Plant of the Month: the easy care plant Delosperma

Is there truly a plant that will look after itself? A plant that you won’t have to worry about when you go off on holiday? An easy care plant that will save you pounds in those ‘thank you for watering my plant’ gifts.. The answer is yes, and it’s a plant so tough that it would survive an apocalypse!

This is Delosperma ‘Wheels of Wonder®’.

The plant name is also referred to as ‘WOW’, and you can see how it got such a name! Plants are fleshy and exotic-looking, exceptionally quick-growing and smothered with psychedelic daisy flowers during the summer. You could be forgiven for thinking you’ve stepped back in time to the 1970’s with the looks of this fabarooney plant!

Easy Care Plant Delosperma- photo by Visions
The hi-res Delosperma Wheels of Wonder® – Photo by Visions Pictures

How was this plant created?

The journey of ‘Wheels of Wonder®’ started more than 21 years ago. Nishikawa-san, based in in Okayama, Japan, began a large project to develop new roof top plants. Green roofs are trendy right now, but adding flowers to that concept adds a whole new dimension. And, with these Delosperma flowering for 5 months of the year, you can experience not just green roofs, but rainbow-coloured roofs too!

Nishikawa-san with his Delosperma plants
Nishikawa-san with his Delosperma plants

Japanese roof conditions can be quite tough, so Nishikawa-san knew he had to come up with a real ‘tough cookie’, a plant that would withstand -10°C in the winter, yet 35°C in the summer. It would also need to be entirely drought tolerant, as any excess moisture on the rooftop could encourage difficult-to-get-to weeds. After testing many different Sedums and succulents, Nishikawa-san had a brainwave and started working with Delosperma, a lesser known, yet easy care plant..!

The secrets to the success of this plant

The flower size was noticeably bigger on this Delosperma, when compared to traditional Ice Plants. After a few years of selecting, Nishikawa-san finally selected 6 awesome colours, which were then passed for trials and testing across Europe and the USA. It was an immediate success!

Easy Care Plant Delosperma
The Wheels of Wonder family

Now on sale in Europe for 3 years, the ‘Wheels of Wonder®’ have taken the market by storm, offering consumers a plant that requires zero care, and just a dribble of water every few months. The succulent foliage is the key to success, as the plant stores the water it needs, meaning you won’t have to supply any! The speed of growth won’t need your time lapse setting either, these plants can spread a few inches in just a couple of weeks!! It’s the ultimate easy care plant! (Psst, there are 3 new colours on the way soon too…)

Easy Care Plant Delosperma- photo by Visions
Delosperma Wheels of Wonder® Hot Pink Wonder
 WHERE CAN you USE this AMAZING PLANT?
  • Across dry, sunny banks
  • Between paving stones
  • Along the driveway
  • In hanging baskets
  • Amongst rockeries
  • In gardens which footballs often pummel
  • In patio containers
  • To prevent soil erosion

Most importantly, the tightly-knit habit of the fleshy foliage creates an un-penetrable mat, which weeds find it difficult to bust through. Put down your weedkillers and fight your weeds with Delosperma instead! It’s a great environmentally-friendly choice too, as the watering needs are so minimal. Beat the hosepipes bans in the summer!

Easy Care Plant Delosperma
Delosperma Wheels of Wonder ® in a hanging basket
Available in 6 bright colours, almost every colour of the rainbow. The flowers keep on coming from May to September, usually covering the foliage. You’ll find the plants swarmed with butterflies in the daytime, and as the blooms close at night, they still retain their bright colour, glowing like small candles!

Where can I buy these plants?

Buy plants of Delosperma ‘Wheels of Wonder®’ now. They cost £24.00 for 10 plants. Click here.

Easy Care Plant Delosperma
Delosperma Wheels of Wonder® colour range
How to grow Delosperma ‘Wheels of Wonder’:

Flowering time: May to September
Location
: border, bedding, rockeries, patio pots, hanging baskets
Soil: well-drained
Light: sun
Hardy: yep! Comes back every year. An easy care plant, zero maintenance.
Size: 10cm (4″) high x 60cm (24″) in spread

Delosperma Wheels of Wonder ® Fire Wonder
Delosperma Wheels of Wonder ® Fire Wonder

Plant of the Month is sponsored by Plantipp, a company based in The Netherlands who handle the introduction of new plants into Europe (with Concept Plants doing the same job in North America). 

See last month’s plant, Hydrangea ‘Miss Saori’ here!

One Comment Add yours

  1. tonytomeo says:

    That has always been a good iceplant, even before new cultivars were developed.

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