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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Ice plant: Varieties, Planting, Recipes, Benefits and Uses

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Ice plant is one of the herbaceous succulents and a common name used for a large succulents family. It derives from South and East Africa. Ice plants mainly renown for their smaller shape, low growing and leaves spread like mats. So, ice plants are suitable to grow in clusters as a ground cover.
Ice plants can accommodate in hard and tough weather. No matter how heat, drought and frost weather it faces, ice plants can stand still due to their thick and fleshy branches as we call it a succulent plant. There are some ice plants you can see.
Following, you will see everything about ice plants including cultivation, maintenance procedure which involves, how you can maintain an ice plant garden.

Identifying an ice plant
If you see thick and fleshy branches with purple colored plants, it's probable that it would be an ice plants. Moreover, it grows in a sheltered area where plants may not be reliable in winter. Plants grow their succulent and spread along the ground to form an attractive ground cover. There are some characteristics by which you can call it ice plant. Here are some points to identify ice plant correctly-
·        Ice plant is mat-forming
·        It grows 6 inches high and spread about 1 to 2 feet
·        Pink flowers have yellow centers
·        Succulent tinge with purple in winter
·        Ice plant covers with transparent flakes

Ice Plant: Types & Individual Characteristics
Ice plant is a colorful flower. Ice plant has different types and characteristics when considering various factor and surroundings.Here’re the different varieties/colors of ice plant that have been gaining some recognition among people who love to have ice plants as part of their home or other decoration projects. Check out the characteristics and different types.
Kelaidis (DelospermaKelaidis)
This hybrid ice plant consists of Delosperma genus. If you see thick and fleshy branches with purple colored plants, then you might be thinking about ice plants. Kelaidis is a herbaceous succulent which generally blooms in June to September. There are some characteristics by which you can call it ice plant.
The fleshy green succulent features transparent flakes which are the reason behind its name ice plant. They can grow up best in full sun and well-drained, dry, sandy soil. Here are some characteristics of Kelaidis ice plant -
Features
·        Ice plant is mat-forming
·        It grows 6 inches high and spread about 1 to 2 feet
·        Pink flowers have yellow centers
·        Succulent tinge with purple in winter
·        Ice plant covers with transparent flakes
·        Kelaidis grows up to 6 inches high
·        It has a spread of 1 to 2 feet
·        This kelaidis withstands heat and drought
·        It attracts bees, butterflies, and birds
Bloom Color
·        You will see the Fuchsia (Red-purple) color mostly in winter
·        Kelaidis bloom is a lavender color
Bloom Time
·        It usually blooms in mid-spring/ Late Spring
·        Early, mid and late Summer season
·        Early and late Fall
Regional
·        This plant has specific growing regions, Mesilla Park, New Mexico
Define what ice plant Kelaidisis and then list all their characteristics. Talk about the origin, color, growth factor, etc. Add any info that is relevant to the type.
A brief description followed by a bullet list containing the characteristics will be good enough for this subsection.
Common Uses
·        Kelaidis mainly uses in the garden to cover the edger
·        It is useful in containers as well

John profit Ice Plant
This variety of ice plant mainly grows in spring to summer and grows with 2 feet widespread plants. So, this works as a ground cover as well. The plants leave of this specific type seems to have small ice flakes inside. This is the reason it calls Ice plant. Here are some characteristics and information about this particular ice plant.
Characteristics
·        This ice plant is also mat-forming
·        It grows and spread about 2 feet wide
·        Foilage will have the small piece of ice
·        A carpet of green leaves covered in fuchsia
·        Ice plant contains ice flakes
·        John profit withstands heat and drought
Bloom Color
·        You will see the Fuchsia color mostly
·        Its bloom is rose and mauve color
Bloom Time
·        It usually blooms in Late Spring
·        Early, mid and late Summer season
·        Early Fall season
Regional
·        This plant has specific growing regions; Porthleven
·        Another area is at Royal Oak, Michigan
·        In Rio Rancho, New Mexico



