Ice plants are an herbaceous perennial succulent plant with a spreading, low-matting growth habit and daisy-like blooms. Bloom colors range from bright yellow to red, purple and pink, and cover the plant from spring until fall. Missouri Botanical Garden gives this description: "fleshy, thick, cylindrical leaves are covered with clear flakes that resemble tiny pieces of ice, hence its name." Versatile, ice plants are tolerant of heat, frost and drought.
Ice plants are a spreading, evergreen ground cover that is attractive spilling over rock walls and filling in low-growing areas of nearby flowerbeds. Many ice plant varieties have a rapid growth rate to fill in the landscape in a short period of time. The hardy ice plant (Delosperma nubigena) is an ideal type to use along a rock wall because of its bright flower blooms and good drought tolerance. Their yellow daisy-like flowers emerge in spring to light up the garden with color and texture. Hardy ice plants grow 2 inches tall and 3 feet wide and have bright green, thick and fleshy foliage that contrasts nicely with the earth colors found in a rock wall. To plant the hardy ice plant, space out each 10 to 14 inches apart and ensure they receive full sun to light shade and well-drained soil, their ideal environment. As they grow along the wall, their cascading foliage becomes a focal point for the garden.
Fill containers with ice plants to create miniature gardens around the landscape. Made from a wide range of different materials including, plastic, metal, terra cotta and stone, containers can also be unusual objects like old shoes or the tops of a birdbath. Cooper's hardy ice plant is an attractive variety of plant that is stunning tucked into a container with similar-colored plants. Cooper's hardy ice plant grows 6 to 7 inches tall and has a spread of 24 inches wide, ideal in larger container. Its low-matting form hugs the container and the mass of 2-inch-wide daisy-like bright pink to purple blooms emerge in summer to last into fall, creating a long-lasting container display. To create the container, space the plants 16 to 24 inches apart. Once established, Cooper's hardy ice plant has a good drought tolerance to survive in periods of limited moisture. They grow best in full sun to light shade.
Ice plant John Proffit makes an attractive ground cover along a sloped garden and landscape to fill in the space with its succulent foliage and bright pink to fuchsia flowers. Flowering from late spring to early fall, John Proffit provides coverage to the sloped garden for a long period of time. Growing less than 6 inches in height and spreading 1 to 3 feet wide, they help create bursts of color to the garden. Sloped gardens filled with ground covers like ice plants also help reduce erosion along the space and complement surrounding plants and flowers, especially those within their color palette. Plant John Proffit in full sun and very well-drained soil like a sloped garden. Once established, they have a moderate drought tolerance and require minimal upkeep.