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Ice Plant Removal

Ice plants (Carpobrotus edulis) are fast-growing, succulent ground covers that are now considered invasive. Often grown as erosion control, as landscaping plants and along roadsides, ice plants can cause landslides because of their great weight after significant amounts of rain. They also take over an area, killing off other plants, affecting the biodiversity of the land. Ice plants are sometimes removed in open spaces with plowing and controlled burns; however, in the home garden, you can take less drastic measures to remove ice plants.

Pull up ice plants by hand. Grab the plant near the bottom of the plant and get it all up. They are not deep-rooted plants, but note that if you leave a node or bud behind, it will grow back.

Mulch over the area so any accidental plant parts with nodes do not regrow. Apply 2 to 3 inches of any kind of mulch, including but not limited to pine needles, bark mulch or leaf mold.

Remove new growth by hand when you see it grow. Get it early before the plant multiplies and spreads.

Spray glyphosate labeled as at least a 2 percent solution as an alternative to manual pulling. This is another effective measure in the home landscape to remove ice plants. Put on goggles and long clothing for protection. Glyphosate kills other plants and grass as well, so only spray directly on the ice plants. Reapply in two to three weeks if the ice plants are still alive or new growth appears. Always read the label and adhere to the label instructions for proper application.

Prune An Ice Plant

Prune an ice plant after flowering. It typically blooms from late winter until spring or summer, depending on the cultivar. This encourages fuller growth and stops the ice plant from producing seeds, which is a process that uses up valuable energy.

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