Native to South Africa, Oscularia Deltoides have small, plump, blue-green leaves that are triangular in shape and three-sided. The leaves appear to have little jagged teeth on the edges. These ‘teeth’ are not sharp at all and do not prick when touched. The leaves are marked with a soft touch of pink and red on the margins. The stems are green to purple in color. The color intensifies as the plant matures and with more sun exposure.
Oscularia Deltoides produces bright magenta-pink flowers that can surround and cover the whole plant. These are low-growing plants that sprawl and spread out as they grow. They can be planted in-ground or in containers. When planted in containers, they tend to spill out and cascade down the sides of the pot, making them very attractive.
Common names are: Pink Ice Plant, Sandstone Vygie
Are They Indoor or Outdoor Plants?
Oscularia Deltoides ‘Pink Ice Plant’ can be grown both indoors and out. The most important thing for these plants is to provide them with a well draining potting mix and adequate sunlight. From my experience with these plants, they do really well outside where they can get the most sun exposure. If you must bring them indoors for the winter, give them some outdoor time during the warmer months and they would surely benefit from it.
Indoor Lighting Requirements
Find the brightest spot indoors to place the plant. Try an east facing window. South and west facing window would also work. You may need to move the plant around a few times to find the best spot. If the plant starts to suffer from lack of light, move to a brighter location. You would know by how the plant is growing. If it starts to look pale, stretch and become leggy, that means the plant is not getting enough light. This process is called etiolation. The plant is literally seeking more light. This produces weak and stunted growth.
To keep them really happy, they need approximately 5-6 hours of bright light per day. These plants will not tolerate poor lighting for prolonged periods of time. If your indoor space does not receive adequate lighting no matter where you move the plant, consider using a grow light. Grow lights can help supplement your plants’ lighting requirements especially during those long, dark winters. Here are some of my grow light recommendations.
To read more about this topic on indoor lighting for succulents, check out my post on “Proper Lighting for Succulents Indoors” to get some helpful tips.
Outdoor Sunlight Requirements
Light Shade to Full Sun. Oscularia Deltoides do best in areas that receive plenty of bright sunlight. The plant achieves its best coloring when exposed to more sun. Keep them under the shade and the plant will turn pale in color.
Before exposing the plant to full sun, it is better to acclimate the plant by gradually increasing the amount of sunlight it receives until it is fully acclimated to the more intense sun. Keep in mind that even when the plant is already acclimated to full sun, it can still get sunburned during a heatwave or intense heat, especially younger, smaller plants.
Sunshades are a real lifesaver for my plants during the intense summer heat here in Northern California where the temperatures can rise above 100 °F or 37.8 °C. Here are some of my recommendations for sunshades and sun protection.
For further details and information on outdoor sunlight requirements, check out my post “How Much Sunlight Do Succulents Need Outdoors?” to get some useful tidbits.
Oscularia Deltoides can tolerate mild frost and slightly freezing temperatures as long as they are not for long periods of time. They can tolerate temperatures as low as 15 to 20℉ (-7 to -9 °C). Prolonged exposure to below freezing temperatures can be detrimental to these plants. For those people in areas with extreme winter conditions, the best way to grow these plants is in containers. That way you can bring them indoors during winter or when there is a forecast of frost or snow. In case you can’t bring your plants in, there are ways to protect them from frost and freezing temperatures outdoors. You can use frost cloths or mini greenhouses to help them survive the cold winter. Here are some of my recommendations for frost protection.
For further tips on this topic, check out my post on “Optimal Temperatures For Succulents to Survive and Thrive”.
Oscularia Deltoides grows on rocky areas in its native habitat. For this reason, it is important to provide a well-draining potting mix for these plants. A quick and simple recipe I use is combining cactus potting mix with perlite. I do not use exact measurements but eyeball it to about 2:1 solution of cactus mix and perlite. You can also consider making a sandy soil, which adds more drainage to the mix. This can be achieved by mixing cactus mix or potting soil with coarse sand (about 2:1 ratio). Or you can use a combination of the three materials mentioned: Cactus mix, perlite, coarse sand (1:1:1).
You can find most of these materials from a local garden center. If you are looking to purchase them online, here are my soil and soil amendment recommendations. To read more about soil for succulents, click on “Best Soil and Fertilizer for Succulents” to get more useful information.
Watering largely depends on the climate you live in. Although these plants are highly adapted to dry weather conditions, they thrive when given sufficient amounts of water, but not too much. There really isn’t a set schedule or formula on when to water succulents. My watering schedule is dictated by the dry climate I live in.
For reference, in the summer months, I water my Oscularia Deltoides as often as every 7-10 days. I cut back on watering about every 10-14 days when the weather cools down during spring and fall seasons. During the winter season, I rely mostly on rainwater and hold back on watering altogether because this is when we get a lot of rain in my area. But if we don’t get any rain at all during winter then I water at least once a month or every 2-3 weeks, depending on how dry the soil gets.
