Ice Plant: Warm Weather Perennial with Brightly Colored Flowers

Ice Plants

The Ice Plant is a warm weather perennial that gets its common name from the tiny hairs on the plant that resemble ice crystals.

The foliage is soft and succulent-like, turning a darker shade as the temperature drops. The brightly colored flowers come in many different varieties and are perennial in warmer climates.

Common Name Ice plant
Botanical Name Delosperma spp., Lampranthus spp.
Family Aizoaceae
Plant Type Herbaceous, perennial
Mature Size 3-6 in. tall, 12-24 in. wide (depends on variety)
Sun Exposure Full
Soil Type Dry, sandy, well-drained
Soil pH Neutral
Bloom Time Spring, summer, fall
Flower Color Pink, red, purple, yellow, orange, bi-color and tri-color varieties
Hardiness Zones 6-10, USA (depends on variety)
Native Area Africa

Tips for Keeping Your Plants Healthy

  • Ice plants are easy to grow and require little maintenance. They are drought tolerant and can tolerate poor soils.
  • However, they will perform best in well-drained soil with full sun exposure.
  • Water your ice plant regularly during the first growing season to help establish a deep root system. Once established, they are relatively drought tolerant.
  • Fertilize your ice plant once a year in the spring with a balanced fertilizer. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage new growth and extend the blooming period.
  • You can also cut back the plants by half after flowering to promote fresh new growth.
  • Propagating Ice PlantsIce plants can be propagated via seed or stem cuttings. To propagate from seed, plant the seeds in well

Lighting and Temperature

Ice plants grow best in full sun, but they will tolerate partial shade. They are heat tolerant and can withstand temperatures as high as 100 degrees Fahrenheit.


Ice plants prefer dry, sandy, well-drained soil. They are tolerant of poor soils and can even grow in cracks in sidewalks or other concrete surfaces.


Apply a balanced fertilizer to your ice plant once a year in the spring.


Deadhead spent flowers to encourage new growth and extend the blooming period. You can also cut back the plants by half after flowering to promote fresh new growth.


Water your ice plant regularly during the first growing season to help establish a deep root system. Once established, they are relatively drought tolerant.


Ice plants range in size from small groundcovers to larger mounds that can reach up to six inches tall.


Ice plants produce brightly colored flowers in a variety of colors including purple, pink, red, orange, yellow and bi-color varieties. They typically bloom in the spring and summer, but some varieties will bloom into the fall.

Common Pests

Aphids and mealybugs can be a problem for ice-tolerant plants on occasion. Examine the plant for stem and leaf damage, as well as any sticky or strange substances that have been left behind.

Small infestations can be treated by dipping cotton swabs in ruby alcohol. 2 This should kill most of the pests, but may not get rid of them all. More persistent infestations may require the use of pesticides.

Be sure to follow the instructions on the label carefully, as some pesticides can be harmful to plants. If all else fails, you may need to replant your ice-tolerant plants in a new location.

With proper care, you should be able to keep these pests under control and enjoy healthy plants for many years to come.

Propagating Ice Plants

The best way to get a new ice plant is to let it grow naturally. You’ll see stems from the parent plant that have spread and established roots in the soil.

To transfer them, simply cut the stem and carefully remove the newly-rooted tree. They can also be transmitted through division.

This not only produces a new low-cost tree, but it may also help resurrect an existing plant. The best time to split the mature plant is in the spring. Here’s how it’s done:

Remove the plant with as little damage to the roots as possible. It’s a good idea to dampen the soil before digging to help the roots move out.

Using a sharp spade, cut the plant in half at the root.

Replant each piece in a suitable growing area near the original tree. Gently rub the soil and then lightly moisten it.

Types of Ice Plants

There are several types of ice plants, each with its own distinct appearance. The Delosperma brunnthaleri is a tough groundcover that only grows to be about 2 inches tall, but can spread 2 feet wide.

It blooms in yellow and is appropriate for zones 4–9. The Floribundum Delosperma ‘Starburst’ is a mat-forming cultivar with pink flowers and white centers.

Zones 6-8 are appropriate for this plant. The Delosperma cooperi grows between 3 and 6 inches tall and has magenta flowers. It is appropriate for zones 6-10.

The Lampranthus ausrantiacus is distinguished by bright orange flowers and an upright growth habit that can reach a height of 15-18 inches. It is appropriate for zones 9-11.

Finally, the Lampranthus haworthii has blue-green foliage and purple, pink, or blue flowers. The plant is hardy in zones 9-11.

With so many different types to choose from, there’s sure to be an ice plant that will suit your needs!

Do ice plants survive the winter?

Ice plants are succulents that are native to South Africa. They get their name from the fact that their leaves and stems are covered in tiny silver-white crystals, which give them a frosted appearance.

Ice plants are tough and hardy, and they can survive in a wide range of climates. The flowers of the ice plant grow in USDA zones 5-9 and bloom throughout the majority of the fall and summer.

Their foliage is generally evergreen, and because that, they are an excellent year-round ground cover. Although the plant is always green however, it can show some foliage dying in winter.

This is normal and nothing to worry about, as the plant will rebound in the spring. With proper care, ice plants can thrive for many years.

How do you take care of an ice plant in the winter?

