Pig Face (Mesembryanthemum)
Pig Face is a fun, versatile plant with an unfortunate nick name.
Ground cover plants don’t come much tougher or lower maintenance than this. Native to Southern Africa, Pig Face is used to growing in dry, rocky and sandy conditions which makes it very tolerant to drought, salt and wind.
Its succulent foliage will form a dense and spreading mat, growing to no more than 15cm high and around 40cm wide. It’s prized of course for the spectacularly vibrant flowers that form all over the plant in early spring – electric shades of orange, pink, yellow and a crystal white that contrast beautifully with the foliage.
Flowers will stay tightly closed on overcast or wet days, making the cheery faces a celebration of sunshine-soaked days that you won’t want to miss.
Choose a dry, sunny spot with good drainage, such as amongst rock. They will tolerate partial shade but you may find they produce less flowers. They have a tendency to trail slightly, so plant them at the edge of retaining walls or pots where they can artfully spill over the side.
Pig Face is unlikely to have problems with pests or disease, just ensure that your drainage is good to prevent root rot.