The Best Time To Add Ice Plant Succulents To Your Garden

Succulents are some of the best plants to grow in your garden. They are not only hardy and can withstand a lot in terms of water and weather, but they are uniquely pretty and low maintenance. As perennials, they will come back every year. Whether you grow them from seeds or buy them as already mature plants, ideally they should be planted in the summer in cool climates, but in warmer climates, aim to plant them in the fall.

Some things to know about ice plants before planting them is that they are drought-tolerant succulents that require infrequent watering. They actually thrive best in hot, dry climates including desert gardens, rock gardens, and slopes but are a great addition to any garden that offers lots of sun. Despite their frosty name, they are also some of the prettiest flowers, producing colorful blooms throughout summer and fall. That makes them a nice pollinator plant in the garden, too.

Planting ice plants at the right time is vital

Even though ice plants are incredibly adaptable, planting them at the right time is key to helping them reach optimal growth. If growing from seeds, sow them 6-8 weeks indoors before the last frost. Once grown, or if you buy already grown, planting ice plants during the middle of the summer is ideal in climates with standard summers. This way, the plants can have enough time to establish strong root systems before the colder winter months arrive. This ensures that the plants can absorb water and nutrients throughout the next growing season, stay healthy, and produce vibrant flowers.

If you live in the warmer regions with longer summers, it's best to plant your ice plant in September or October. Again, this gives the plants some time to secure strong roots before winter while not allowing them to overgrow. Since ice plants are fast-growing plants, planting too early can lead to excessive growth and cause them to become leggy and look messy.

Things to consider before planting

When it comes to planting ice plants, steady sun is non-negotiable. Ice plants need a lot of sunshine. Choose a location in your garden that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. Proper drainage is also vital. Set aside a place in your garden where there is well-draining soil or add some sand or gravel to your existing soil to boost drainage.

It's also wise to choose an area where the plants will have enough space, as they are fast growers. Think about what size they will grow to be and space them according to that measure. Typically, spacing 12-18 inches between ice plants is ideal to allow for proper air circulation and prevent overcrowding. During the growing season, water your ice plants deeply when the soil feels dry to the touch. However, avoid overwatering, as this can easily lead to root rot. Aim to water ice plants every two weeks, but weekly during stretches of hot weather.