The red apple ice plant has a unique name, quickly becoming all the rage in gardening circles. This guide will tell you everything you need about red apple ice plant care.
Botanical Name: Aptenia cordifolia
Common Name: Red apple ice plant
Plant Type: Perennial
Flower Color: Red with many small petals and a yellow center.
Size When Mature: 12-18 inches in length, the flowers are about 0.2 inches
Bloom Time: Spring and summer
Sun Requirements: Full sun
USDA Hardiness Zones: Zones 8-11
Soil PH Range: Mildy Acidic, Neutral, Mildly Alkaline
Soil Type: Well-drained
Water Needs: Medium
Native Area: South Africa
What You Need To Know About the Red Apple Ice Plant
The red apple ice plant is a perennial that blooms in the spring and summer. It gets its name from the way the tiny red flowers look like apples.
The plant is native to South Africa and can tolerate heat and drought well. It does best in full sun but can handle some shade. The red apple ice plant is a low-maintenance plant that isn’t picky about soil type as long as it drains well.
How to Care for the Red Apple Ice Plant
Water the red apple ice plant profoundly but infrequently to encourage deep rooting. Water about once a week or when the soil is dry several inches down. Reduce watering in the winter.
Fertilize red apple ice plants monthly in the spring and summer with a balanced fertilizer. Apply at half the recommended strength. Trim off dead or dying stems to tidy up the plant and encourage new growth.
The red apple ice plant does best in full sun but can tolerate some shade. Some afternoon shade will help protect the plant from heat stress if you live in a hot climate.
Water and Soil Needs
The red apple ice plant isn’t picky about soil type as long as it drains well. This hardy plant can handle a variety of soil pH, including mildly acidic, neutral, and alkaline. The plant is native to South Africa and can tolerate heat and drought well.
Water red apple ice plants several times a week to encourage deep rooting. Over-watering does not promote a sound root system to develop. This plant needs a medium amount of water. Once the root system is established, you can reduce watering to once weekly. Overwatering is quite damaging to this plant.
The red apple ice plant grows best in warm climates. You can grow it in US zones 8-11. In lower zones, it must be brought inside in the winter to prevent the cold from killing it.
The best fertilizer for a red apple ice plant is a balanced fertilizer applied monthly in the spring and summer. Apply at half the recommended strength. Compost is also an excellent option to use as it will help improve drainage.
The red apple ice plant is susceptible to leaf spots, root rot, and spider mites. Spider mites are the most common problem; you can control them with a strong water spray or insecticide. If you see any signs of disease, remove the affected leaves to prevent the spread.
The Red Apple Ice Plant Propagation
The red apple ice plant is easy to propagate from stem cuttings. Take 4-6 inch cuttings from new growth in the spring or summer. Remove the lower leaves and dip the cuttings in the rooting hormone. Plant the cuttings in well-draining soil and keep them moist. Please put them in a shaded area until they take root, which usually takes about two weeks.
There you have everything you need to know about the red apple ice plant. This hardy plant produces beautiful flowers that are a welcome addition to any garden.