Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Wonderful Rocky Pt (Malephora luteola) and Copper Ice Plant (Malephora crocea)

The yellow flowering Rocky Point Ice plant (Malephora Luteola) and pink -flowering Copper Ice Plant (Malephora Crocea) can be magnificent, colorful ground covers for Arizona Desert Landscaping. I can think of no other ground cover that will bloom as frequently and heavily as these do.

Last year (Jan 09) I planted two 1 gal Rocky Pts. in my own front yard and they bloomed gorgeous yellow flowers all the way until July. The flowers close at night and re-open every morning. They have a curiously perfect round shape like the one pictured if they have room to grow.

A plant that flowers almost year round, requires little to no water except for the hottest parts of summer and blends in great with the desert landscapes. Seems perfect. There is one issue though.. They seem to have a "hit or miss" JULY/AUGUST. Of the 2 I planted, 1 died very quickly in the midst of the summer and the other stressed out for about a month and returned to health in Sept. That surviving one is still blooming now (Mar 2010) and really has not stopped since I planted it over a year ago. We have planted over 1000 of these for clients the last 2-3 years (all 1gal) and there are probably 400 left.

Many of our clients are only in Arizona for the winter, so that makes this plant's solid winter color very valuable to them -most AZ plants bloom in Spring and Summer.

So, what will I leave you with ? If you choose to plant either of these Ice plants -or many others for that matter - Carpabrotus and Desert Ice are 2 other good ones we use - understand that they have a 50/50 chance to make it through the 1st summer and sometimes they just can't handle the heat. Their year round color is so powerful that this does not bother me nor does it bother a fair amount of our clients. So give them a chance and see what they do for your garden.

Tips: Plant in an area that gets at least at least 4 hours sun to full sun. Avoid high traffic areas. Water very little in the colder months (1-2 times per week - if that) Remember they are a succulents and by design retain water quite well. Water frequently in EXTREME heat only(95+) (3-5 times per week) and cross your fingers... if they make it through one summer, they seem to be a lot tougher next time around :) Good luck


1 comment:

  1. Can you please elaborate moer on Rocky Pt (Malephora luteola) and Copper Ice Plant

    Hope to see more posting related to Chandler Landscaping Contractors


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