The Q&A Archives: Ice plant-dividing

Question: Hi, I have 2 ice plants that I purchased from Home Depot. They are doing great. How can I divide them up, so they will spread. Pplease be precise, I am new at this. Is September a good time to divide? Do I dig up whole plant? Can I just cut thru plant, etc. What kind of dirt mixture do I need. Do they need to be covered up in winter. I am in Jonesborough, Tn. Thank you so much, you have been a great help to me starting my garden. Linda


Ice Plant is a sprawling groundcover that will root wherever it touches the earth. So, carefully pick up each of the stems that radiates from your original plant to see if it has already rooted in the ground in several places. If so, you need only to cut the rooted part off the main plant and pot it up or plant it somewhere else in your garden. If you have a stem with several rooted places, simply cut between the rooted areas and pot up each of the rooted plants. As long as a plant part has roots and some green stems and leaves, it can grow as a separate plants.

If none of the sprawling stems has rooted on their own you can still propagate your plants. Fill a plastic pot with sand, sandy soil or a purchased cactus potting soil mix. Cut a 2-3" long stem from the tip of each of the growing stems. Set the cut end into the pot and set it in a sunny place. As long as you water the potting soil every few days the cuttings should root.

Some ice plants are quite cold hardy and others are not. I don't know which ice plant you're growing. If it's cold hardy, you won't need to do anything to protect it. If it is a tender ice plant, you might try covering over it with some protective device when temperatures threaten to drop to freezing. Wall-O-Water or cloches (paper cones) are available in most gardening centers. Just place them over your plants to help protect from frost.

Good luck with your ice plant!

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