Growing Ice Plants: How To Care For Drosanthemum Floribundum

Drosanthemum floribundum is a member of the Aizoaceae family and is indigenous to South Africa.

The plant is known as the ‘Ice Plant’ or ‘Freckle Face.’ The plant gets its name from the Greek words for dew (drosos) and flower (anthemon).

Growing Drosanthemum FloribundumPin

Floribundum is an easy plant to care for, making it perfect for beginners. 

It is a popular choice for gardens in warm climates and can be found in a variety of colors, including pink, orange, purple, and white. 

Some of the common household names include:

  • Ice Plant
  • Freckle Face

Drosanthemum floribundum is called an “ice plant” because it secretes a sticky sap that can trap insects.

The plant gets its common name of “freckle face” because the sap can cause skin irritation, resulting in brown spots on the face.

If you’re looking for an easy-to-care-for succulent that is beautiful and fast-growing, then drosanthemum is the plant for you!

Quick Facts On Drosanthemum Floribundum

  • Family: Aizoaceae
  • Light: Full sun to partial shade
  • Temperature: 60° to 80° degrees Fahrenheit
  • Water: Moderate watering; well-drained soil
  • Fertilizer: Balanced or slow-release fertilizer
  • Propagation: Seed, stem cuttings
  • Common Problems: Snails, aphids, mealybugs, scale

Drosanthemum Floribundum Care

Here’s everything you need to know about how to care for your drosanthemum ice plant:

What Does The Ice Plant Look Like, And How Big Does It Grow?

Drosanthemum floribundum is a fast-growing succulent that can reach up to 12 inches tall and wide. 

The ice plant has a woody stem that can reach up to 2′ feet long with small, fleshy bright green leaves with a waxy coating. 

Moreover, the leaves have a blue-gray hue, with small white ‘freckles’ dotting the surface.

When Does The Ice Plant Flower? Are The Flowers Fragrant?

When grown in ideal conditions, Drosanthemums produce an abundance of small, daisy-like flowers in the early summer ranging from white to pink to purple.

The flowers are typically 1″ to 2″ inches in diameter and have five petals borne on stems.

The flowers are not fragrant.

What Are The Lighting Needs, And Temperature Requirements?

Drosanthemums are sun-loving plants that thrive in full sun to partial shade. 

It cannot tolerate full shade, as this will cause the plant to become leggy and produce fewer flowers.

The ideal temperature range for the ice plant is 60° to 80° degrees Fahrenheit. 

However, to prevent scorching, it is best to provide some afternoon shade in areas with hot summers.

How And When To Water And Fertilize Floribundum Drosanthemum?

Drosanthemum floribundum is very drought tolerant and can go for long periods without water.

However, it is best to water the plant regularly during the growing season to encourage flowering.

Allow the soil to dry out completely between watering, as too much moisture can cause root rot.

During the winter months, reduce watering to once a month or less.

Fertilize this ice plant monthly during the growing season using a balanced fertilizer.

Do not fertilize in the winter, as this can damage the plant.

What Is The Best Soil For Ice Plants, And When Should You Transplant?

Drosanthemums grow best in sandy, well-drained soil.

You can improve drainage by adding sand or grit if your soil is heavy or clay-like.

The ice plant does not need to be transplanted often, as it will do well in the same pot for several years.

However, if you do need to transplant, it is best to do so in the spring.

Does Floribundum Need Special Grooming Or Maintenance?

Floribundum ice plants are low-maintenance that do not require special grooming.

However, you may want to deadhead the flowers to encourage further blooming.

How To Overwinter Drosanthemum Floribundum?

If you live in an area with cold winters, you must bring your ice plant indoors or provide protection, such as a cold frame.

To over-winter the plant indoors, place it in a sunny location near a south-facing window. Water sparingly, as too much moisture can cause rot.

How To Propagate The Ice Plant?

You can propagate Ice plants by:

  • Stem cuttings
  • Seed

To propagate from stem cuttings, do the following:

  • Fill a pot with a well-draining potting mix and water it thoroughly.
  • Allow the excess water to drain away before taking your cuttings.
  • Cut a 3” to 4” inch piece from a healthy stem, making sure to cut just below a leaf node.
  • Remove the lower leaves from the cutting, and dip the end of the cutting in rooting hormone.
  • Place the cutting in the potting mix and water it well.
  • Keep the soil moist but not soggy, and provide bright indirect light.

New growth should appear within 2 to 4 weeks.

You can transplant your new plant into a larger pot once it has developed a good root system.

If you want to propagate from seed, here’s what you need to do:

  • Start by mixing equal parts sand and peat.
  • Fill a seed tray with the mix, and water it well.
  • Sow the seeds on the soil’s surface and lightly press them in.
  • Provide bright indirect light, and keep the soil moist but not soggy.

The seeds should germinate within 2 to 3 weeks.

Once they have developed their first true leaves, you can transplant them into individual pots.

Drosanthemum Floribundum Pests And Diseases

Drosanthemum floribundum is generally disease and pest free. However, mealybugs and scale can occasionally be a problem.

These pests suck the sap from the plants, causing them to become weakened and stressed

 If you notice any pests on your plant, treat them immediately with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

These plants are also susceptible to root rot, so make sure to plant them in well-draining soil.

Suggested Uses For The Freckle Face Plant

The Freckle Plant is a beautiful succulent that makes a great addition to any garden.

It is perfect for rock gardens, succulent gardens, or as an accent plant in mixed borders. 

They are great for providing ground cover but also do very well in hanging baskets.

To decorate your freckle plant, you can use it as a filler in bouquets or floral arrangements.

These plants are also popular as houseplants and make beautiful gifts.

Ice plants are easy to care for and thrive with just a little water and light.

With their bright colors and interesting texture, these plants are sure to add interest and beauty to any garden.