How to Propagate Iceplant

February 4th, 2006

Iceplant is by far my favorite ground cover. It is hardy, quick growing, has attractive foliage, is drought tolerant, and pest and disease free. It also looks like a carpet of blossoms for most of the summer.

I plan on writing a very extensive post about iceplant in the future, once mine are back in bloom and I can get nice pictures, but until then I thought I’d cover propagation techniques… because that is what I’m doing now.

Iceplant is extremely easy to propagate, you just take cuttings (and because it is so quick growing the plant won’t mind) and stick the cuttings in soil, that is it. Now some people say that iceplant doesn’t like moist soil, that it’ll rot. This has not been my experience. Everyone says it prefers well drained or rocky soil (in fact this plant is considered invasive in California where it is taking over some rocky/sandy coastlines), but I haven’t seen any rot yet.

Anyways I decided to tear out one type of iceplant and replace it with another, both of which I already have growing in my garden. The problem is that I decided this around Christmas and if I were to wait for spring to make cuttings I would have smaller plants this year (and I want them to overflow their area) and if I were to buy them, I’d be paying $3-$6 per plant, which is a lot when I need 20 or so.

So in mid January, when the snow had melted, I went out and found still alive Iceplant, I tore up large sections of these frigid plants, and brought them inside. Once inside I made my cuttings, basically looking for pieces with nice bits of stem and smaller leaves (large leaves I tore off). Then I got a cheapo seed starting tray as you see in the picture, filled it with potting mix, stuck the plants in, watered heavy, slapped on a clear plastic cover, stuck it in a big east facing window, and waited. Two weeks later 70% of my cuttings had rooted, I had not watered it or even touched it since (thanks to the cover) and just now I went out and made more cuttings to fill in the empty spots. These plants have been in very wet soil for two weeks and are doing fine by the way.

I could have used rooting hormone as well… but with iceplant rooting so easily what’s the point? If it had been warm outside I could have also just stuck my cuttings right into my garden where I want them to grow. Do this, water every day for a couple weeks, and most of your cuttings will sprout, even in normal garden soil. Its that easy.

So, if you ever want more iceplant (and if you keep reading this blog you likely will, as I’ll probably rave about them lot), don’t buy them, just make cuttings, its easy. In fact, its so easy, that if any of you readers want a free starter iceplant, I’ll make a cutting and send you one, just pay for shipping.

38 Responses to “How to Propagate Iceplant”

  1. Sara  Says:

    Iceplant.. WOW.. i never thought I’d hear someone say how much they like it.

    When I was in the Navy, I lived in Monterey, CA. The entire Central coast is plagued with iceplant. In some situations, it is nice as a ground cover. Like you said, it is extremely hardy and the purple flowers that blossom are nice.

    We had a house right off of the coast, and our yard was covered in iceplant. We wanted some grass in our yard and it was hell to try and achieve that. We couldn’t get rid of it so we just tried to contain it. The way it weaves itself into the ground is amazing. Trench Warfare at its finest!

  2. Chris  Says:

    Would love to have a start; I am in Iowa and although the house I purchased has a lot of planting, half an acre can hold more. Less lawn to mow. Let me know what the postage will be, your mailing address and I will send stamps, whatever to you. Love your site; planning one of my own if I can stay in front of the computer for any length of time. I don’t spend much time inside this time of year. Chris

  3. Greg McCarty  Says:

    My mother in law has a home in Malibu CA, her front yard in all blue/purple ice plant. I love this plant and want to start growing it in Texas. I would love a clipping of your ice plant just to have around if still available. I will pay the freight. My mother in law has past on and I remember that she told me that it was easy to propagate. Your advise has reinforced what she had told me, I will try this with the two variaties that I have. There is one type that I am unsure of as far as type, she called it California red apple.Does this sound like a type of ice plant to you? Thanks for you help
    Best Regards, Greg

  4. Jason Schepers  Says:

    I purchased a seed starter tray this weekend and planted 72 clippings. I live in Ventura California so it does not get cold. I was wondering if I should be using the clear top or should I just leave the clippings to the open air.

  5. Administrator  Says:

    Yes, iceplant needs full sun.

  6. jeff M  Says:

    Thanks for the information. I love Ice Plant for “succulent bouquets” in pots here in Phoenix.

