Ice Plants - Knowledgebase Question

91765, Ca
Question by l_or_e_campb
March 20, 2010
I want to replant ice plants on my slope, but not

Answer from NGA
March 20, 2010


There are all kinds of varieties of ice plant that you can use but they will all attract lots of bees because of their colorful flowers. Some of the best varieties for your region are Carpobrotus, Cephalophyllum, Drosanthemum and Malephora.

Hottentot Fig-Carpobrotus edulis has big but sparse flowers. Out of bloom, it appears as a bulky, dark green mat of fat, fleshy finger-length leaves. The course texture looks generally out of place in most gardens. It is the ubiquitous freeway ground cover that is prominent along the California freeways.

Red Spike Ice Plant-Cephalophyllum "Red Spike" gives a brilliant early show of 2-inch cerise blooms in January to Mid-March. The pointed, gray-green leaves stick up when out of bloom and form clumps 3 to 5 inches high. Because plants don't spread much it provide little in the way of erosion protection. It is useful in small spaces and works well in borders. Plant 6 inches apart to fill in.

Rosea Ice Plant?Drosanthemum Species has tiny but incredibly profuse flowering in late spring to early summer. The pink-to-purple blossoms occur literally in sheets of radiant color that takes your breath away. When not in bloom, the long trailing stems, of tiny glistening leaves, root to form a spongy mat, 6 to 8 inches thick. The lightweight and ready rooting ability makes Drosanthemum an ideal groundcover for steep slopes. It can also trail over a wall and is useful as a lawn substitute.

Yellow Trailing Ice Plant?Malephora luteola gives more of a sparse, but long lasting bloom. It has probably the best all-year round foliage because it is fine textured. This handsome groundcover works well for small or large flat areas to moderately steep slopes.

Or you may opt to plant a groundcover other than iceplant. Ajuga (carpet bugle) blooms only once, in the spring, rather than sporadically all spring and summer long and wild strawberry (fragaria) does flower but not prolifically so it might be another consideration for replacement of your iceplant.

You must be signed in before you can post questions or answers. Click here to join!

« Return to the Garden Knowledgebase Homepage

Member Login:



[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by plantmanager and is called "Spinystar (Escobaria vivipara)"