In the pink

Oscularia deltoides

Mesembs are such a low-maintenance pleasure in the garden. Oscularia deltoides, commonly known as the pink iceplant, is a prime example. With its bright magenta-pink flowers surrounding and covering the whole plant, it’s a visual joy to behold.

These low-growing plants trail with their grey-green, often purple-tinged stems and blue-green three-angled leaves marked by reddish teeth, ultimately reaching 30 cm in height. The almond-scented flowers step out in style during spring and summer afternoons.

Care basics are simple: free-draining soil, a loam-based compost with extra drainage material such as horticultural grit, plenty of sun and ventilation, as well as regular light watering during spring and summer.

The pink iceplant looks good as a ground cover and it also cascades beautifully from a container or other elevated location. Into the bargain, they do well indoors, provided they get about 4 hours of sunlight. You’ll note etiolation (looking pale and leggy) when it’s not getting enough light. The same effect occurs in the garden when it’s crying out for sunlight. However, keep in mind that even when the plant is acclimated to full sun, it can still get sunburned during a heatwave. Help it along with a DIY sunshade.


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