Anacampseros rufescens variegata is a beautifully colored succulent native to South Africa (related to the more familiar Portulaca). Star-shaped rosette leaves are shaded green on the upper side with a beautiful purple shade beneath. With increased light and age, leaves will produce shades of green, pink, and yellow. White filament-like hairs grow along the stem, adding contrast to the darker foliage. A low-growing perennial that forms dense mats, making it a lovely addition to succulent gardens. Great in container gardens and indoors too. In spring or summer look for pretty pinkish-purple flowers.
Water thoroughly when soil is completely dry to the touch
Partial shade to full sun
USDA zone 9a to 11 (20F, -6.7° C) Not cold hardy
70 to 80 °F(21 to 26 °C)
Prefers well-drained, gritty soil
Benefits from a balanced fertilizer in spring
Under 3″ tall and 24″ (61 cm) wide
Anacampseros rufescens Variegata
Rainbow Sand Rose, Sand Rose, Lost Love Succulent Plant, Anacampseros rufescens sunrise
an-ak-KAM-ser-os roo-FES-enz var-ee-GAY-tuh
Rosy-pink flowers on small stems
Can be toxic to humans and animals
Anacampseros rufescens variegata aka Rainbow Sand Rose or Sand Rose is pronounced an-ak-KAM-ser-os roo-FES-enz var-ee-GAY-tuh. The word Anacampseros comes from the Greek word anakampto, meaning to recover and eros (love), an herb which was believed to bring back love if touched. Rufescens means becoming reddish.
Anacampseros rufescens have typical “succulent” watering needs. Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings as they are prone to root rot. Reduce watering when the plant is dormant. A moisture meter is a great inexpensive tool if you are new to succulents.
Anacampseros rufescens prefers plenty of bright light. It can tolerate full sun once gradually acclimated. Start with a few hours of early morning sun. Younger plants may take longer to acclimate. Intense sun on very hot days may cause sunburn. Try to avoid direct sunlight exposure on scorching hot days. Learn more about succulent sunburn here.
Anacampseros rufescens plants prefer temperatures in the 70 to 80 °F(21 to 26 °C) range. These plants can bear a little frost, around 30 °F (-2 °C). Not cold hardy, so if you live in colder climates with temps below 20° F(-6.7° C), plant in containers so it can be brought indoors in winter.
Rufescens will display beautiful colored foliage with increased sunlight. Four hours of bright light is essential for healthy foliage. Plants with insufficient light may become etiolated or “stretched out”. In the absence of natural light, you can keep your Anacampseros rufescens plant under a grow light.
Anacampseros Rufescens prefer well-drained, gritty soil with plenty of aeration. I like using cactus potting mix with perlite in a 2:1 ratio. For even better drainage add coarse sand and perlite to cactus soil for a 2:1:1 ratio.
Anacampseros Rufescens Variegata will benefit from fertilizer in the growing season. You can use a suitable houseplant fertilizer or a balanced fertilizer in a mild form. Avoid fertilizing the plant after the start of the fall.
The toxicity of the Anacampseros rufescens is yet not clear. It is better to be on the safe side and follow precautionary measures. Keep away from little ones and pets just to be sure.
Anacampseros rufescens variegata can be propagated by offsets, stem cuttings, leaves, or seeds.
Propagation from offsets
Offset propagation is the easiest and fastest method to grow your Anacampseros rufescens collection. Select a healthy mother plant for best propagation success. Locate a well-developed offset, ideally a pup with its own healthy roots. With a sharp knife, separate out the pups from the mother plant. Allow the offset to dry out for a few days so that the ends callous over. Plant the offset in well-draining soil in a pot with a drainage hole. As an option, you may want to dip the end in a rooting hormone to speed up root production. Place the pot in a location with bright indirect sunlight and water as needed.
Propagation from Cuttings
Stem-cuttings will take longer to propagate than offsets, but still a great option. Use the same methods above to remove a cutting.
Remove a leaf from the main plant, and allow it to callous over for a few days. Next, place the callused leaf on well-draining soil. Then, mist the soil weekly and increase water as roots are produced.
Anacampseros rufescens seeds prefer warm temperature. Be sure to sow seeds in well-draining soil, watering whenever the soil is dry. Germination can take several weeks or longer, depending on your growing environment. A grow light and/or seed warmer may be beneficial when growing Anacampseros rufescens from seeds.
Anacampseros Rufescens can produce numerous, prominent pink or purple flowers on mature plants. Flowers grow on a stalk-like inflorescence and are around 2 inches in size. Typically five petals are produced with yellow pollen visible in the center.
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