Baby Sun Rose Care and Propagation (A Complete Guide)


Succulents are very easy to take care of, so if you like to have plants around but feel discouraged by all the work they require, these are perfect for you.

In particular, the Baby Sun Rose plant is very tolerant of neglect and often thrives in such conditions.

However, if you wish for this plant to flourish and reproduce, there are a few things you will need to know about its care.

Read on for a complete guide about caring for the Baby Sun Rose succulent plant and how to propagate it.

Baby Sun Rose Overview

Botanical Name:Mesembryanthemum cordifolium
Synonyms:Aptenia cordifolia, Litocarpus cordifolius, Ludolfia cordifolius, and Tetracoilanthus cordifolius
Common Names:Baby Sun Rose, Aptenia cordifolia variegata, Heartleaf Iceplant, Red aptenia, Heart-leaved aptenia, Heart-leaved midday flower
Origin:Eastern Coastal Plains of South Africa
USDA Hardiness Zones:10 – 11
Size:4 – 6 inches tall (10 – 15 cm) and spreads up to 2 ft. (60 cm)
Sun Exposure:Full sun to partial shade
Water Needs:Water thoroughly but infrequently
Soil Type:Well-draining soil
Temperature:70˚F (21˚C) during the day and 40-50˚F (5-10˚C) at night
Humidity Levels:40-50%

Mesembryanthemum cordifolium, commonly known as the Baby Sun Rose, was formerly known as Aptenia cordifolia. This flowering plant is native to South Africa, and it is a perennial succulent in the family Aizoaceae.

The Baby Sun Rose is a low-growing ground cover succulent that forms a dense mat with many branching stems that emerge from a woody base.

The fleshy stems may be rounded and reach up to 6 inches (15 cm). The succulent leaves are fleshy and bright green, have a flat and heart-shaped form and are up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long.

Flowers, which are often pink to purple and develop in the leaf axils, are visible during the brightest hour of the day.

The common name for the Mesembryanthemum cordifolium is Baby Sun Rose, but it is also known by the following names:

  • Aptenia cordifolia variegata
  • Heartleaf Iceplant
  • Red aptenia
  • Heart-leaved aptenia
  • Heart-leaved midday flower

How To Care for Baby Sun Rose (Mesembryanthemum Cordifolium)

Baby Sun Rose care is very simple; this hardy and low-maintenance succulent plant can be grown indoors or outdoors and does not need much attention to thrive.

The following are the essential facts about caring for Mesembryanthemum cordifolium.

Sun Exposure & Light Requirements

The Baby Sun Rose succulent plant thrives in full sun to partial shade (ideally, 6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily), making it a perfect succulent for indoors and outdoors.

When grown indoors, place it near an east- or west-facing window, where it will receive bright sunlight early or late in the day.

Avoid placing it in direct sunlight when the sun is strongest in the middle of the day, which may damage the plant.

When grown outdoors, place it in an area where it will receive indirect bright light all or most of the day.

Watering Requirements

As with any succulent, the key to success with the Baby Sun Rose is to allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

It needs to be watered thoroughly when the soil is completely dry. Squeeze the soil to make sure it is completely dry.

In general, water once every one to two weeks in the summer and once every two to three weeks in the winter.

It will need more frequent watering in hot weather, while in cool weather, it will be less frequent.

If the soil is allowed to remain damp for long periods, the roots will rot, and you will lose your plant.

Soil Requirements

Baby Sun Rose thrives in well-draining soil.

A succulent or cactus soil mix is best; this soil type provides excellent drainage.

To ensure your soil drains well, you should implement the following mix:

  • 1 part cactus potting mix
  • 1 part coarse sand
  • 1 part perlite

When grown in the ground, Baby Sun Rose will be best suited in either gravelly or sandy soil.

However, if your plant is grown as a houseplant, the soil must be potted in a succulent/cactus potting mix.

Using the right soil is essential for succulents and cacti. I use the Bonsai Jack Succulent & Cactus Soil, which has excellent draining properties to prevent root rot!

Temperature and Humidity

The ideal temperature for the Baby Sun Rose is approximately 70˚ F during the day and between 40 and 50˚ at night.

In these conditions, your Baby Sun Rose will grow very well. You should be aware that continuous exposure to high heat can cause leaf loss and poor flowering problems.

The ideal average humidity is approximately 40-50%. Higher humidity levels may cause the plant to rot; lower levels interfere with photosynthesis and cause leaf drop.

Generally speaking, if you can keep your home humid during the winter and provide a decent light source, you should be able to take care of your Baby Sun Rose easily.

As the plant matures and becomes bigger, you will notice that it adapts better to sudden temperature changes and high or low humidity levels.


Baby Sun Rose flowers are produced in the growing season (early spring to summer).

It is necessary to fertilize your Baby Sun Rose plant every other week during this time. A balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half-strength is recommended.

The diluted solution should be watered directly into the soil around your Baby Sun Rose plant, and it is advisable to water thoroughly after fertilizing.

Overfertilizing or using the wrong kind of fertilizer can harm your plant, so use caution when fertilizing.

Potting and Repotting

The Baby Sun Rose is commonly used as a groundcover, which means it is often planted between other plants.

Potting the plant in a container with good drainage, such as an unglazed, porous terracotta pot, is recommended. Ensure there are at least several drainage holes in the bottom of the container.

