Plant ID Aptenia

(Question)

Hi. I’m hoping you can identify my succulent plant for me. I rooted and grew a piece a few years ago and never knew the name. I put it out in the summer months and overwinter in my sunny south side windows in the house. I’ve since seen it growing in large planters up near Stoney Lake in the summertime as well. 

It is definitely a succulent, tropical, cascading and has dime-sized pink flowers on it. Can you tell me what the name of this plant is? Thanks.

(Answer)

Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners about your mystery succulent. You appear to have Aptenia cordifolia ‘Variegata’, more commonly known as Variegated Heartleaf Ice Plant, which is native to South Africa. In the summer/fall it bears lovely deep pink flowers.  Being a succulent, it doesn’t like to sit in damp soil as this can promote root rot. Instead, it prefers soil on the drier side and, when it feels entirely dry, water lightly. It also does better in less fertile soil, so there is no need to fertilize. Overall, A. cordifolia ‘Variegata’ is a very low maintenance plant that you can enjoy for years to come. Just be sure to bring it indoors when the outdoor temperature dips to below 10°C, as it does not tolerate cold climates.

For more information on A. cordifolia, please refer to this factsheet created by the University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service.