HOW TO GROW DELOSPERMA COOPERI




African succulent plants always bring a touch of the exotic to northern European gardens. Unfortunately they are often frost-tender and as such their time in the garden is usually short lived. There is one species however that has not only proven itself to be frost hardy, but also has an outstanding floral display. Commonly known as 'Cooper’s Ice Plant', this particular garden gem is Delosperma cooperi.

Native to the Free State province of South Africa, Delosperma cooperi is a mat-forming, dwarf, perennial plant notable for thriving in dry, hot environments. Once established you can expect it to grow to a height of between 3-6 inches and a spread of approximately 1-3 ft in diameter depending on growing conditions,

The succulent, fleshy leaves are cylindrical in shape and mid-green in colour. Under cold conditions the leaves can turn to hues of red. They are also covered with light-refracting, bladder-like hairs that look similar to tiny ice crystals, which explains its common name.

The neon-pink, daisy-like blooms are up to 2 inches wide and appear from June to September. However it will need to be in a position of full sun to achieve the exceptional display associated with this species. There is a certain amount of colour variation which can result in plants displaying vermillion or magenta blooms.

Delosperma cooperi will do particularly well in a Mediterranean environment, but as it reputedly capable of surviving temperatures as low as -29 °Celsius it should therefore do well in cooler northern European climates. Well yes and no. while Delosperma cooperi is more than happy coping with the cold, what it particularly dislikes is the wet.

With this in mind, plant Delosperma cooperi in dry, sharply-drained soils. Avoid clay soils or any other ground that prone to waterlogging, otherwise it will grow poorly or even fail.

For related articles click onto the following links:
HOW TO GROW DELOSPERMA COOPERI
HOW TO GROW LITHOPS FROM SEED
HOW TO GROW LITHOPS INDOORS
HOW TO GROW PORTULACA FROM SEED
HOW TO GROW PORTULACA GRANDIFLORA - THE SUN PLANT
Puya Raimondii - 10 seeds
THE HARDY TRAILING ICE PLANT - Delosperma cooperi

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