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Pickle Plant Care (Delosperma Echinatum)

Updated: December 30, 2022

The Pickle Plant, also called the Delosperma echinatum, is a small flowering, succulent, ornamental plant native to the South African beaches and desert areas. With the right amount of care, it is not only one of the easiest succulent plants to grow but can also survive outside of its natural environment. Are you considering adding a houseplant to your living room?

This article provides you with all the essential guidelines that will help you properly take care of a Pickle Plant.

Does The Pickle Plant Have Any Other Names?

The Delosperma echinatum or Pickle Plant is also commonly called the Ice Plant.

Different Types of Pickle Plants

The Pickle Plant belongs to the succulent Aizoaceae family from the Delosperma genus sub-category, a group of more than 100 species. The Aizoaceae family is one of the biggest succulent plant families with more than 135 genera and 1800 species.

Main Uses of Pickle Plants

Due to its small flowering, shrubby, and succulent nature, the Pickle Plant is the perfect plant for:

  • Placing in small containers
  • Growing along garden edging or in ornamental pots
  • Making hanging baskets because of their unique look when mature.
  • Making indoor decorations

How to Prune Pickle Plants

In most cases, pruning is done after the fall season or at least once a year. The primary purpose of pruning is to create a beautiful look and maintain the growth of the plant by trimming off the extra parts and branches and getting rid of the dead flowers and leaves.

Best Soil for Pickle Plants

The Delosperma echinatum plant prefers to be grown in porous soil that allows excess water to drain out fast. You can either buy this type of soil from local stores or create your own mix at home. Generally, all you need to do is add compost, fertilizer, sand, soil, pumice, and perlite to your potting soil mixture. The main purpose of the sand and soil mixture is to make the mix well-drained, while the compost and fertilizer provide all the essential nutrients needed by the plant.

How Much Light Do Pickle Plants Need?

The Ice Plant requires plenty of sunlight to grow properly and thrive. Therefore, you should place it near an open window or outside to receive full sunlight in a partial shade environment.

How Often to Water Pickle Plants

Due to its succulent nature and thick leaves that can store water, the Pickle Plant can survive without water for a few days. However, going for long periods without water could result in its death. Below are some pointers to help you properly water your Pickle Plants:

  • Smaller Pickle Plants need frequent watering since they cannot store water efficiently.
  • Mature plants will only require watering once the soil runs dry.
  • As the plant matures, gradually increase the amount of water as you reduce the frequency of watering.
  • To achieve a balanced water supply, your watering gap should be 5 to 7 days.
  • Watering is often done during the summer than in the cold winters and more in hot areas than in cold environments.

Ideal Temperature Conditions for Pickle Plants

Ice Plants successfully grow when the temperature is moderate. Therefore, if you live in a very hot region, you will need to protect them from the extreme temperatures between June and August. Plant owners living in cold areas may need to keep the plant indoors during winter.

Humidity Conditions for Pickle Plants

While not necessary, you can occasionally mist your plant to hydrate its leaves and eliminate potential pests and dust that could later harm it.

Best Fertilizer for Pickle Plants

You will need to feed your Pickle Plant with a mixture of water and fertilizer during watering every month. This encourages the plant’s growth and early blooming. That said, you should avoid over-fertilizing as you could damage the leaves.

How to Propagate Pickle Plants

The following are the three main effective methods of propagating your Pickle Plant:

Division: This involves dividing the plant into two halves and planting each half into separate pots. After planting the divided stems, remember to water them.

Cuttings: Cuttings should only be obtained from a mature plant and should be at least 5 to 6 inches in size. After planting the cuttings, make sure to water them.

Seeds: This involves scattering Pickle Plant seeds over the surface of the soil. Ensure not to cover the seeds to allow the new saplings to grow, and remember to water them.

Growth Rate of Pickle Plants

The Pickle Plant has a slow growth rate such that flowering starts in the early spring and can go on for over a month. Moreover, a mature Pickle Plant – approximately 60cm in length and 40cm in width – will take about 3 to 5 years to achieve ultimate height.

Ideal Pot Size for Pickle Plants

The Delosperma echinatum is a low-growing succulent with a shrub-like appearance. Its leaves, which grow on thin, wiry stems, can reach maximum heights of 18 to 20 inches. As you can see, this is not a very large plant, so it doesn’t need a huge pot.

Repotting Tips for Pickle Plants

The Pickle Plant is an evergreen plant and keeps growing throughout the year, eventually outgrowing the pot in which it is growing. Therefore, this plant requires repotting once every year into a new pot that is slightly bigger. The pot should be big enough to allow the plant’s roots to grow without restrictions. However, as you replant, make sure not to damage the roots of the Pickle Plant.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Pickle Plants Edible?

The plant is not known to be poisonous when consumed by humans and pets, but consuming large quantities can cause nausea and a loss of appetite.

Are Pickle Plants Toxic to Cats and Dogs?

The Pickle Plant is popularly known for its non-toxicity to both cats and dogs.

Is The Pickle Plants Poisonous?

The Pickle Plant is not known to be poisonous.

Do Pickle Plants Prefer to Grow Indoors or Outside?

Pickle Plants cannot survive temperatures below 0°F. Therefore, they grow better indoors in cold areas but need plenty of sunlight to thrive outside in warm climates.


If you are looking for a plant that requires minimal maintenance and makes a unique addition to any houseplant collection, the Pickle Plant is the perfect choice for you. Mature plants don’t need a lot of watering and fertilizers and will do well if you provide them with adequate light and well-drained soil.