Orange bush ice plants (Lampranthus aurantiacus) are succulent, evergreen, perennial-growing ground covers. They typically grow to form a dense mat about 10 to 15 inches tall and have gray-green, 1-inch long leaves. The 1 1/2- to 2-inch wide flowers are a brilliant orange color and bloom from spring through summer. They are indigenous plants to South Africa and are hardy in the USDA zones 9 to 10.
Dig up the planting area and turn it over to a depth of about 6 to 8 inches. Orange bush ice plants like full sun and fast-draining soil. Make sure the planting location you choose is conducive to growing ice plants.
Spread over the planting area a 2- to 3-inch layer of aged manure or compost. Mix the manure or compost into the soil thoroughly using a garden fork or a shovel. If the soil in your planting area is heavy, or clay-like, spread over the cultivated area a 2-inch layer of coarse sand. Mix the sand into the soil and manure or compost mixture thoroughly.
Dig planting holes for the orange bush ice plants that are precisely the same dimensions as the containers they are growing in. Each hole should be spaced about 12 to 16 inches apart.
Remove the orange bush ice plants from their growing containers. If the orange bush ice plants are growing in planting packs, push up from the bottom of the cell using your thumb and index finger to pop them out. If they are growing in one-gallon containers, or larger, lay the container horizontally on the ground. Slide the container off the root system by striking at the base of the pot using a trowel or a stout block of wood.
Loosen the roots of the orange bush ice plant if they appear bound, or compacted. Then, place the orange bush ice plant into a planting hole. Scoop in soil in and around the orange bush ice plant.
Water each of the orange bush ice plants thoroughly. During the summer, water a maximum of only about once a week and provide a thoroughly deep watering. Orange bush ice plants will not tolerate soggy soil, so avoid over-watering.
Things You Will Need
- Orange bush ice plants
- Manure or compost
- Coarse sand
- When growing ice plants outdoors they require a minimum temperature of no less than 36 degrees F. If your growing region experiences frost, you might want to consider growing orange bush ice plants in containers and over-wintering them indoors.
- Ice plants are easy to care for plants, according to Gardening Australia.net.
- To encourage new growth and keep plants from getting scraggly, cut back 1 1/2 to 2 inches from orange bush ice plants right after they bloom.
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