Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Baby Sunrose, Dew Plant, Heartleaf Ice Plant, Heart Leaf Ice Plant
Aptenia cordifolia

Family: Aizoaceae (ay-zoh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Aptenia (ap-TEN-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: cordifolia (kor-di-FOH-lee-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Litocarpus cordifolius
Synonym:Mesembryanthemum cordifolium
Synonym:Tetracoilanthus cordifolius
Synonym:Ludolfia cordifolius

One vendor has this plant for sale.

17 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials
Cactus and Succulents

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade


Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)
Fuchsia (Red-Purple)

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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15 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive coriaceous On Feb 1, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Here in Z6a, we use the variegated form in summer containers. Not very floriferous, we grow it for the foliage.

A great, durable plant. Winters over easily indoors, even in a dark basement, if you keep it nearly dry.

In commerce we find this goes by the genus name

Positive karmadibs On Jun 28, 2014, karmadibs from Ridgecrest, CA wrote:

positive-I live in the high desert in ca. and so far i love this plant.
im confused though,because in the description it is said to be drought resistant, and mine seems to wither if i forget or skip its daily water,and comes right back as long as i keep it well watered. i have had success with propagating as well, i simply took a peice about the length of my finger and put it in a pot and its doing well in partial shade. it,too,seems to wither if i let it go for a few days unwatered. i am curious, though, because it seems to have peices falling off of it that look healthy? im a beginner, so im a bit of a worry wart about my plants!

Neutral Baja_Costero On Aug 18, 2012, Baja_Costero from Baja California
Mexico (Zone 11) wrote:

Fast-growing groundcover which will quickly take over an area if it gets regular water. Not good at sharing space with other plants. Flowers attract bees.

Positive okken On Nov 15, 2011, okken wrote:

I was not impressed so much with this plant as a groundcover, mainly because the flowers were small, but as a hanging basket I like it very much, and hung in a location where it will be seen more close up, it is very nice. Another website indicates, coming from So Africa, this plant is medicinally used as an inflammatory, a dressing (poltice), deorderant, as a love potion, mild enema for babies and as a good luck charm. Burnt stems and leaves are applied to aching joints. It is also known as "dew plant". I thought others would enjoy the additional information.

Positive Shirley_D On Jun 21, 2011, Shirley_D from Baton Rouge, LA wrote:

Aptenia has been planted since early spring. In about three months, it has adequately spread to cover unsightly tree roots between the sidewalk and street, an area too hard to grow grass or mow. Easy to cut runners invading shrubs or other plants. Easy to grow from cuttings. Selected because it was in a planter box in the parking lot at a nursery just as winter was ending. It was getting lots of sun. Expect it to handle Baton Rouge winter just fine. Seems already to be quite successful in high temperatures (mid 90s) and near drought conditions, with almost daily hose watering.

Positive sunkissed On Feb 1, 2011, sunkissed from Winter Springs, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This is the only plant that thrives in my hanging baskets in the hot summertime. I just cut clippings off the first one and stuck them in the hanging pots and started new plants. I left them all down on the ground under the canopy of my oaks and Philodendrons on the nights we had freezing and below freezing temps, just threw of bunch of Turkey Oak leaves on top of them. They are still popping out little pink star flowers now in January.

Positive johnthelandlord On Oct 19, 2010, johnthelandlord from Los Angeles, CA wrote:

This is my favorite ice plant variety. I like the thick rubbery stems and leaves compared to other ice plants.

It grows fast, and I used it to replace some grass that never grew due to lack of sprinklers. This is nice and green ground cover and does not have to be watered much at all which is great in low rain areas. It seems that it need lots of sun, but the areas where it has almost 100% sun seem to be a bit yellowed. The bees love it, and they are always hanging around. One downside is that you cant walk on the areas where it has been planted.

I read that its invasive in the Northern Cali coast..?

Good all around.

Positive ejennings On Apr 29, 2010, ejennings from San Angelo, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

I have both variegated and the regular of this plant. Both are very easy to propagate. Just stick it in some soil and it does the rest. The blooms open in the sunlight and close when the sun goes down.
I had my regular one outside in a hanging basket. It was doing great until the birds started stripping it of its leaves. I barely saved it. I guess the birds need the moisture that's inside the leaves. I have them all inside now.
They are drought tolerant, but grows faster the more you water it.
I love the ease in taking care of these plants, and the blooms are delicate looking:)

Positive flaflwrgrl On Jul 23, 2009, flaflwrgrl from North Central , FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have this in full sun in my xeri yard. It very well could be an invasive here in Fl. as Cearbhaill has stated. I find myself out there cutting it back about once a month from Oct. to June, if I don't it will over run everything! The bees LOVE it! In the high heat of summer, in July, Aug. & Sept., it gets a bit ragged & tired looking but always bounces back in Oct..

