Anacampseros Rufescens – Sand Rose – Sunrise – Growing Tips!

The Anacampseros Rufescens, also known as the ‘Sand Rose’ or ‘Sunrise succulent’, is a colorful low-growing succulent that can be easily taken care of by anyone even those of us with no green thumb.

However, after looking around the web, we really couldn’t find anyone who was putting all the information that we needed to successfully grow the Sand Rose all in one place, so we decided to do that for you, enjoy!

Be sure to at least read each of the sub-headlines below because there may be several questions you have but had not even thought of yet and these can answer them for you in advance.

Discover the adventure of growing this amazing succulent below!

What Is An Anacampseros Rufescens?

The Anacampseros Rufescens is a succulent of the Anacampseros genus of the Anacampserotaceae family. This plant is a beautifully colored low growing succulent native to South Africa. It has flat, plump, jagged pink leaves that turning green as they get closer to the center, forming a rosette.

These plants often grow in clusters and can be propagated from the offsets and leaves. This succulent can bloom beautiful pink and purple flowers during the spring with the right care.

So long as the plant thinks there is enough water and nutrients from the soil it’s in, it should bloom as the days of light lengthen to signal it’s time.

sand rose

What Are The Common Names For Anacampseros Rufescens?

The two common names for the Anacampseros Rufescens are ‘Sand Rose’ and ‘Sunrise Succulent’.

Anacampseros, the genus of the plant, has been proven by studies tracing it back to ancient Greece and was considered one of very few herbs that would restore lost love. The Anacampseros name literally comes from the Greek words anakampto, ‘to recover’, and eros ‘love’.

Rufescens, the specific epithet and second part of the botanical name, means ‘reddish’ in Latin, referring to its dusty pink coloring appearing red.

One of the common names, ‘Sand Rose’, refers to the plant’s rosette appearance as it grows in its common habitat, the desert.

The second common name, ‘Sunrise Succulent’ is unfounded. There is no recorded reason for that specific common name, one can assume that because the succulent prefers vast amounts of sunlight, it can make it seem as if it grows in the sunrise.

History Of The Anacampseros Rufescens

Although there is no recorded history of how the Anacampseros Rufescens was discovered, the only information pointing to the succulent’s origins comes out of Southern Africa where it is believed to have been first found.

Where the plant comes from is an important consideration when deciding how to properly care for your succulent, which we will discuss down below.

How To Take Care Of The Anacampseros Rufescens

To properly take care of your Anacampseros Rufescens, you must know the right soil, fertilizer, watering amount, sunlight, and other important growing info.

For soil, it is best to construct well-draining soil mixture. Many people make a homemade soil mix that consists of equal parts cactus mix, perlite and coarse sand for better drainage. While having a well-draining soil mix is important, it is also crucial to use a pot or container that allows easy drainage for the plant to avoid root rotting.

As for fertilizer it’s best to use decomposing organic matter such as well-turned and aged compost. Just a small amount layered on top to the soil will work so that as you water it the nutrients will drain down and feed the plant.

The Golden rule of watering is to be applied when watering your plant – only water your plant when the soil feels dry and keep the soil dry between waterings. Water around your succulent and not directly on the leaves to avoid rotting where the water pools.

During the winter, minimize the amount you water since your plant will be dormant through the season. It is suggested to water during the winter only when the soil feels bone dry.

Since the Anacampseros Rufescens grows both indoors and outdoors, there are different sunlight requirements depending on where they grow. If grown indoors, place your plant near or on a windowsill so that it gets some afternoon direct sun. The succulent will only need 4 to 6 hours of sunlight per day.

If you notice your succulent starts stretching out, it is not getting enough light, place in an area that gets better bright light. The reason you need to  keep the succulent in bright light is to allow it to get plenty of sun to produce colorful leaves from photosynthesis. Leaving the plant in poor light will cause it’s leaves to grow pale green and dull.