Cloud-Loving Hardy Ice Plant
This specific ice plant has a striking addition to the leaves which makes it unique from other ice plants. Cloud loving ice plant generally starts to grow in spring and lasts through summer. This ice plant requires proper soil treatment and sun to light shade to begin building. You need more spaces to build this specific ice plant. It grows up to 14 inches wide, so you need to have adequate space in your backyard.
Characteristics
·        Covers the ground very efficiently
·        It grows and spread about 10 to 14 inch wide
·        Foilage will have 1 inch long green leaves
·        Flowers are yellow and daisy-like
·        Contains bright bursts of color
·        This hardy ice plant is drought tolerant
·        This is resistant to deer
Bloom Color
·        You will see the yellow color mostly
·        Includes bright yellow and golden yellow as well
Bloom Time
·        It usually blooms in early summer
·        Blooms in Spring season as well

Starburst Hardy Ice Plant
This hardy ice plant has a distinct color which forms in early summer to fall. It can adapt to harsh, windswept, winter conditions. It produces bright pink flowers with white centers while blooming.
Characteristics
·        This ice plant is drought tolerant
·        It grows and spread about 9 to 12 inch wide and 6 inches in height
·        Foilage will have a blue-green color
·        It is suitable for xeriscaping
·        This is resistant to deer
Bloom Color
·        You will see the pink color mostly
·        Its bloom is rose and mauve color
Bloom Time
·        It usually blooms in Late Spring
·        Early, mid and late Summer season
·        Early and mid-fall season
Regional
·        This plant has specific growing regions; Auburn, Alabama
·        Another area is at San Leandro, California
·        In Owosso, Michigan
·        In Portland, Oregon

Some popular varieties
There are a number of different varieties in ice plant which you can get in nurseries with variation in size, leaf structure, and flower color. You can see a lot of different types in ice plant but the most popular ones are depending on sizes, types and how they contribute to keeping your garden looks attractive. Here are some popular varieties on ice plant that you might be searching through.


Cooper's Ice Plant (DelospermaCooperi)
This specific plant is probably the longest one in ice plant types. This plant type requires well-drained soil and sunlight to shade for growing. This flower starts blooming early in the summer lasts through fall. Cooper's dark green leaves connect with daisy-like blooms to provide a striking contrast.
Characteristics
·        This ice plant is drought tolerant
·        It grows and spread about 7 to 24 inch wide
·        This plant requires 16 to 24 inches wide space
·        Foilage will grow and get smoother
·        It is suitable for xeriscaping
·        It is ideal for arid climate
Bloom Color
·        You will see the Magenta (pink-purple) mostly
·        Bloom is medium purple as well
Bloom Time
·        Bloom time is generally mid and late Summer season
·        They start to bloom in the early fall season as well

Garnet Ice Plant (Delosperma 'Jewel of the Desert Garnet')
You can guess this type of plant by viewing this title. This specific ice plant contains such quality that makes them the jewel of the desert. It features lush foliage of fleshy, blue and green combined leaves. It also has attractive and distinct flower color which grows in blooming season and evergreen foliage which makes them ornament of the desert.
Characteristics
·        It grows 4-6 inches in height and spreads 8-10 inches
·        It grows in full sun and requires well-drained soil
·        Deer resistant but attracts butterflies
·        Heat and drought tolerance
Bloom Color
·        You will see the pink color mostly
·        Bloom is rose/mauve color
·        It consists of red, bright yellow
·        Also, it has white and near white color
Bloom Time
·        It usually blooms in Late Spring
·        Early, mid and late Summer season
·        Early and mid-fall season

