How to Transplant an Ice Plant


Ice plant (Delosperma spp.) is a succulent, herbaceous perennial, native to South Africa that bears blooms in almost every color. It’s plump, watery, blue-green stems and leaves that sparkle in the sun give it its common name. Because of its fast growth, ice plant often takes the gardener by surprise and needs to be transplanted to a more spacious location. Transplant ice plant in early spring or early fall.

Step 1

Gather all the stems of the ice plant together and trim back to about 4 inches.

Step 2

Dig up the ice plant with a hand trowel, taking out a root ball about 4 inches in diameter. Set aside in a shady spot. Sprinkling water on the root ball helps keep the roots from drying out.

Step 3

Dig a new planting hole twice as wide and deep as the root ball. Ice plant requires perfect drainage, so improve the soil by mixing in about one-half pea gravel. Plant in full sun.

Step 4

Place the ice plant in its new hole, backfilling with the improved soil.

Step 5

Water deeply to settle the plant in its new location.

Step 6

Lightly mulch the planting area with pea gravel. This helps with drainage and keeps the tender ice plant leaves from sitting on soggy soil.

Step 7

Water the ice plant when the soil becomes dry until it becomes established. This should take two to four weeks.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand pruners
  • Trowel
  • Shovel (optional)
  • Pea gravel


  • Maryland Cooperative Extension: Introduction to Herbaceous Perennials
Keywords: transplanting ice plant, transplanting delosperma, ice plant culture

About this Author

Robert Lewis has been writing do-it-yourself and garden-related articles since 2000. He holds a B.A. in history from the University of Maryland and has training experience in finance, garden center retailing and teaching English as a second language. Lewis is an antiques dealer specializing in Chinese and Japanese export porcelain.