The flower colors of the Delosperma vary from white to pink, purple, yellow, salmon-colored, orange and rust-red. The flowers only open in sunshine and then close again. The leaves of the shrubby growing plant are very fleshy and very soft to the touch. They are semicircular in shape with an inwardly curved top and a rounded, outwardly curved underside. The leaves are evergreen and depending on the type of green, yellow or reddish color. This genus of midday flowers is widespread in the high altitudes of Africa, from below, i.e. South Africa, via Botswana, Mozambique, Kenya, up to Saudi Arabia. There are an incredible number of species in the genus Delosperma, around 140. They are succulent plants that usually form low cushions. The main bloom is in spring.

Species and varieties

Unfortunately, there are not many winter-hardy midday flowers in normal nurseries or plant markets. But there is a good selection on the Internet for this. It is best to go to well-stocked perennial nurseries or nurseries that specialize in hardy succulents.

  • D. aberdeenense – shrubby base, but prostrate branches, small purple flowers all summer
  • D. alpinum – dense, flat-growing reddish cushions, good overwintering if not too wet, small white flowers in spring
  • D. ‘African Queen’ – light pink flowers from May to autumn, well hardy with rain protection
  • D. ‘Badenia Red’ – small red-orange flowers from May and until frost. Not well hardy.
  • D. ‘Beauford Baby’ – flowers very light pink, very profuse
  • D. ‘Beauford Beauty’ – large white flowers, strong plants, need a lot of fertilizer
  • D. ‘Firespinner’ – flat cushions, very vigorous, multi-colored flowers, pink inside to purple to orange outside. Hardy with rain protection
  • D. floribundum – large, strong purple flowers, white flower center, great contrast, very vigorous, but not hardy, only in mild regions
  • D. ‘Golden Nugget’ – large, bright yellow flowers, dense, low cushions, flowering from May with a tightly closed flower cover, well hardy (I have it myself, I can only recommend it)

Care of the ice plant Delosperma

The ice plant is a very floriferous perennial. In addition, it usually blooms very early in the year, which makes it quite noticeable in the garden. These plants are easy to care for and if you choose the right species, you will get them safely over the winter, provided you do not live in very cold areas of Germany. This ice plant is suitable as a border, as a ground cover, for rock gardens or for cultivation in shallow planters, together with other plants that get by with very little water. Other succulents such as Sedum, Sempervivum or hardy Opuntia are ideal companions.

If you don’t use too much water for maintenance, nothing should go wrong. These midday flowers are absolutely frugal. They just can’t stand wet feet at all. Since they are exhausted very quickly. Wetness is particularly deadly in winter. That is why it is important to cover the plants.


The ice plant doesn’t like moisture at all. This is particularly important in winter. It is imperative to cover it. Most species are well hardy when the soil is dry. Wetness, on the other hand, leads to failures. If you have put the plants in containers, you can put them in full sun. However, there should be protection from rain. The earth just shouldn’t get too wet. Alternatively, you can use small pebbles and almost no substrate. Everything is dry again quickly, provided that the water can drain off easily.

  • Warm
  • Sunny, preferably full sun
  • Dry, especially in winter

Plant substrate

A suitable substrate is particularly important because of its sensitivity to moisture. Therefore the soil has to be well drained. If it is not naturally that, it must be made to do so. Drainage is required when keeping them in a bucket. This can also ensure that excess water can run off in the bed.

  • Good drainage
  • Permeable substrate
  • Doesn’t like heavy clay soils
  • Adding fine sand and gravel improves the soil
  • It is best to have some stony soils with mineral admixture
  • A lot of humus is rather unfavorable
  • Neutral pH


You don’t have to pay attention to anything special when planting. The midday flowers available in stores can be planted from spring to autumn. The earlier you get into the bed, the better you can prepare for winter. Usually you can find the flowers already open when they are in the nurseries.

  • As small as the individual plants are, they form dense cushions. They also like to displace other plants. That is why it is important to pay attention to the neighborhood. Low-growing plants should not be nearby.
  • Plant spacing 15 to 20 cm
  • Mix in the pebbles. You can also cover the whole surface with small pebbles, especially in vessels. This stores the heat and gives a good contrast.