Moonstone Ice Plant (Delosperma 'Jewel of the Desert Moonstone')
Another jewel of the desert here! This jewel generally blooms from late spring to the first frost. The blossoms in this specific genre proliferate that it covers your entire garden very efficiently. This ice plant features blue-green leaves with pure white daisy-like flowers. You will need to take good care of this specific plant because it may get affected by aphids mealybugs.
Characteristics
·        It grows 5-6 inches in height and spreads 7-10 inches
·        It requires less water during the growing season
·        It's good for a sunny and dry place
·        Prone to get affected by specific bugs
Bloom Color
·        You will see the luminous, pure white color mostly
·        White color with a hint of yellow in the center
Bloom Time
·        It usually blooms in Late Spring
·        Early, mid and late Summer season
·        Fall season

Peridot Ice Plant (Delosperma 'Jewels of the Desert Peridot')
This ice plant features fleshy, blue-green leaves coloring with bright yellow, daisy-like flowers which bloom in late spring. The blossoms are big enough to cover the area of your garden, and for this, you need to have a big space in your garden.
Characteristics
·        It grows 4-6 inches in height and spreads 8-10 inches or even more
·        It requires a proper drainage system to survive
·        It's good for a sunny and dry place
·        The color combination is bright yellow, daisy-like
Bloom Color
·        You will see the yellow color mostly
·        White and yellow color in the center
Bloom Time
·        It usually blooms in Late Spring
·        Early, mid and late Summer season
·        Fall season

Wheels of Wonder Orange Wonder
This orange colored plant features bright orange color blooms. It usually grows in all summer and into fall. Succulent foliage spreads so wide that it makes tough and drought tolerant groundcover. You need to make sure not to overwater this specific plant.
Characteristics
·        It grows 4-6 inches in height
·        The spacing of this genre requires 15-18 inches
·        It is drought tolerant
·        The color combination is orange or red-orange
Bloom Color
·        You will see the orange color mostly
·        Red- and orange combination as well
Bloom Time
·        It usually blooms in mid, late Spring
·        Early, mid and late Summer season
·        Early and mid-fall season

Ruby Ice Plant (Delosperma 'Jewels of the Desert Ruby')
This one is also a fascinating ice plant in popular varieties. If the sun properly shines on this specific plant, it will shine brightly in your garden. This flower color has the intense coloration of ruby red and a combination of white, golden and yellow color in the center.
Characteristics
·        It is hardy and malleable
·        It forms a dense, weed-smothering mat
·        Flowers of this plant fringes ruby red tip
Bloom Color
·        This specific plant features multicolor
·        For specific color; pink, white and yellow in the center
Bloom Time
·        It typically blooms in summer to fall season

Wheels of Wonder Fire Wonder Ice Plant
This reddish ice plant looks very much attractive than any other ice plants. Due to its orange-red color combination, it looks mesmerizing. It requires full sun to adapt in your garden.
Characteristics
·        This plant needs 15-18 inches of spacing
·        This plant attracts bees, butterflies, and birds
·        Orange-red color and yellow-orange in the center
Bloom Color
·        This specific plant features yellow-orange color
·        For specific color; white and yellow in the center
Bloom Time
·        It typically blooms in mid and late spring
·        Blooms in early, mid, late summer
·        It blooms in early and mid-fall



Topaz Ice Plant (Delosperma 'Jewels of the Desert Topaz')
This sun-loving succulent is exceptional in its feature. It withstands in excessive, drought, heat and humidity. It forms a ground-hugging mat, and it is suitable for mass planting. It has fantastic erosion control in lean and poor soil. This plant needs to get watered regularly, especially in the first growing season.
Characteristics
·        This plant needs 6-9 inches of spacing
·        This plant attracts bees, butterflies, and birds
·        Orange-red color and yellow-orange in the center
·        It is tolerant of drought, dry soil, rocky soil
Bloom Color
·        This specific plant features coral and apricot color
Bloom Time
·        Blooms in early, mid, late summer
·        Also blooms in the fall season
Wheels of Wonder Hot Pink
This vigorous, mat-forming succulent features bright pink and daisy-like flowers. It has a yellow color in the center of this plant. This super-sized vibrant pink blooms all summer and into fall.
Characteristics
·        This plant needs 15-18 inches of spacing
·        It features bright pink and daisy-like colors
·        Pollen and center of the flower contains yellow color
·        It is tolerant of drought, dry soil, rocky soil
Bloom Color
·        This specific plant features magenta (pink-purple) color
·        Also features fuchsia (red-purple)
Bloom Time
·        It usually blooms in mid, late Spring
·        Early, mid and late Summer season
·        Early and mid-fall season

