Gardening

Violet ice plant winter care

Violet ice plant winter care



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Violet ice plant winter care

Cold tolerant and frost resistant, the violet ice plant is a welcome addition to outdoor plantings in cold climates.

Cold tolerant and frost resistant, the violet ice plant is a welcome addition to outdoor plantings in cold climates. It is an extremely cold-hardy succulent with blue-violet flowers, which bloom in early spring. This attractive vine is not often found in garden centers.

This plant was developed in the Netherlands by Dutch gardeners as a groundcover and ornamental vine. It prefers to grow in partial to full shade and is drought-tolerant. The violet-blue stems are about 18 inches long.

This plant has a compact growth habit, developing in clumps of 3 to 4 plants that grow to about 24 inches tall. Once established, the violet ice plant makes a fine groundcover that is less formal in appearance than many of the trailing plants sold in garden centers.

The violet ice plant is propagated by taking softwood cuttings in early spring. Cuttings must be at least one-quarter inch thick, taken from stems that are at least 8 inches in length and grown on in a warm environment.

The violet ice plant is grown in zones 5 to 10 and is resistant to frosts down to about 25 degrees Fahrenheit. It will tolerate temperatures as low as 15 degrees Fahrenheit with only a slight decrease in quality. The violet ice plant is a very attractive cold-hardy and winter-hardy perennial that thrives in all types of soils.

To help preserve the cold-tolerant characteristics of the violet ice plant, the soil needs to be maintained with a mulch. This plant will root easily, so a 4-inch layer of pine needles or shredded leaves is perfect for this purpose.

Propagation

The violet ice plant has a short vegetative growth cycle, producing new plants after two years in most climates. Softwood cuttings may be taken at any time during the year. If you want to propagate a new plant from a piece of rhizome or sphagnum moss that has been in your garden for several years, you may do this in spring. Simply take one or two sections of moss and place them in moist potting soil. The section of moss should be cut into pieces no more than one-quarter inch wide.

Keep the plant moist until the rhizomes emerge. As they grow, you may pinch the edges of the pieces. The rhizomes will produce several new plants, depending on how large you pinch the pieces.

The violet ice plant is slow to establish in the garden and will grow to an average size in three to five years. It should be planted after the last frost in the spring and will not survive temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This plant should be mulched for the winter and will reseed vigorously the following spring. If you are growing this plant in a container, place it in a warm, bright location and water regularly. Use a saucer or tray to catch water and move it to an area that gets less direct sunlight. Do not fertilize this plant.

Pests and Diseases

The violet ice plant is susceptible to a few pests and diseases. If you are growing it in your garden, watch out for the common green potato aphid, as it feeds by sucking the juices from the leaves. For a small infestation, you can use your garden hose to spray the aphids off the leaves. Spray the aphids with water in the early evening to see if they go to another plant. If the aphids feed on a number of plants, you may have to spray more frequently.

There are other pests that can do some damage, but not to this extent. You may encounter red spider mites on the leaves. This is a tiny spider that likes to hide in the spider web-like leaves and feeds on the soft spots. Remove the plants from your garden, and spray them with your garden hose or spray the leaves with an insecticidal soap. If you have a heavy infestation, you can also try treating with insecticidal soap.

The plant is also susceptible to the fungal diseases leaf spot and Fusarium wilt. Your best option is to protect the plants with barriers against these diseases. Make sure to give your plant at least 2 to 3 inches of dirt to grow in the pot so that the roots have a space to grow. Water the plants regularly and keep the soil slightly moist.

The violet ice plant also has a disease called leaf blight. The disease starts as a yellow spot on the leaves and eventually turns brown. There are several fungi that can cause leaf blight, and you can use a product called Bordeaux mixture as a deterrent. You can also treat the disease with insecticidal soap.

If you plant this plant in a container, you may have to take special care of it. Check your plant often, and keep the soil moist.If the plant starts to wilt, then water the plant with a gentle stream of water to help the plant recover.

Fruiting on the Plant

In your garden, the plants start fruiting from May through August. You may see the fruits appearing on the plants in late July and August. As the plant starts fruiting, remove the plants from the garden. You can wait until the fruits are fully ripe and remove them from the plant.

Repot the Fruiting Plants

When you repot the plants, you can do a simple transplant. If you plant the plants in a container, then you can move them to the garden. Make sure to take off any flowers and cut off any extra leaves. The roots can grow quickly and easily, and the roots might break. You can also buy a container with a drain hole and place it in the garden. You can also remove the plant from its container and place it in the garden. You can move the plant slowly to the garden. The roots may have a hard time adjusting to their new environment.

If you want to be sure your plants will not lose their roots when you move them to the garden, then you should take a little extra care when moving the plants. You can transplant the plants by creating a hole in the garden with a hand shovel. Make sure that the plant roots can expand, but you don't want them to break. Remove the plant from the container and place it in the hole. Then gently place the plant back in its new home. If the plant has been in a container, you can keep it in a bucket of water until it is ready to be planted.

Harvesting and Eating

When the fruits are fully ripe, you can take them off the plant and store them in a cool area to dry. Once they are completely dried, you can store them in an airtight container. Then you can enjoy the fruit