Garden Oracle / Drought and Heat Tolerant Gardening / Tucson - Phoenix - Arizona - California

Growing Malephora luteola:
Rocky Point Ice Plant

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Form: A spreading, mat-forming succulent.
Lifespan: Perennial.
Leaf retention: Evergreen.
Growth rate: Moderate to rapid.
Mature Size: 1' high and 4' wide.
Flowers: Yellow, often more than 20 thin petals, yellow center.
Bloom: Fall and winter.
Fruit: A seed capsule that, when mature, opens and releases seeds when it becomes wet.
Leaves: Bright green, fleshy, hemispherical to circular cross-section, smooth waxy surface.
Stems: No thorns. Stem nodes form roots where they touch ground.
Wildlife: Attracts bees, rarely butterflies.
Toxic / Danger: No.
Origin: South Africa.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 9-12.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun.
Water after becoming established: Once a month, except weekly in temperatures over 95°F. Do not overwater.
Soil: Very well drained, dry, sandy, pH 6.1-8.5 (slightly acidic to alkaline). It is prone to root rot in poorly drained soil.
Mulch: No.
First Year Care: This plant needs water several times a week in high temperatures. The soil must dry out between waterings.
Planting: It does well on rocky and sandy slopes as well as level ground. Avoid areas with foot traffic.
Prune: Trim to contain its spread. In fall, remove brown areas caused by high desert heat.
Litter: Low except for clippings.
Propagation: Cuttings, layering.
Uses: Groundcover, erosion control on sandy slopes.

This plant is a member of the Ice Plant family (Aizoaceae). It is considered a fire safe plant but does not withstand foot traffic.

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Malephora luteola: Rocky Point Ice Plant

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Latest update: January, 2022