4 Types of Aptenia Succulents [With Pictures]

Native to Southern Africa, Aptenia is a succulent subshrub that grows from a network of fibrous and fleshy roots. It has waxy, leafless, sometimes hairy leaves that carry gorgeous pink flowers within them. There are four key species of Aptenia namely Aptenia cordifolia, Aptenia geniculiflora, Aptenia haeckeliana and Aptenia lancifolia.

Types of Aptenia Succulents

Aptenia cordifolia

aptenia cordifolia

Aptenia geniculiflora

aptenia geniculiflora

Aptenia haeckeliana

aptenia haeckeliana

Aptenia lancifolia

aptenia lancifolia

How to Grow and Care for Aptenia

If you have fallen in love with the beautiful leaves and equally gorgeous flowers of Aptenia and want to bring it home, you must also educate yourself on how to grow and care for it.

Here are a few tips that will be useful:


Aptenia likes sunlight but it won’t wither away in partial shade. The only difference you may notice is that in semi-shade, the growth rate will decrease and it will grow slowly. Regions that receive little to no light are not ideal for Aptenia and there is a high chance that the plant will freeze to death.

The best part about getting this succulent home is that it blooms mostly year-round thereby adding charm to your home. Place it near a window that receives light and see your space light up.

As much as it loves light, make sure to protect it from very harsh direct sun rays that can potentially harm the leaves.

Read also:
How Much Light do Succulents Need


Aptenia is resistant to heavy rains and periods of prolonged drought. Therefore, if you are someone who has an erratic schedule and cannot commit to regular care and watering needs of plants in general, Aptenia is your best bet.

It can survive with infrequent watering. But, treat it as any other cactus or succulent and water this as you would water others in your home. Just don’t neglect it because you know it won’t die.

If the soil that houses it is dry or flaky, this should be an indication for you that the plant needs water.


Two times a year is a good enough duration to meet the fertilizing needs of Aptenia. Spring and late summer are ideal seasons because these are also known to be the growing seasons. It is recommended that you repot Aptenia once every year alongside fertilizing it to ensure it remains healthy and strong.

A controlled-release fertilizer should work just fine.


The Aptenia is a very tolerant and adjusting succulent. It grows well in soils with any level of pH. Sandy and loamy mixes work wonderfully for growing Aptenia.

While potting, mix the soil with a good quality slow-release fertilizer and ample compost to make sure the nutrient needs are met sufficiently. The soil should be well-draining and the plants should be potted at least 3 feet apart to give them ample space to grow.

Read also:
Best Soil for Succulents in Pots


Warm and moderate climates work best for Aptenia. The succulent will not be able to survive in freezing cold temperatures.

Downy mildew (a fungus that thrives in cold and damp climates) outbreaks have been reported to affect Aptenia cordifolia (Cat’s Tongue Plant).

It is also crucial to meet its climate needs because infected succulents are difficult to treat.

Pests and Diseases

Stem damage is common during the winter months due to frost and cold. Hence, efforts should be made to prune the plant thoroughly during this time. It is not prone to a lot of pests and diseases.

However, be careful with overwatering because that can lead to rot in the roots causing severe damage to the succulent.

How to Propagate Aptenia

Cuttings and seeds work equally fine in propagating Aptenia succulents.

Cuttings: Cut one of the stems of Aptenia from the place it is connected to the main plant. Now take this stem and place it in well-drained soil. In some time, roots will emerge from the cutting and this will give birth to a new plant.

Seeds: Seeds are commonly used by people to propagate Aptenia. It is easy and fetches excellent results. All you need to do is to take some seeds and pot them in well-drained soil with the optimum amount of fertilizer and compost. Water the seeds to ensure there is sufficient moisture to help them sprout and wait for the germination to take place.

Summer and springtime is the best season for propagating Aptenia.



The fact that Aptenia is a gorgeous succulent makes it a popular choice among homeowners. Though it is fairly easy to grow and care for Aptenia, some questions persist. Here is one of the most commonly asked questions on Aptenia answered just for you!

Is Aptenia a Perennial?

Yes, Aptenia is a sun-loving perennial that is also considered a symbol of love and luck by many people. It produces tiny, bright reddish pink and purple flowers that are a sight for sore eyes. Aptenia is extremely easy to grow and has moderate caring needs that make it an ideal house plant for those with busy lives.