How to grow ice plants?
If you want to go for cultivating ice plants, you need to choose the precise location, soil preparation, watering and fertilization with pest control including pruning. These sets of work need to get done in order to plant the ice plant in a proper place. Ice plant usually requires open sun and a dry place to plant properly. Check out the steps of planting and growing ice plants in your backyard.
Choosing the location
Ice plant can adapt to any place even in very hot and humid climates. Ice plant can grow as an annual or perennial period. Depending on the USDA standard zones 6-8, Ice plant grows as a perennial garden plant. Even in frosty and humid weather, it can grow as an annual. Remember this factor when choosing the location-
·        When choosing a location, remember that they will get less cold hardy in wet areas
·        Do not use excessive water or choose the wetter condition
·        Extremely wet climate reduces their ability to tolerate cold
Understanding the basics of the plantation
Ice plants are a succulent plant which is extremely drought tolerant, and they need to get the regular watering during the summer. Soil condition must be dry as they cant tolerate wet condition. Below, in providing you necessary works to plant the ice plant properly. Check out the steps.
Using ice plants as a ground cover
As we discussed earlier various ice plants, we can see that ice plants occupy much space in an area where it will get planted. Ice plants can grow at least 6 inches and spread about 1 to 2 feet. So, this makes them as a good ground cover.
They mainly grow in the dry, gravelly soil of desert landscapes and rock gardens. Ice plant can get planted with other plants that can grow in dry, gravelly soil like a cactus.
Using the plants as the edge of your garden
Ice plants are shorter in size. This short height of this plant makes them the edger plant. So, this plant can grow in the landscaped area where the mostly edged plant grows better.
Planting in a window box
There are trailing plants of different ice plant which you can see grow to a height of 1 to 2 inches and hang down. The length of 9 to 18 inches is spreading around and top of the plant gets hanged down makes them ideal for window boxes. You can try ‘Starburst' which is very much popular trailing cultivar. This flower has a white center with purple petals. Another ice plant is ‘Basutoland’ which is also a trailing ice plant.
Considering the climate
In USDA hardiness zone between 6 to 10, ice plants are hardy. It can tolerate a frosty situation in winter in low temperature from -10 degree to -22 degree Celsius.

Finding a place where the plants get adequate sunlight
This time finding an adequate place for sunlight where you want to plant the ice plants. There are a number of factors that should work behind getting adequate sunlight.
Well-drained soil
You must choose the appropriate soil to start working for planting. Choose gravelly, loam, sandy soil. Do not choose clay soil due to the fact that soil can not drain quickly. You can find the sandy-loam soil which is available in any garden center. If you have only clay soil, don't worry. You can fill it with sandy-loam soil for ice-soil to grow the min the containers.
Don't let the rotting happen
Drain the soil as quickly as possible. If you cant does it, ice plants will start rotting from the root. The leaves of the plant will fade away and turn to yellow, and slowly it will die. If your ice plant starts to turn yellow, Take the ice plant out of the soil and check roots. Then examine this-
·        If the plants get black or mushy or gooey, then throw the plant away. It will not recover
·        Cut off the bad roots, if plants look healthy and white, then replant it
·        Do not let the water rot the ice plant, let the soil dry out.
Ensure enough sunlight
 Whether you plant in a garden or containers, you need to choose the best position where plants can get sunlight at least for 6 hours. If they don't get enough sunlight, they will get insipid and bloom little.
Ensure enough space
Give ice plants enough room to spread their branches. Choose the large area of 16 to 24 inches in the garden. One foot diameter round or square container will be enough to hold the ice plant.

