Ice plant is a prolific blooming perennial plant that is commonly grown as an annual. These brightly colored flowering plants are mainly used as easy-to-grow ground covers. Although many plants have been referred to as ice plants, according to Sunset Plant Finder, there is only one true ice plant; Mesembryanthemum crystallinum. As a succulent, this true ice plant is very tolerant of drought if grown in the ground. Originally from South Africa, ice plant is regarded as an edible plant and is easily propagated by seed.
Mix together equal amounts of compost, sphagnum peat moss and either perlite or vermiculite. Sift the material through a wire basket to remove any debris, like sticks or small rocks. You can use sterilized compost.
Spread the material out into an oven-proof bowl or tray. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the tray containing the germinating media into the oven and let it bake for 30 minutes.
Fill up the biodegradable pots with seed compost until they are well-filled. Allow the germinating media to cool completely before using.
Firm the compost down using a metal spoon or fork.
Moisten the germinating media using a spray bottle until the media is visibly wet.
Create a small, 1/8-inch-deep indent in the center of each biodegradable pot using the tip of your finger. Sprinkle about 3 to 4 ice plant seeds into the indent you created in the germinating media. Push the seeds gently into the surface of the media using the spoon, but do not cover the seeds with media. If you have difficulty handling the small, black seeds, use a pair of forceps or tweezers to pick up the seeds.
Set the pots into a brightly lit area in your home that will give them about eight to 10 hours of filtered light daily, like near a south- or southwest-facing window. You can also place the pots about 4 to 6 inches away from a florescent light for about 12 to 14 hours a day.
Mist the pots with water as often as needed to keep the germinating media moistened but never dripping wet. The ice plant seeds will typically begin sprouting in about 14 to 21 days, depending on conditions.
You can transplant the ice plant seedlings directly into a sun-filled location in your garden as soon as they are about 2 to 3 inches tall and the weather has warmed up to approximately 65 degrees F.
Things You Will Need
- Ice plant seeds
- Biodegradable pots
- Oven proof tray
- Seed compost
- Spoon or fork
- Spray bottle
- Plan on starting ice plant from seed about two weeks after the last frost date in your growing region.
- Water the ice plant seedlings about three to four times a week until they are established.
- Fertilize newly planted ice plant seedlings once a month until they are established. Use a balanced 10-10-10 or 12-12-12 fertilizer diluted to half strength.
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