What is Pig Face?
Pig Face (Carpobrotus glaucescens) also known as Ice Plant or Angular Sea Fig is a creeping flowering succulent. It is part of the Aizoaceae or stone plants family and is native to South Africa and Australia. There are about 30 species in the genus, the majority being native to South Africa. There are 6 species native to Australia. Pig Face is a low growing ground cover that has thick fleshy smooth foliage that is triangular in shape. It produces daisy like flowers during Spring and Summer but also can flower sporadically throughout the year. The colours can come in shades of pink, purple, orange, yellow and white. The flowers will closed during overcast or wet days. After flowering the plant will produce a red to purple berry. Pig Face requires a full sun position in the garden that has good drainage. It is extremely salt and wind tolerant.
Another form of Pig Face is the Lampranthus glaucus which is a small compact shrub to ground cover. It is native to South Africa. It has similar traits and growing conditions to the Carpobrotus however has smaller thinner foliage which is linear and slightly curved, more like a small banana. Their flowers are also smaller is size.
Benefits of Growing Pig Face
Pig Face are very easy to grow and require little attention once established. Unlike many succulents, it has no spikes, scales or prickles so it’s great for a child-friendly garden. They are ideal for rock gardens, planted under trees, in hanging baskets, and used to stabilise steep slopes. They are a great plant if you have dry, rocky and sandy conditions where other plants wont grow. The native Pig Face is an edible bush food. The juice from the leaves cam be used to sooth stings or burns. The berries can be eaten and are said to taste like salty apples.
How to Grow Pig Face
Cool to Sub tropical.
When To Plant Pig Face
Plant in Spring or Summer.
They can grow in most soil types as long as it is well drained. They prefer a sandy or rocky soil as this is where they come from in nature.
How To Plant Pig Face
Plant in full sun to semi shade, with the plant crown at soil level. The spacing will depend on the variety chosen.
Pig Face Plant Care
Water when soil is dry to touch.
Feed with a slow release native fertiliser in Spring and Autumn.
Cut off spent flowers and damaged or drying leaves. Prune well in Winter to promote an abundance of Spring growth.
Watch out for snails as they can be a problem. Ensure that your drainage is good to prevent root rot.
Recommended Pig Face Varieties
A bright flowering succulent that is quick to establish and will take to most soil types, the Pig Face will stand out in any rocky garden.