Last updated on June 22nd, 2022 at 07:48 pm
Delosperma jewel of desert, also known as desert ice plant, moonstone ice plant, or delosperma moonstone, is an evergreen succulent shrub with small, glossy, dark green leaves and clusters of bright blue flowers that produce seed pods that look like ice cubes!
This plant can tolerate extreme heat and cold and therefore can be grown in most areas of the United States, including the southwest, California and Florida. Although it tends to prefer sandy soil and lots of sunshine, delosperma jewel of desert has low maintenance requirements so you can enjoy its beauty year-round without spending much time or money on it!
Jewel of Desert is an easy-to-grow succulent native to the South African Karoo desert. Delosperma name comes from the Greek word delos which means delicate and the Latin word sperma meaning seed, this variety has almost all its seeds on its outer perianth (flower petals).
Here are some main points to consider about the desert ice plant, also known as Delosperma jewel of desert, that will help you understand why it’s one of the most popular succulents among gardeners today.
Desert ice plant comes in different sizes and colors, making it possible to add to your garden’s aesthetic value and appeal in many ways. It’s hardy and easy to maintain, even for novice gardeners who want to start their gardening hobby.
Here are more details about this amazing plant.
Origin and distribution
Delosperma jewel of desert is a genus of flowering plants in the ice plant family. Most species are native to South Africa, but some have become naturalized in Australia and other parts of Asia, North America, and South America. Jewel-of-the-desert is an upright evergreen perennial that has tubular grey-green leaves topped with clusters of deep rose-colored flowers throughout spring and summer.
It grows well in full sun or partial shade. It is also known as moonstone ice plant or jewel of the desert because it looks like a cluster of moonstones on long stems. It can be used as ground cover or planted in containers for use as table decorations. It will attract butterflies and hummingbirds when planted near gardens and patios.
Delosperma jewel of desert propagation
The easiest way to propagate delosperma jewel of desert is by propagating it from seed. And while new plants can be grown indoors in pots, they should not be placed near an open window as they have a tendency to fall out and break roots when exposed to direct sunlight.
Propagation may also be done through vegetative propagation via cuttings, which are easy to strike because delosperma jewel of desert does not require a rooting hormone for successful results. Cuttings are best taken during the spring or summer months when temperatures are warm.
They can be rooted in sand or vermiculite at any time of year if given bottom heat; however, they will grow faster if provided with plenty of light. Once rooted, allow them to acclimate slowly before transplanting them into their permanent container.
Because delosperma is a succulent plant, it requires well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter such as composted bark or peat moss. It should be watered regularly but allowed to dry slightly between watering sessions. It prefers full sun but will tolerate partial shade.
Delosperma jewel of desert care information
Delosperma jewel of desert is a carefree succulent that requires little effort to maintain. It does well in full sun but will tolerate partial shade. If you live in a warm climate with mild winters, plant it outside.
You can also grow it indoors year-round as long as you give it bright light and water only when it needs it. In colder areas, bring your ice plant inside before frost sets in. Water sparingly until new growth appears in spring, then resume normal watering. Fertilize every few months during active growth with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half.
Delosperma moonstone can tolerate intense sunlight, but only if you’re in a desert area. If you are in an area that doesn’t receive very intense sunlight, it is best to place your delosperma moonstone under a tree or some kind of shelter because too much sun will cause its leaves to burn and wither over time.
Use a soil/potting mix that has excellent drainage. You don’t want to use soil that holds onto water or collects it, because if your ice plant sits in puddles, you could end up with rotting roots. You also want to make sure that your pot is large enough so there is plenty of room for proper growth and plenty of space between its surface and other objects.
Keep soil moist during warm weather and allow it to dry out in between waterings. To retain color, water moderately during cold months. Delosperma jewel of desert should not be allowed to dry out completely; it will lose its bluish color and eventually die.
If a plant dries out completely, remove all discolored leaves to prevent disease. In areas where temperatures fall below freezing for prolonged periods, mulch can help protect Delosperma Jewel from ‘winterkill’.
While delosperma jewel of desert is a slow grower, it does require some fertilizer to help it thrive. Use a balanced 15-5-15 for optimal growth. You can add about 2 teaspoons into your potting soil prior to planting.
Fertilize every 2 weeks during spring and summer with approximately 1/2 teaspoon per plant. Avoid fertilizing in fall and winter as temperatures are much cooler during these months, which slows down growth and minimizes the need for fertilizer.
