How to Grow Ice Plants


If you live in a desert environment, ice plant is an absolute must-have. Ice plant (Lampranthus spectabilis) will grow freely with very little care, producing a carpet of silvery gray foliage and pink to reddish-purple blooms that appear from summer until late autumn. Ice plant is a warm-weather succulent, so if you live in a climate with frosty winters, bring the plant indoors when the weather turns chilly.

Step 1

Prepare the ground in a sunny, well-drained location. Use a spade to cultivate the soil to a depth of 6 inches. Work in 2 inches of well-rotted manure.

Step 2

Place ice plant seeds on top of the soil. Cover the seeds with a light dusting of soil, or simply press the seeds into the soil with your fingers. Allow 6 to 8 inches between each plant, as crowding will inhibit air circulation and can promote mildew.

Step 3

Water the seeds lightly with a hose and spray nozzle. Keep the soil damp until you see new growth. After that time, ice plant needs water only during hot, dry weather. Water ice plant twice weekly if you live in a hot desert environment.

Step 4

Move the plant indoors before the first freeze in autumn. Dig the ice plant and re-plant it in a container filled with commercial potting soil for cactus and succulents. Use a container with a drainage hole in the bottom. Place the plant near a sunny window and keep the soil damp.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Well-rotted manure
  • Ice plant seeds
  • Garden hose with spray nozzle
  • Container with drainage hole
  • Commercial potting soil for cactus


  • Desert Tropicals: Trailing Ice Plant
  • Shoot Gardening: Trailing ice plant (Lampranthus spectabilis )
  • Guide to Growing Lampranthus
Keywords: grow ice plants, Lampranthus spectabilis, succulent

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.