Delosperma cooperi or Hardy Ice Plant is a perennial evergreen succulent from the Orange Free State of South Africa. They have a prostrate habit with leaves that are about 2-3/16 inches (5.5 cm) long by ¼ inch (0.6 cm) wide by 3/16 of an inch (0.5 cm) thick, nearly cylindrical but flattened on the top. This is a great succulent groundcover for rock gardens or for slopes. It takes heat well and needs very little water to keep looking good. They are hardy from USDA zones 5-11.
Blooming Time: In the greenhouse, 2 inch (5 cm) purple flowers cover the plants all year long. If planted in landscape in zone 7, they will bloom from late spring until the first frost. They are very showy.
Culture: Delosperma cooperi needs full sun and a deep, well-drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts sand to 1 part peat moss, with small gravel added to insure good drainage. Containers need to be at least 12 inches deep for healthy plants. Plants are well watered and allowed to dry thoroughly before water is added again. If too much water is added, the roots will rot, so avoid overwatering. Fertilize only once during the growing season with a very dilute solution. We use a balanced fertilizer diluted to ¼ of the strength recommended on the label. Whether grown in containers or in the landscape this is really a great plant to grow.
Propagation: Delosperma cooperi are propagated from cuttings, division, or from seed.
Delosperma cooperi was featured as Plant of the Week May 14-20, 2004.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.