For those people in humid locations, you won’t need to water as much. And if you keep your plants indoors, you may not have to water as much, especially if they are not receiving a lot of light. Too much water and not enough light is a recipe for disaster for these plants.
One good way to tell whether it’s time to water is to check the moisture of the soil. The top inch of the soil needs to feel dry before you can water again. If you are unsure how much and how often to water in the beginning, it’s always better to underwater and increase watering as needed. Pay attention to how your plant looks and you can adjust watering accordingly.
For further help with watering techniques, consider using tools like hygrometers or moisture meters to check for moisture in the soil and air. These tools are pretty affordable and can come in handy especially if you are unsure of when to water your plant next. I have narrowed down the choices here on my resource page. Do visit the page if you need help in gauging your watering needs.
Interested in finding out more about watering succulents? Visit my post “How And When To Water Succulents” where I go into more details about this topic.
Propagating Oscularia Deltoides
The easiest way to propagate these plants is through stem cuttings. I read somewhere that you can propagate these through leaf cuttings but I have not personally tried propagating these from leaves. I have a much higher success rate with stem cuttings so I always opt for this method first. Propagating from leaves naturally takes longer and requires more time and patience.
How To Propagate Oscularia Deltoides from Stem Cuttings:
- Obtain a stem cutting and let it dry for a day or so. Let the cut ends dry and callous or seal. It is a good idea to obtain cuttings from healthy looking plants with plump leaves, not dehydrated ones or stressed plants.
- (Optional) Dip the cut end in rooting hormone. I usually skip this step but some people prefer using rooting hormones to speed up the process and also guarantee success.
- Once the cut has healed and dried, stick the cuttings in a well-draining potting mix.
- Keep away from direct sunlight. Water the soil every few days or when it feels dry.
- After about four to six weeks, the cuttings should be fully rooted and you will soon notice new growth developing from the top or sides of the stem.
- Once fully rooted, switch to regular watering about once a week or less. Increase the amount of sunlight as the plant matures.
Oscularia Deltoides Blooms
Oscularia Deltoides produces showy magenta-pink flowers that are lightly fragrant. This plant flowers readily and the flowers can cover the entire plant. While it’s always a treat to see my succulents bloom, keep in mind that not all plants are ready to flower, and some may not bloom at all. A lot of it depends on environmental factors beyond our control.
Here are some tips on how to encourage Oscularia Deltoides to bloom:
Make sure the plant is mature enough. When a plant blooms it means it is ready to reproduce. If the plant is too young, it is simply not ready to reproduce and therefore will not bloom. Give the plant some time, usually if the plant is over 3 years old and beyond, it is mature enough to bloom.
Plenty of Light
Make sure the plants are receiving adequate sunlight throughout the year and are kept in a bright location, even during the colder winter months.
To encourage flowering, provide proper temperatures. They need a distinct difference in night and day temperatures as well as summer and winter months. Succulents favor cooler outdoor nighttime temperatures of 50-55⁰F (10-13⁰C) or indoor night temperatures of at least 60-65⁰F(15-18⁰C). Especially when kept in a controlled environment, succulents prefer a marked difference between their night and day temperatures to mimic their natural habitat, with the cool night temperatures having an integral part in the plant’s growth cycle.
Overwintering is also important if you want to see your succulents bloom. This can be achieved by keeping them cool and relatively dry in the winter months, especially desert cacti. Keep them cool during winter months with temperatures just above freezing, between 35-44⁰F (1.5-7⁰C). If kept indoors during winter, have them in a non-heated room if possible or keep the temperatures low to provide them the cold winter period that they need.
Feed or Fertilize
While fertilizing is not necessary, giving your plants the nutrients they need will help ensure proper growth and encourage blooms. It takes a lot of energy for plants to produce flowers, and feeding them extra nutrients will help supplement their needs during the flowering season. The most common recommendation is to fertilize during the active growing season, or during spring and summer months. Fertilizers are better applied at a quarter or half strength, about every two weeks. Refrain from fertilizing towards the end of the fall season and during the winter months. A balanced blend of fertilizer diluted to half strength is suitable and commonly used. Fertilizer blends specially formulated for cacti and succulents are also suitable. Here are some of my fertilizer recommendations.
Oscularia Deltoides ‘Pink Iceplant’ is such a low-key succulent plant that they are easy to miss. But once you see them spilling out of a planter or cascading down a tall container, you would want one of these. They are easy to grow and maintain, produce attractive blooms that can easily cover the entire plant.
Wondering where to find Oscularia Deltoides ‘Pink Iceplant’? Check out my resource page for recommendations on where to find these and other succulents online.