Aptenia cordifolia (Baby sun rose) Profile

Written by Iris

Aug 26 2021

Aptenia cordifolia (Baby sun rose) Profile
Aptenia cordifolia (Baby Sun Rose) is an evergreen and rapidly growing succulent, usually short-lived perennial, 250 mm tall. Aptenia cordifolia (Baby Sun Rose) has a meaty root. The fleshy stems of Aptenia cordifolia (Baby Sun Rose) are quadrate or rounded, 600 mm long and grow flat.

Aptenia cordifolia (Baby sun rose) Picture


Aptenia cordifolia (Baby sun rose) Info

Life form Succulent, ampel
Family Aizoaceae
Origin South Africa
Ease of cultivation Easy with little difficulty.
The size Shoots up to 6 0 cm.
Growth rate Average
Lifespan Many years
Temperature In the summer: room, in winter it is desirable not higher than 59 ° F.

Aptenia cordifolia (Baby sun rose) History

The genus Aptenia belongs to the Mesembryanthemaceae or vygie family. The family name is derived from the Greek word, mesembria, meaning midday, and anthemom, meaning flower, referring to the flowers that open in the afternoon (noon).
The genus name, Aptenia N.E.Brown, is derived from the Greek word, apten, meaning wingless, and refers to the wingless seed. The species name, cordifolia is derived from the in Latin words, cordi, meaning heart, and folium, meaning leaf.
This genus is endemic to South Africa and consists of four species, Aptenia geniculiflora, A. haeckeliana and A. lancifolia. They all occur in the summer rainfall regions of South Africa.
Aptenia geniculiflorais is an erect deciduous perennial with 4-angled branches. Aptenia cordifolia bears white to pale yellow flowers and occurs on dry flats in scrambling bush found in Namibia to Eastern Cape.
Aptenia cordifolia

Ecological Habits of Aptenia cordifolia (Baby sun rose)

Aptenia cordifolia is a plant succulent of family Aizoaceae, the same as living stones and cat's claw. Aptenia cordifolia has a growth mainly creeping, although if it is in the shade it tries to grow upwards, so Aptenia cordifolia can climb a little (at most up to about 2m high, generally not more than 1m) and cover low plants. If you give it enough water, Aptenia cordifolia is a plant of very fast growth. The Aptenia cordifolia stems are green, thin and quite weak, although with time they thicken, lose their greenness and become relatively stiff. The leaves are oval or slightly heart-shaped, attached to the stem by a short petiole. Its common names, dew and frost, are given because in the leaves it has structures called papillae, which are accumulations of water under the epidermis that appear to be dewdrops.
The flowers are small, bright pink, with numerous very fine petals and orange stamens. Blooms mainly during spring, which is when the flowers are most abundant, but it produces some loose flowers throughout the year in climates without frost. After flowering, it produces small greenish fruits that go unnoticed and once ripe, they will dry and release small black seeds that do not usually germinate. It can also be said that Aptenia cordifolia is a plant edible, but it is only consumed in some parts of Brazil.

Aptenia cordifolia (Baby sun rose) Distribution Area

Es indigenous to southern and eastern South Africa, although it is naturalized in many parts of the world. There Aptenia cordifolia grows in shady and humid places, generally under trees. Curiously, while there is a small plant, in cultivation, by giving it a large amount of water and sun, Aptenia cordifolia becomes a huge and very invasive plant in a short time, capable of covering entire areas.
Aptenia cordifolia

How to Grow and Care for Aptenia cordifolia (Baby sun rose)

How to Grow Aptenia cordifolia (Baby sun rose)

  • With Seeds
Aptenia cordifolia is a slow grower so even if it can be propagated by its seeds, this method is not recommended. To propagate from the seeds, plant the seeds in a well-draining soil mixture. This method can be used outdoors. In cooler areas, indoor propagating is recommended.
  • With Cuttings
When propagating Baby Sun Rose from cuttings, cut a leaf from the mother plant carefully with a clean knife or scissors. Before replanting, wait for a few days to allow it to callous. Use well-draining soil for your new Aptenia cordifolia plant. Don’t forget to water when the soil dries out.
  • With Leaves
When propagating Baby Sun Rose with leaves. You should get a leave carefully from the mother plant. It should be a healthy leave that has no part left on the stem. In this way, the propagation will work. Before replanting, wait for a few days to allow it to callous. Use well-draining soil for your new Aptenia cordifolia succulent plant. Don't forget to water when the soil dries out.
  • With Offsets
Baby Sun Rose propagates from offsets. To be able to propagate from the mother plant, you might wait several years for the main Aptenia cordifolia plant to produce an offset. To start this process, use a sharp knife and remove an offset from the main plant. When you remove the offset, clean the extra soil from it. Before replanting, wait for a few days to allow it to callous. Use well-draining soil for your new Aptenia cordifolia succulent plant. Don't forget to water when the soil dries out.
Aptenia cordifolia

How to Care for Aptenia cordifolia (Baby sun rose)

