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PlantFiles: Hardy Ice Plant, Trailing Ice Plant, Cooper's Ice Plant
Delosperma cooperi

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Family: Aizoaceae (ay-zoh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Delosperma (del-oh-SPUR-muh) (Info)
Species: cooperi (koo-PER-ee) (Info)

Synonym:Mesembryanthemum cooperi

10 vendors have this plant for sale.

77 members have or want this plant for trade.

Category:
Alpines and Rock Gardens
Groundcovers
Perennials
Cactus and Succulents

Height:
under 6 in. (15 cm)

Spacing:
9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Danger:
N/A

Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)
Purple

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall

Foliage:
Grown for foliage
Smooth-Textured
Succulent

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Non-patented

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem cuttings
Allow cut surface to callous over before planting
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 32 photos.
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Profile:

23 positives
2 neutrals
4 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive lokidog On Oct 15, 2014, lokidog from Logan, UT wrote:

This is not one of the noxious weed ice plant species! Please don't post unless you look up the plant in your noxious weed lists for your area - and only use scientific names NOT common names. I'm a botanist and conduct noxious weed surveys, and am a member of the local Native Plant Society (among other conservation groups), and am a Master Gardner. We don't need misinformation being spread, it is harmful. This is like saying all grasses are noxious weeds, extrapolated from one species of grass being a noxious weed. This plant is actually a recommended alternative to other noxious and/or invasive species, so confusion can be detrimental - people may give up and not remove or even plant the invasives in desperation.

This is not reliably hardy here, but maybe I'll try again with protection outside, but it works great when planted in containers I bring in. I put it with other freeze-sensitive plants, especially succulents, and it works wonderfully. It grows quickly in containers, and works well as a companion as it has shallow roots. Usually has two or more long flushes of blooms a year for me.

Negative CAmema On Sep 9, 2013, CAmema from ventura, CA wrote:

Master Gardeners, NPS and Nature Conservancy volunteers have been trying to eradicate ice plant from the Channel Islands for a long time. Someone thought it would be a good plant to stablize the cliffs and wind swept areas. Wrong!!! It has decimated many of the native plants which are found only on these islands. If you live in CA don't plant in your gardens. It attracts slugs/snails and trash and kills many good plants.

Positive JoannCooper On Mar 30, 2013, JoannCooper from Bluffton, SC (Zone 8b) wrote:

I garden on sandy soil just north of Savannah, GA. I did not know of this plant until I moved here two years ago, but it is now a staple in my garden. It is THE plant that draws the most comment from visitors, despite it's small size.
In my garden, D. Cooperi is evergreen, thrives in sun in dry or damp soil (my soil is sandy, but well enriched and well drained). It forms a 2" high dense medium green mat (sorry - no foot traffic, please), and has the best color and bloom in damper areas. From early spring through fall it produces small daisy like bright magenta flowers. It spreads at a reasonable rate, but is easy to control. I have not had any seedlings appear. It is easy to propagate from cuttings at any time and seems to have no pest or disease problems. Also looks good spilling over the edges of containers if kept well watered. I love this plant.

Positive jjordan On Jun 12, 2012, jjordan from Arkansas City, KS wrote:

I planted Delosperma cooperi in my yard here in southcentral Kansas last year and it did beautifully in spite of severe drought and many days of temperatures in excess of 100 degrees. It started blooming in the spring this year and has bloomed profusely every day since then. It has been a beautiful addition to my garden. Since we are once again experiencing drought conditions, I am so glad I planted it last year. Although it definitely spreads, I have found that easy to controll.

Positive jazzy1okc On May 24, 2012, jazzy1okc from Oklahoma City, OK wrote:

I've had this plant draping beautifully over the cedar edging and down onto the cement curbing for at least ten years. It is fantastic. This is a very hot, dry, sunny bed where Autumn Sage, Russian Sage, Purple Heart, bearded iris, Nandina, and so on thrive together happily. I was admiring the blooms the other day and noticed that the stem of this plant has grown quite big and tough. I like the way that it softens the edge of that bed so have taken a few cuttings so I can spread it around.

Positive Hensley3490 On May 4, 2012, Hensley3490 from Kenton Vale, KY wrote:

The Purple Ice Plant was planted by my daughter-in-law along her front sidewalk. Her house is in Independence, Kentucky. I did not have any experience with this plant until she planted three of them. They thrived and had many, big purple daisy-like flowers in the Summer of 2011 which seemed to glow in the sunlight. I love this plant! It survived the Northern Kentucky Winter and has spread out somewhat, which looks great this Spring 2012! She wants to complete the sidewalk area with two more of these, and I just found them for her. Her sidewalk area is in mostly full sun, and the Ice Plant did great. I am thinking about planting some in my perennial bed as well.



