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Purple Ice Plant

Delosperma cooperi

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Purple Ice Plant (Delosperma cooperi) at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Delosperma cooperi flowers

Delosperma cooperi flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Purple Ice Plant (Delosperma cooperi) at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Delosperma cooperi in bloom

Delosperma cooperi in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  2 inches

Flower Height:  3 inches

Spread:  24 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  5b

Other Names:  Trailing Ice Plant

Description:

Low growing carpet-like, succulent, native to South Africa but amazingly hardy in North America; bright purple daisy-like flowers cover the ground; green foliage has burgundy overtones in fall; perfect for xeriscapes, rock gardens, screes and sandy soils

Ornamental Features

Purple Ice Plant features showy purple daisy flowers with gold eyes rising above the foliage from early summer to early fall. Its attractive small succulent narrow leaves are light green in color. As an added bonus, the foliage turns a gorgeous burgundy in the fall. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Purple Ice Plant is an herbaceous evergreen perennial with a ground-hugging habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It is a good choice for attracting bees and butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Purple Ice Plant is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Purple Ice Plant will grow to be only 2 inches tall at maturity extending to 3 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 24 inches. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 5 years.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in sandy soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by cuttings.

Purple Ice Plant is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its spreading habit of growth, it is ideally suited for use as a 'spiller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the edges where it can spill gracefully over the pot. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Rock  Edging  Garden  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Foliage Color  Fall Color  Texture  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features