Water shortages are the main cause of ice plants starting to wither or die.
How often should ice plants be watered?
When your ice plant is established, water it just occasionally while it is growing. When there is no rain, one watering every two weeks ought to be plenty, but in hot weather, a weekly watering can be required. Before winter, let your ice plant dry off so that it isn’t languishing in overly moist soil.
When does your ice plant need water, and how do you know?
When the soil absorbs rain but drains quickly, becoming dry to a depth of 12 inches, dry, arid conditions result. Every seven to ten days, deeply water the ice plant, taking into account any rainfall or particularly dry or mild weather conditions. So that the root ball is completely saturated, water the soil to a depth of at least 7 to 12 inches. The plant will wilt and die if not given enough water. The plant requires water if withering is seen. Too much water applied too frequently will prevent the ice plant’s roots from receiving enough oxygen, resulting in root or stem rot, wilting, and death. Before a freeze, avoid watering the ice plant because the extra moisture could cause it to freeze and perish. The state of the plant needs to be checked on a daily basis.
Does Ice Plant require shade or sunlight?
Ice plant quickly creates a low carpet of succulent foliage that adds texture and interest even when these sun-loving perennials are not in bloom, making them ideal for sunny slopes or rock gardens. Once established, there are few plants that are simpler to manage because they don’t need any specific maintenance. The term “ice plant” refers to the tiny, shimmering spots that appear to be ice crystals on the leaf. Ice plant, which may reach a height of 6 to 8 inches, blooms all summer long with vivid daisy-like flowers in purple, pink, or yellow. It resists drought and deer. Zones 5-9.
If you have any inquiries about caring for ice plants, please email us, and one of our specialists will respond.
Ice Plant Growing Instructions
Ice plants need a bright location with at least 6 to 8 hours of daily direct sunlight. Although it can survive little shade, it doesn’t blossom as much.
Put it in a soil that drains nicely. The ice plant despises clay and poorly draining soils; if it is planted in an area where there is persistent standing water, it frequently perishes. Ice plants should be planted on a hillside or slope where the soil will swiftly drain after a storm for the greatest results. It works well on raised beds and mounds as well.
Pruning the ice plant is not a concern. This low-maintenance groundcover doesn’t require fertilizing in the majority of soil types, although you can if you’d like.
Add these types to your Ice Plant to complete it:
Agave A few Agaves scattered around the bed will provide an Ice Plant border drama and interest.
Island poppies Iceland Poppy can be used to add splashes of vibrant spring color to your Ice Plant.
Together, Sedum Sedums and Ice Plant make a wonderful combo because they are both equally tolerant of drought and have beautiful leaves.
Varieties: Our Favorites
On sunny, well-drained areas, the classic type of Ice Plant’s gem-like, reddish-purple flowers spread a colorful carpet. From June through September, it blooms. It expands to be 24 inches broad and 6 inches tall. Zones 6-10
Garnet is a wonderful member of the Jewel of the Desert family and blooms from spring to fall with reddish-pink flowers. The Jewel of the Desert Garnet has a 24 inch width and a 6 inch height. Zones 5-9
With the snow-white blossoms of the ice plant “Desert Moonstone,” you may cool up hot, sunny areas of your landscaping. The center of each blossom is bright yellow. It blooms from spring through fall and is 6 inches tall and 24 inches broad. Zones 5-9
A must-have choice for rock gardens and slopes, “Peridot” ice plant has bright yellow flowers with white centers. It grows to a 6-inch-tall, cheery groundcover that can withstand drought. From late spring through early October, it blooms. Zones 5-9
This variety features blossoms that are colorful! The flower has a white center that heats to a golden-yellow, then an orange, and ultimately a red color at the margins. It expands to be 24 inches broad and 6 inches tall. Zones 5-9
‘Jewels of the Desert Topaz’ ice plant produces multitudes of amber flowers with white centers all through the summer. It is hardy in Zones 5-9. It grows just 6 to 8 inches tall, like other ice plant kinds.