Positive apsdecatur On Apr 14, 2012, apsdecatur from Stone Mountain, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

If you are looking for a beautiful groundcover for full sun areas prone to drought, this is your plant! I grow it in tough, unamended Georgia clay, and it absolutely flourishes and has spread several feet in wide in only two years. It forms a thick web of stems a few inches tall. Also, the flowers open during the day and close at night. One note is that it is not suitable for foot traffic, as it is a succulent.

Positive milhouse On Apr 14, 2012, milhouse from Alum Rock, CA wrote:

This plant is actually not invasive in the CA bay area, as has been posted by some. Carpobrotus edulis is an iceplant that is highly invasive, but delosperma cooperi is recommended as a non-invasive alternative groundcover by CAL-IPC (http://www.cal-ipc.org/landscaping/dpp/pdf/SFDPPPrintable.pd...).

It looks beautiful here and grows really well and should not be confused with another 'iceplant' carpobrotus edulis.

Positive echinaceamaniac On Feb 20, 2012, echinaceamaniac from (Clint) Medina, TN (Zone 7b) wrote:

Awesome plant that blooms continuously from Spring to Fall for me. Who cares if it's native or not? I grow many plants that aren't native to this area. There is no rule that says a plant must be native. If you think that, fine but don't try to force that view on everyone else. It's not invasive in my flower bed either. It grows where I plant it and stays inside the edge of my flower bed. It also hasn't harmed the "native" plants that grow beside it in my flower beds. Don't be so closed minded about plants. These plants can be used to prevent the spread of fires in dry areas of the country and save on watering since they contain so much water and require little water to grow. There are many other positives to them as plants as well.

Negative jamiedsongs On Aug 22, 2011, jamiedsongs from San Francisco, CA wrote:

Ice plant is an invasive! Please don't plant this in California, at least.

Positive hortulaninobili On Jan 16, 2011, hortulaninobili from St. Louis, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

Delosperma cooperi:

I have only grown this in pots and as a short-lived ground cover. In containers it creates a nice drought-tolerant cascading plant, alone or with other plants. As a ground cover it performs where elevation permits excessive precipitation to quickly drain off. Unbearable heat and humidity melts ice plant in no time especially when soil is clayey.

Colors of flowers and silvery-blue/green leaves (punctuated with little whitish-silver dots) add radiance to landscape: Ice plant reflects and scatters light well and should be used in the landscape where passersby attention needs to be garnered.

Basic care is more than sufficient--care requirement is so minimal, that if it were a higher organism such as a human, you might get reported to the authorities for neglect. Though a smidge of fertilizer and a little water to get it going is probably enough. Some of my favorite planting combinations are with agastache, sedums, low ornamental grasses, cacti, yuccas, lantana, vinca, in rock gardens or xeriscapes, to name a few. A good rule of thumb: plant with other silver-foliaged plants.

Positive peejay12 On Dec 10, 2010, peejay12 from Porthleven, Helston, Cornwall
United Kingdom (Zone 9b) wrote:

This seems to be the only 'Ice plant' (Aizoaceae) which is reasonably hardy and successful in British gardens. It's tolerant of wet and cold and can tolerate less than perfect drainage.

In a hot situation it grows quite fast and flowers extremely well from May to the first frosts, and the flowers can be 5 cm across. I've grown this plant for about thirty years in Southampton, but unlike the U.S., it has never been very popular in the U.K.- our sunshine levels are just not high enough. It's surprisingly rare in Cornwall (I thought it would be everywhere) but the duller, cooler summers may not be to its liking.

In the UK this plant needs very different treatment compared to the US.The average sunshine levels in the US and South Africa are over 30% higher than in Britain. So the only way to get this plant to flower well is to position it where it gets masses of reflected light - near a white house wall, facing south, and to surround it with white stones. Grow it near a white patio and you're (almost) guaranteed success! In these conditions my plants produced 6cm flowers from June until October. The soil should really be 75% sharp sand and gravel mixed with peaty soil - similar to the soil used for hardy cacti. But don't allow it to get too dry.

I'm surprised to hear it's invasive in Britain unless there is an unusually hot summer, or possibly grown on cliffs by the sea.

Negative Tierralinda On Jul 28, 2010, Tierralinda from Kerrville, TX wrote:

This is a NON native, invasive plant. It will overwhelm the native plants and deplete the soil.

Positive bluffles On Apr 11, 2010, bluffles from Austin, TX wrote:

Absolutely LOVE this plant. This grows in the worst soil with NO maintenance. Perfect for my large 3/4 acre landscape and poor sandy/clay soil. You can easily propagate this plant by breaking off pieces, plopping them in the ground and a little water...once. Let them be and they still thrive.

