Ice plants are ideal perennial ground covers to plant among a rock garden for color. This low growing plant has fleshy, green leaves that glisten against the brightly colored flowers. The bloom colors on the ice plant range from purplish-pink to bright yellow. These striking plants are also drought-tolerant and grow in hot climates and rocky, sandy soils. Their rapid growth rate will have the landscape looking lush and colorful in no time.
Cooper’s Hardy Ice Plant
The cooper’s hardy ice plant is a rapid growing ground cover with a mat-forming shape. It grows up to 7 inches in height and 24 inches wide, making it an excellent plant to grow along a front flower bed. Cooper’s hardy requires full sun to light shade and well-drained soil to thrive. This ice plant variety blooms 2-inch pinkish-purple flowers beginning in the summer and lasting through fall. The daisy-like blooms connect with the medium to dark green leaves to provide a striking contrast. Cooper's hardy ice plant requires 16 to 24 inches of space between each plant. It is also drought tolerant and ideal for planting in arid climates. The USDA hardiness zone is 6 to 10.
John Proffit Ice Plant
Another variety of the ice plant is the John Proffit. This spring-to-summer-blooming plant grows almost 2 feet wide, creating a brilliant ground cover and container plant. The foliage of the John Proffit appears to have small pieces of ice, hence the name ice plant. The carpet of green leaves on the John Proffit is covered in fuchsia flowers and looks brilliant in the garden. The John Proffit ice plant prefers dry and sandy soils and full sun to thrive and no shade. The USDA hardiness zone is 4.
Cloud-Loving Hardy Ice Plant
This rapid growing evergreen grows up to 2 inches in height with a 3-foot spread. The thick foliage of the cloud-loving ice plant has bright green leaves that grow a little over 1 inch long. During the fall, the green leaves turn a reddish color for a striking addition to the landscape. The flowers on the cloud-loving ice plant are yellow and daisy-like. Each spring they begin their emergence and last through the summer. Cloud-loving ice plants require sun to light shade and well-drained soil to thrive. They are also drought tolerant and plants to grow among the garden for bright bursts of color. Space these evergreens out 10 to 14 inches apart to allow adequate room to grow. The USDA hardiness zone is 6 to 9.