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In the plant kingdom, you find many species with the same common name, ice plants. Yet, the most popular ones are the Delosperma and Lampranthus. These are your warm-weather perennial groundcover plants that return every year.
The plant blooms are bright can colorful. Today we will look at caring for the purple ice plant or Delosperma haworthii.
Caring for Purple Ice Plants
The name ice plant comes from the tiny hairs found on the foliage; when light reflects on it, you see a resemblance to ice crystals. The foliage is succulent-like and changes to darker shades when temperatures drop.
Yet, in warm climates, the plant grows as an evergreen. You find the plants in spreading form as ground cover and can have a bushy growth depending on the type. The ice plants bloom in spring and can continue throughout the growing season.
These are fast-growing plants that look fabulous in rock gardens. Yet, you can also grow them in containers as they fill up the pot fast, spilling over the sides.
Ice Plant Succulent Preferred Soil Mix
It needs dry soil with good drainage for your ice plant, ground cover, or growing as container plants. Your ice plants are drought-tolerant plants that do not enjoy standing in constantly moist soil or dense clay soil. It prefers a mix of sandy loam or gravel soils and need not be rich in nutrients.
The Best Light for Purple Ice Plant in Rock Gardens
Whether you grow your ice plant in a container or a rock garden, it thrives in full sun to flower. If your plant becomes sun-starved, it develops into leggy to weak growth. So, provide your ice plant Delosperma haworthii with at least six hours of direct sunlight.
How Often to Water Ice Plant Succulent
As mentioned, your hardy ice plant loves well-drained and not wet soil. So, water sparingly in the growing season once your plants become established. You can provide weekly watering in dry climates if no rainfall is grown outdoors.
The important thing, whether grown as an indoor plant or outside, is that your plant needs to dry out before the winter months arrive. If you get snow in your region, ensure mulch around your plants to protect them against cold weather. The problem with too much water results in the rotting of the root.
Temperature and Humidity for Ice Plant Flowers
No matter what ice plant you have, not all of them are cold-hardy, making them sensitive to colder climates. The best is to check the USDA hardiness zones where you can grow your plant outdoors as a perennial. If you live in freezing temperatures, it might be best to grow your plant indoors when it comes to ice plant care.
The ice plant Delosperma prefers hot, dry environments.
Fertilizing Your Ice Plant Flowers
A helpful thing for most ice plants is to add compost to the well-drained soil or use a slow-release fertilizer. The best is to follow the instructions provided. Your hardy ice plant does without feeding outdoors but will benefit from feed grown in containers.
It will help your plant bloom and deliver healthy growth.
Getting Your Ice Plants to Bloom
The blooms for ice plants vary from one species to another. Yet, it displays daisy-like flowers in vivid colors with narrow petals when it does flower.
The blooming period is in spring and can last for weeks. You may even see some species blooming more than once a year.
If you want your ice plant to bloom more often, it helps to deadhead buds by removing the spent flowers. Also, provide your plants with enough light and a boost of fertilizer or compost.
Ice Plant Propagation
One thing that you will love about ice plants is that they can self-seed to propagate if you leave them alone naturally. The stems spread from the parent plant and start rooting by themselves. You can then snip the stem or dig it up carefully to transplant.
Alternatively, you can use the division method as it helps to revive your mature plants. The best time to divide your mother plants is during spring. You can also do this when repotting your ice plant into the new soil.
Another notable thing is as they do spread fast, they are invasive species that need to be planted by themselves on sunny slopes or in a garden bed.
Ice Plant Variety
Here are some of our favorite ice plants you can grow in the garden or at home:
It is a hardy ice plant you can grow as a ground cover in the landscaping. It reaches two inches tall and two feet wide. The suitable hardiness zones are four to nine and display yellow flowers.
Delosperma floribundum Starburst
The starburst loves gravelly soils, and it is a mat-forming cultivar with gorgeous pink flowers with white centers. It grows six inches tall and is suitable to plant outdoors in zones six to ten.
The plant displays magenta flowers and can grow up to six inches tall in zones six to ten.
It is another ice plant with bright orange flowers with an upright growth that reaches up to 18-inches tall in zones nine to eleven.
Common Pests and Problems
The most significant pests are aphids and mealybugs, which become a problem. You can look at the leaves or the stems to find the sticky residue left behind by these insects. You can use some rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab for small infestations.
Other problems can be leaves falling off with stems withering. Finally, it can be root rot due to overwatering. For this reason, providing well-draining soil is crucial, leaving it to dry completely in between watering. If you notice yellow leaves, it also results from overwatering.
Frequently Asked Questions
This succulent plant has become a famous indoor plant. Although they’re outdoorsy in their natural habitat, they can also be grown indoors near a sunny window. It’s more likely to thrive if you have high humidity at home.
Watering issues, inadequate light, and potting media is the leading cause of why succulents die. Succulents don’t like to be overwatered, as it can lead to root rot. Instead, succulents can store water in their stems and leaves. So they can survive with less watering.
They need bright light to grow healthy. Placing plants in a very dark corner of your house is not ideal. If not enough light is getting into your home, invest in an artificial light source. Potting mix is also one of the reasons why your plant will look unhealthy. Use succulent or cactus mix in a pot with excellent drainage.
As mentioned above, if your ice plant is grown in a container, slow-release fertilizer is necessary to help your plant to bloom. You can also add compost to your mix during its growing period to encourage healthy roots, stems, and foliage, leading to healthy blooms. Remember, exposing them to bright light also benefits the ice plant to flower.