Purple ice plants are very popular among gardeners. They grow well in all climate conditions and they have a long life span. They require high humidity levels during their growth period and they need lots of sun exposure. However, purple ice plants do not bloom until later in the summer or early fall when temperatures reach around 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 C).
The best time to grow purple ice plants is from spring through late autumn. The temperature needs to stay above 65 F (18 C) during the day and it must remain below 50 F (10 C) at night. If these requirements are met, then purple ice plants will produce flowers throughout the year. Purple ice plants flower in clusters called petals which are usually about 1/3 inch across and they last between two weeks and one month before falling off completely. These flowers are edible but they taste bitter.
You can eat them raw or cooked.
Growing purple ice plants indoors requires a little bit more attention than growing other kinds of ice plants because you need to provide adequate lighting and ventilation. Purple ice plants like bright light so you need to place your purple ice plant pots near windows where the sunlight hits directly into the pot. A fan blowing air over the pot will help keep the humidity up and prevent mold from forming on your plant pots. Purple ice plants love heat so they should be brought inside during the cold winter months and kept in a room that doesn’t drop below 50 F (10 C).
When growing purple ice plants in a garden you need to place them somewhere that gets full sun to partial shade. They grow very slowly so you need to water them only when the soil is dry. During the late fall and winter months, rain is enough to water your purple ice plants. In the spring and summer, you will also need to water them. Keep the soil damp but not soggy wet.
Purple ice plants can be grown from seed which needs to be planted 1/4 inch under the soil. The average growing time for purple ice plant seeds is about two months.
You can buy purple ice plant plants from a nursery or online. They are not cheap to buy so if you want one just go to a nursery.
How To Take Care Of The Ice Plant:
If you want to take care of your ice plant, follow these steps. First, water the soil when it feels dry. Second, put it in a place that gets partial sun. Third, be careful not to step or sit on it. Last, enjoy your ice plant!
Uses For Ice Plants:
The most important use for ice plants are as a ornamental feature of your garden. They grow very quickly and spread out, covering bare soil very effectively. This makes them useful for covering ground quickly in new gardens. They also prevent erosion, retain moisture in soil and provide a protective barrier so that other plants have time to take root and establish themselves before facing the elements.
In hotter climates, ice plants are often used as drought-resistant ground covers. They can also be used in containers or hanging baskets to brighten up patios, porches and other areas in the home or workplace.
Ice plant flowers can also be used to make a delicious and healthy tea. The Cahuilla people of southern California have been drinking it for years. It has a sweet flavour without any additives and only contains 10 calories per cup! A brew of ice plant flowers can also be combined with other herbs to make a refreshing and nutritious beverage.
Making ice plant tea couldn’t be easier. Just gather a handful of flowers, strip off the petals and steep in a cup of hot water for five minutes. Strain out the petals and add some honey or artificial sweetener (if desired) and there you have it, ice plant flower tea! Enjoy!
Interesting Facts About Ice Plant:
Because of the colour of the petals and their mealy texture, the flowers were used as makeshift candles by the Cahuilla Indians. The Cahuilla would often place them inside hollow cacti to make lanterns which they would then use for lighting during night time.
These flowers can also be found in a variety of colours including red, white, pink and purple. The more common colour is bright yellow but they can also be a very dark green.