What Is Ice Plant Succulent
An ice plant succulent is a general name of the Lampranthus, which belongs to the Aizoaceae family. They are native to Africa and well known for their ability to survive in cold temperatures and colorful daisy-like flowers. They can also grow to 2-feet, so it makes them the world’s best tall succulents.
Benefits of Ice Plant Succulents
To start with, they are beautiful; they are known as spectacular bright flowering succulents. They are easy to take care of as they require minimal care and they are drought-resistant ground covering succulents. Their flowers are desired by many insect species as well, so if you are looking for a plant that will attract bees and butterflies, ice plant succulents are the best choice for you.
How Do Ice Plant Succulents Work
Ice succulents, also known as Lampranthus, have more than 150 species with different colors and shapes of flowers. They were first introduced to the US by Panayoti Kelaidis in 1990. Although they have very large and beautiful flowers, their leaves have very small palettes. They are usually cylindrical and blue-green in color. They have little transparent spots on top of them, which gives them an icy look, probably why they are cold the ice plant succulent.
Pros and Cons of Ice Plant Succulents
- Easy to take care of.
- Resistant to cold temperatures.
- Have very beautiful colorful flowers.
- Might be hard to take care of in colder environments.
- Hard to have it indoors since they are very invasive.
- Can get attacked by birds.
- Releases salt into the soil.
Types of Ice Plant Succulents
They are scientifically known as Delosperma brunnthaleri that have quite large yellow flowers.
Purple Ice Plant
This type of ice succulent that have pink or purple flowers in spring.
Red Ice Plant
A more frost tolerant type of ice plant that blooms bright red flowers all year long.
Orange Ice Plant
They are known as Lampranthus aurantiacus, a spring blooming ice-type succulents with orange flowers with yellow centers.
Trailing Ice Plant
This type has magenta flowers with very large pallets. Flowers might have either yellow or bright pink centers.
Ice Plants Succulent Requirements
Their light requirements are simple. FULL SUN AT ALL TIMES. Literally! They love sunshine; in fact, their maximum flower opening capacity is usually reached in sunny weather. So putting your succulents in a sunny spot is a must.
Ice plants thrive so well in poor soil conditions. To survive, they require well-draining, almost rocky, gravel soil with natural pH. They can survive in low nutrient soils but never give them soils that are high in clay.
As with all of the succulent types, ice plants don’t require watering and are very resistant to drought. However, they do want to be watered maybe once a week in a really hot summer. Try to wait until the soil gets significantly dry.
Temperature and Humidity
Yes, they are pretty resistant to cold, but they definitely don’t tolerate the icy cold weather… unlink their name. As they have so many types, the plant’s temperatures can survive in depends on the type, but they generally like warmer temperatures and even hot. So when it comes to humidity, we can say as little as possible.
We already mentioned that they really thrive in poor soil conditions, so fertilizer is not a must. If the blooming sparse or if you are growing ice succulent plant in a container, then it might be nice to feed some fertilizer. Also, choosing fertilizer based on the type of your plant is important.
Although they don’t have many pests, they can be affected by pests when left in damp conditions and poorly managed. Fungi, mealybugs and whiteflies are the number one pests for the succulent ice plant.
Methods of Ice Plant Propagation
Most succulent types needed to be propagated once the year is over for them to be more healthy. It comes in handy to understand the transplanting requirements of your succulent.
If you take care of your plant in a pot, the best thing you can do is division. You repot your succulent. Remove the succulent from the pot and divide the root into 2-3 separate plants. Then replant the succulent.
Taking a cutting from the mother plant is the fastest way to propagate. You need to get cuttings when the plant is actively growing while spring. Clean the cuttings and let them dry overnight. Ten, you can plant them.
Just like all plants, succulents as well can grow from seeds. However, as ice succulents are very fast-spreading, it’s easier to grow them with cuttings than seeds.
How to Grow Ice Plant Succulents
As we are talking about succulents, they are already very easy to take care of, but we will still share a step-by-step guide about growing ice succulents.
Step 1 – Take the Cuttings
The easiest way to start growing succulents is to take cuttings. You can get cutting from any mother plant. Just cut the newly growing leaves or buds. Let them dry a bit and they are ready to be planted.
Step 2 – Plant directly or use a container
You can plant them directly into the ground or you can use a container. They don’t like rich soils, so that you can use regular cacti soil and even gravel.
Step 3 – Put the plants in the sunny area
Once you plant them, place them in a sunny area to support root growth. Succulents, in general, appreciate the warmth and lots of sunlight. If you have planted your succulents in a container, make sure to leave drainage holes for the ater to run out.
Step 4 – Be careful about your plant getting invasive
Since they are plants that spread. Once you provide excellent dessert conditions to it, it will cover your whole ground. Your plant will only need once a week or even less watering, so basically forgetting your plant works the best.
How to Care for Ice Plant Succulents
Step 1 – Put the plants in the sunny area
Plant them in sunny areas with poor soil. Avoid clay soils. In a cold climate, plant them in mid-summer and if you live in very hot climates, plant them in autumn.
Step 2 – Water once in a while
Watering them only once in a while will do the trick but don’t water them during winter since that makes them have frostbite easily. Instead, during cold weather, cover them with frost blankets to protect them from the harsh cold.
Step 3 – Give it enough moisture
Mulch around the roots of the succulents with gravel. That will help them keep the good amount of moisture. Don’t worry about fertilizer since they already thrive so well in poor soil conditions.
Do’s and Don’ts With Ice Plant Succulents
- Water them whenever the soil is dry.
- Give them enough sunlight at all times.
- Get an LED lamp that suits your plants’ needs.
- Try minimal maintenance dolphin succulents.
- Get yourself some premium Haworthia succulents.
- It might be nice planting a wide variety of Echeveria succulents.
- Leave the soil damp.
- Leave the succulent in low sunlight.
- Let it sit under cold temperatures.
FAQ About Ice Plant Succulents
Why is ice plant bad?
As we already mentioned, it is quite invasive and releases salt into the soil, which makes the soil impossible for other plants to grow.
Do ice plants come back every year?
It actually depends on the hardiness zone. If you are in zone 6-8, it grows as perennial, but if you are in zones 4-5 (more wet climates), it is only annual.
Is ice plant toxic?
All varieties of ice plants appear to be non-toxic both for humans, pets and other animals.
Can I grow an ice plant indoors?
You can grow them indoors; in fact, they make perfect hanging succulents, but they are unlikely to bloom unless you place them in very sunny areas.
Is ice plant fast-growing?
They are indeed very fast growing. Especially its roots spread really quickly in grassy land.
Why do my ice plants keep dying?
There are many reasons why your succulents might be dying, but watering is the biggest thing. Too much watering can lead to leaves falling off your succulents.
Is the ice plant a good ground cover?
It is the best best. They have the amazing spreading capability. In fact, they can even be quite invasive.
Does the ice plant need full sun?
Yes, it does. They adore the sun literally, even on the sunniest days. Low-light succulents can’t survive without sunlight.
To sum up, ice plant succulents are getting their name from the transparent-looking patches on their leaves. They are slightly cold-resistant types of succulents that’s origin is from Africa. They need full exposure to the sun and they can thrive in drought and poor soil conditions. They are excellent choices for your garden if you want ground covers. Unfortunately, they are not a nice choice if you want to plant multiple succulents or other plants since they release salt into the soil.