Plant of the Week
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Portulaca and Aptenia are both commonly called ice plants. You can also find Delosperma, also called ice plant.
Despite their name, these low-water succulents thrive on heat. Aptenia is also known as "hearts and flowers" and as "red apple plant." Both it and Portulaca are very easily grown: Portulaca from seed and Aptenia from cuttings.
In fact, if you have a neighbor with Aptenia, ask them if you can break a piece off. Take it home and let it air dry for about an hour, so that the broken surface heals a bit, then put it directly into your landscape and water just a bit: the ground will be covered in no time.
Aptenia can make it through normal winters. Portulaca is an annual for us, but grows very quickly when planted in late spring. Both are great for containers and hanging baskets, too.