Winter seems the fitting time to mention one of my favorite low-water groundcovers for the Southwest garden: the succulent iceplant (Delosperma). These spreading and flowering plants are hardy down to zone 4 through 6, depending on the variety. That’s right – a succulent that survives moderate winters.
Perennial iceplants spread quickly and flower all summer with striking aster-like blooms just above the fleshy foliage. I love the deep pink blooms of Cooper’s iceplant. But you can find iceplants with yellow, lavender, flame red and apricot.
Give iceplants full sun for best flowering. You need to water them a little more in the first year or when temperatures soar in summer heat and they bloom like crazy. Otherwise, they can survive drought and occasional watering. Oh, and bees love iceplant flowers!
I mentioned iceplants spread rapidly in the right conditions. If yours are overreaching the bed, you can enjoy the effect. They’ll spill over paver borders, for example. We’ve also carefully dug up rogue stems (they don’t root very deeply) and transplanted them after the last frost.
So simple, so fun, so pretty. You can grow iceplants!