All you need to know is, how to grow ice plants indoors when to plant them, their water and light requirements, fertilizing the soil for ice plants, common problems in growing ice plants, and some other important factors that we shall discuss in this article.
Ice plants can be started by multiple methods. You can grow them from seeds or from cuttings. The other method you can use is to grow them from the division method also.
We shall have a look at each one of these in this article in detail. Each one of these methods can be used to grow ice plants indoors.
How to Grow Ice Plant From seed
Sprinkle the seeds over and add just a small layer of sand over them. Keep them indoors but in a sunny location near some windows and water them after sowing. You will start to notice new seedlings appearing after some days.
You can read in detail on HOW TO GROW ICE PLANT FROM SEEDS
How to grow Ice Plant From Cutting
Growing ice plants from stem cuttings are one of the most successful methods. This method is also suitable to be followed if you are growing an ice plant indoors.
The following steps should be taken to start the growing process from cuttings.
- First of all, you need to find a healthy and disease-free parent ice plant from which you are going to take the stem cuttings.
- Water the parent plant well, a day before you plan to take cuttings.
- Use sharp scissors or hand pruners to cut the stems straight.
- Use a small container or pot for growing these stems.
- Fill your container with an all-purpose potting mix.
- Bury the cuttings about half an inch into the soil.
- Use a maximum of two stems per pot if you are planning to grow multiple stems.
- Water the soil so that it gets moist but not soggy.
- Your soil and container, both must have good drainage.
- The cuttings would start to grow their own roots after some time.
- Now place this near a window where it gets bright and indirect sunlight.
How to grow Ice Plants from Divisions
Growing plants from the division method are not highly recommended for many plant varieties but ice plants can be grown from divisions. In this process, you have to dig the whole plant and then split it into divisions.
Look for a plant that is healthy and mature. Water the soil so that it gets moist. This will help you to take the plant out. Now start digging till you get to the roots of the plant. Be careful about the roots. Don’t damage them while you are digging.
Now take the plant out, look for the crown and root ball and divide them into divisions depending upon the size of your clump. If the clump is of good size, then you can cut it into 2 to 3 divisions.
Division can be done by hand but this is not recommended because it can damage the plant. I would advise you to use a garden pruner for this purpose. A Sharp knife can also be used.
After you have got the divisions, it’s time to plant them. Choose your container and fill it with potting soil, and dig a hole in the soil as deep as the depth of the parent plant. Then plant it in the soil.
All the methods told above are used by the gardeners to start the ice plant. All of them suit the indoor growth of this plant. Other factors that are decisive in the successful growth of ice plants are discussed below.
Light Requirement for Indoor Ice Plant
Ice plants need full sun to grow healthy. As you are growing them indoors, you need to choose a location near some window where the plant can get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight or use artificial grow lights.
Direct sunlight is very important when you are growing them from seeds and the division method. Growing from root cuttings does not require direct sunlight at the initial stage of development.
Soil for Ice Plants
Ice plants are not sensitive to the soil or its quality. All they need is soil with good drainage that dries up fast. If your soil remains moist all the time it will hinder the growth of your plant. The sandy soil is perfect for this plant and you can add gravel at the bottom or top of your container.
Watering your Indoor Ice Plant
Ice plants like to remain dry most of the time. At the initial stages of growth, they need moist soil but once the plant is established they don’t need much water. You can water the plant once a couple of weeks.
Growing the plant indoors keeps it safe from outside weather conditions. That is why hot or cold weather would not affect your plant. Your watering routine would also not depend on weather conditions. Water your plant often.
Ice plants generally don’t need to get fertilized. But as you are growing them in containers then you might have to add fertilizer. Adding organic compost or slow-release fertilizer to your container soil would ensure perfect flowering growth.
Problems in Growing Ice Plants
There are a few diseases and pests that might bother you while you are growing an ice plant. So it is important to be well aware of these problems.
Diseases of Ice Plants
Following are the common diseases you might encounter.
This is a fungal disease faced when growing from seeds. It is mainly caused when you keep the soil moist for longer periods of time. Moist soil with temperatures near 70 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for this fungal attack. The soil that is having high nitrogen in it can also be the cause of this disease.
It is advised to not overwater and over-fertilize your plant. Sterilizing your container before use would also reduce the risk.
This is another fungal disease that is caused because of cool and wet soil. It caused grey mold on different parts of the plant. Remove the affected part as soon as you see it. Let your plant breathe properly and don’t water it at night.
If you see dark green mottling of leaves and bunched stunted leaves, this is a sign of a virus attack. It is recommended to destroy such plants immediately.
This disease is caused by a number of pathogens. They attack the seedlings of ice plants. Mature plants can also get affected by these.
To avoid the attack of root rots you need to make sure that your soil has excellent drainage. When you see the plant getting attacked by root rots, remove the affected part of the plant and dispose of it.
Pests Of Ice Plants
The commonly known pests are discussed as under.
They are long insects with no wings and they produce a white powder. These pests can cause the weak growth of the plant because they feed on the leaves and stems by sucking their juice.
If your plant gets attacked by them, wash the plant thoroughly and make sure to remove the pests.
Spider mites look like small spiders, which is why they are given this name. These red, brown, black, or yellow mites will suck the chlorophyll out of your plant. Initially, the foliage of your plant will start to form white dots on it and later on turn yellow and dry up
Using an insecticidal spray or hot pepper wax is a good way to get rid of spider mites.
These pests can be deadly for your plant and they feed on the roots of the ice plant. They could be long and dull black. If you see irregular notches on the leaves of your plant, this means that vine weevil has attacked your ice plant.
Try removing them from your hands or shaking the plant. They can take shelter under the container or pots in which you are growing the plant. Keep checking the undersides of containers or pots.
You will notice some small holes in the foliage of your ice plant and sometimes these slugs can eat the entire leaves of your plant. They are active in damp conditions and usually, they will feed on your plant at night.
It is recommended to handpick these slugs at night. Or you can use traps to get them attracted to you. Also, use some barriers around your plant so that they cannot pass through the barrier.