How To Grow & Care For Baby Sun Rose

Baby Sun Rose plant

The Baby Sun Rose, also known as Aptenia cordifolia, is a charming succulent ground cover, adorned with bright, glossy green heart-shaped leaves. It is native to South Africa and is known for its vibrant magenta or red flowers that bloom during the warmer months. Often found growing in rock gardens, borders, or containers, it is a drought-tolerant plant that adds texture and color to any garden setting.

With its sprawling and spreading nature, the Baby Sun Rose can cover a large area quickly, making it ideal for erosion control and filling in barren spots in the landscape. Though often used outdoors, it can also be grown as an attractive indoor plant. Its ease of care and beautiful appearance make it a popular choice among both novice and experienced gardeners.

Baby Sun Rose’s allure goes beyond its appearance. This versatile plant is well-suited to various environmental conditions, providing gardeners with numerous options for cultivation and design. Whether used as a hanging basket, ground cover, or container plant, the Baby Sun Rose is sure to enhance the beauty of any garden or home interior.

Common NamesBaby Sun Rose, Heartleaf Ice Plant
Botanical NameAptenia cordifolia
Plant TypePerennial
Mature Size6-12 inches tall, 2-4 feet wide
Sun ExposureFull Sun to Partial Shade
Soil TypeWell-Drained, Sandy
Hardiness Zones9-11
Native AreaSouth Africa

Baby Sun Rose Care

Caring for Baby Sun Rose is relatively simple, making it a delightful addition to any garden. This plant thrives in full sun to partial shade and requires well-drained, sandy soil. It’s an excellent choice for areas where other plants might struggle, such as hot, dry locations.

Watering should be done sparingly, as the Baby Sun Rose is drought-tolerant. Over-watering can lead to root rot. Fertilization is rarely needed; however, a light feeding during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer can boost growth and flowering.

Light Requirement for Baby Sun Rose

Baby Sun Rose thrives in full sun but can also tolerate partial shade. At least 6 hours of sunlight a day is ideal for healthy growth and abundant flowering. Too little light may lead to leggy growth and reduced flowering.

Soil Requirements for Baby Sun Rose

Well-drained, sandy soil is best for Baby Sun Rose. It can also grow in rocky or poor soil as long as there is good drainage. Avoid soils that retain too much moisture, as this can lead to root rot.

Water Requirements for Baby Sun Rose

Water sparingly, allowing the soil to dry between waterings. Baby Sun Rose is drought-tolerant and can endure prolonged periods without water. Over-watering should be avoided, as it may cause root rot.

Temperature and Humidity

Baby Sun Rose prefers warm temperatures, typically between 60-80°F (15-27°C). It’s not frost-tolerant and should be protected in colder climates. Humidity does not pose a significant concern for this plant, and it can tolerate dry conditions well.


Though not a requirement, a light application of balanced fertilizer during the growing season can encourage vibrant growth and blooming. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this may cause weak, leggy growth.

Pruning Baby Sun Rose

Pruning is beneficial to maintain shape and control spread. Cut back as needed, especially in the spring to encourage fresh growth. Removing spent flowers can prolong the blooming period.

Propagating Baby Sun Rose

Propagation is easily done through stem cuttings. Simply cut a healthy stem, allow it to dry for a day or two, and then plant in well-draining soil. Water sparingly until established.

How To Grow Baby Sun Rose From Seed

Growing Baby Sun Rose from seed is possible but less common than propagation through cuttings. Plant seeds in well-draining soil and water lightly. Germination typically occurs within a few weeks.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases


Aphids can be a problem but are easily treated with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Root Rot

Caused by over-watering, root rot can be avoided by allowing the soil to dry between waterings.

Common Problems With Baby Sun Rose

Leggy Growth

If the plant appears leggy and thin, it may be due to insufficient light. Move to a sunnier location.

Dropping Leaves

Over-watering can cause leaves to drop. Allow the soil to dry between waterings.

Pro Tips

  1. Plant in well-draining soil to avoid root rot.
  2. Provide ample sunlight for vibrant blooms.
  3. Water sparingly; Baby Sun Rose is drought-tolerant.
  4. Utilize as ground cover or in containers for versatile design options.
  5. Protect from frost in colder climates.