This perennial groundcover has many benefits, including slow growth, tolerance to dryness, and lengthy flowering. It blooms intermittently from spring to fall, reaching heights of 6 inches and a width of 24 inches. Zones 6-9
Wow! Hot pink flowers are intermittently available all season long on this simple groundcover. Furthermore, it is almost “plant it and forget it” easy to maintain. The Wheels of Wonder Hot Pink ice plant spreads out to be 24 inches wide and 6 inches tall. Zones 6-9
If you want vibrant orange blossoms in your garden, plant this low-maintenance groundcover. It grows 6 inches tall and 24 inches broad and blooms intermittently during the spring, summer, and fall. Zones 6-9
How is an Ice Plant taken care of?
Delosperma cultivation success factors include:
- Plant them in soil that drains quickly and in a sunny location. It is excellent to have sandy, sandy loam, or gravelly soils. Garden loam is OK in drier climes, but avoid clay everywhere.
- In colder climates, plant by mid-summer to establish themselves for the winter. In Southwest US regions with scorching summers, fall planting is advised.
- As Delosperma originate from regions of South Africa that receive summer rains, water them frequently (weekly) throughout the summer heat.
- But during the winter, keep them dry. I advise covering the plants with a piece of row crop cover (frost blanket) in areas where snow accumulates on the ground during the winter to keep the foliage and crowns dry.
- When the stems of ice plants grow over the top of the gravel, which keeps their roots damp and their leaves and stems dry, they thrive and adore the gravel mulch (by not sitting in contact with wet soil over the winter). Pine needles or medium grained bark pieces are two other quick-drying mulch options.
- By ceasing or drastically reducing their irrigation in the fall, allow them to completely dry out. In preparation for the upcoming harsh winter, they must contract and become harder. By the first heavy frost in late fall, lush, vigorously growing plants frequently perish.
- In mid-spring, remove any stems that have sustained winter damage.
- Use only one application of organic or natural fertilizer in the fall. When fertilized often during the growth season, ice plants are extremely vulnerable to winter mortality because they continue to grow into the fall and remain plump with water in their leaves.
- Space new transplants 15–18″ apart (closer for smaller rock garden varieties) and prepare the soil as little as possible to cover bigger areas with Ice Plants. Each planting hole just has to have a small amount of compost and a handful of Yum Yum Mix.
The winner of the 2016 Plant Select Award is Delosperma “Alan’s Apricot.” Long blooming and extremely cold resilient, Alan Tower of Denver, Colorado has introduced a new hybrid. Next to “Lesotho Pink,” “D. congestum,” and “D. nubiginum,” it may be the most cold-resistant. The shrub has enormous pink flowers that become apricot as the summer progresses. The pastel-colored blossom is best showcased in some midday shade.
Red Mountain Flame of Delosperma dyeri is the 2015 Plant Select Award winner. This is my introduction, which I found in a collection of seed-grown Delosperma dyeri plants that had unintentionally crossed with another species. Large scarlet-orange blossoms cover the shrub for about 4 weeks starting in the middle of spring. Up to zone 6, this choice is consistently cold hardy. When I say that you should wear sunglasses to see the vivid blossoms in the midday sun, I’m not joking. Flame is suggested for planting places that are hotter and drier because of its great heat tolerance.
The greatest long-blooming variety of Delosperma ashtonii is called “Blut,” and it has dark magenta blooms that cover its somewhat flattened, dark green leaves. The attractive foliage is consistently evergreen and develops a lovely plum color in the winter for added decorative impact. This ice plant is extraordinarily long-lived and has good cold resistance. discovered by Kelly Grummons, a nurseryman from Arvada, Colorado.
Winner of the 2009 Plant Select Award is Delosperma Lavender Ice. A lovely, long-blooming variety that spends the majority of the growing season covered with enormous pastel lavender-pink flowers. For best results, combine “Lavender Ice” with “Blut” and other ice plants with magenta or pink flowers. Over the winter, the normally evergreen foliage takes on a reddish hue. introduced by Rye, Colorado’s Perennial Favorites Nursery.