Positive tvland On Nov 23, 2009, tvland from Columbus, IN wrote:

I happened upon this plant at a local Menards. I used it in a container this past season. It was lovely. I have already shared with friends by rooting clippings. It roots from clippings dipped into rooting compound very quickly. I tried one plant in the ground in a rock garden and it died. I thought it may have gotten too hot. I have brought it inside for the winter since I was unsure if it was hardy in my area.

Neutral stephenp On Nov 14, 2009, stephenp from Wirral, UK, Zone 9a
United Kingdom (Zone 9a) wrote:

This plant has its positive and its negatives.

Firstly the positives are that it has beautiful flowers, creating masses of colour in summer, along with interesting foliage, and is completely hardy.

The negative side is that it grows extraordinarily fast, needs to be contained or it becomes invasive, and also like to self seed everywhere. If not checked it could take over entire areas of garden, and even escape into the wild.

Nice substitute for Lampranthus for colder areas.

Positive lovemygardens On Jun 21, 2006, lovemygardens from Haysville, KS wrote:

I just happened across this plant last year, looking for a border plant for my garden/waterfall area.... I wound up planting around 50 by the time I was done.... THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL !! The plants have more than quadrupled in size! This year I needed more, bought all that I could find. I'm trying to grow some of my own, not having too much luck yet, but I haven't given up! I am also trying to start some from the dried tops... I'll let you know if I have any success.

Positive bjmom94 On Jun 16, 2006, bjmom94 from Medford, OR wrote:

I absolutely love this plant. It is very hardy and can withstand our common temperatures of over 100 degrees and since it is a succulant, it can go without water if necessary. It is a fast growing ground cover, so it is probably best planted in a confined area. I first planted a half a dozen or so starts in a large 2x15 area late last summer. The area is at least 3/4 filled in and I have transferred some plants to other planters. It looks beautiful!

Neutral debbie1292 On May 15, 2006, debbie1292 from Hermitage, PA wrote:

This is my third year with these plants and last year they were beautiful and spreading but so far this year (May 15, 2006) they look dead. I don't know yet if they're dead or dormant. I see a few dark pink buds at the base of some but the rest of the plant looks dead. I have to withhold judgment for another 3 or 4 weeks.

Positive Toshiam On May 15, 2006, Toshiam from Weaverville, NC wrote:

Zone 6-7, elevation 2600'. Living in the Blue Ridge Mountains of WNC. A friend gave us a handful of ice plant, most with roots a little over two years ago (2004). We now have a solid patch that is about 40' X 20'. It's mid May now and I can see several flowers. Can't wait to see the whole patch in bloom this year. Great ground cover and almost no work involved. We have very little foot traffic on the plants, usually only to pull a few weeds.

Positive lark567 On Nov 7, 2005, lark567 from Hermiston, OR (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant was one of 2 that I bought from a seller on E-bay. It has performed like a champ in my xeriscape rock garden. The pink flowers contrast nicely with my yellow hymenoxys scaposa (thrift-leaved perky sue).

Positive flowercrazy39 On Aug 26, 2005, flowercrazy39 from Manchester, NH wrote:

Supposed to be hardy to Zone 5 but last year our winter was very, very bad and it didn't survive. It doesn't matter though, it's so inexpensive to buy I got another one and it flourished just as well this summer as it did last. So if it survives this winter, great. If it doesn't, I'll still get another one next year.

Positive daleyla On Oct 19, 2004, daleyla from Monterey, CA wrote:

Although this plant is non-native to and considered to grow too well in California's central coast, being a new-comer to this area, I just love the trailing ice plant with it's velvety looking blanket of bright flowers. I have planted 1 shoot that has taken root and is trailing off nicely. I want to find a way to thicken it up.

Positive abday On Sep 29, 2004, abday from Liberty, SC wrote:

I love these plants. I have yellow, and blue.They grow rapidly here and the color is magnificant.

Negative petevllx On Apr 26, 2004, petevllx from Oakland, CA wrote:

hardy ice plant is too hardy here in coastal california. it is categorized as a noxious weed and has invaded sand-dune plant communities. it has smothered and marginalized many native sand-dune plants - many which are rare and endangered. please do not plant in zones 7-10!

Positive Francy On Apr 25, 2004, Francy from Sunnyvale, CA wrote:

The ice plant is one of my favorite plants. It really makes a statement in your garden.

The color is a bright fusha, with pink petals too.
To compliment this plant Dusty Miller's work well with it, as Dusty Millers prefer about 80% sun too.

