Crispy Wave Plants

Crispy wave plants, also known as ice plants or delosperma, are popular succulents that can add vibrant color and exciting texture to outdoor and indoor spaces. With their trailing stems and brightly colored flowers, they make excellent container plants that can cascade beautifully over the edges of pots and planters.

Growing crispy wave plants in pots is easy, as they require minimal care once established. Here is a complete guide to getting started and keeping your brittle wave plants looking their best all season long.

Choosing the Right Pot for Crispy Wave Plants

When selecting a pot for crispy wave plants, keep these tips in mind:

  • Drainage holes – Ensure your pot has adequate drainage holes in the bottom to prevent soggy soil. Excess moisture can cause root rot in succulents.
  • Pot size – Select a pot that is just slightly larger than the root ball of your plant. Crispy wave plants like being somewhat rootbound. A container that is too large can hold moisture for too long.
  • Material – Terracotta, concrete, ceramic, and plastic pots all work well. Avoid metal containers as they conduct heat.
  • Shape – Low, wide containers allow the crispy wave stems to drape attractively over the sides. Round, square, or rectangular pots are ideal shapes.

Plant 3-5 crispy wave starter plants together in a wider pot for a fuller, cascading look. This allows their trailing stems to intermingle.

Best Soil Mix for Crispy Wave Plants

Crispy wave plants need a very fast-draining soil mix. This prevents overwatering problems.

The ideal potting mix contains:

  • 60-70% inorganic material – Coarse sand, perlite, pumice, or small gravel provide drainage.
  • 30-40% organic material – Potting soil, compost, or coconut coir supply nutrients.
  • Optional additions – Mix in a small amount of activated charcoal to prevent soil from getting waterlogged.

Store-bought cactus/succulent potting mixes work well and provide the fast drainage these plants require. Or make your own customized blend. Just be sure the soil drains quickly and doesn’t hold moisture.

How to Plant Crispy Wave in a Pot

How to Plant Crispy Wave in a Pot

Follow these steps when potting up new crispy wave plants:

  1. Fill your container about 1/3 full with prepared soil mix. Pack it down lightly with your hands.
  2. Carefully remove the crispy wave plant from its nursery pot. Gently loosen any circled roots at the bottom or sides.
  3. Place the crispy wave in the new pot atop the soil. Ensure the top of the root ball sits just below the pot’s rim.
  4. Fill in around the roots with more soil mix. Tap the pot gently to settle it. Do not pack it down tightly.
  5. Water thoroughly until it drains from the pot’s bottom. Allow any excess to drain away.
  6. If desired, add a thin layer of small pebbles or sand atop the soil. This helps retain moisture.

How Much Sunlight for Crispy Wave Plants

Provide crispy wave plants with plenty of direct sunlight for the best growth and fullest color.

Here are their ideal light conditions:

  • Outdoors – At least 6 hours of full sun per day. The morning sun is excellent, afternoon shade is OK.
  • Indoors – South or west-facing window. Rotate the plant periodically to distribute light evenly.

Colors may fade, and growth may become leggy with insufficient sunlight. If needed, you can provide supplemental lighting with grow lights.

How Much Water for Crispy Wave Plants

Crispy wave plants are drought tolerant once established and prefer drying out between waterings. Take care not to overwater them.

Follow these tips for watering crispy wave plants:

  • Allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. Test with your finger.
  • They may need water every 7-10 days during summer, and less frequently in winter.
  • When watering, drench the entire soil until it runs from the drainage holes. This encourages more profound root growth.
  • Always pour off any water that collects in the saucer beneath the pot. Never let plants sit in water.
  • Adjust the watering frequency based on your environment, pot material, and exposure to sunlight.

Underwatering is better than overwatering crispy wave plants. Their fleshy leaves store moisture as a drought adaptation.

Fertilizing Crispy Wave Plants

Crispy wave plants have low nutritional demands. Occasional light fertilizing is sufficient:

  • Use a half-strength, water-soluble succulent fertilizer. Apply every 2-3 weeks during the active growing season (spring through fall).
  • Avoid high-nitrogen fertilizers, as excess nitrogen can damage succulent roots.
  • Do not fertilize if the soil is dry. Only apply it at the beginning of a watering cycle.
  • In winter, fertilize just once or twice to support new spring growth.

Adding compost or worm castings to the potting mix also provides slow-release nutrients without the risk of fertilizer burn.

Temperature Requirements

Crispy wave plants thrive in warm temperatures between 65-80°F (18-27°C). They can tolerate short periods of temperatures slightly above or below this range.

Avoid exposing them to cold or frost. Prolonged exposure to temperatures below 50°F (10°C) can damage plants.

