Growing Ice Plant in Pots

Ice plants are flowering succulent perennials that make wonderful ground cover but are also excellent container plants. The reaching stems often cascade over the edge of a container, making them excellent trailing plants for a hanging basket or mixed planter. Place them on a porch or patio to enjoy the thick foliage and beautiful flowers up close. Delosperma does not require special care when grown in containers, although the plants will need water more often than those in the ground. They should be watered when the potting soil dries out throughout the summer.


Planting Ice Plants in Pots

Plant ice plants in containers in the spring. Ice plants have shallow roots and do not require a deep pot. Some varieties are not hardy in cold weather, although they often stay evergreen in areas with mild winter weather. Spring planting ensures you can enjoy the dainty foliage and flowers throughout the growing season. Place potted ice plants in full sun. The containers must have drainage, but the plants are not picky about the material of the container. Two to three plants can comfortably fit into a 12-inch container.

Best Soil For Ice Plants in Pots

Well-draining soil is essential for ice plants, so choose a potting soil designed for succulents and cacti. These succulents cannot tolerate wet feet, so excess water must be allowed to drain. Soil with organic content will support growth, although ice plants are not heavy feeders. Avoid overly rich soil, which can cause succulents to become leggy.

Caring For Ice Plants in Planters

Container-grown ice plants need lots of sunlight to grow and bloom at their best. Water when the top few inches of soil are dry. These plants are generally low maintenance, and as long as they get a drink when needed, they will thrive in a container.

Watering Ice Plants in Pots

Water potted ice plants when the top layer of soil is completely dry. Drench the soil when watering until excess water drains through the container. These plants can store water to help them survive dry conditions, but they benefit from regular watering during hot weather. Plan to water ice plants a few times a week during a drought or dry period to sustain growth.

Fertilizing Ice Plants in Pots

Ice plants are not heavy feeders, but container-grown plants benefit from being lightly fertilized. Potted plants need water more often, which flushes nutrients from the soil. Replenishing the nutritional content with fertilizer helps the plants push out new growth and bloom during the spring and summer. Apply a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer in the spring and mid-summer. Dilute the formula to half the strength recommended on the label. Ice plants can become leggy when overfed, so stick to two feedings per year.

Winter Care For Ice Plants in Pots

Potted ice plants can comfortably live outdoors in areas with mild winters. Delosperma has a shallow root system, so they are more prone to damage from cold temperatures and wet weather. Make sure to protect the plants from excess moisture during the winter. In the lower reaches of their growing range, move ice plants indoors or to a protected area. Relocating the potted plants to a basement, shed, or garage and getting them out of heavy snow and freezing rain will protect the roots so the plant will return in the spring.

Growing Ice Plants Indoors

Potted ice plants can be grown indoors, but the plants will grow more slowly and bloom less. Ice plants need a lot of sunlight to sustain new growth, and limited light during the winter and in homes prevents these plants from looking their best. Ice plants grown indoors will still display lovely foliage and will enjoy spending the warmer months outdoors.

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Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 06-05-2023