I chose the exceptional variety of Delosperma sp. “Lesotho Pink” from seed that was obtained at a height of 11.000 feet in the high highlands of Lesotho (the mountainous, landlocked country in the middle of South Africa). Brilliant pink blooms cover the tight-growing mat of bright green leaves that emerges in the early to midspring. Very hardy, this Ice Plant blooms early in the spring among the hardy Ice Plants. Does best in locations with cooler summers and higher elevations; not a good choice in hot climates. In the sweltering summer, needs water.
Plant Select Award Winner for 2012: Delosperma Fire Spinner. Late April is when Fire Spinner’s fiery orange and purple flowers bloom, covering the shrub. The focal point of your late spring garden will be a substantial planting of it. It should be noted that planting Fire Spinner in areas with warm winters will prevent the plant from flowering. In zones 5-8, flowering is at its best.
How may an overwatered ice plant be saved?
The more quickly you act, the more likely you are to be able to save your plant. The likelihood that a plant may succumb to rot increases with the amount of overwatering. As you can see from the examples above, there are times when a plant is simply too damaged to be saved.
The plant is essentially drowning from too much water and needs to dry out as quickly as possible if it is exhibiting early signs of overwatering, such as mushy, soft, and pale bottom leaves.
Steps on How To Save an Overwatered Succulent:
- It is preferable to remove the plant from its current location and thoroughly clean the roots of any moist soil.
- For at least three days and up to a week, let the plant to completely dry out.
- The plant should be placed somewhere dry and sunny, but out of direct sunlight to prevent burning of the leaves and roots.
- Replant in an appropriate, fast-draining potting mix once it has dried up; do not water right away. Before watering again, wait about a week and take care not to overwater.
You might get away with leaving the plant alone and not repotting it if you believe it is already in the proper potting mix but you were just excessively watering your plants.
Prior to watering again, wait at least a week and feel the top inch of the soil for moisture. You can water it once more if it feels dry. Your plant needs a new pot if the soil is still moist because the soil it is now in is not drying out quickly enough.
Will The Leaves Grow Back?
Yes. As long as the plant is not decaying, even if you lose a lot of leaves due to overwatering, it will eventually recover. You may soon see fresh growth or tiny leaves along the stems if you allow it time to dry out.
Additionally, you’ll see new growth coming from the plant’s sides, top, or even bottom. When you start to see new growth, your plant is typically out of danger and has fully healed.
Steps on How to Save a Rotting Succulent From Overwatering:
- Check the plant to see how bad the rot is. You may be able to salvage some of the plant if the rot is not too bad.
- Keep any leaf that seems to be reusable. As many leaves as you can preserve for propagation. Leaf propagation can be challenging, so you’ll need as much leaf as you can obtain to give some of them a fighting chance. Ensure you collect the leaf in its entirety, including the base. A broken leaf won’t survive.
- Allow the leaves to dry for a few days by placing them somewhere dry and out of the sun.
- When the leaves are completely dry, either lay them flat on the soil or bury the ends in well-draining potting mix. You can dip the leaves in rooting hormone as an optional step. I tend to skip over this step, but other people prefer to add rooting hormones to boost success rates and expedite the propagation process.
- Avoid direct sunshine and water the soil every few days or if it seems dry. Await the development of new plants and their roots.
Other than leaves, you can also save parts of the stem
- Examine the stem, including the roots, and remove any rotten spots. Save any stem pieces that are still green or healthy. When you cut the stem, you will be able to tell if it is viable or not. If the stem’s inside reveals green, fragile sections that aren’t brown or black, they may have a chance of surviving and can be multiplied to start a new plant.
- Saved stems should be stored in a dry, shaded area. All cuts should calluses and seal after a few days to a week of drying. Dip the stems in rooting hormone, if desired. I tend to skip over this step, but other people prefer to add rooting hormones to boost success rates and expedite the propagation process.
- When the stems are dry, make a well-draining potting mix and place them in it.
- Every couple of days or whenever the soil gets dry, mist. To prevent sun damage, stay out of the sun until your roots are completely established.
You can see that the stem still has a lot of green, healthy sections after removing the decaying portion, indicating that it can be preserved. I placed this stem in soil to root and grow after letting it dry out for a few days.
Overwatered echeveria that has withered. I kept a few of the leaves for future growth.