Baby sun rose (Aptenia cordifolia) is also known as red apple, baby sun rose, ice plant and dew plant. It is a succulent ground cover with bright red flowers that resemble asters or daisies. Baby sun rose is native to South Africa and thrives in the warmest regions of the United States, Zones 10 and 11.
Baby sun rose has inch-long, green foliage and bright red flowers. It is a succulent, so its leaves are leathery and somewhat thick because it uses the stems and leaves to store water. This plant is an evergreen and flowers almost all year round. Its leaves appear to sparkle when the sun hits them.
Baby sun rose is a xeric plant, meaning it is a good plant for responsible water use in the garden. It needs little to no irrigation except during the very hottest times of desert summers.
Baby sun rose does not get very tall, but spreads beautifully. Flowers open in the morning and stay open through the early afternoon. This is a fast-growing, but relatively short-lived, perennial.
Baby sun rose is grown as a ground cover or in hanging baskets. It would also perform well in rock gardens or grown to cascade down a wall. It would do well as a ground cover spreading in front of taller plants.
The California Invasive Plants Council reports that baby sun rose has a highly invasive potential when its watering recommendations are ignored. When watered, this plant has the potential to completely take over a garden; it will climb over everything, including other invasive plants. If it grows in a garden near riparian or wetland areas, it is capable of overwhelming and dominating native vegetation. It is capable of over-summering without water and growing vigorously during the rainy season. It will root at the point where the nodes touch the ground. Pull this plant out by hand, removing all roots and shoots where they contact the soil.
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