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Delosperma (Ice Plants)
Frost Hardy Ground Cover, Prolific Spring Blooms
Delosperma (dell-oh-SPERM-uh) (Ice Plants) are a lush ground cover option for dry sections of the garden. They tolerate drought, snow, full sun, and rocky soil. They bloom with a profuse sea of vibrant flowers each spring and summer. This is a quickly growing succulent with glittery green leaves. Many types of plants share the common name "Ice Plant", and Delosperma is one of them. See below for helpful succulent care tips.
- Light: Most hardy succulents require lots of light, so aim to grow them outdoors in full to partial sun, with more shade when temperatures exceed 90F. To grow indoors, keep them on a sunny window sill or use dedicated grow lights, though you may still see them fade to green and stretch. Succulents recently shipped in a box will need up to two weeks to gradually adjust to full, outdoor sun. More info.
- Soil: Like most succulents, hardy varieties grow best in well-draining, gritty soil. Most garden centers sell a cactus/succulent potting soil, or you can add sand to your own soil mix to make a sandy loam. None require fertilizer, but a slow-release, low-Nitrogen (5-10-10) application in the spring will encourage faster growth.
- Water: A cycle of deep soaking followed by time for the soil to fully dry will lead to healthy root development. Young plants will need more frequent watering to establish roots, whereas less water is preferable in winter. If planting in a container, be sure to use a pot with a drainage hole. More info.
- Hardiness: Most of the varieties listed here tolerate deep freeze down to at least -20F (zone 5). A blanket of snow will protect hardy succulents from winter exposure, but in snow-free regions gardeners can use clear covers and bring potted succulents under shelter to prevent standing water and rot. More info.
- Propagation: No propagation work is necessary for Delosperma as it spreads quickly enough on its own. If you wish to transplant or share part of a cluster, simply up-root a section and re-plant elsewhere.