How to Grow This Unique and Tasty Veggie
Mango ice plant is one of those vegetables that chefs love because it makes a unique addition to the restaurant’s menu. But this may be completely unknown to the average gardener.
If you want something special that does not fussy in the garden, try growing a mango snow plant. The leaves and stems have a fresh, salty taste that concentrates the sea. You can also substitute soap from leaves.
Desire to be creative and a little adventurous with your veggie garden? let’s get started!
What is snow plant?
Native to South and West Africa, the snow plant (Mesembryanthem crystallium) Was accidentally spread in the ship’s ballast tank in the 18th century. The sailors filled the tanks with sand, and the plant fragments prevented a ride.
Now, this has become natural in many areas.
It is also a salty ice plant and a crystalline isplant.
The salt ice plant derives its name from the specialized, translucent cells that grow outside the plant. They have short hairs called trichomes that form on most plants, but they look as if they are filled with water on an ice plant.
In some states of North America, the saline ice plant is considered invasive and is banned. Check to see if the snow plant is legal in your area before planting.
Because it can occupy a garden, consider growing common snow plants in greenhouses or large containers outside where they get full sun. Container growing helps keep the ice plant under control.
Seeds are available online and you can rarely find ropes available in nurseries.
This plant is hermaphrodite, so it is both male and female. It is pollinated by insects.
One more thing: As the snow plant dies, it may add some saline or salt to the soil, which prevents some other plants from growing at that location. This is one of the reasons that my plants are in containers.
How to plant a salted snow plant
Snow will kill the common snow plant. It grows well in USDA growing zones 8 to 11. You can develop it as an annual in other areas.
The optimum temperature for the salty ice plant is 68 ° F to 86 ° F. It can survive temperatures as low as 50 ° F, but again, it cannot handle frost.
In cooler areas, or in areas with mild frost, plant in greenhouses or cold frames.
Saline ice plants require full sun to thrive. It will not grow under any amount of shade.
Soil-wise, the normal snow plant does not fussy about where it is growing. Remember that it originally comes from coastal areas, which often have inhumane conditions that most plants cannot survive.
It will grow in sandy, loam or even clay soil, until it drains well. Aim for pH from 6.1 to 7.3.
Plant about nine inches when growing outside. As long as you keep them trimmed, feel free to grow them in pots.
When the weather is constantly hot, seeds are sown in spring and there is no chance of frost.
Cover the seeds half an inch deep and lightly.
I want to plant four inches apart and should be thinned to six to eight inches if necessary.
Water well until they germinate. I start with a mist spray, but it takes diligence, so if you can’t keep an eye on the soil to make sure it doesn’t dry out, water well with a good spray. It is possible.
Then, consider growing in a large pot. In this way, you can control the spread of the plant, and you cannot add any salt to your garden soil.
The crystalline ice plant grows well in containers, and since it occupies the area where it is planted, with the addition of salinity to the soil, the pots make sense.
I use the largest containers I can find. Most of my salted ice plants have been planted in half a wine barrel. You can plant in small containers, however, if you do not mind for a small crop.
Use a potting mix and ensure that there are enough holes in the floor for drainage. If you find that the soil is retaining too much water, drill it more.
Water the seeds half an inch deep and water well. Space four to eight inches apart. Within 14 to 21 days, you should see germination. Snow plants at a high germination rate.
If you are planting saplings in the garden, you can transplant transplanting in your garden.
Salty Ice Plant Care
Snow plants grow easily and do well under every circumstance. Once established, you can harvest without much effort.
Salty ice plants require very little food, as many plants thrive in coastal areas. So don’t worry about fertilization. This plant works well in all soil types and continues to grow.
If you fertilize, dig in well rotten manure, or use a well-balanced fertilizer once during fall.
When it sprouts and is young, it plants well the normal snow plant. Once established, the plant requires very little water. It is quite adaptable to survive in summer heat or during drought.
Planting Partner for Salty Ice Plant
Try to grow a salty snow plant with any vegetable that has a tolerance to salty soil. It’s a bit hit and miss, but I’ve put this list in containers similar to the salted ice plant, and all did well.
You decide by trial and error whether these plants work with saline ice plants.
Common problems and solutions for growing snow plants
Once established, the snow plant suffers from some pests and diseases. It is young plants that have issues.
Root rot affects the roots of plants when they sit in soil that holds too much moisture. The disease is caused by a fungus, which is easily transferred to the garden along with the plants.
If your young salty snow plants look dull, dry or yellow, and they are sitting on the ground or in a container that is not draining properly, you may have root rot.
Roots should be firm and white. If you dig under the roots of the plant on suspicion of root rot, they will be brown and soft.
Prevention is the best treatment. Make sure your soil is well drained. Add organic material to improve its ability to extract water.
This is another fungal disease that affects the roots of your plant and the stem beneath the surface.
If your plant sprouts well, but dies for only a few days, wetting may be the culprit.
Make sure your soil is well drained. Also, make sure that the plants have good air circulation. Always start with fresh soil and clean your appliances and containers with a 1:10 bleach water solution.
Harvesting ice plant
Leaves and stems can be eaten raw and added to salads for a salty crunch.
Use leaves as spinach. I like to roast them in a little butter and salt as a savory dish. This recipe for salad with sesame soy dressing is incredibly delicious.
Once established, the salty snow plant requires little input from you other than harvesting to ensure that it does not spread too far into the ground.
Enjoy this plant unique in both appearance and taste. This will be a talking point at your next dinner party.
Idea Source: morningchores.com