By Kerrie Badertscher, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, Horticulture
Members of the ice plant family, or Delosperma, can be used in most gardens in this area. Look for cultivars or cultivated varieties that are hardy in USDA Zones 4 and 5. It's important in growing this ground cover to do appropriate soil preparation. Heavy clay soils need the addition of organic matter. Gravelly soils, such as that found in a rock garden, will work, and garden loam is ideal.
A cultivar introduced in 2002, Mesa Verde ice plant, or Delosperma "Kelaidis" PPAF Mesa Verde, is from the Plant Select program. This plant has a wonderful salmon-pink, almost-iridescent flower. It was a sport (or new form) that grew originally in the rock garden at Denver Botanic Gardens in 1997. The compact perennial plant does best in full sun to part shade with moderate watering. Avoid using organic mulches, especially in the winter, to avoid root rot. Otherwise this is a great addition to any garden and has few pests (if any) associated with it. Overall size for the plant is about 2 inches tall and 12 inches in diameter; it will bloom repeatedly from spring into fall.
Photograph courtesy of Judy Sedbrook.
© CSU/Denver County Extension Master Gardener 2010
888 E. Iliff Avenue, Denver, CO 80210
Date last revised: 01/05/2010