image of tiny pickle plant succulent

Pickle Plant Cactus – Delosperma Echinatum – Cute & Fuzzy

Have you had the “regular” Delosperma in your garden? It is a ground cover that blooms all year with different colored flowers. Here is a photo of one so that you can see what I mean. But mine is a fuzzy one called Pickle Plant Cactus.

image of delosperma cooperi which is the hardy ice plant
Hardy Ice Plant Delosperma cooperi – Pickle Plant’s “Cousin”

But the Pickle Plant Cactus Succulent that I have purchased is a fuzzy version of that plant and looks like a cactus. It is all spiny with “stickers” all over it. It does resemble a pickle too! Or you might say a cucumber. Take a look.

image upclose of the white prickly hairs of the pickle plant cactus
My Pickle Plant Cactus

Native to South Africa, this can grow to be a shrubby plant up to 18 inches long, but mine is currently in a 1 inch nursery pot, and as you will see in the video, I am planning to plant this succulent in one of my own hypertufa pots.

Or maybe I will choose to nest this one in a cache pot from my collection of pots that I showed you in this video. I sure know I have enough of them.

image of fuzzy pickle plant in nursery pot

How to Care For A Pickle Plant Succulent

One of the first things I noticed about the Pickle Plant Succulent is how much light it needed. I did put it on a bright window shelf but quickly saw it begin to etiolate. But when I changed it to a table with a light fully dedicated to it, that didn’t help either.

I changed the light to closer to the plant itself, perhaps 5 inches away, but I saw no improvement. These need a LOT of light to keep the tight and clustered growth.

image of pickle plant in a hypertufa pot

Of course, as with all succulents, watering is only needed when the soil is completely dried out. During the winter period, it may only need a bit of water once a month or so.

My little plant has begun to etiolate and there is nothing I can do to “fix” that. Once it grows too long of a stem, I can only remove that portion and try to propagate it, forcing the branches below to grow new stems.

I think I will try that with those top stretched stems.

image of pickle plant being watered with turkey baster
A turkey baster makes a great watering tool.

Where Will I Plant The Pickle Plant?

I am planning to see how the Pickle Plant will grow in hypertufa. I have an old small hypertufa planter that has been through many winters and it seems to be just the right size for this plant.

Hypertufa is very porous, so that will prevent the roots getting too much water. I have a drainage hole plus the sides of the pot allow air inside and will help to leach water outside. Especially nice if I add too much water.

image of Kim The Hypertufa Gardener holding the pickle plant

Hardiness of the Pickle Plant Cactus

Some of the sources I have found say that the Delosperma echinatum is safe down to 0-10°F but others says that it will not survive under 30°F. This year I will leave it inside and perhaps test the following year outside.

Of course, I will need to propagate a cutting for an experiment. Can’t lose the Momma plant, after all. Being a native of South Africa, I really don’t see it surviving any freeze at all. But that will remain to be seen.

Pickle Plant Cactus - Houseplants in Hypertufa - Delosperma echinatum Succulent Houseplant

If you watch my video, you will see how I planted it up. It seems that it will be pretty tightly rooted in that small hypertufa pot. I sure hope that it likes to be pot-bound, but I was not able to find any information on that.

As small as this plant is, there were two faded flowers on it when I first purchased it. At that point they were just brown and dried up, but that is encouraging because such a small plant can produce flowers.

Shouldn’t be long of a wait, right?

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