They also make a nice contrast against the ice plant.


I live in Silicon Valley {California} & the plant grows quite well here. Water it every day {in the summer} after the sun goes down.

Propagation is painless.

Just cut off a piece long piece, gently take off the small leaves from the stem {about 1/2 inch} then place in good dirt. walla... you have more plants.

If you have cuttings from the ice plant, please don't discard them.

"Replant" the cuttings.

You will be mildly surprised at the outcome.

For anyone who wants a burst of colour in their garden, the ice plant is for you.

Ease of growing is a 9.5.

Spray with waek tea too.

Positive bluegirl68 On Aug 12, 2003, bluegirl68 from Seattle, WA wrote:

I bought ice plant in 4" pot in May 2002. I planted it in planter under south facing porch. Partial afternoon shade. It is now appr. 30" round and spilling over side. Has been blooming pink daisy-like blooms profusely since late May. Water every few days. Goes nicely with Lotus Vine.

Positive violabird On Apr 19, 2003, violabird from Barnesville, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

It hates wet feet! I have had it in a raised bed and it seems to be happier to trail into the solid clay below!

Positive smiln32 On Aug 6, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Beautiful dark pink flowers in spring and summer. Prefers zones 7-10. Doesn't grow as fast as I want it to. :)

Regional...

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

,
Alabaster, Alabama
Auburn, Alabama
Montevallo, Alabama
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Goodyear, Arizona
Surprise, Arizona
North Little Rock, Arkansas
Cerritos, California
Davis, California
Manhattan Beach, California
Monterey, California
Oak View, California
San Diego, California
San Jose, California
Simi Valley, California
Sunnyvale, California
Valley Center, California
Valley Village, California
Broomfield, Colorado
Clifton, Colorado
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Cos Cob, Connecticut
Winsted, Connecticut
Laurel, Delaware
Jacksonville, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
New Port Richey, Florida
Niceville, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida
Port Charlotte, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Vero Beach, Florida
Wellborn, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia
Barnesville, Georgia
Covington, Georgia
Dacula, Georgia
Jonesboro, Georgia
Lawrenceville, Georgia
Loganville, Georgia
Stone Mountain, Georgia (2 reports)
Wrens, Georgia
Kuna, Idaho
Albers, Illinois
Itasca, Illinois
Jacksonville, Illinois
Columbus, Indiana
Farmersburg, Indiana
Arkansas City, Kansas
Haysville, Kansas
Sterling, Kansas
La Grange, Kentucky
Murray, Kentucky
Covington, Louisiana
Monroe, Louisiana
Shreveport, Louisiana
Zwolle, Louisiana
Bowie, Maryland
Laurel, Maryland
Saint Leonard, Maryland
Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Grand Haven, Michigan
Novi, Michigan
Collinsville, Mississippi
Madison, Mississippi
Mathiston, Mississippi
O Fallon, Missouri
Piedmont, Missouri
Imperial, Nebraska
Carson City, Nevada
Las Vegas, Nevada
Manchester, New Hampshire
Water Mill, New York
Calabash, North Carolina
Concord, North Carolina
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Greensboro, North Carolina
Hendersonville, North Carolina
Hillsborough, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina (2 reports)
Statesville, North Carolina
Taylorsville, North Carolina
Weaverville, North Carolina
West End, North Carolina
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Bucyrus, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
Jay, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Piedmont, Oklahoma
Brookings, Oregon
Hermiston, Oregon
Medford, Oregon
Portland, Oregon (3 reports)
Springfield, Oregon
Canonsburg, Pennsylvania
Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania
Norristown, Pennsylvania
Aiken, South Carolina
Bluffton, South Carolina
Conway, South Carolina
Greenville, South Carolina
Laurens, South Carolina
Liberty, South Carolina
North Augusta, South Carolina
Saint George, South Carolina
Clarksville, Tennessee
Elizabethton, Tennessee
Medina, Tennessee
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Bastrop, Texas
Carthage, Texas
Cibolo, Texas
College Station, Texas
Corpus Christi, Texas
Deer Park, Texas
El Paso, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas (2 reports)
Gainesville, Texas
Kerrville, Texas
Lubbock, Texas
Portland, Texas
Riviera, Texas
Round Rock, Texas
San Angelo, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
San Marcos, Texas
Kanab, Utah
Ogden, Utah
Chantilly, Virginia
Danville, Virginia
Lexington, Virginia
Newport News, Virginia
Stafford, Virginia
Suffolk, Virginia
Kalama, Washington
Kent, Washington
Lake Forest Park, Washington
Pullman, Washington
Puyallup, Washington
Seattle, Washington



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