Why Choose Ice Plant Companion Plants?
Ice plant companion plants can balance and diversify a landscape. Ice plant thrives in harsh conditions but growing with other plants has several benefits[Companion Planting] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Companion_planting).
Ice plant companion plants provide contrast by adding varied textures, colors, and growth habits to the landscape.They help suppress weeds by occupying space and competing for resources. Because ice plant spreads rapidly balanced growth requires companion plants that can hold their own.
Adding complementary blooming companion plants provides seasonal visual interest. While ice plant generally flowers in spring, companions can bloom throughout the year.This helps maintain an attractive landscape year-round.
More comprehensive information and care guidelines can be read here.
The Benefits of Ice Plant Companion Plants
There are several benefits to planting companion plants with ice plant:
Controlled growth: Ice plant spreads rapidly at times and can completely take over a landscape. [Companion Planting] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Companion_planting “Companion Planting”) balances the landscape by slowing ice plant growth and occupying space that would otherwise be dominated by the ice plant.
Weed suppression: The dense growth habit of ice plant helps suppress weeds but companion plants can provide even better weed control. Perennial companions with spreading growth forms form a thick ground cover that chokes out weeds.
Contrasting features: Companion plants addcontrasting colors, textures, and blooming seasons to the landscape. This provides visual interest and diversity that a monoculture of ice plant lacks.
|Ice Plant Features||Companion Plant Features|
|Gray-green foliage||Variety of foliage colors|
|Spring blooms||Year-round blooming|
|Low, spreading growth||Variety of heights and growth forms|
- Resource balancing: Companion plants compete with ice plant for resources like water, nutrients and light. This balanced sharing of resources helps control ice plant’s tendency towards dominance.
By planting complementary [companion plant] companions, ice plant (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delosperma) can remain an attractive feature in the landscape while being kept in check and balanced.
Top 5 Ice Plant Companion Plants for Colorful Blooms
Ice plant (Delosperma cooperi) is known for its neon pink flowers, but planting companion plants with colorful blooms of their own can boost the visual impact. The following plants pair well with ice plant for nonstop color throughout the growing season.
Dianthus make beautiful Dianthus companions.Featuring clove-scented foliage and pink to fuchsia flowers from spring to fall, they require similar growing conditions to ice plant. Dianthus blooms contrast nicely against the succulent foliage and pale flowers of ice plants.
Thymes like creeping thyme (Thymus praecox) bloom profusely with purple flowers from early summer through fall. Their fragrance and low-growing habit help suppress weeds and stabilize soil between ice plant stems.
Ornamental onions like Society Garlic (Tulbaghia violacea), produce globe-shaped clusters of pink flowers in summer.When planted among ice plant, Society Garlics’ dark green foliage and unique architecture provide an attractive foil to the sprawling succulent.
Hen and chicks succulents such as Echeveria have colorful rosette-shaped leaves and flower spikes in warm tones of orange ,red andyellow.The similar preferences for dry and sunny conditions make Echeveria a natural pairing with ice plant.
Sedums, notablySedum cauticola ‘Lidakense’, produce striking orange flowers that contrast effectively with the pink ice plant blooms. Sedums also have similar drought-tolerant traits and low-growing habit. Planting among ice plant allows Sedums to spread and fill gaps in the landscape.
How to Care for Ice Plant Companion Plants
All companion plants for ice plant require similar growing conditions and care. The key is to provide:
Adequate sunlight. Most companion plants prefer full sun, getting at least six hours of direct sun daily. This ensures healthy growth and abundant blooms.
Well-draining soil. Ice plant and companions need sandy, gravely soil that drains quickly. Improve heavy soil by adding organic matter like compost.
Occasional fertilizer. Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in spring and fall at half the rate recommended on the label. Overfertilizing can damage plants.
Infrequent, deep watering. Ice plants are succulents that store water, so they only need water once every 7 to 14 days. Water deeply to moisten the entire root zone.
Annual pruning.Remove any dead or diseased growth in spring to encourage new growth and prevent pest and disease issues.Cut stems back to the ground.
Avoid These 3 Plants as Ice Plant Companions
Ivy is best avoided as an ice plant companion because it grows rapidly, has an aggressive spreading habitCommon Ivy“Common Ivy” ], and will likely overtake the ice plant. Ivy foliage also blocks sunlight from reaching lower plants.
Beach grass has invasive growth patterns and fibrous root systems that compete for water and nutrients.Beach grass can quickly become dominant over the ice plant if planted together.
Agapanthus or Lily of the Nile is best planted separately from ice plants.Agapanthus forms dense clumps and crowds out neighboring plants with its expansive roots and foliage. Agapanthus also requires more frequent watering than ice plants.
In summary, avoid pairing ice plants with vines,grasses, or plants that have invasive habits, dense growth, and high water requirements to allow the ice plants to thrive.
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