Feeding the plants
We need to know how we should feed the ice plants. Feeding will help ice plants to improve their overall health and beauty. Here you should maintain these steps to feed your plant. At first, let’s discuss about watering the plants, later we will discuss about feeding.
Watering the plants
·        Water ice plant instantly after planting them
·        Watering will remove the air pockets and soil to gather around roots
·        Each week get your plant an inch of water, repeat this for the first few months
·        Choose watering devices, such as soaker hose or sprinkler
·        Do not give your ice plants the supplemental water during winter
Feeding by fertilizer
·        When your ice plant begins to grow again, give ice plants fertilizer in the spring
·        In colder areas, consider planting a ‘row crop.'
·        Row cropping will ensure your plant not to get freezed
How to Water?
Ice plant requires full sunlight and six to eight hours of sunlight daily. Ice plants need to sustain in normal condition and dry climate. When watering ice plant, you should consider the location, weather and time. Below you will find how to water the ice plant.
Watering in Normal Conditions
Ice plant requires 1 inch of water per week when it gradually grows. Do not water the plant more than 1 inch. Otherwise, the stem or root will be starting to rot gradually and leading the plants to death. Water ice plants weekly as well as deeply after they get planted. On the 2nd year, you need to apply less water while keeping a watchful eye on the ice plant.
Watering in Dry Climate
Water your ice plant every ten days while considering the total rainfall or dry climate conditions. Water your ice plant garden to the depth of 7 to 12 inches, so the rootball gets entirely soaked. If you don’t give sufficient amount of water, the plant will get withered and dead.
The Right Time to Water
You should water the ice plant late in the day and allow the leaves to dry before nightfall. This will ensure your plant gets protected from fungal infection. Here is the procedure to water the ice plants in right time.
·        Don’t water your plants in late autumn through the winter
·        In mid-autumn, do not water your plants, it will help to get prepared for winter
·   With no water in mid-autumn, they will shrink back and better resist freezing temperature

How to Fertilize?
If you use fertilizer in ice plants, it will surely grow faster. Use balanced garden plants to apply fertilizer to ice plants. You need to make sure of the proper measurement and the proper time for applying fertilizer at first. 
When to Fertilize?
Fertilizing ice plant is a crucial part of growing the plant in a timely manner. Give fertilizer to ice plants in the spring when they are growing and use them properly balanced ratio of applying fertilizer to ice plant.
How Much to Use?
Fertilize your plants to grow them in an alternative way,
·        Fertilizer, such as, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium; use all these in 8 parts at once
·        Apply 4 ounces of fertilizer per 25 square feet of garden space
·        Watch out the plants when applying fertilizer; It could burn the stems
·        Wash the plants after applying those to wash fertilizer into the soil
Propagation
Ice plant is a self-propagate herb and it re-seed itself year after year to maintain the growth of its own. You can extend the ice plant’s propagation by establishing some easy techniques. Grouping, making cuts and seeding are the three main propagation methods.
Grouping
If you plant your ice plant in a jar or pot, you need to divide it into some groups when you re-pot. At first, remove the plant from its pot. Secondly, Form the plants into several or more separate plants. Thirdly, Place the parts in new pots with coarse and sandy potting mix will provide the excellent drainage capability. In the end, propagate ice plant in the spring is the best time to plant in your garden.
Making Cuts
If you have to deal with propagating with cuttings, you can start it at any time. If you are in a comparatively colder area, you need to take cuttings in the autumn to bring those inside your home and enjoy in wintertime.
Seeding
You can plant ice plant from seeding as well to propagate the plants. To plant and seed the ice plant, at first, Expose the soil by raking, Water the seeding and spread the seeds, push the seeds into the ground. Later, they will need light to grow in the process.

