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Purple ice plant is a loosely mounding shrub-like succulent, growing 15-18 in. tall, spreading several feet across and developing a base of woody stems over time. Three sided pale green leaves are lightly tinged with purple at their tips; flowers grow to 11/2 in. dia. and have intense purple petals with white centers.

This is one of the most commonly grown species of ice plant for containers, borders, parkways and raised planters, and is well adapted to the Inland Empire. Mature plantings can be clipped at the end of winter to control shape and size; otherwise this is a carefree and low maintenance plant for sunny spaces.

Water Needs

Purple ice plant is well adapted to all parts of the Inland Empire in sunny exposures with normal winter rains and low amounts of summer irrigation. The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months indicated by an asterisk (*) when winter rains often provides sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water; little supplemental water is needed during summer following the flowering cycle.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 1

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Ground cover, Succulent, Iceplant
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Upright, Spreading, Mounding
Growth Rate: Moderate
Height: 15 in. - 18 in.
Width: 18 in. - 24 in.
Water Needs: Low 1
Foliage Color: Pale green
Flower Color: Magenta
Flower Season: Winter, Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil
Exposure Adaptations: Wind, Heat, Fog, Drought, Coastal salt air, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Slopes, Rock gardens, Residential spaces, Raised planters, Parks and open space, Near pools and water features, Mass planting, Grouped, Flowering accent plant, Container plant, Commercial spaces, Civic spaces, Borders, Banks, Attracts bees


Mature plants can be pruned, clipped, or sheared at the end of winter to shape and control size (4). Can be lightly cut back after spring bloom period to get rid of fruit capsules and encourage growth (4). Cut back along edges of borders and to keep of paths where leaves can present a slip hazard if stepped on (D,S).



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