How To Grow & Care For the Pickle Plant

Pickle Plant

The Pickle Plant, known for its distinctive appearance resembling mini pickles, is a fascinating addition to any succulent garden or indoor plant collection. With its elongated, tubular leaves that have a plump and juicy appearance, it has become a popular choice among plant enthusiasts.

Native to South Africa, the Pickle Plant (Delosperma echinatum) belongs to the Aizoaceae family. Its intriguing look, ease of care, and ability to thrive in various conditions have contributed to its popularity. The bright green leaves covered with tiny transparent hairs give it a textured appearance, making it a unique focal point in a succulent arrangement.

The Pickle Plant’s growth habit is sprawling, and it can quickly spread to fill a container or area in the garden. Its attractive, daisy-like yellow flowers are an added bonus, typically blooming in the spring. The plant is perennial, and with proper care, it can provide year-round interest.

Common NamesPickle Plant, Ice Plant
Botanical NameDelosperma echinatum
Plant TypeSucculent, Perennial
Mature Size6-12 inches tall, spreading
Sun ExposureFull Sun to Partial Shade
Soil TypeSandy, Well-Drained
Hardiness Zones9-11
Native AreaSouth Africa

Pickle Plant Care

The Pickle Plant’s care requirements align with those of many other succulents. It’s highly adaptable, and its care routine can be easily integrated into even a novice gardener’s schedule.

Growing the Pickle Plant in a suitable location with appropriate sunlight and well-draining soil sets the stage for successful cultivation. Regular but cautious watering, proper fertilization, and occasional pruning will keep the Pickle Plant flourishing. Understanding the specific requirements is key to a thriving plant.

Light Requirement for Pickle Plant

The Pickle Plant thrives in full sun but can tolerate partial shade. At least 6 hours of sunlight per day is ideal. Indoors, placing it near a south or west-facing window will provide the necessary light.

Soil Requirements for Pickle Plant

A sandy, well-drained soil is essential for the Pickle Plant. Using a cactus or succulent mix, possibly mixed with some sand, helps prevent waterlogging. Good drainage is key to avoiding root rot.

Water Requirements for Pickle Plant

Overwatering is a common mistake with the Pickle Plant. Water thoroughly, then allow the soil to dry out between waterings. During winter, when the plant is dormant, water sparingly.

Temperature and Humidity

This succulent prefers a temperature range between 60-80°F (15-27°C). It can tolerate some frost but should be protected if temperatures drop below freezing. Humidity typically isn’t an issue, but good airflow helps prevent fungal problems.


Fertilize sparingly with a balanced, diluted fertilizer designed for cacti and succulents during the growing season. Over-fertilization can lead to soft, weak growth.

Pruning Pickle Plant

Pruning is rarely necessary but can be done to shape the plant or remove dead or diseased growth. Cut back any unwanted growth using clean, sharp tools.

Propagating Pickle Plant

Propagating the Pickle Plant is simple. It can be propagated through stem or leaf cuttings. Allow the cuttings to dry for a day before planting in a well-draining soil mix.

How To Grow Pickle Plant From Seed

Growing from seed is possible but less common. Sow seeds in a sandy mix, keep moist, and provide plenty of light. Germination can take several weeks.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases


Remove with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol.

Root Rot

Caused by overwatering; ensure proper watering habits and well-drained soil.

Common Problems With Pickle Plant

Leggy Growth

This is often due to insufficient light. Moving the plant to a brighter location can help.

Shriveled Leaves

A sign of underwatering. Increase watering frequency, taking care not to overwater.

Yellowing Leaves

Usually caused by overwatering. Adjust watering habits and ensure proper drainage.

Pro Tips

  1. Ensure proper drainage by planting in a container with drainage holes or adding gravel to the bottom of the pot.
  2. Avoid getting water on the leaves, as this can lead to rot.
  3. Monitor for pests, especially if growing indoors, and address promptly.
  4. Provide adequate space for spreading if growing outdoors.
  5. Pair with other succulents for an attractive, low-maintenance garden display.