  7. Michelle  Says:

    I love ice plants but for whatever reason had a very hard time finding them except for the very expensive ones in the seed catalogs that always arrive half dead and never make it. I was lucky enough to go to a garden store today when they just got their shipment in and they had one Cooper’s ice plant but would love other varieties to fill my yard. I have over 2/3 of an acre of weeds that I inherited with my new house. If you are still offering cuttings I would love some. please let me know what I need to do to get some.

  8. Allison  Says:

    From Georgia: I love the look of the ice plants and have planted nine of them in a small area. They are hardy, but they don’t seem to spread the way everyone else says they do. Then again, we have the most dense, highly acidic, red clay ground you could ever have. Perhaps this is the issue….?

  9. Patty  Says:

    I like all the comments I’ve seen about Ice Plants, but my one question is: DO THEY ATTRACT BEES?

  10. Administrator  Says:

    Bees were always all over mine.

  11. TOMMY TWO SHOES  Says:

    I have lived in Southern California coastal and inland regions most my 51 years. I’ve had several varieties of iceplant growing in my yards and neighborhoods and bees always present when the flowers on the iceplant bloom; they’ve never been a bother to me.

  12. Bonnie  Says:

    I have several varieties of ice plant in a 1600 sq. ft. area. We live in zone 9, central valley California. The ice plant grows and spreads great and in the spring bloomed amazingly but was supposed to bloom all summer. I have a few flowers left but nothing like in spring. What am I doing wrong? Thanks for the help.

  13. Buck Bybee  Says:

    I live in texas and brought some back from San Diego its jan here so we are starting them indoors. Do you think the will make it thru a winter? If so Id love a start. I use to live in Santa Barbra and the grew from our house right down to the cliff and the ocean

  14. Regina Giles  Says:

    Do you still grow the Iceplant? I would love to have some cuttings if you do! They are beautiful, and I want to try my hand at growing them with more of my plants. Please let me know. Thankyou very much.
    Regina G.

  15. Sherrie  Says:

    I’m originaly from cali but now live in Pennsylvania. Three years ago when I spotted ice plants in a local nursery I bought 4 and planted them in the side of my small hill. I have clay soil so I mixed in some small rocks and potting soil they are doing fine so I want to add more color. I was back home recently and smuggled a white and yellow on in my suitcase. Here is hoping they survive next winter.

  16. Diane  Says:

    I would like some cuttings. Please let me know what variety you have and how to proceed. Thanks

  17. Susan  Says:

    Hi, I fell in love with the red ice plant when visiting FL. Would love a cutting or two if you still have some even other varieties. Let me know what to send you for shipping. thanks

  18. Jenny  Says:

    I would really love some cuttings from your ice plants. Please let me know how much to send for shipping. Thank you so much:)

  19. Administrator  Says:

    I’m afraid I no longer grow Iceplant.

  20. Judy  Says:

    I would love o have a cutting of a ice plants. Do u know what kind you have? I will be more then happy to pay for the shipping my zip is 15627.
    Many thanks

  21. Madelon  Says:

    A friend brought me a cutting of ice plant from the Azores. I found it wasn’t a native plant but plan to propagate it and grow it in a pot, since it probably won’t survive cold winters in zone 7. Thanks for the helpful information.

  22. Dave  Says:

    My family brought some clippings from San Diego to Saudi Arabia when I was a kid. It did VERY well in our front yard. I bet it is still there (and nobody knows what it is) I am trying to grow some here in Houston…. I am eager to do it right…

  23. scott dittrich  Says:

    I live on the coast in Southern California and have a variety of types of iceplants. Some are doing great while in other places it is hard to keep it alive even with planting and lots of water. In some spots it turns yellow and some of the original ice plant will die off in patches and have to be ripped out. Any thoughts?

    I have been waiting until rainy season to do a major replant of the cuttings so that I am certain they don’t dry out.
    Do you think I need to do a tray inside

  24. marie  Says:

    I’ve been having a difficult time with my ice plants that I brought in for the winter.I lost one of them already,I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.They have a nice sunny window and a grow light to make sure they’re getting enough light,I keep them on the drier side to prevent rot,they have room in their pots so they’re not root bound.Should I try and propigate them so I don’t loose them all together?