  • Light
Aptenia cordifolia can grow in partial shade in warmer regions, but avoid full shade because flowers need full sun to flourish. Nevertheless, the Aptenia cordifolia plant and the flowers must be protected from direct sunlight.
  • Soil
Aptenia cordifolia does not need a specific soil, as it supports a wide pH range and supports salinity. Like all succulents, Aptenia cordifolia prefers them to drain well, but it is not even necessary, since Aptenia cordifolia tolerates somewhat flooded soils as long as they do not continue to be so in the dormant season. For rapid growth and not to depend too much on compost, a high percentage of organic matter is recommended.
  • Water
Although it is a succulent, Aptenia cordifolia needs much more water than most. In this aspect, Aptenia cordifolia must be treated as a normal plant, not allowing the substrate to dry out completely between waterings. That is not to say that Aptenia cordifolia will not tolerate drought, but it will have smaller, yellowish leaves and will grow much less. You just have to control the watering a little more in winter, when it goes into dormancy.
  • Temperature
Generally, Aptenias resist well to periods of drought. On the other hand, they are not hardy and hardly support negative temperatures. In short, the constant temperature should not drop below 20 ° C.
  • Fertilizer
Aptenia cordifolia doesn't require fertilizer, but if you think your Aptenia cordifolia plant would benefit from an occasional feeding, use a regular liquid or granular fertilizer two to three times during the growing season. Apply the fertilizer according to the rate specifications on the container label.
  • Pruning
It depends entirely on what you are looking for with the Aptenia cordifolia plant, you can prune it to shape it, to prevent it from escaping from the area where you want it, to prevent it from climbing other plants.If you live in a climate with frost, it is also advisable to remove the Aptenia cordifolia branches that they will dry up in winter and have not regrown in spring. Aptenia cordifolia also produces many branches that grow above others and make it ugly, so it is also convenient to remove them.
Aptenia cordifolia

Uses of Aptenia cordifolia (Baby sun rose)

Aptenia cordifolia is used medicinally as an anti-inflammatory, as a dressing (poultice) and deodorant. The Aptenia cordifolia plant is also used as a love and good luck charm. Zulu medicinal uses include making a mild enema for babies; the black powder is used for vaccination and against witchcraft (sorcery). Burnt stems and leaves are applied to aching joints.
Aptenia cordifolia is used as an ornamental plant and on dry slopes or steep embankments to hold the soil.
Aptenia cordifolia requires little care and thrives in the hottest, sunniest, full sun areas in your garden.
If you need a succulent groundcover for an open, exposed area, Aptenia cordifolia makes an excellent choice. As an added benefit, it provides very good erosion control. The rambling growth habits make Aptenia cordifolia a lovely choice for your rock garden or tumbling over a rock wall. This salt-tolerant heartleaf Aptenia cordifolia does well on roadside embankments, terraced slopes, and in seaside gardens.
Aptenia cordifolia

Varieties of Aptenia cordifolia (Baby sun rose)

Aptenia cordifolia- is a perennial succulent having as common names: Baby Sun Rose, Heart-leaf ice plant or Dew plant.
Aptenia geniculiflora-Aptenia geniculiflora or White-flowered Aptenia is a flowering succulent plant belonging to the Aizoaceae family. This persistent sub-shrub has tetragonal branches with subcylindrical, pale-green leaves.
Aptenia lancifolia- named also Lance-leaved Ice Plant or Purple Aptenia, is a perennial succulent sub-shrub that occurs in the Northern Cape.
Aptenia haeckeliana- called commonly Yellow Sun rose, is a succulent flowering plant native to South AfricAptenia This Aptenia species has 4-angled stems and flat, lanceolate, olive-green to yellowish leaves.
Aptenia cordifolia

Aptenia cordifolia (Baby sun rose) Common Pests/Diseases

In general a Aptenia healthy will not have pests or if it does, the attack will not be important, but if it does attack something it will be the following:
Cochineal: Like almost all succulents, it is susceptible to mealybug attack, but generally it will only attack diseased Aptenia cordifolia plants or plants that are severely lacking in nutrients or water. It is very rare to find it in healthy aptenias. To eliminate them, you can use potassium soap or a specific insecticide.
Snails and slugs: Due to the creeping growth and the water that accumulates on the leaves, it is a perfect hiding place for these animals. They like to eat their leaves, which also helps them to hydrate, but they do not cause notable damage, mainly because of their growth speed. They will only give problems to Aptenia cordifolia plants that are too shaded and perhaps those that are in pots. To eliminate them there are poisoned baits, although you can also put a glass of beer in which they will fall and drown.
It does not have diseases as such, but it does have deficiencies due to poor cultivation.
Chlorosis: Chlorosis is called the lack of chlorophyll, which can be caused by different crop failures: lack of some nutrient, generally nitrogen (they are solved by fertilizing or transplanting); lack of water being in the sun (can be solved by watering more); Substrate pH too high or low (solved by fertilizing or changing the pH) ... It is usually accompanied by a reduction in growth. Normally the chlorosis of this potted plant indicates a lack of water or the need to change the substrate or transplant, but by paying we can postpone that change a bit.
Decay: Caused by various fungi, it is generally due to excess water or lack of aeration, so it is not necessary to use fungicide but to change the growing conditions. If the entire base has rotted, the branches will have to be cut, removed the rottenness and replanted. Normally in this plant this will only happen in winter, but if we have it flooded it can happen at any time of the year.
Aptenia cordifolia

Aptenia cordifolia (Baby sun rose) Design Tips

Aptenia cordifolia (Baby sun rose) can be very invasive, and when climbing it can cover other plants and kill them. Also, many branches try to climb and fall flat, which is not very aesthetic. This can be solved in several ways:
Pruning all the branches that go up to other plants.
Having it as a ground cover in an area where there are only large trees or bushes without low branches that it can climb.
Keeping it in a pot, where its growth is very reduced.
Watering it little and not fertilizing it, although this has the negative effect that its appearance will not be the best.
If we have it in a pot, something interesting that can be done is to put a plant with vertical growth that stays green in winter, and an Aptenia cordifolia. We place this pot on a pedestal and let the Aptenia grow as a hanging plant. A very beautiful effect is achieved, especially when it is filled with pink flowers. In tropical climates it will always be beautiful, but in frosty climates all the hanging branches will dry up during the winter.
In any case, it is advisable to have it in full sun and without small plants or rocks in between, so that it grows as flat as possible. In this way we avoid the branches that cross and bend and we achieve a much more orderly and beautiful appearance.