Anacampseros Rufescens thrive from bright light and direct sunlight. If grown outdoors, keep your succulent in partial to full light, but be careful when changing lighting conditions, it may cause sunburn to the plant if it’s in intense sunlight for over 8 hours per day.

 It is okay to keep your plant in bright shade but move it every once in a while, from bright shade to sunlight so that the chlorophyll will allow the succulent to grow its colorful leaves.

For temperature, it is best to keep it between 70°F – 80°F (21°C – 26°C) and try your best to avoid temperatures below 50°F (10°C). The Anacampseros Rufescens is not cold hardy, so you should bring your succulent indoors if temperatures tend to drop below 20° F (-6.7° C) where you live.

 Air humidity is not much of a concern for this succulent, any humidity that you grow your other succulents in will be just as good for this hardy water holding plant.

caring for plants

What Is The Best Soil For Anacampseros Rufescens?

The best soil for your Anacampseros Rufescens is a well-draining soil in a pot that provides great drainage. It is important that the soil and pot provide adequate drainage so that it prevents the risk of the plant root rotting and dying.

Some people use a homemade soil mix that provides better growth and drainage, the most popular homemade soil mix calls for equals parts of cactus mix, perlite and coarse sand.

If you want to add fertilizer for extra nutrients and a growth boost, it is best to give it during its active growing time in the spring and do so by adding a thin layer of organic matter to the top of the soil.

This can be a well-turned, aged compost.

How Much Sunlight Should I Give My Anacampseros Rufescens?

The Anacampseros Rufescens can be grown indoors and outdoors, which means they can thrive in different light requirements.

First remember not to leave your succulent in the shade for too long or it won’t develop its color characteristics that it’s famous for.

If put in intense hot sun for more than 8 hours per day it can burn the plant and will cause wilting, discoloration and death.

If grown indoors, keep your succulent in bright light such as placing it near or on a windowsill. If you notice your succulent is stretching out, it means that it’s not getting enough sunlight and you will need to move it to a place that gets brighter light. Give your succulent 4 to 6 hours a day of sunlight for the best growth.

If grown outdoors, it is best to slowly introduce it to from partial to full sun over the course of a week or so, to prevent sunburn. Keep your plant out in the sun for 4 to 6 hours a day but not more than 8 hours to avoid burning.

How Often Should I Water My Anacampseros Rufescens?

You should water your Anacampseros Rufescens only when the soil feels dry. Keep the soil dry between waterings. Pour around the plant and into the soil, avoid watering directly on to the leaves to prevent rotting leaves where the water pools up.

Speaking of rotting, it is important to have a well-draining soil and a pot that provides adequate drainage to prevent your succulent from root rotting and dying.


What Is The Best Temperature To Keep My Anacampseros Rufescens In?

The best temperature to keep your Anacampseros Rufescens in is between 70°F – 80°F (21°C – 26°C) and keep it away from temperatures around 50°F (10°C). This succulent is not very hardy in the cold, so it is best to bring your outdoor Anacampseros Rufescens indoors if temperatures drop to or below 20° F (-6.7° C).

How To Propagate Anacampseros Rufescens

You can propagate the Anacampseros Rufescens in two ways: offsets and leaves.

To propagate from offsets (shoots or runners), you will need to look for an offset large enough to remove. You should look for an offset that has roots that you can pull out along with the small plant, it will give it a greater chance of survival after propagation.

With a sterilized cutting tool, cut the offset from the plant and gently pull it from the mother plant. Once the offset has been removed, allow it to callous over the next day or two before transporting it into a new pot.

Keep it away from direct sunlight to prevent sunburn especially for the first month as it settles in.  

As with the mother plant, you should have the same type of soil in your new pot for your offset. Mist your offset occasionally, it is suggested to water only when the soil feels dry. After the plant has grown more and has established hard setting roots into its pot, you can change from misting to deep watering.