  25. marie  Says:

    I’ve been having a difficult time with my ice plants that I brought in for the winter.I lost one of them already,I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.They have a nice sunny window and a grow light to make sure they’re getting enough light,I keep them on the drier side to prevent rot,they have room in their pots so they’re not root bound.Should I try and propagate them so I don’t loose them all together?

  26. Jay  Says:

    I’m at the nexus of Zone 23 and Zone 24 in San Diego (Carmel Valley), and I’m an eager beginner at ice plant propagation. Since I’m in such a mild climate, do I still need to go the seed starting tray route, or can I pop them directly into the ground to propagate? (I’ll be planting the Fire Spinner.)

  27. Patti  Says:

    Thanks for your propagation info! I had never seen an ice plant before this past summer. I bought one last minute as a filler for a pot nothing else would grow in and not only did it grow huge it was beautiful!! I live in Alberta, Canada and ice plants are hard to find and expensive. So I brought this one into the house in the fall and it has continued to grow and bloom all winter – it’s now my favourite house plant. I’m looking forward to starting cuttings to share with family and friends….love this plant!

  28. Maxx  Says:

    Thank you for youe detailed information. I have just repotted my very first iceplant as I love the intense colour of the flouwers and upon arrivan a few of the stems broke off. Now i’m going to go and replant the cuttings and fingers crossed more ice plant.
    Thank you for your time in writing 🙂

  29. Pam  Says:

    We are looking for something to put around an in-ground pool because I’m sick of mulching. However we live just outside of Pittsburgh. I wanted to know if it will die in the winter where it could conceivably get as low as zero. I wasn’t looking to replant hundreds of flowers every year.

  30. Nellie  Says:

    I’ve been back and forth to California to visit families and have the deepest desire to grow those beautiful ice plants. Just returned from a weekend visit and I managed to bring two different species. I’m so excited and can’t wait to get them on a pot or so….

  31. joe  Says:

    I started 5, 12″ heavy plastic pots of ice plants (2 varieties in each pot) from cuttings last spring here in Kansas and they grew beautifully and provided a wonderful display of color for our driveway in spite of a hot, dry summer. We used a high quality potting mix (we used Miracle-Gro and Scott’s Hyponex). We didnt’t use a sandy cactus mix, and we watered them thoroughly as needed, usually about every 7-10 days and fertilized every 3 weeks with liquid Miracle-gro. In late October before first freeze we cut them back severely with scissors and have kept them overwinter in a bright bathroom. Once inside we watered them lightly every month or so, and trimmed them back only once. They have done great (even flowered a little) and we’ll put them back out mother’s day or so. Great, easy, low maintenance plants that grow rapidly and provides lots of greenery and color. Good luck!

  32. CINDY  Says:


  33. Administrator  Says:

    I planted them in michigan, and some winters they survived, others they did not.

  34. Breanna Pritchett  Says:

    I have a type of ice plant that I am trying to figure out the exact name of. I was gifted this plant without a tag. Is there someone I can send a picture to to help me out? Also I would lI’ve a new cutting of a different color, I currently have a pink or purple color.

  35. Justin Kase  Says:

    I have a hillside of red apple iceplant that all died due to disease.

    The details are here:

    After putting up with large bare spots that got taken over by weeds I’m finally taking the red apple out and replacing it with several other ice plant varieties.

  36. Omar  Says:

    Hi, so we just planted a few ice plant cutting in our backyard hill and I notice that the leaves or the whole cutting itself feels soft to the touch, they are still green tho, my question is, is it normal that they feel soft to the touch?

  37. Administrator  Says:

    yes, they are soft and squishy

  38. mia  Says:

    THANK YOU for your post… (and I realize I’m responding 11 years after the post)… I LUV, LUV, LUV ice plants. I live in Denver and xeriscaped my yard. I planted 3, but one in particular grew exponentially only to start dying off on the 3rd year. Broke my heart! They are so beautiful. I talked to several garden centers and first was told I watered too much, then not enough, then no one had any ideas, and finally read from several folks (on the internet) that like them as much as you & I that they’ve had issues too but that it’s so easy to propagate them that they fill in “bald spots” with ease. To this day I know not what caused the die-off, but I am propagating them like crazy, and I am soooo happy! so thank you again. (apologies for the long post).

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