Mesembsor commonly known as ice plantor carpet weeds  belongs to the Aizoaceae family which is also a sub-family of succulents -  roughly the same number of species as the Cactus family. They occur in both summer and winter rainfall areas and this affects their cultivation needs.

The majority of them manages a huge diversity of growth habits and climatic conditions. There are alpine summer growers, dead-stick summer dormant species, large shrubs, and single leaf pairs no bigger than your thumbnail. So knowing how to grow them can be something of a challenge.

Growing condition

They require a loam-based compost with the addition of extra drainage material such as horticultural grit or perlite. They all like good light conditions and plenty of ventilation.

Some are relatively cold-hardy and can even survive mild winters outside. Most will survive temperatures down to freezing point. There are some Mesembs which begin to grow in the autumn as the temperature drops and the days get shorter. Examples are Conophytum Manilaria and Mitrophyllum.

Because different genera within the Mesemb family have different growing conditions, care must be taken with watering. Some will benefit from a light spray water to prevent shriveling during their dormant period.

Grower Tips

The basics of Mesemb care are very simple, with free-draining soil, plenty of sun and ventilation, and regular light watering in the right season. Yet the difficulties are endless, trying to adapt to the Mesembs’ own adaptability and to follow their growth habits in your particular conditions.


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