Pickle Plant is a fascinating plant which is also known as Delosperma echinatum. It is native to South Africa and has grown in popularity among succulent enthusiasts for its distinctive appearance and low maintenance requirements. It is going to be a hot houseplant in 2024.
The pickle plant is characterized by its cylindrical green stems covered in small, fleshy leaves that resemble tiny Gherkin pickles or bristles. The green fleshy leaves have white bristles on them. These leaves are densely packed along the stems, giving the plant a dense and compact growth habit. The stems can reach up to 6 inches in height and spread outwards as they grow.
This succulent produces vibrant yellow flowers with five petals and a white center that blooms during the summer months. The flowers are daisy-like in shape which adds an extra touch of beauty to this already captivating plant. When they bloom, they attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
One of the remarkable features of the plant is its ability to thrive in arid conditions. It is well-adapted to survive in dry environments with limited water availability. This makes it an excellent choice for those who are looking for a resilient and drought-tolerant plant. It is well-suited for xeriscaping gardens or as a potted plant where it can be placed on windowsills or outdoor patios.
Growing and Planting Tips
Soil – The ideal soil for pickle plants is well-draining and sandy. It prefers a soil mix that is fast-draining and allows excess water to flow through easily. This prevents waterlogging, which can lead to root rot and other issues. When grown as a houseplant, use a specific succulent and cactus soil mix.
Light - This plant thrives in bright light and requires direct sunlight for several hours each day. Placing your pickle plant near a south-facing window or in an area where it can receive ample sunlight is ideal. It's important to strike a balance between providing sufficient light and avoiding excessive exposure that may lead to sunburn or damage to the leaves of the plant. If you notice signs of sunburn such as yellowing or browning of leaves, consider moving your plant slightly further away from direct sunlight. In cases where natural light is limited or not readily available, supplementing with artificial lighting can be beneficial.
Water - When it comes to watering, it is important to strike a balance between providing enough moisture for the plant's needs and avoiding overwatering, which can lead to root rot. The best watering practice for the pickle plant is to allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. This plant prefers a drier environment and can tolerate periods of drought. It is important not to keep the soil constantly moist or soggy. When watering, make sure to thoroughly saturate the soil until water drains out from the bottom of the pot. Allow any excess water to drain away completely so that there is no standing water in the saucer or pot. During winter months or periods of dormancy, the plant requires less frequent watering as its growth slows down. Its ability to store water in its fleshy leaves allows it to withstand drought periods.
Temperature and Humidity – The plant thrives in average room temperatures ranging from 65°F to 75°F. This succulent prefers average to low humidity.
Fertilizer – The plant does not need to be fertilized. If your plant needs a boost, do it during the spring and summer growing season. Use a succulent fertilizer and dilute it to a low strength so the plant does not get burned. If the plant has been repotted do not fertilize it.
Toxicity – This plant is non-toxic to both humans and animals.
Growing Pickle Plant Outdoors - When growing pickle plants outdoors, it is important to plant them in well-draining soil. This succulent prefers sandy or gravelly soil that allows excess water to drain away quickly. The plant can withstand mild frost but may struggle in areas with prolonged freezing temperatures. If you live in a region with cold winters, it might be advisable to protect the plant during colder months by moving it indoors or providing some form of insulation. The benefit of growing pickle plants outdoors is their ability to spread quickly and form dense mats of foliage. This makes the plant an excellent ground cover for rock gardens or sunny slopes where erosion control is needed.
The pickle plant is an intriguing succulent that adds a touch of uniqueness to any home or garden. Its distinctive pickle-like appearance coupled with its low maintenance requirements make it a popular choice among both beginner and experienced succulent enthusiasts.