Many gardeners are surprised to learn that ice plants are actually quite easy to care for in the winter. The key is to allow the plant to dry out prior to the start of winter.

This means that you should stop watering your ice plant a few weeks before the first frost. If there is snow cover in your area, you can also mulch the plant using dry mulch, like straw.

This will help to keep the plant dry during the winter months. With just a little bit of planning, you can keep your ice plant healthy and happy all winter long.

How long do ice plants last?

Ice plants are one of the those wonderful gifts of nature that just keep on giving. Not only do they provide reliable color and groundcover throughout the year, but they are also relatively low maintenance.

As long as they are planted in well-drained soil and given a moderate amount of water, ice plants will thrive with very little care.

In fact, many gardeners actually consider ice plants to be somewhat of a weed due to their vigorous growth habit. However, this robustness is also what makes them such excellent groundcover.

Once established, ice plants can spread rapidly, filling in bare spots in the garden and crowding out weeds.

Given the right conditions, ice plants will last for many years, providing season after season of carefree color.

Is ice plant easy to grow?

Ice plants are native to South Africa and love the heat, so they make a great choice for adding some color to your garden in an easy-to-care-for way.

They’re also prolific ground cover, which means they’ll fill in any spaces quickly. However, they do require some attention in order to thrive.

If you’re looking for a plant that will add some brightness and vibrancy to your landscape without needing a lot of care, Ice flowers are a great option.

How much light do ice plants need?

Ice plants are succulents that are native to South Africa. They are named for their translucent leaves which catch and reflect sunlight.

Ice plants are adapted to living in sunny, dry climates and can tolerate long periods of drought. As a result, they do not require much water. However, they do need a decent amount of light in order to thrive.

Ideally, ice plants should be grown in an area that receives 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. Full sun is best, but ice plants will also do well in partial shade.

If you live in a climate with hot summers, it is best to provide some afternoon shade to prevent the leaves from burning.

With proper care, ice plants will produce a profusion of brightly coloured flowers from late spring through summer. These beautiful blooms make ice plants a popular choice for gardens in warm climates.

How often do you water ice plants?

Depending on the climate you live in, you may only need to water your ice plant every two weeks or so. However, during hot summer days, you may need to water more often.

Make sure to allow the soil to dry out completely before winter, as too much moisture can damage the plant.

Established ice plants are hardy and can withstand some drought, so don’t worry if you forget to water for a week or two.

Just make sure to give it a thorough soaking when you do water. Follow these simple tips and your ice plant will thrive for years to come.

Do you cut back ice plant in the fall?

Ice plants are low-maintenance succulents that are often used as groundcover or in rock gardens. They are drought-tolerant and thrive in well-drained, sandy soil.

Ice plants produce colorful blooms from spring to fall and can reach heights of up to 2 feet. While they are relatively easy to care for, ice plants do require some pruning to keep them looking their best.

Pruning is done in the fall, after the blooms have faded. Use clean, sharp pruning shears and cut your plant to a consistent height , removing any wilted Ice flowers.

With just a little bit of care, your ice plant will continue to provide color and interest in your garden for many years to come.

Can ice plant survive frost?

As the nights grow cooler and the days shorter, gardeners must begin to think about protecting their plants from the cold.

Frost can damage or kill many types of plants, so it is important to take steps to prevent frost damage. One way to do this is to choose plants that are tolerant of frost.

Many varieties of ice plant are frost-sensitive, so it is important to keep them in pots so that they can be moved into a warm and frost-free winter landscape at the right time.

Cold-resistant species can be protected from frost by covering them with straw, leaves, or brushwood prior to the onset of the frost.

By taking these simple precautions, gardeners can ensure that their plants will survive the winter months and thrive in the spring.

Are ice plants easy to care for?

Ice plants are attractive, succulent perennials that are easy to grow in a wide range of conditions. These striking plants are perfect for rock gardens, coastal gardens, and containers.

Ice plants are low-maintenance and tolerant of drought, salt, and poor soil. However, they prefer full sun and well-drained soil. Ice plants are available in a variety of colors, including pink, red, purple, and yellow. Most varieties bloom from spring to fall.

To propagate ice plants, simply take stem cuttings in late spring or early summer. Keep the cuttings moist until they rooted. Once they have rooted, plant the cuttings in pots filled with well-drained potting mix or sow them directly in the garden.

Water regularly during the first growing season to help the plants establish a deep root system. Ice plants are susceptible to crown rot if they are planted in poorly drained soil or if they are overwatered.

Crown rot is a fungal disease that causes the leaves to turn brown and wilt.

If you suspect that your ice plant has crown rot, remove any affected leaves and stems and water the plant at the base rather than from above to prevent water from getting on the leaves. Fungicides can also be used to treat crown rot.

Jessica Miles

Jessica Miles is a writer for Botanique Boutique, a plant and gardening blog. She has always loved plants, flowers, and anything green. When she was younger, she used to watch her grandfather garden and would be in awe of the beautiful flowers he would grow. Now Jessica writes about all things related to plants and gardening - from beginner tips on how to start growing your own plants, to in-depth guides on caring for a specific type of flower or plant. She loves helping others learn about this fascinating hobby, and hopes that her writing will inspire people to get outside and enjoy nature!

Recent Posts