Watering and fertilizing

These ice flowers store water in their leaves. This can be used in the event of water scarcity. Even humidity is sufficient to store water. So you only have to water very seldom, whereas too much water cannot be processed well. That is why drainage in the soil is particularly important for potted plants. But water is also harmful in the bed, especially in winter.

  • Pour only very sporadically.
  • The midday flowers need extremely little water.
  • Better to keep it completely dry in winter. They don’t dry up, but drown very quickly.
  • If the soil is wet, frost is also poorly tolerated.
  • Wet soil is the number 1 killer of these ice flowers, especially in winter.

When it comes to fertilizing, I have had very different opinions. Some believe that the plants that grow on poor soil can do without any fertilizer. Others recommend plenty of fertilization. Slow release fertilizer should lead to a lush growth. Experts recommend fertilizing once in the spring to “wake up” the plants and then about 6 weeks later to use a slow and long-acting fertilizer. So the blooming cushions get through the summer well. From July onwards there should be no more fertilization so that the plants can get through the winter better.

To cut

Cutting is actually not necessary. But if the upholstery gets too lush, you can boldly cut away what is too much. The plant immediately sprouts again and after a very short time the perennial is again large and strong and flowers follow quickly.

Otherwise, it is a good idea to snap off faded flower stems. As a result, new flowers appear again and again. This is a bit time-consuming, especially if you have several plants, but it is very effective. At the end of the flowering period, the dead heads are left on so that amen are formed. If the mother plant doesn’t make it through winter, you will at least have the seeds for the next year. The plants also reproduce by self-sowing.


When overwintering, a distinction must be made between hardy and not sufficiently hardy species and varieties. Planted, hardy midday flowers need rain protection. If the soil is not wet, many plants make it through winter well. You can put a fleece over it and weigh it down with some sticks, which is usually sufficient.
The number 1 cause of death in ice flowers is freezing. This is frost near the ground, which has a direct effect on the top layer of soil and plants and is not mitigated by a protective blanket of snow. This is why covering the midday flowers is so important. The fleece replaces the snow cover. The ground doesn’t freeze through so quickly.

It is better to plant non-hardy ice flowers in containers right away. These are set up in winter so that they cannot get wet or they have to be covered. The vessels themselves don’t really need any special protection, although it doesn’t hurt to put them on styrofoam and wrap them up. It is important that the plant substrate remains dry. The planter can also be placed in the shed, garage or the like, as long as there is enough light for the plants.


Propagating the ice plant is very easy. You just take a shoot, about a finger-length piece of the mother plant, and put it in a pot or bowl. It is important that the substrate is very poor and mineral. A piece like this is only pressed lightly. It is not poured. New roots form after just two to three weeks and the shoot begins to grow.

Propagation via seeds also works. This is how the plants sow themselves in the open. When the winter sometimes pulls the mother plant away, small plants appear and life goes on. Sowing is easy. Most of the time you have to buy seeds, because the plants sold in stores are often hybrids, they do not produce seeds. You should sow in February. The seeds are covered with a thin layer of soil. The substrate is kept slightly moist at all times. Set up the container at over 20 ° C, brightly, but without direct sunlight. It is important to prick out late, i.e. to keep them in the growing container for a long time. When you buy seeds, you usually get sowing instructions. This should be taken into account, because there are differences between the individual species. So not all seeds are covered with soil.
When buying the seeds, make sure that they are not the annual ice flowers, the Doritheanthus.

Diseases and pests

Diseases and pests are largely unknown. You should watch out for snails. Most of the damage, however, leaves behind moisture.

These perennial midday flowers are an asset to any garden. I find them particularly beautiful when they transform dry stone walls into a sea of ​​color. They also do well in vessels. I have one in the bed, but when it blooms it’s a single yellow carpet that gets bigger every year. I’ve never covered in winter, but the last two weren’t that great either, at least here in the Gifhorn area. This year I’ll put a few branches of fir on top. Otherwise I don’t look after the plant all year round. She gets water when everyone else gets some and the earth is well drained, as it is quite sandy. That’s the way it is here with us. There is no more care and she is satisfied. The research really made me want to get a few other species.

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