in Tucson, Phoenix,
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Growing Cephalophyllum alstonii: 'Red Spike' Ice Plant

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Form: Trailing, clump-forming, succulent.
Lifespan: Perennial.
Leaf retention: Evergreen.
Growth rate: Slow to moderate.
Mature Size: 0.5' high and 9' wide. Can climb a fence to 6' high.
Flowers: Red, many narrow petals. Remain closed or partially open on cloudy days.
Bloom: Winter and early spring.
Fruit: Seed capsule.
Leaves: Green, rounded triangle cross-section, rubbery, smooth waxy surface.
Stems: No thorns. Stems form roots where nodes touch ground.
Wildlife: Attracts bees; birds eat fleshy leaf tops.
Toxic / Danger: No.
Origin: South Africa.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 9b-11.
Heat tolerant: Somewhat.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun to afternoon shade in temperatures over 90°F.
Water after becoming established: Once or twice a month. Water only if soil is very dry. Prone to root rot if overwatered.
Soil: Very well drained, dry, pH 6.1-7.8 (slightly acidic to slightly alkaline).
Mulch: No.
First Year Care: Water up to several times a week to establish a strong root system, allowing soil to dry between waterings.
Planting: Can be grown in pots.
Prune: Pince off spent blossoms to encourage further blooming.
Litter: Low.
Propagation: Seed.
Uses: Ground cover, erosion control on banks and slopes.

Needs afternoon shade in high temperatures.

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Cephalophyllum alstonii: 'Red Spike' Ice Plant - flower

Cephalophyllum alstonii: 'Red Spike' Ice Plant