Thursday, May 30, 2013

In The Winter Hardy Bed

Delosperma cooperi in flower

Not all my succulent plants live in pots.  I have devoted a small section of Cactus Hill to a planting of winter hardy cacti and other succulents.  The planting is located on the south side of a gentle hill.  The existing soil was a sandy loam, quite good as a starting point for a succulent.  I worked in liberal amounts of coarse sand to improve the drainage, and brought in a lot of large rocks for landscape aesthetics.  We have no rocks in Southern Maryland, only gravel. 

One of the most successful succulents in the winter hardy planting is Delosperma cooperi  (shown above).  It is native to South Africa and is one of the most cold hardy succulents.  Plants in my planting have easily survived low temperatures of 5 degrees F.  When happy D. cooperi makes a wide spreading, attractive ground cover, and is covered with inch wide flowers in late spring and early summer.   I'm going to try and add several more delospermas to the planting this year, and when that occurs you'll read about it here. 



  1. These guys are happiest outside. I grow some in a pot but it really feels like all they want is to be out there instead.

  2. In my winter hardy succulent garden in my yard Delosperma cooperi is like a weed, yes a nice weed. It comes up all over in different locations. Some of these new plants are from seed, others are where pieces of stem have broken off and rooted. Often I have to dig up big clumps because they are growing where they are not suppose to grow. But they are pretty and I like them. I have tried to grow other mesembs in the outdoor bed, but the rabbits keep eating them! Aloinopsis and Rabiea are favorite rabbit food. I am good to the wildlife in my yard, I feed them South African mesembs!

    1. Your local rabbits are gourmets, haha! But it's sad for the poor plants. Back when I was living in Nara, Japan I was really amazed to find all the delospermas just growing everywhere on the roadside, through the winter and all, flowering like crazy all summer long. I even collected their seeds and grow their kids on my windowsill, so nostalgic. :) Someday I hope to grow them outdoors. I don't think they like it very much inside.