Information About Ice Plants

Information About Ice Plants

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Delosperma Kelaidis Info: Learn About Delosperma ‘Mesa Verde’ Care

By Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer

It is said that in 1998 botanists at the Denver Botanical Garden noticed a naturally occurring mutation of their ice plants. These salmon-pink flowering ice plants were patented and introduced as Delosperma kelaidis ?Mesa Verde.? Learn more here.

How To Grow An Ice Plant And Purple Ice Plant Care

By Heather Rhoades

Looking for a drought tolerant but lovely flower to fill in a troublesome dry area in your garden? You may want to try planting ice plants, which can add a bright splash of color to the garden. Learn more here.


Ice Plant Profile

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

There are many genera and species that carry the common name of "ice plant." Two of the most popular genera are Lampranthus and Delosperma cooperi. These plants are warm-weather perennials with brightly colored flowers, including pink, purple, red, yellow, and orange. The name ice plant derives from tiny hairs on the plant that reflect light in a manner that resembles ice crystals. The foliage is fleshy and succulent-like and morphs into a darker color as fall temperatures drop.

Ice plants can take the form of everything from a spreading ground cover to a bushy subshrub, depending on the type. They typically bloom best in spring and often bloom again later in the growing season. In sunny areas, some types flower virtually all summer long. In fact, ice plant can be such a rapid spreader under the right conditions that it has been deemed invasive in some areas. Ice plants are best planted by mid-summer in cooler climates, but in hot climates, fall planting is preferred. In warm regions, many types of ice plant are evergreen.

Botanical Name Delosperma spp., Lampranthus spp.
Common Name Ice plant
Plant Type Herbaceous perennial
Mature Size 3 to 24 inches tall and 12 to 24 inches wide, depending on variety
Sun Exposure Full sun
Soil Type Dry, sandy, well-draining
Soil pH 6.1 to 7.8
Bloom Time Spring, Summer
Flower Color Pink, red, purple, yellow, orange
Hardiness Zones 6 to 11, depending on variety
Native Area Southern Africa
The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

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The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

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The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

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The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova


Light

All varieties of ice plants grow and bloom best in full sun. Their flowers tend to open to their fullest extent under sunny conditions and plenty of sunshine helps prevent the plant from becoming leggy.

The key to growing ice plants is to provide sandy (or gravelly), well-draining soil with a neutral soil pH. This plant is fine in soil that's low on nutrients, but avoid clay soil and any location where the plant will sit in water. Ice plants will rot and die if they're left in wet soil for a prolonged period.


Hardy Ice Plant

Hardy ice plant (Delosperma nubigena), also called cloud-loving hardy ice plant, is a variety of ice plant that is evergreen, meaning it retains its foliage color year-round. It has a rapid growth rate and grows 2 inches tall with a 3 foot spread. The solitary, daisy-like flowers on hardy ice plant are yellow to chartreuse and emerge in spring to light up the plant. The shiny, bright green, thick and fleshy leaves on hardy ice plant grow just over 1 inch long and cast a red tinge in fall. Hardy ice plant is drought-tolerant and grows best in full sun to light shade and well-drained soil. Plant in USDA zones 6 to 9.


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