Baby Sun Rose Plant Care
Baby Sun Rose Plant Aptenia Cordifolia Heart Leaf Ice Plant
Mesembryanthemum cordifolium once known as Aptenia cordifolia is a succulent plant that belongs to the Iceplant family. It is known for its small, bright hot pink aster like flowers and shiny light green leaves. This plant is edible and commonly known as the baby Sun rose, heartleaf Iceplant or dew plant, these days is in vogue and has become all the rage. But do you know how Useful this plant really is grown in the garden?
It is an ideal perennial plant to grow in your homes and is most suited to be grown in hanging baskets or as a groundcover, creeping over retaining walls and has been constantly seen growing along many steep sloping garden banks. The leaves and the stems of this plant are succulent in nature that bears their flowers on the axis of the leaf. The flowers are normally seen in a bright pink colour, redder on dull cool days. The not so common colours are found to be purple, yellow and white. Some of these coloured flowers are found on variegated types. This plant will flower for most parts of the year except for the cold winters.
More About Aptenia Cordifolia
The leaves of the Aptenia Cordifolia perennial succulent has heart shaped textured mid green leaves. These plants are commonly used as ornamental plants in most parts of Australia. They are naturally tough and you could quite easily grow it in gardens that do not get much rain. The leaves grow to about 3 cm long while the stems of the baby Sunrose Plant can reach a maximum height of 60 centimetres. The flowers will remain open during the day while the sun is shining and will flower most of the time all through the hotter parts of the year through to autumn. It is still a lovely groundcover even in the winter without the flowers. (There are tiny flowers this year in mid winter photo below.) Harsh frosts or the summer sun does not affect or destroy the plant at all. The ground cover will cover an area in the garden rapidly coming from a woody base.
Only the Honey bees are attracted to the flowers of the Baby Sun Rose plant here, they hang around to gather nectar from the flowers in spring while the flowers are in full bloom. I love to see the Australian blue banded native bees in my garden! It is easy to encourage the blue banded Australian bees to your garden by planting hardy colourful perennial flowers.
Using Baby Sunrose Plant To Prevent Slugs and Snails
I have this plant (Mesembryanthemum cordifolium) growing in the middle of my roundabout. The matt forming groundcover does a great job keeping the soil there weed free. It’s the type of plant that you would think that lots of snails and slugs would be hiding in.
The truth is I have never seen any snails and slugs amongst this plant while trimming the edge of the plant, therefore, I think it would be the perfect plant to grow as a border plant around a vegetable garden. I have been growing this plant for many years as you will see from my photo. This plant has even crept and overgrown the base of a large wishing well planter. This would be a much cheaper and a better alternative than buying the manufacturer copper strips, wire or aluminum foil, slug and snail killer as a preventer of these pests in your garden. The real test would be to plant an agapanthus plant in the centre of the baby sun rose plant as snails absolutely love agapanthus. Try it!
How To Grow Aptenia Cordifolia?
The evergreen fast growing succulent plant needs very less maintenance. It will thrive on well draining soils of any description. It can be grown in full sun or partial shade. Part shade is best in very hot areas, even to the extent it will grow under trees as a ground cover with far fewer flowers. The Aptenia Cordifolia can be grown from seeds and cuttings. Sowing the seeds during the summer is ideal.
Growing in Pots
- Dig in half of the soil in the pot and freshen it with equal parts of potting mixture, gardening soil or home made well rotted manure in the pot.
- Place the new plant in a hole without teasing the roots into the pot and then cover the plant firmly with the loose soil.
- You need to water the pot deeply once the top soil goes dry.
- Because Mesembryanthemum cordifolium is a quick spreading grouncover they will need repotting every year and trimming every so often.
- If you are growing the baby sun rose in pots, it is not necessary to take it indoors during the tough winter season.
How to Propagate New Baby Sunrose Plants In Pots
They are easy to grow and will form roots quickly by stem cuttings. Tree dahlias, Aeonium Arboreum and Sedums can be grown in pots and garden beds in the same manner. First, you should prepare the soil by mixing it with organic compost and gritty river sand, or buy a quality cactus & succulent mix. Then plant the pruned stems straight into the soil and fix them down firmly. There is no need to dry out or prepare calloused cuttings to form roots. The cuttings should be laid down flat so that the whole length of the cuttings are at least half or near covered in the soil. Then you get new plants from each node. Water thoroughly initially then keep the cuttings on the damp side and once established the plant will not require as much water. If you do this after the plant’s flower in the cooler months of the year you will obtain near 100% strike rate in two or three weeks.
Taking Care Of Aptenia Cordifolia
Baby sunrose plant is easy to maintain and care for even though it will grow very quickly in spring and autumn.
Pruning – It is easily kept in check and trimmed to shape any time of the year by chopping the succulent runners with a shovel.
Watering – The soil needs to be watered only when it goes completely dry. It needs very less water during winter. Too much water and like most succulents will lead to rotting the roots off.
Fertilising – Feel free to fertilise at any time other than winter, remembering it is a fast growing plant without fertiliser. I have never fertilised mine where it is positioned, I think it lives on the breath of country fresh air.