ICE PLANT

FAMILY: Aizoaceae | GENUS: DELOSPERMA

TYPE
  • Perennials
  • Succulents
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Partial Shade
WATER
  • Drought Tolerant
  • Moderate Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • US (Upper South) / Zone 6
  • MS (Middle South) / Zone 7
  • LS (Lower South) / Zone 8
  • CS (Coastal South) / Zone 9

Plant Details

Along with a few other genera, these low-growing succulents are all known as ice plants. Delosperma species, most of which hail from South Africa, are the best ice plants for the South (they do particularly well in the Southwest). They never grow more than a few inches high but spread to form ground-hugging mats ideal for covering a bank or slope. Daisylike flowers (about 2 inches across) appear above the small, succulent leaves, which may be cylindrical or flattened. Need full sun, good drainage, and just enough water to keep them looking fresh. Mulch with gravel to keep base of plant dry. Withhold water in fall to harden off plants for winter.

ashton's ice plant

delosperma ashtonii

  • Zones MS, LS, CS; USDA 7-9.
  • Dark lavender-pink flowers with yellow centers bloom over a long period in summer, held on 4- to 6 inches-tall stalks above gray-green leaves that are broader than those of most other species.

delosperma congestum 'Gold Nugget

  • Summer into fall, butter-yellow blossoms emerge from tight clumps of beadlike, dark green leaves.
  • Grows inches tall, up to 9 inches wide.
  • Foliage turns red in winter.

purple ice plant

delosperma cooperi

  • Zones MS, LS, CS; USDA 7-9.
  • Purple flowers appear all summer above light blue-green foliage.
  • To 35 inches tall, spreading quickly to 2 feet across.
  • Hardy to 0F if protected by snow or mulch.

delosperma dyeri 'Red Mountain

  • Forms a neat carpet 24 inches high and 1020 inches wide.
  • Summer flowers are pinkish red, fading to bronze with creamy white centers.
  • Good ground cover.

delosperma floribundum 'Starburst

  • Glowing lilac-pink blooms, each with a central white eye, appear above shiny, deep green foliage from summer to fall.
  • Grows 4 inches tall, 1020 inches wide.

delosperma hybrids

  • Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8.
  • Kelaidis, also called Mesa Verde ice plant, is a vigorous, cold-tolerant hybrid that grows 2 inches high and 12 feet wide, with pale salmon-pink flowers (112 inches across) from spring until fall.
  • John Proffitt, Table Mountain ice plant, is similar but has fuchsia flowers.
  • Both make excellent ground covers.

hardy ice plant

delosperma nubigenum

  • Only 12 inches tall, spreading to 3 feet Cylindrical lime-green leaves turn red in winter.
  • Bright yellow flowers, 11 inches wide, are borne in great profusion in late spring.
  • Excellent ground cover.
  • Very cold hardy, surviving to 10F.
  • Basutoland is an improved form that reaches 24 inches tall.

tufted ice plant

delosperma sphalmanthoides

  • Tight mat of gray-green foliage grows only inches high and 8 inches wide.
  • Early spring show of pinkish purple flowers.

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