Originally from the deserts of South Africa, ice plant is a hardy perennial succulent that has naturalized in many regions around the world, including California, Florida, Australia, England and in most of the Mediterranean countries. Ice Plant was introduced to California in the early 1900s to help stabilize the soil along railroads tracks and is now classified as an invasive specie in hot climates.
Ice plant is a fast-growing, tender perennial that will survive winters in Canada in zones 8-9 in British-Columbia. They are usually cultivated as annuals in colder regions. Ice plant mixed colours grows to about six inches tall compact, low to the ground, forming a dense mat of dark-green foliage. The leaves of this succulent are short and covered in hair that look like frozen droplets of water, hence the name. Flowering occurs in late spring or early summer and display masses of flat, daisy-like flowers that come in vibrant shades of white, pink, yellow, orange and purple. Ice plant mixed colours is often grown as a ground cover, in border front, containers, rock gardens and sunny slopes.
- Life Cycle: Perennial in zones 8-9 or annual in zones 2-7
- Days to Maturity: 120 days
- Planting Depth: lightly press into soil without covering
- Plant Spacing: 45 cm
- Growth Habit: 15-20 cm tall
Don’t let the name fool you, ice plants are hot climate perennials with warm, vibrant flowers. The common name comes from the fine hairs of the plant that reflect light and resemble ice crystals. The succulent foliage can stay evergreen in warm areas.
Seeds can be started 4-6 weeks before the last frost date. Use flats or starter pots filled with moist soil and leave about 1 cm of space below the top of the container. Add a thin layer of fine gravel to the top of the soil. Sow the seeds and tamp down through the gravel so they make contact with the soil. Don’t cover the seeds, they will need direct light to germinate.
Keep the temperature above 16 degrees and place seeds under grow lights or in a sunny spot in the house. Mist the seeds to keep moist and don’t let them dry out. After the danger of frost has passed, harden off plants over the course of two weeks.
Ice plants will thrive in full sun, flowering abundantly. Dry, well-drained soil is the ideal medium for ice plants. Average sandy or gravel soils work best. Ice plants prefer dry conditions and after getting established should be watered infrequently, about once every two weeks when there is no rainfall. Potted plants may need a bit of fertilizing to promote blooming, whereas ice plants kept outdoors usually don’t require much feeding, unless they’re in particularly poor soil.
Ice plants are versatile and are often used in desert gardens, rock gardens, as ground covers and borders. They do well in containers and can be taken inside before freezing temperatures arrive.
- Ice plant is also sometimes called ‘’Livingstone Daisy’’ or ‘’Ice Daisy.’’
- In warm regions, ice plant will form a mat that can reach a diameter of up to 50 meters.
- Ice Plant seeds will remain viable for 3 years if stored in a cool, dark place, ideally between 4 and 10⁰C. After that, the germination rate may start to go down.
OUR SEED GUARANTEE
You know that a lush, fruitful garden needs good soil, frequent watering, and sunlight to grow, but it’s the seeds that really make the harvest.
Picked and bagged for 2022, the vast majority of our seeds have germination rates of over 85%. The seeds are all-natural, non-GMO, non-hybrid, untreated, and open-pollinated for seed saving.
We have put a lot of thoughts into the design and packaging of our seed packets. Our seeds are all carefully packed in food grade kraft paper/aluminium zipper lock bags, and then are shipped in eco-friendly padded mailers.
We heat-seal each of our seed packet for even more protection from moisture, odour and light, allowing you to store your seeds for up to 3x longer than paper or plastic. Plant them all, germinate some indoors, save some for next season - it’s up to you!