Out of boredom on December 30 2017, I decided to sort out my seeds collection and found ice plant seeds which were bought in April.
I had totally forgotten about them!
There are about 135 varieties and under them, 1900 species of ice plants. Originally discovered in the dry and barren South Africa’s mountains, they thrived better in sandy soil. In addition to leaves, their flowers are also edible.
Surprisingly the seeds germinated very fast, in fact only 19 hours, using strawberry germination method.
Transplanted on January 08 to sandy medium, will hope they grow well ! 🙂
I have given up on soil medium as my seedlings tend to wilt after a day in natural environment. A member of our gardening group, Ms. Vivien Misaki, had better luck by refrigerating seedlings in soil and “green housed” in ziplock bag. Her tip was to mist it once a day and not overly water them.
My seedlings also grew better in controlled “still” environment of an egg carton, rather than outside. These young seedlings cannot tolerate sun, wind or transplanting, as most died soon after. I will likely will keep them wrapped in this unlikely green house (egg carton) until they are more mature. Tip – Transplant early into individual space.
When the seedlings had 2 sets of leaves, they were removed from egg carton into individual PET bottle greenhouse. Shield against wind, in the heat of greenhouses, they seem to grow faster. Without this shield, seedlings will wilt even with good roots mass. They were placed in area with morning sun and bright afternoon light.
It is warmer in this “green house” than in natural environment. Air is allowed through slit at the base of the cover.
EXTRA notes –
From our hydro plants’ observation, they seem fragile and needed support, including leaves and stem. Both break easily upon handling.
To prevent damaging mature plants through handling, a suggestion was made by Mr. Kia Kuang Tan to seed directly in permanent pot and discourage tall plants by bringing grow lights closer. This way, the plants will need not stretch towards light source weakening the stem,
Our ice plants were observed to droop often in natural environment and thus they continued in our PET bottle “green houses” to support leaves in a more upright position..
Ice Plants Notes
Just Germinated Seedling to 2 months old –
- Young seedlings are unable to tolerate wind and direct sun. Need to be green housed or in controlled environment
- Transplant early to individual permanent pot
- Slow growing
Mature Plant Notes
- Tolerate full Sun
- Try to maintain cooler roots zone for healthier plant
- Drought tolerant
- Prefers dry hard packed medium – more sand, perlite
- Leaves and stem need support
- Flowers are edible
- Thick and succulent leaves with salt crystals
- Market price in Singapore – $160 + per KG