the ice plant succulent will mold into a darker color when the temperatures drop, but in the southern part of its range, the foliage can be evergreen.
The ice plant has a great ground cover, while independent plants can spread as much as 24 inches it has also been reported that some icicle plant succulent species can spread up to 4 feet. Ice plants are a great addition to gardens that have full sun, while also offering shelter to prevent the foliage from becoming scorched.
They can be installed in desert gardens, rock gardens, or slopes as a garden cover. They are suitable for warm climates due to the fact they are partially drought tolerant, as this is a succulent ice plant. It is important to note that the hardy ice plant can be invasive in some places.
How To Grow An Ice Plant
The ice plant delosperma cooperi grows best in sunny locations with fast-draining soil. For the delosperma species, many of which are drought tolerant, sandy, or graveling soils are best as these drain water well. The hardy ice plant should be installed mid-summer for those living in colder climates, but in hot locations, these plants thrive during fall planting when the temperatures are slightly cooler.
As the hardy ice plant has a good ground cover, it is important to give them enough space. This means placing these delosperma plants around 15 to 18 inches apart, as they will quickly spread to fill the space and give you a garden full of hardy pink flowers.
In each hold of the delosperma ice plant, it is a good idea to add a small amount of compost or a time-release fertilizer to help their growth. The delosperma ice plant is fairly easy to take care of during the summer months as they require little water, and only a single dose of organic fertilizer is needed in the fall.
In the heat of the summer, you will need to water the delosperma ice plants every two weeks, but you must avoid more frequent watering than this. This hardy ice plant should be given time to dry out in the fall before winter, as this can improve their chances of surviving the dropping temperatures.
To see your delosperma ice plants bloom again in the spring, make sure to prune out any winter-killed stems, so they do not interfere with the surviving hardy plants.
Light And Soil
Delosperma ice plants require full sun to bloom and flower profusely, which is why they are best in desert gardens and similar hot climates. Some shelter is required to prevent the leaves of these plants from becoming scoured, but as long as this happens occasionally, the hardy plant ice plant should thrive during the summer.
When it comes to seeing success with your delosperma ice plant, you will need to plant them in well-drained soil. As they do not require frequent water like other plants, the ice plant thrives in well-drained, dry soil, much like other succulent plants.
Most of the delosperma plant hardy ice species struggle in moist conditions and do not grow at all in dense, clay-like soil. The best kind of soil for the delosperma ice plant is sandy and gravelly as this drains water well.
How Often Should I Water Ice Plants?
Ice plants, like the rest of the delosperma plant species, do not require frequent watering. These are hardy plants that need to be water sparingly during the hot summer months. Watering ice plants once every two weeks is sufficient to see healthy growth and bright flowers. This is only the case during the heat of the summer and in periods where there is no rainfall at all, as this kind of plant does not require constant watering.
You need to let these plants dry out fully during the fall and before winter, as this can improve their chances of surviving the colder temperatures. If snow is a possibility, mulch the ice plants using a dry mulch like straw to help keep them dry during this time.
Can you grow Ice Plants Indoors?
The ice plant spreads readily and is known to take up space of up to 4 feet. While it is possible to take a cutting of the stem to reproduce the ice plant and have it potted wherever you like, as long as the container is large enough for it to grow in without overtaking it.
However, even though this is known as a hardy plant, ice plants are sensitive to cold temperatures, which means in locations north of zone 7, hardiness is not expected at all. You may find success growing ice plants indoors in these locations, as long as they receive sufficient light and heat, but it is not a guaranteed success.
If you are located in these colder locations, then the ice plant can be used annually as it blooms beautifully in the early summer. Shelter and regular mulching are required if you are trying to grow this plant in locations that have snow, as they do not like cold temperatures and can dry out.
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Does the Ice Plant Need Fertilizer?
For those who live in warm locations with long summers, taking care of the ice plant can be quite simple. They do not require more frequent watering than once every two weeks, and a small amount of fertilizer can be used to aid their growth. When planting the ice plant outdoors, it is recommended for you to use compost or a form of slow-release fertilizer to start its growth.
No more fertilizer is required other than a small dose of either more compost of fertilizer, based on what you used first. This small dose of fertilizer should be added in the fall to prepare the plant for the colder temperatures of winter and improve its chances of surviving.
One of the reasons why an ice plant is so easy to take care of in hot climates is the fact it requires no more feeding than this, and it can survive well without feeding whatsoever. Too much feeding of the ice plant can compromise its ability to survive the winter, so this is something you should avoid.
This makes ice plants fairly easy to take care of and quite affordable to maintain as limited material is required if the climate is right. If you are looking for good fertilizer for your location, leave your email address below for our dedicated guide.
Is an Ice Plant Right for me?
This specific species of ice plant comes in a range of different flower species as there are a lot of cousin species. All species have the same requirements when it comes to light and water, making them quite easy to take care of when in warm locations.
For those who want to add color and brightness to their garden, an ice plant is a great option as they are available in bold shades such as yellow, red, orange, and pink. If you are looking for more information regarding the best plant species for your location and climate, sign up for our service using your email address.