About Ice Plant: This flower comes from a family of plants native to southern Africa. The genus name Mesembryanthemum comes from the Greek words meaning “middle” and “flower,” since this flower opens around midday. The species name “criniflorum” means “having hair-like leaves,” possibly referring to the unusual crystal-like texture of the foliage. This quality also inspired the common names Ice Plant or Ice Daisy.
Ice Plant Germination: Direct sow seeds in late fall, pressing them lightly into the surface of the soil since they need light to germinate. For spring planting, mix the seeds with moist sand and store in the refrigerator for 30-60 days before planting; keep the soil moist until germination, which usually takes place within 14-21 days. This seed can also be started indoors 6-8 weeks before planting in the spring; transplant the seedlings outdoors after the last chance of frost.
Growing Ice Plant Seeds: Water seedlings until they become established, but do not overwater. Mature plants tolerate drought well and make an excellent choice for dry slopes, rock gardens, or other dry and sunny locations. These plants may reseed themselves in favorable growing conditions.
Harvesting Ice Plant: For cut flowers, choose stems with flowers that have just opened. Strip the foliage that will fall below the water level, and place in water immediately.
Saving Ice Plant Seeds: After the flowers have faded, seed pods will form. As soon as the pods dry and turn a reddish brown color, harvest them. Break open the pods to remove the seeds. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place.
Detailed Ice Plant Info: Origin: Introduced US Flower Other Common Names: Livingston Daisy, Fig Marigold Duration: Annual Bloom Time: Spring to Summer Height: 4-6 inches Spacing: 8-10 inches Light: Full Sun Soil Moisture: Medium USDA Zone: 3a-9b Seeds Per Oz: 250,000 Produces a carpet of low, succulent leaves and delicate daisy-like flowers in varied shades of red, orange, yellow, pink, white, and purple.