To propagate from a leaf, gently pull out a nice plump healthy-looking leaf from the mother plant and let it callous over the next day or two before you put it in soil. After it has dried, place your leaf flat on the soil or place the cut end of the leaf directly in the soil.

Mist it as you would with the offset and after 2 week or so, you will notice roots developing and in the next following weeks, you will notice a baby plant growing. The entire leaf propagation process will take a couple of months.

Are Anacampseros Rufescens Seasonal?

Yes, Anacampseros Rufescens are seasonal. They bloom big, beautiful pink and purple flowers from the center of the rosettes in the summer season.

To successfuly bloom your succulent, you will need to make sure of four things: the succulent has received plenty of light, it has survived the winter, the plant is mature, and it has been in proper temperatures.

Your succulent will be mature in about 3 years, depending on the care. Some have been known to take as much as 5 years depending on the conditions during those years.

It is very important for your plant to receive plenty of light. By keeping it thriving in lots of sun, it will help in the blooming process.

The right temperatures will help in the flowering process. Having cool temperatures at night and warm temperatures in the day will encourage the plant into blooming. If grown indoors, the best night temperatures would be between 50-55⁰F (10-13⁰C), and if grown indoors, temperatures between 60-65⁰F(15-18⁰C) will work well.

Having your plant go dormant in the winter is an important key detail to achieve if you want your succulent to bloom. Keep the temperatures for your succulent between 35-44⁰F (1.5-7⁰C) during the winter.

If the plant feels that its summer all year it won’t go through its winter cycle and then bloom during it’s summertime cycle.

Are Anacampseros Rufescens Toxic To Humans Or Pets?

Anacampseros Rufescens are not toxic to humans or pets. So, if your cat or dog manages to chomp on the succulent, don’t fret kitty or fido should be just fine.

It’s probably best if you keep it in a place out of your pet’s reach so that they won’t be tempted to keep eating your succulent. It may not hurt the pets, but it’s definitely not good for the succulent.

Are Anacampseros Rufescens Edible?

Anacampseros Rufescens are edible, but it is not suggested to eat them. There are no known recipes that include them and they are said to have a bitter, sour taste to them which leaves the mouth feeling overly dry.


How To Save A Dying Anacampseros Rufescens?

You can save a dying Anacampseros Rufescens by removing the plant from its pot and pruning it. Then allow it to callous over for 2 days and re-pot it by placing it atop the soil and misting it until it takes roots.

Once you see good solid rooting, you can give it a normal watering, but until then, just mist it.

How Often Should I Repot My Anacampseros Rufescens?

It is best to re-pot your Anacampseros Rufescens in the beginning of the New Year during its growing period in spring to allow it to have a better growing opportunity.

As for how often? Just as soon as you see it outgrowing it’s current pot.

Why Is My Anacampseros Rufescens Stretching?

If you notice your Anacampseros Rufescens stretching, it means that your succulent is not getting enough light and is reaching for new light.

Make sure you keep your succulent in partial to full sun. If you notice that your plant is still stretching, it is best to put it in an area with a better lighting source.

What Are The Common Anacampseros Rufescens Pests?

Aphids and mealybugs are commonly found on Anacampseros Rufescens. Aphids can be removed with a splash of cold water on the plant or spraying alcohol on your plant’s leaves. You can use insecticidal soaps, oils and alcohol sprays on your succulent to get rid of mealy bugs.

Are Anacampseros Rufescens Indoor Or Outdoor Plants?

Anacampseros Rufescens are both indoor and outdoor plants. Although, even though they can be grown outside, if it gets colder than 20° F (-6.7° C) where you live, it is best to bring in your outdoor Anacampseros Rufescens to prevent it from dying.

indoor outdoor

Why Is My Anacampseros Rufescens Rotting?

Your Anacampseros Rufescens is most likely rotting from over watering. Remember to keep your succulent dry between waterings when watering it often and do not directly pour water on the leaves, pour around the plant and water deeply in the soil.