Further Care and Maintenance
If you want to take care for your ice plant, you need to make sure the dead plants and weeds are properly cut off to grow your ice plant more efficiently. Pruning is the key to take care of your ice plant to remove the dead plants properly. Below you will find more caring and maintenance procedure to maintain your ice plant’s growth.
Pruning and Deadheading
·        After the blooms fade, you need to prune the plants especially in the fall
·        Remove wilted flowers, cut the plant to get a standard height
·        You should cut off the wilted and dead foliage
·        If cold weather makes ice plant die, you should trim it to the ground
·        The trimmed ice plant will return in spring
Control of Diseases and Pests
Weather is the only problem when growing ice plants. But there has been a significant report about attacking and bugging ice plant by mealy bugs and aphids. Check out the steps to remove bugs from ice plant.
Removing pests
·        Find out the signs of mealybugs or aphids
·        Aphids move slowly and rarely have wings
·        Mealybugs are flat, immobile insects and colorful
·        Use the garden hose to remove this bugs from plants
·        Spray with water on the ice plants every few days
·        Use insects removing soap


Preparing and applying soap
You can find the concentrated forms of soap in any super shop. Concentrated forms should get mixed with water with five tablespoons per gallon. Mix both very well and pour it into a spray bottle. Do not use dishwasher or laundry soap. It will damage the leaves of the plants.
Spray on the ice plant in the morning or evening. Do not spray while sunlight is stronger above 30 degree Celsius. This will make the leaves dry by soap and cause damage to the leaves. Soap will kill the bugs on ice plants but wait for 2 hours. After a certain amount of time wash the plants by sprinkling water. Do this every week if you see insects frequently.

Uses of Ice Plants
This fast-growing succulent plant has several usages. This lovely and attractive flower can decorate your home and fill your food requirements. Below, you will find the several decent ways of using ice plant. Check out.
Home Decoration
Ice plants are handy to make your home looks beautifully decorated. They make lovely ground cover, rock garden plant and  sticking to a stone wall makes it more than delightful. They are more than beautiful when you place them in a hanging basket and container. As they have a spreading habit, they can quickly fill the container or your basket.
Culinary Uses
Ice plants are not just the decoration thing, and you can have it as your food as well. Ice plant is a lovely decorative plant and a unique vegetable succulent as well. Its green leaves with crystalline beads will surely make you love it as a culinary ingredient.
As A Drink
You can make ice plant consumed into the hot water which will help you break down the succulent. It will surely help to absorb the vitamins and minerals through a cup of tea.
Raw
You can make raw food items, such as salads. Ice plant can easily substitute your salads ingredients. Ice plant is lightweight and just slightly salty but you won't realize it when dressing with other ingredients.
As A Tempura Ingredient
Give your ice plant a crispy flavor with tempura flour. Just deep fry the leaves with tempura flour and have crispy ice plant dish instantly. This dish derives from Japan.
As A Stir-Fry Ingredient
Ice plant is a good stir-fry ingredient. If you fry this vegetable, it still can retain the crunchiness inside. Due to a bit of salty taste, ice plant can make an extra feature food to seafood.
For A Unique Texture
Ice plant looks lovely, and it will surely give your dishes a unique textural look by innovative garnishing. Ice plant will help you adding a textural element to any dish.
Herbal Uses
Ice plants have herbal uses as well. This plant is demulcent and diuretic. It has been using for treatment for many years. People used to keep this plant for treating several types of diseases. Below, you will find out the different herbal uses by ice plant.
Soda Production
The ice plant was first brought to Canary island and cultivated in the early 19th century for soda and soap production. This has been using as commercial soap manufacturing processes, and prior to this, the ice plant was a good source of soda as sodium carbonate.
Medicinal Uses
·        Fresh sap of ice plant is the great source of treating skin issues
·        You can also use the sap to bath and as anointments, creams
·        It can heal the damaged skins of humans
·        Treatment of diseases, such as inflammation, dysentery, liver kidney issues

Ice plants are the gift of nature. You just need to make sure you look after this natural treasure when planting at your backyard. See the above discussion about the different classification of ice plants an decide which one you will plant. Make sure you plant these in a sunny and dry condition where the land gets enough sunlight. Water them regularly, and gradually you will get the outcome.


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