Among the lesser known succulent plants we find one that grows mainly in the African territory but which is also used in our parts, especially when you want to have a plant that blooms even in winter in a colorful way. If this is also our desire, we just have to learn how to grow Delosperma or at least some of its varieties.
Delosperma is a succulent plant that belongs to the Aizoaceae family just like other plants that from a certain point of view resemble it such as Mesembrianthus and Aptenia. It is often used to decorate the flower beds of rock gardens, it can also be grown in pots, as we will see, and with great satisfaction.
An interesting peculiarity that characterizes these flowers is the fact that they close at night, and then reopen when the sun comes out. It is important to know if you are learning how to grow Delosperma because one might be surprised by their attitude.
It has a root that anchors well to the ground and its aerial part, the one we all see, is very developed. It looks like a set of cylindrical-shaped twigs which in turn are very branched and are also covered by a large number of leaves, succulent leaves therefore of a certain thickness, fleshy and of a beautiful green, shiny color.
The flowers appear right between this tangle of leaves and branches and are gods very beautiful and popular flowers, in fact, Delosperma is used for aesthetic reasons. They can be white but also of other very bright colors such as yellow, red, pink and even a strong fuchsia. The areas where this plant grows most, of course, are the following: Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Reunion, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa.
The color of the Delosperma flowers it changes from variety to variety, but it is always very lively and this is the reason why butterflies but also bees and all other pollinating insects particularly love this succulent. There are also multicolored varieties, then we find the lilac in the variety Cooperate which also has large flowers while the small flowers of the Abeerden, they look like daisies and are all pink. This type of Delosperma is particularly suitable for growing in pots.
Among the various cultivated species we can also find the Echinatum, with white or yellow flowers. It catches the eye because it can reach 30 cm in height and has succulent, tuberculous leaves. Then there is theAngustifolia which has only white flowers and which creates a very dense green spot composed of many twigs and leaves that have a color tending to dark green.
We end this exploration of the varieties of Delosperma with the Grandiflorum which exaggerates in height reaching even the meter, exploding in spring with large purple-red flowers, impossible not to notice them!
How to grow delosperm: soil, exposure and fertilization
The best terrain to cultivate Delosperma it is a well-drained soil composed of a mix of gravel and sand. This optimal base must also be fertilized in due time, or when summer arrives. At that time, we must make the commitment to fertilize every two weeks with a liquid product that is specific for succulents and succulents. Usually, to administer it, it must be diluted in the water with which we water the plant.
When we decide to learn how to grow delosperm we must also choose a suitable position which means a place in our garden or on our balcony where it can enjoy the sunlight and light in general for many hours, and at the same time can be sheltered from the wind and any currents.
How to grow delosperm: watering
A succulent plant, even if it makes gods wonderful flowers, it is always a succulent plant and should be wet as such. This means first of all that it is important to check that the ground is dry before proceeding. The soil must be deeply wet when you do it and indicatively we can say that it is usually watered at least every 7 days if the heat is very strong, otherwise the frequency must be decreased to avoid rotting the plant. For the same reason it is also very important to empty the saucer when the plants are in pots.
The winter flowering of delosperma
As we anticipated immediately, this plant is very popular because it is one of the few that can guarantee us a beautiful flowering even during the coldest months, even during autumn. It is therefore well loved by those who have rock gardens which in winter risk being very little colored, but the Delosperma saves us! It begins to bloom in late spring, continues throughout the summer with its abundant white, yellow, fuchsia and red flowers and then continues again and again even whentemperatures plummet, as long as there is some sunshine to rejoice in.
Multiplication of the Delosperm
There are three methods to reproduce this plant, it can be preceded with seeds, with cuttings or with the method of dividing the tufts. Most of the time we proceed with the cutting technique. In spring they go to subtract from the plant apical parts of about 10 centimeters long and they are rooted in a mix of peat and sand. This operation can be done from spring until autumn. As the seedlings of Delosperma grow, we may need to repot them. The signal is clear, from the plant, because we will see its root system come out of the drainage holes of the pot that hosts it.
Diseases and parasites of the delosperm
It resists well to attacks by fungi and parasites and also to bad weather, but it has its weaknesses, first of all the rot at the roots. This is why it is very important to know how to grow Delosperma and never overdo it with watering to avoid water stagnation. We watch over this and also on withered flowers that must be removed permanently to prevent them from falling and then rotting at the foot of the plant instead of leaving room for new ones.