Ice Plant Companion Plants

Ice plants are warm weather-loving perennials that enjoy plenty of sun and somewhat dry conditions. The low-growing form features narrow, fleshy foliage and boldly colored flowers that bloom in spring and summer. Ice plants can have a bushy form, reaching about six inches tall, or spread up to two feet, making it an excellent ground cover. Grow this herbaceous perennial in zones 5 through 9.

Ice plants pair well with plants with similar, low-maintenance care needs, like false cypress and rose of Sharon and succulents like sedum and cacti. Placement is vital, especially when planting ice plants near taller shrubs or plants that can potentially block sunlight, so ensure ice plants receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight.


Photo by K M, unmodified, Flickr, copyright CC BY 2.0 DEED

Shrubs To Plant With Ice Plants

Rose of Sharon has a tall, upright form that introduces height, while the textured flowers create a tropical vibe. Plant the rose of Sharon along a fence or foundation wall to create a lush wall of greenery and flowers. Use ice plants to create a ground cover around the rose of Sharon for a continuous and showy display. Flowering quince and potentilla are other blooming shrubs that feature stunning flowers with ruffled blooms. The thin-petaled, showy ice plant flowers provide contrast against the blooms of the flowering quince.

Keep all eyes on the stunning flowers by planting ice plants as a ground cover around a row of false cypresses. The greenery of the false cypress provides consistent color and adds texture without distracting from the showy flowers.

Perennials To Plant With Ice Plants

Sedum is a succulent with similar care needs to ice plant, so these plants grow well together. The upright growth habit of Autumn Joy or a similar stonecrop contrasts with the spreading form of ice plants. While both plants have plump, succulent leaves, the broad, flat, sedum leaves stand out against the ice plant’s narrow, round foliage.

Euphorbia is a mounded perennial that typically features clusters of yellow-green blooms in spring. While this plant reaches up to three feet tall, it still towers over the low-growing ice plant. Whorls of colorful foliage cover the stems and are often evergreen in mild climates. Euphorbia can live in partial to full sun, so select a spot with increased light when featuring it alongside ice plants.

Annuals To Plant With Ice Plants

Annual vinca is a long-blooming annual, and while the flowers are lovely, this plant also has spectacular foliage. The glossy and deeply veined foliage provides a consistent background of greenery. Each flower features five slightly overlapping petals and is available in pink, purple, or white shades. Annual vinca can live in partial sun but plant it in full sun when growing with ice plants. 


Photo by K M, unmodified, Flickr, copyright CC BY 2.0 DEED

Best Companion Plants For Ice Plants in Containers

The bushy growth habit of geraniums works well in a container with spreading ice plants. The reaching stems of the ice plant will trail over the edge of the container and add dimension to the mixed planter. Use creeping phlox to fill in any gaps. Geraniums, phlox, and ice plants bloom during the spring and summer, providing lush color throughout the growing season.

Create a succulent planting by displaying ice plants in a container with hens and chicks or cacti. All of these plants crave full sun and need water every other week at most. Plant the hens and chicks or cacti near the center of the pot, and place the ice plants near the edge so the stems can trail.

Plants Not To Grow With Ice Plants

Ice plants need at least 6 hours of sunlight, so partial to full shade plants, like hosta, coral bells, lungwort, and some ferns, are not a good match. As succulents, ice plants also do best in arid environments and cannot share the same space with plants that thrive in damp soil, like cardinal flower and elephant’s ear.

Best Plants To Grow With Ice Plants

Ice plants require full sun and dry conditions to thrive, and plants with similar care needs will grow best in a shared space. While ice plants have specific care needs, they adapt well to different soil conditions. The showy flowers stand out when planted alongside other showy plants, from the rose of Sharon to the annual vinca.

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Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 10-12-2023