Keep crispy wave plants above 55°F (13°C) during winter dormancy for best results. Reduce watering in winter as well.

Pruning and Shaping Crispy Wave Plant

To promote bushy, compact growth, prune crispy wave plants in spring:

  • Use clean, sterilized scissors or garden shears.
  • Snip off any dead, damaged, or diseased growth first.
  • Then, trim back any overgrown, leggy stems to reshape the plant.
  • Remove spent flowers and any old flower stalks.
  • Pinch or cut the tips of healthy stems by about 1/3 their length to encourage branching.

You can prune again in midsummer if needed to manage shape and size. Avoid heavy pruning in the fall.

Repotting Crispy Wave Plant

As container plants, crispy waves will need repotting every 2-3 years to refresh the soil and provide more room for root growth.

  • Repot in early spring before new growth begins.
  • Carefully remove from the current pot and loosen the circled roots.
  • Shift to a larger container—these plants like being somewhat rootbound.
  • Fill in around roots with fresh succulent/cactus mix.
  • Water well and let it drain thoroughly after repotting.

Avoid disturbing crispy wave plant roots unnecessarily. Repotting annually can stress the plants.

Common Problems with Crispy Wave Plant

Crispy wave plants are pretty hardy when grown in suitable conditions. But they can encounter a few issues:

  • Overwatering – Yellow leaves, soft rot, plant collapse. Allow soil to dry between waterings.
  • I am underwatering – Wrinkled, shriveled leaves—water thoroughly when the soil dries out.
  • Insufficient sunlight – Leggy, weak growth. Provide at least 6 hours of sun.
  • Frost damage – Shriveled, blackened leaves. Move plants indoors before frost.
  • Sunburn – White, bleached patches on leaves. Offer some afternoon shade.
  • Pests – Mealybugs, aphids. Try neem oil and insecticidal soap.
  • Diseases – Stem & root rot due to wet soil. Improve drainage.

Early intervention can help prevent most problems. Your crispy wave plants will thrive with the proper care.

Displaying and Enjoying Crispy Wave Plant

Displaying and Enjoying Crispy Wave Plants

Once established in appropriate growing conditions, crispy wave plants reward you with vibrant colors and cascading texture.

Here are some fun ways to showcase them:

  • Use as a colorful groundcover or cascading element in mixed succulent containers.
  • Plant them in a tall container or urn to let the stems spill attractively over the sides.
  • Grow different delosperma varieties together for interest. ‘White Wonder’ has white blooms.
  • Please include them in rock gardens, green walls, or xeriscapes. They add striking color.
  • Use crispy wave plants to soften the edges of hardscapes like garden paths or patios.
  • Display containerized plants on stair risers, fireplace hearths, tabletops, or other surfaces.
  • Bring pots indoors to enjoy their cheery flowers and trailing stems as houseplants. Provide ample sunlight.

With the right location and care, crispy wave plants offer dynamic, long-lasting colors highlighting outdoor and indoor spaces.


With their vibrant flowers and energetically spreading stems, crispy wave plants add striking texture and color when used in containers. They combine beautifully with other succulents but also shine on their own.

When provided with adequate sunlight, well-draining soil, and proper watering, crispy wave plants can easily grow indoors and out. Avoid overwatering, protect from frost, and give them room to drape attractively over pot edges.

With just a little primary care, crispy wave plants reward you with vivid color and cheerful flowers. Their trailing stems cascade wonderfully to soften any space.

5 Frequently Asked Questions about Growing Crispy Wave Plants

1. How fast do crispy wave plants grow?

Crispy wave plants grow at a moderate rate. When happy, they can grow up to 6-12 inches long trailing stems each year. The growth rate depends on the environment, sunlight, soil quality, and other factors.

2. What temperature is too cold for crispy wave plants?

Crispy wave plants suffer damage when exposed to temperatures below 50°F (10°C) for extended periods. If temperatures dip into the 40s or 30s, bringing container plants indoors is best until the weather warms again.

3. Can you grow crispy wave plants from cuttings?

Yes, crispy wave plants are easy to propagate from stem cuttings. Cut a 3-4 inch stem below a leaf node. Allow the cut end to dry and callous over. Then, stick into well-draining soil. Keep soil slightly moist while it roots.

4. How do you get crispy wave plants to bloom?

Crispy wave plants bloom naturally in spring and summer when given sufficient sunlight. At least 6 hours of direct sun per day is ideal. Insufficient light can prevent flowering. Deadheading spent blooms encourage more flowers.

5. Are crispy wave plant toxic to pets?

No, crispy wave plants are non-toxic for cats, dogs, and people. Their trailing nature, however, means they can be tempting for pets to nibble. Keep plants out of reach if your pet tends to chew foliage.

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