Pig Face Carpobrotus Glaucescens

December 18, 2016 in Flowers and Bulbs by Christine

Carpobrotus Glaucescens Pig Face Hardy Low Maintenance Ice Plants

 Carpobrotus glaucescens pig face.pngPigface and Ice plant belongs to the family Aizoaceae. Ice plant or Carpobrotus is characterised with edible fruits. Pig face or Mesembryanthemum is characterised by midday flowering. These plants are ground creeping and can be used as excellent ground covers. These particular plants have succulent leaves and attractive pink or white flowers. Though many of the species are native to South Africa nevertheless both Carpobrotus Glaucescens and Carpobrotus Rossi species are naturalised and native to Australia.

About Ice Plant and Pigface

Ice plant or Carpobrotus Glaucescens is one of the varieties that has thick, fleshy leaves which are edible raw or cooked. This plant can tolerate drought, frost, humidity and salty conditions. They can grow and invade rapidly and are resistant to fire. The long trailing stems of this plant grow to a length of 2 meters. Roots are produced at the nodes of the stem. The flowering occurs from October to January when the sun shines brightly. It can be grown from the seed or stem cuttings easily. The easiest way to propagate the plant to produce ground cover is by layering. Horizontal stem cuttings of about 30 cm can be used for this purpose. You need to leave at least 5 cm of the stem above the soil level while planting. It is best to use a division from large plants for propagation. Though the plant is relatively pest free, it can get attacked by scale during the summer.

Pigface or Mesembryanthemum flower heads are long lasting. To protect the gametes from the frost and dew at night time, they open only when there is sunlight. These plants can grow in different soil types ranging from sandy soils or sand dunes to clay or loamy soil. They grow well even in nutrition deficiencies and saline soil. The flowering season is from spring to early summer and is pollinated by insects. The older parts of the plant dry out and die off progressively. These are one of the top low maintenance easy care plants. The dense foliage can form a spreading mat. They produce fewer flowers when planted in shady areas.

How To Grow Ice Plant Ground Cover?

Ice plant and Pigface can tolerate temperatures as low as -8 degree Celsius. The plant requires watering till the new plant gets established. The plant can survive even if it gets covered with sand. They need well-drained position with full sun. To prepare a ground cover using the ice plant, prepare the soil with a good amount of organic matter. The easiest way to plant and create the ground cover is laying long stems with many nodes along the ground and by covering the stem except for the last few centimetres using soil. The nodes have the ability to produce roots and believe me they root easily to form a good ground cover. If you are using the stem cuttings, place 10 cm long pieces in the soil or potting mix and allow it to develop roots. Water the plants once in a week during cool weather and twice in a week when the weather is hot. When the plant grows another 3-5 cm and develops a proper root structure, plant them in the garden where you need them to grow.

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