A good rule of thumb as to whether or not your Baby Sun Rose should be repotted is as follows: If the soil looks like it has been completely used up and does not hold together when compressed, then it is probably time for a new pot.

You should also consider replanting the Baby Sun Rose if it has stopped putting out new growth.

To repot your Baby Sun Rose, you should remove the plant from its old pot and gently tease apart any roots that may be matted or tangled.

Be careful not to disturb the root ball too much; if the Baby Sun Rose’s roots are damaged, they may not grow back.

After you have freed up some of the roots, carefully add in some new succulent soil around the roots, but be sure to leave about an inch of space between the edge of the root ball and the top of your container.

Make sure not to bury your Baby Sun Rose too deeply because it can suffocate.

Ensure not to water your Baby Sun Rose for at least one week after replanting, allowing the roots to settle into their new home.


The Baby Sun Rose can be invasive, so it is essential to prune the plant. The pruning process should be done in early spring before any new growth emerges.

You should cut off any dead or dying stems as soon as they appear. Cut them at an angle near a joint for best results.

It’s also advisable to regularly prune the Baby Rose plant to promote regrowth and new growth.

The tips of the stems are softer, and they get damaged or deteriorate faster if you cut them without care.

You’ll notice that those stem tips will turn brownish, so it’s best to prune them as soon as possible.

In some cases, cutting the entire branch off is advisable to promote new growth from the base of the plant.

Also, if your plant is growing in a crowded pot and its branches are overlapping with others, or they’re starting to take up too much space in the pot, it’s best to gently remove them and repot them in another pot with fresh soil.

Pests and Diseases

The Baby Sun Rose plant has few problems with pests and diseases.

However, being a succulent plant means it will be subjected to root rot if kept in humid conditions.

To avoid this, let the soil dry out completely before watering again. If this does not solve the problem, try repotting in fresh soil.

Other possible Baby Sun Rose problems are mealybugs and scale insects.

Mealybugs will appear as small white dots on your plants and can be identified by the cottony substance they excrete.

If present, wash plants with a small amount of dish soap in water or apply rubbing alcohol to affected areas. Repeat every three days until the problem has been solved.

Scale insects are tiny, brown bugs that attach themselves to your plant.

You can tell if you have these if they’re clustered together in one area of the plant, and the leaves look like they’ve been sucked dry (which they probably have).

To remove them, carefully pour rubbing alcohol over affected areas every three days until all pests are gone.

After you’ve removed pests, keep the environment in your home clean to reduce their chance of returning.

How to Care for Baby Sun Rose (Mesembryanthemum Cordifolium) in Winter

Baby Sun Rose winter care largely depends on the climate of your location. But there are some things you can do to ensure that they stay healthy throughout winter.

In regions with snow and harsh winters, the best choice is to bring your succulents indoors or keep them in an unheated greenhouse. Move them under these conditions by the end of fall, so they have time to adjust before winter arrives.

Baby Sun Rose succulents can be grown outside during winter in milder climates. You should keep them in a cool, sunny location protected from strong winds.

Reduce watering to a minimum and only water them if the soil is completely dry. It will depend on your location, but you should aim to water at most once every two weeks during winter.

Increase watering again as soon as the first signs of spring appear, as this will encourage them to start growing as early as possible.

How To Propagate Baby Sun Rose Plant (Mesembryanthemum Cordifolium)

The Baby Sun Rose is an easy-to-grow succulent plant that you can propagate by cuttings or seeds. This should be done during the spring and summer when they are in active growth.

Baby Sun Rose Propagation From Cuttings

Baby Sun Rose propagation by cuttings is the most popular method. To propagate the M. cordifolium through cuttings, follow these steps:

  1. Gather stem cuttings from the succulent plant.
  2. Cut the cuttings with a sharp, sterilized blade at a 45-degree angle to expose more inner tissues.
  3. Allow the cuttings to dry for a few days. This will ensure that the cut ends will seal.
  4. Fill a container with cactus potting mix. Leave a space of about 2 inches from the top.
  5. Insert the cuttings into the potting mix and cover the tips with more cactus soil. Keep them moist but not overly wet.
  6. Wait two to three weeks until you see new growth at the base of your Baby Sun Roses!

Baby Sun Rose Propagation From Seeds

For propagating through seeds, follow these steps:

  1. Gather mature, dry seeds that have turned dark gray.
  2. Plant the seeds in a container with cactus potting mix.
  3. Keep the soil moist and in a sunny spot until you see new growth.
  4. When new growth appears, transplant the seedling into a pot at least 4-6 inches deep.

Final Thoughts

Growing succulents is simple but requires knowledge to ensure you do it correctly.

There are many different types of succulents, and it is essential to know their culture, sunlight requirements, and water needs.

Many people who enjoy learning about gardening, including growing new succulents from cuttings, will want to try to grow a Baby Sun Rose plant.

This succulent is low-maintenance and very easy to grow. The flowers are gorgeous, and it is fun to watch this plant grow!

The Baby Sun Rose ground cover is perfect for rock gardens, hanging baskets, and other outdoor locations.

Following the above advice will help you take proper care of your Baby Sun Rose succulent and propagate it successfully.

You can enjoy these beautiful plants in your home with dedication and patience! Good luck!

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