Baby Sun Rose Plant Care

June 22, 2017 in Flowers and Bulbs by Christine

Baby Sun Rose Plant Aptenia Cordifolia Heart Leaf Ice Plant

Baby Sun Rose plant guide and benefitsAptenia 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 and 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 bares 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 in 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 quiet 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. Honeybees are attracted to the Baby Sun Rose plant, they hang around to gather nectar from the flowers while the flowers are in full bloom.

Using Baby Sunrise Plant To Prevent Slugs and Snails

I have this plant growing in the middle of a roundabout. The matt forming groundcover does a great job keeping the soil their 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 by 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 aluminium 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 ground cover with far less flowers. The Aptenia Cordifolia can be grown from seeds and cuttings. Sowing the seeds during the summer is ideal.

Growing In Pots

  • Dig the soil in the pot and then add equal parts of potting mixture, gardening soil or home made well rotted manure in the pot.
  • Place the plant in the hole and then cover the plant firmly with the loose soil.
  • Water it and it will make its own roots at the nodes and will then grow on its own. Once the plant grows, it will require less water.
  • You need to water the pot deeply once the top soil goes dry.

Baby Sun Rose flowering in winterThe stem cuttings also can be grown in pots and garden beds in the same manner. First, you should prepare the soil by mixing it with organic compost. Then plant the stems in the soil and fix it firmly. Water well initially and once the plant establishes, it will not need much water.

Taking Care Of Aptenia Cordifolia

The plant is easy to maintain and care for even though it will grow very quickly in spring and autumn. It is easily kept in check and trimmed to shape any time of the year by chopping the succulent runners with a shovel.  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. I have never fertilised mine where it is positioned, I think it lives on the breath of country fresh air. If you are growing the Aptenia Cordifolia in pots, it is not necessary to take it indoors during the tough winter season.

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