Despite its name, Delosperma jewel of desert ice plant can survive in a wider range of temperatures than most people think. In fact, it’s also known as a heat-loving succulent that grows best in temperatures between 50 and 80 degrees F.
Place your ice plant where it will receive sunlight all day long, but remember that it won’t tolerate very hot conditions. Be sure to keep it away from direct sunlight during hot weather or you may end up with brown leaves.
Like all ice plants, delosperma jewel of desert thrives in hot, dry climates. Mist daily to increase humidity around it and make sure that it doesn’t get too cold. If you live in a humid climate, place your plant on a tray filled with pebbles and water so that it can still receive adequate sunlight but is protected from excess moisture. If you live in an arid climate, keep your plant outside where there is plenty of sun but no rain or snow.
The ideal humidity range is between 50 and 70 percent. If your home has a relative humidity level below 50 percent, you can increase it by placing a bowl of water near your plant or placing it on a tray filled with pebbles and water. If your home has a relative humidity level above 70 percent, you can decrease it by putting your plant in an area with better air circulation or by misting it daily.
The important thing to remember about ice plants is that they need lots of light but not too much moisture.
If you are not sure how to do pruning on a desert ice plant, contact your local garden center for assistance. Also, do not overwater too much because it can damage your plant. Prune with caution and remember to take it slow so that you do not harm your plant in any way.
Do not pull off any parts of your plant because they will come back bigger than before if they are healthy. You can also use a knife to cut off dead flowers, stems, and leaves. When watering your plant make sure you put some holes in its container so that it does not get too wet.
It is very important to keep an eye on your plant because sometimes there are tiny bugs that can kill them without notice. The best thing about these plants is their ability to grow quickly even when neglected!
When to repot
When repotting, gently scoop out the old soil and trim back any dead roots. Then fill your pot with the new potting mix so that it’s level with the top of your plant’s root ball. It’s a good idea to place a layer of gravel at the bottom of your pot to help prevent over-watering, as well as to add drainage if you live in an area where it rains often. Lastly, don’t forget to water your plant after repotting!
It is a very adaptable plant and will grow in various conditions. During late autumn, winter, and early spring, Delosperma jewel of desert goes into dormancy and all above-ground growth ceases.
But don’t worry – it will come back again after its dormant period is over. Some owners wonder if there is something wrong with their plant during these off-season months, but there isn’t anything to worry about. It just likes to chill out once in a while!
Delosperma jewel of desert flower & fragrance
Delosperma are a group of plants that produce flowers in mid to late summer and remain attractive for a long time. The flowers are usually small and attractive, which makes them very desirable in gardens or containers.
Some varieties are fragrant and produce daisy-like flowers in shades of white, purple, and orange. One popular species is delosperma jewel of desert (or Desert Ice Plant), with its starry lavender blossoms. Be aware that if you live in an area that sees frequent rain or high humidity, however, these ice plants may not perform well for you.
All varieties will attract hummingbirds as well as butterflies to your garden when in bloom.
These plants have a moderate growth rate, but will not grow well during very hot conditions. Delosperma thrives in full sun or partial shade and needs little water once established.
It is completely non-toxic to humans, pets, and wildlife in its natural form.
USDA hardiness zones
Delosperma jewel of desert thrives in USDA hardiness zones 8 to 10. In these regions, it can be grown outdoors as a perennial or brought indoors as a houseplant during winter. In colder regions, delosperma jewel of desert is grown as an annual.
While it may die back to its roots over winter, it will regrow in spring and flower again later that summer. It should be planted directly into the soil with good drainage; if you live in an area with heavy clay soil, consider mixing some sand into your planting bed before adding dirt to improve drainage.
Pests and diseases
Although it’s a strong, drought-tolerant plant, Delosperma jewel of desert has very few pests and diseases. Still, you should monitor for pests like scale insects and mealybugs. The best way to prevent them is to keep your plant in a container with excellent drainage that’s resistant to root rot.
This will help avoid infection from pests and disease organisms. If an infestation does occur, treat it immediately with insecticidal soap or neem oil to avoid spreading problems.
If you notice symptoms of leaf spot or blight on your delosperma jewel of desert, remove affected leaves and dispose of them promptly; take care not to spread these fungal infections by touching healthy leaves while removing diseased ones.