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Delosperma: the ice plant

Photo by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

If you want to buy a plant that blooms for a long time and above all that is resistant even in winter, then Delosperma is the right crop for you. Resistant, full of colorful flowers, particular and very easy to grow, delosperm furnishes our gardens without requiring excessive attention. Let's see together its main characteristics and how to best cultivate it.

1. main features


Delosperma is a dwarf plant of South African origin, which has a constant flowering from May until winter. This type of plant is perfect for carpeting your gardens or flower beds, as it is very resistant to cold and cold temperatures. The flowers of this type of plants can vary a lot depending on the type of species you buy. In general, however, the delosperm produces very lively and very voluminous flowers, especially on dry and rocky soils. These flowers are sensitive to daylight, in fact they close at night and then reopen when the sun rises. Its flowers, similar to large daisies, have a diameter of about 4 cm. As we said, this plant is a creeping evergreen succulent that lends itself well to carpeting large well-drained gardens. It is a plant particularly suitable for outdoor use, both because it loves the sun's rays very much, and because its colorful flowers create a great eye-catcher, especially if present in large quantities.

2. cultivation


Those who want to grow a plant that blooms often and abundantly and that requires very low maintenance, has found the solution in delosperm. Resistant outdoors, the delosperma is not at all demanding as regards the cultivation in pots or in the ground. Being particularly resistant to cold temperatures, it is a plant that survives the winter very well. Also known as the ice plant, the delosperm should be placed in bright and sunny locations. The cultivation of delosperm is very simple, but requires only one care, the use of a suitable soil. In fact, in order for the delosperm to germinate and bloom in a healthy and complete way, it is necessary to equip it with a soil mixed with sand and gravel, which is constantly drained. In fact, the delosperm resists very well even during periods of drought, but does not tolerate stagnation of water at all. Delosperm can be grown both in the ground and in pots. If you want to grow it in a pot or in a planter, you need to evaluate the possibility of not exposing it to the wind and then place it in a more sheltered area. Irrigation should not be too frequent, in fact, in winter, simple rainwater is sufficient. Fertilization must be done in summer at least every 15 days, through frequent administration of liquid fertilizer suitable for succulent plants.



3. Diseases and treatments


One of the diseases that most frequently afflicts delosperm is root rot. In fact, this plant is very resistant to cold or drought but cannot fight the humidity deriving from the stagnation of water in the subsoil. It is therefore necessary to drain the soil correctly and not to water the plant if the soil is not completely dry. If there are any dry or rotten parts, cut them off. In fact, pruning the rotten or dry parts will favor a better flowering of the delosperm and therefore the birth of new flowers.

4. Multiplication of the delosperm


To multiply this plant there are 3 different methods, with seeds, with cuttings or with the division of the tufts. The cutting technique is the most common one, taking the apical parts of about 10 cm from the plant in the spring and rooting in a soil composed of peat and sand. As we notice the growth of the delosperm seedlings, we can proceed to repot them.



5. curiosity


One of the curiosities about delosperm, which no one knows, concerns its use in the culinary field. Stems and leaves are in fact edible elements of this plant, they can be eaten both cooked and raw and are rich in nutrients. In addition to culinary use, delosperm also has a medicinal use. In fact, the plant has numerous anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties that are useful for the treatment of diseases of the urinary or pulmonary system. There are numerous skin treatments in which the application of delosperm is curative and effective.

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