Ice Plant mixes well with other desert-adapted plants either as a filler in containers or as a ground cover. It forms a dense mat of sparkling leaves and brilliant colored flowers. The small, pill-shaped leaves have tiny glands that secrete salt crystals that gleam like ice crystals in the sunlight. Ice plants typically stay under 1 foot tall and spread in 3-foot clumps. Pinkish-purple flowers cover the 'rosea' variety from midspring to summer creating a blanket of intense color. Its fast growth rate and spreading habit is best suited for barren spots in the yard and in areas with minimal traffic. Ice Plant also makes an excellent filler in containers or planters providing a brilliant splash of color to patios, retaining walls, seating areas or around a pool.
Plant Drosanthemum speciosum 'rosea' in part shade locations in soil with good drainage. It can be planted in full sun exposure, but it does better in part shade locations here in Tucson and Southern Arizona. Use rock mulches to keep the soil evenly moist. Avoid organic mulch as it encourages rot around the roots. Water newly planted ice plants every 2-3 days for the first two weeks, then water every week or two through the first winter. Once established, ice plant will survive on natural rainfall alone. Only water established ice plants while they are growing and blooming if rainfall is scarce. Reduce watering to every three weeks in the summer months. Ice plant is semi-dormant in hot weather and will rot if overwatered during the summer months.