Aptenia cordifolia, a type of ice plant also known as baby sun rose, is a durable summer bloomer native to South Africa. Aptenia cordifolia is a sun-loving perennial that produces small, bright reddish-purple, daisylike blooms atop thick, succulent stems. Suitable for planting in the warm climates of U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 10 and 11, Aptenia cordifolia is often planted in pots or as a ground cover. In cooler climates, Aptenia cordifolia is grown as an annual.
Aptenia cordifolia thrives in nearly any type of dry, well-drained soil. The plant is happy in bright sunlight, but benefits from afternoon shade when planted in hot, dry climates.
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In most climates, Aptenia cordifolia is a drought-tolerant plant that requires no supplemental irrigation. However, in desert climates with hot, dry summers, Aptenia cordifolia benefits from an occasional watering. Water the plant deeply when the soil is completely dry, then allow the soil to dry before watering again. Aptenia cordifolia should be kept on the dry side, as the plant rots in soggy soil.
Aptenia cordifolia doesn't require fertilizer, but if you think your 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.
Growing in Containers
To grow Aptenia cordifolia in a container or hanging basket, accommodate the roots with a container with a depth of at least 8 inches. Use a container with a drainage hole, as Aptenia cordifolia rots in poorly drained soil. A good quality, lightweight commercial potting mixture is appropriate. Locate the container in full sunlight, and water when the soil feels dry.
Aptenia cordifolia is generally free of problems as long as the plant is located in well-drained, dry soil. If your soil tends to be on the damp side, Aptenia cordifolia should be planted in a container. Otherwise, Aptenia cordifolia isn't bothered by pests or disease.