Nothing draws more attention to your landscape like an ice plant in your garden. Ice plant is a vibrant way to fill up spaces in your garden because the hardy ice plant is succulent and has a perennial ground coverage of daisy-like flowers. While heat-loving perennials thrive to some level of neglect, choosing perfect soil is important.
It is easy to grow plants and thrive well if their conditions are well met and neglected. Ice plants are perfect plants to grow as they form a carpet of flowers that are deer resistant and attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial pollinators. It is one plant that will make you enjoy beautiful colours year after year. Therefore, it is worth it choosing the perfect soil to grow the perennial plant to enjoy the long-lasting benefits.
So do you want to know how to choose the perfect soil for an ice plant? First choose a soil with good drainage, soil with fewer nutrients, medium soil consistency, and that with a PH-neutral. Ice plant is vigorous and grows well in poor to average, and well-draining soil. In this case, sandy, gravel and dry soil is perfect for ice plants. They will choke and die in moist, dense, and claylike soil, thus the need to target a pH-neutral soil when planting.
Choose Soil with Good Drainage.
One of the most important components to consider when choosing soil for ice plants is good drainage. Ice plants do not like poor drainage, as it leads to soggy roots submerged in water and may cause the plant to rot. The lampranthus thrive well in well-aerated soil with high drainage ability. Avoid dense or moist, clay-like soil that tends to hold water for long.
When choosing the perfect soil for your ice plant, sandy and loam soil are best. Avoid using clay soil during a dry or wet climate because of poor drainage, as excessive standing water can choke the plant. However, in drier climatic conditions, garden loam is the perfect soil to grow the plant.
How does proper drained soil help an Ice plant?
Inappropriate soil drainage when planting ice plants can also attract termites that can destroy the crop due to moisture. Proper soil with good drainage will ensure that the topsoil is not carried away from the plant. When an ice plant is grown in a container, mix high-quality potting soil with coarse sand to allow good drainage.
Select Soil with Low Nutrients
Soil nutrients are good for a healthy ice plant to grow. However, the Ice plant is a simple plant that doesn’t require a lot of nutrients from the soil or supplements from shops. Ice plants will do well and thrive better in soil that has fewer nutrients. There is no need to add compost or fertilizer when planting ice plants as it is self-satisfactory with the few nutrients it gets from the soil.
Sand or gravel soil is the best for Ice plants, because of the low nutrient levels. You can mix gravel or sand soil with your farm soil to create an ideal growing medium. Due to its original arid habitat, the plant has well-evolved increased tolerance towards most physiological stresses, enabling it to thrive well and brighten in low nutrients soil.
Some soils do not have single nutrients for the plant to use. Though the plant does not require many nutrients, ensure that the soil has a bit of nutrients. The plant needs little and, in most cases, no fertilizing, and all they require is planting and watching them grow.
Select a Soil With Medium Consistency.
Soil consistency can be termed as the strength of the soil to hold materials together and resist soil distortion and rupture. It varies from hard, soft, and sticky soils. When choosing the best soil for the ice plant, select one with a soft type of consistency.
Loam soil is a combination of sand, silt, and clay soil and has a medium consistency. Pure sand soil and a mixture of garden soil with gravel are good for growing ice plants. Soil with medium thickness will hold the plant well because it increases the resistance of the soil beneath the plant to any pressure. When planting an ice plant in a pot, a mixture of sand, gravel, and loam is the best soil for ice plants.
Choose Soil with PH-neutral Upon Planting.
Regarding how nutrients are distributed to a crop, PH levels influences micro-organic activity that allows the decomposition of organic materials. Soil with a neutral-PH makes it possible for microbial actions to improve chemical variations to the plant. Microbial components include important chemicals like sulphur, phosphorus, and nitrogen, which the plant can easily obtain.
If the soil around you is not acidic or alkaline, it is good that you correct it before planting your ice plant. High acidic soil means plant roots cannot access the nutrients required for maximum growth. Appropriate soil pH supports the development of a strong ice plant that blossoms and grows fruits.
To correct acidity in soil add lime to the soil a few days before planting the ice plant. If the soil is too alkaline, you can fix it by adding gypsum, which reduces the concentration of sodium found in the type of soil. PH that is too low or too high may affect pesticides management and is likely to change the soil composition.
Loose or Poor Soil?
Soil is considered loose if it has a low relative density from 0 to about 15% and has a void ratio compared to other soil. Choose a perfect loose soil to grow your Ice plant, because it has little strength, and it is easily compressible, making it best for growing ice plants. You can choose from decayed organic materials and mineral particles, which form loose soil, and with these characteristics, the plant will grow fine, because it is well aerated and does not hold water.
Grow ice plants in loose soil, to allow the roots to easily spread and pull water and minerals from a larger area. When water is supplied to the plants, it easily enters the loose soil. Loose soil will drain much of the water, leaving enough for the plant.
When you use poor and compacted soil, it will inhibit the roots from spreading and reaching valuable minerals and water. Therefore, loose soil is perfect, because it acts as a good support system to the plant. Loose soil will prevent water from clogging, ideal for ice plants promoting good air transportation into the soil.
Why is a Porous Soil Most Suitable?
Soil with the best porosity for ice plants is loam soil. One of the best aspects of having porous soil to grow a plant is that it holds a lot of oxygen within the pore’s spaces. Mixing sand with gravel makes the sand porous, making them good aquifer materials for planting ice plants.
Soil porosity may affect soil drainage, with those with less porosity able to hold water for plant consumption and drain the excess. Porous soil also leaves space in the soil, creating good aeration, important for root health. When soil with poor porosity is used, it facilitates soil erosion as it can be easily washed away with rain waters, thus the need to select less porous soil.
Making the Soil Permeable.
If the soil in your compound is not less porous, you can create a mix of sand and gravel to make it porous. Gravel has the highest permeability. Making the soil permeable increases the soil’s drainage and increases the proper movement of the roots system.
The spaces created by the gravels allow air to circulate in the roots. Permeable soil ensures no clogging of water in the plant’s roots, and the plant absorbs only enough water and drains the excess. Since ice plants flourish well in drought and harsh conditions, where most soil drains off quickly, providing permeability makes them grow perfectly.
Though it is important to choose permeable soil, it should not be too porous. If the soil is too porous, it washes away the nutrients in the plant during watering. Though water moves well in such soil, the soil will not hold enough water for the plant, and it is impossible for the roots to access any nutrients, as much as an ice plant requires less of that.
If you want a new plant in your garden, try planting an ice plant. Ice plant is a beautiful plant that will add splash colours to your garden. Ice plants will not require much of your time because they are easy to grow and maintain.
Ice plant appears in many species. One of the good things about the plant is that their fleshly, bright green foliage is always green and tends to provide colour all year. Besides preparing a ground cover for your compound, this plant is hardy. It is tolerant to heat, drought, and frost, with some of its varieties, is not affected by winter.
Are you looking for a drought-tolerant yet lovely flower to introduce to your garden? Then try planting ice plants to add a bright colour to drier parts of the garden. It is an easy-care plant, as long as you choose the perfect soil for easy management.