Delosperma cooperi, also known as the trailing ice plant and pink carpet, is a beautiful plant that grows in the wild in South Africa.
Sports of D. cooperi are incredibly popular in cultivation. Known for their long-lasting blooms, these plants are perfect for gardeners who love a plant that flourishes year-round.
In this article, we’ll look at the basics of Delosperma cooperi and its various cultivars. We’ll also examine how to care for these plants in your home garden, including their growing conditions and needs.
in this article:
About Delosperma cooperi
Delosperma cooperi is a member of the family Aizoaceae and is one of the few succulent plants that thrive in cold temperatures. This plant can be found in rocky areas or on slopes with shallow soil.
The trailing ice plant is a succulent with small, fleshy leaves that have an unusual shape. The leaves are shaped like cylinders and are usually between 1-2 inches in diameter. Almost always some shade of green, they are known to change colors in the winter in some varieties.
In naturally occurring D. cooperi, the flowers are mostly pink with a yellow or white center. They cover the foliage entirely in the blooming season (spring to summer) and last a long time.
Delosperma cooperi Care
These plants are very popular because they are simple to grow and care for, making them an excellent choice for beginners looking to learn how to grow their own plants from scratch at home without having any experience beforehand!
These plants need at least 5-6 hours of direct sunlight daily. If you cannot provide this light level, you will need to supplement it with artificial lighting.
The plant performs best when planted in light, sandy, nutrient-rich, well-drained soil. It can thrive even in poor soils but prefers rich soils for faster growth.
Water your ice plant when the top inch of soil feels dry. Do not allow the plant to sit in water, as this will cause root rot.
Keep in mind that this plant likes things on the dry side and doesn’t like soggy soil conditions, so don’t overwater it!
The ideal temperature for this plant is between 60°F and 80°F during the day, while it can be up to 40°F at night. However, if you live in an area where temperatures go below -10°F during the winter months, you will need to keep your plant indoors or under a grow light for warmth.
The ideal humidity level for these plants is between 30% and 50%, but they can easily tolerate drier conditions.
Fertilizer requirements are moderate. Apply a balanced fertilizer at the beginning of the growing season. The best time to fertilize is in spring or early summer. Once you see new growth, stop feeding your plant until fall or winter, when new growth slows down.
The Delosperma cooperi plant has a natural tendency to grow into a mat over time, but it can also be pruned back regularly if you’d like it to remain more compact. The best time to prune this plant is in late fall or early spring since it will not put out new growth until springtime.
Potting and Repotting Delosperma cooperi
The best season for repotting is springtime. You should repot your Delosperma cooperi when you notice that its roots have begun to grow out of the bottom of its container. This usually happens in early springtime because, at this time, the plant’s roots are starting to grow new shoots and leaves.
How to Repot (Step-by-Step)
- Remove the plant from its current pot.
- Break up any large clumps of soil, being careful not to damage the plant’s roots.
- Add new potting soil to the pot and firm it down with your hands.
- Place the plant in the center of its new container, ensuring that all of its roots are covered in soil, and then add more soil around it until it is level with the rim of the pot.
- Water well.
Propagating Delosperma cooperi (Step-by-Step)
- Take a cutting from the plant that you want to propagate. The cutting should be about 1-2 inches long and have at least one leaf on it.
- Remove any lower leaves from the cutting, then dip the end of your cutting in the rooting hormone.
- Place your cutting into potting soil that is slightly moistened – not sopping wet – and place it in indirect sunlight for at least two weeks.
- Transplant the cutting into its permanent location when its roots develop sufficiently (it may take up to three months).
Delosperma cooperi is a warm-weather perennial succulent that blooms in the spring and fall. You can expect purple or pink flowers to appear on this plant in early spring to late summer. The flowers are often brightly colored and attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.
Delosperma cooperi is not toxic to humans or animals.
NOTE: This page is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. The toxicity of an ingested substance varies depending on the amount ingested, the animal’s weight, and its sensitivity to specific allergens. Contact your veterinarian or local animal poison control center immediately if you think your pet may have ingested a toxic substance.
Aphids will often appear as small green or black dots on the underside of leaves. They suck sap and excrete a sweet substance called honeydew, which attracts ants and can cause mold to grow on top of it. If you see these little guys on your plant, you can try spraying them with water to kill them off. However, if this doesn’t work for you, you may have to use an insecticide like Neem (available at most garden centers).
Mealybugs are small, white pests that look like cotton balls. If you see these on your plant, remove them using tweezers or a soft brush. You can also try spraying the plant with insecticidal soap or neem oil if you cannot get rid of them manually.
Spider mites are tiny insects that look like spiders without legs (hence their name). If you see any signs of spider mites—such as webbing on the underside of leaves—spray the plant with insecticidal soap or neem oil immediately.
- Placing under harsh sunlight
- Using poorly drained potting mediums
- Fertilizing during dormancy