Positive Nan On Jul 15, 2009, Nan from SW, WI (Zone 4b) wrote:

Just wanted to note that I overwintered this (variegated form) in a 'strawberry jar/pot' on my unheated sunporch this past winter.
I figure my porch is about a zone 7.
I did place the pot as close to the interior wall as possible.

It mostly died back, though did retain a bit of green coloring in the stem at the soil-line, and it has re-grown from the roots this year!

I was pleasantly surprised!

Positive Pyewacketcat54 On Jul 7, 2008, Pyewacketcat54 from Fort Worth, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I have had this outside in a hanging pot for almost 3 yrs,and it is doing fine.Mine is a varigated type.with the deeper pink blooms.Bring it in the backroom for winter,dies back a little,and starts up in spring,doesn't bloom much,but it is a pretty plant.

Positive AuntAnne On May 22, 2007, AuntAnne from College Station, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have these in hanging baskets. I have the pink ones and a yellow one. They grow very fast. I overwintered them in a covered area on my porch. They survived my almost criminal neglect with very little damage. They grow from cuttings easily. I love these.

Positive turbosbabe96 On Nov 29, 2006, turbosbabe96 from Ingleside, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I started this plant, and still have the "parent", in a hanging basket. With our mild winters, I have never bothered to take it inside...and have not lost it yet. In fact, I have started new plants off the original. I also took some and put it in the ground around my Live Oaks. It makes a beautiful ground cover. It has tolerated heat up to 118 and a couple of years ago, when we DID have a really cold winter, it weathered 20 degrees. This is one tough plant. I water it regularly..twice daily when really hot..otherwise daily....and feed it a succulent fertilizer every 3 months. I also have blooms year round on this plant. I really love this plant!

Positive Cearbhaill On Jun 14, 2005, Cearbhaill from Russell, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

This should be considered an invasive in South Florida. But if you are careful where you put it, it is a ground cover like no other. I find mine to be tolerant of either sun or shade, and fairly drought tolerant as well.
But it does creep- about 10 feet a year!

Positive patp On Jul 25, 2004, patp from Summerville, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

This plant dies back in winter and grows back in spring in Zone 8a. The almost dime-sized pink blossoms have small yellow centers, and the foliage feels rubbery. If potted, it trails down the side of the pot. It grows best planted in the ground in a sunny location, and it likes to be watered where drainage is good, but it will live in a dry, shady location too. It's not fussy about the soil type, either. Although not showy, it deserves an 'A' for resilience.

Positive smashedcricket On Jan 13, 2004, smashedcricket from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

will grow in sand, and actually prefers regular watering..shows signs of rotting when warm and wet..keep cool and drought,salt, and somewhat heat tolerant.

Neutral smiln32 On Aug 24, 2001, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Culture: Aptenia cordifolia need full sun to light shade with night temperatures of 50 degrees and day temperatures of 65 degrees or higher. When grown in pots, the pots should be at least 8 inches deep. It also makes a great hanging basket plant for full sun. A suitable compost consists of 2 parts sand to 1 part loam to 1 part peat moss. Only water the plant when it is thoroughly dry. I do not recommend the use of fertilizer with any plant in the Aizoaceae family. If planted outdoors, it needs a well-drained soil with exposure to full sun.

Propagation: Aptenia cordifolia are propagated by cuttings or seed. Cuttings will root in about 3 weeks.

Neutral talinum On Aug 15, 2001, talinum from Kearney, NE (Zone 5a) wrote:

HHA/GP 12" tall
A sprawling or cascading plant with succulent, bright green, heart-shaped leaves. The pretty, magenta flowers are quite small.
The flowers are about 1/2 size of the common iceplant's flowers and are the same frilly shape. It is not as impressive as the common ice plant.
The seed capsules lack wings distinguishing the genus from mesembryanthemum in which is was once included.
Native to South Africa.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Chandler, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Crestline, California
Davis, California
Fresno, California
Granite Bay, California
Hesperia, California
Los Angeles, California
Menifee, California
Merced, California
Murrieta, California
Ridgecrest, California
Roseville, California
San Marcos, California
Valley Village, California
Victorville, California
Brandon, Florida
Deland, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Hobe Sound, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Lake Panasoffkee, Florida
Miami, Florida
Neptune Beach, Florida
Palm Bay, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida
Port Charlotte, Florida
Punta Gorda, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Winter Springs, Florida
Kurtistown, Hawaii
Lake Charles, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
Ville Platte, Louisiana
Las Vegas, Nevada
Cincinnati, Ohio
Summerville, South Carolina
Lenoir City, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Baytown, Texas
College Station, Texas
Corpus Christi, Texas
Edgewood, Texas
El Paso, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas (2 reports)
Ingleside, Texas
Iowa Park, Texas
Kerrville, Texas
Lake Jackson, Texas
Midway, Texas
New Braunfels, Texas
Plano, Texas
Rockport, Texas
San Angelo, Texas
San Marcos, Texas
Stinnett, Texas
North Bend, Washington

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