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How to prune an ice plant

Updated February 21, 2017

Ice plant is a succulent ground cover that is native to South Africa. It is characterised by lance-shaped leaves and tiny flowers that may grow either singly or in threes. Ice plants are perennial in their native regions. In many parts of North America, they are treated as annuals that are killed by frost. In regions where ice plants will grow perennially, they must be pruned yearly to rejuvenate the plant.

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Cut back the plant when three quarters of the blossoms have faded. If you wait to prune the plant at a point when all the blossoms have died, it will be too late for the pruning to be effective.

Position your shears at a point just behind the healthy, visible growing point. Ice plants should never be pruned back to the woody stems. They will not rejuvenate from this point.

Cut away the spent flowers and vegetative growth at this point. Ice plants will develop lateral stems with new leaves from the points where you made your cuts.

Tip

Ice plants thrive best when planted in early spring.

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Things You'll Need

  • Garden shears

About the Author

Tracy Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Arkansas.

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