Last Updated on October 19, 2023 by Plant Mom Care
Aeonium, a succulent genus of around 35 plant species, has glossy and waxy leaves that form rosettes. Their heights vary, from varieties just a few inches high to larger varieties that grow 3 feet or more.
These rosettes can either be solid colors or variegated in white, yellow, green, and red. Small clusters of flowers grow from the centers of the rosettes, but they aren’t very attractive.
These plants can be planted at any time and take around five years before flowering. Most aeoniums die after they finish flowering, although the pups (or shoots) will continue producing shoots as well.
In warm areas, aeoniums can be kept as garden perennials, but they are frequently grown in pots on decks, patios, or indoors. In colder areas, they should be cultivated in containers that can be taken inside when the weather turns frosty. When growing in a garden, these plants attract the most attention if they are grouped.
These plants have shallow roots and retain water in the stems and leaves. Unlike most succulents that prefer dry soil, these plants like moist but not water-logged soil.
They produce roots on their stems, which become noticeable when the plant gets root bound or if the stems break and fall on the soil due to the heavy rosettes. Replant the broken stems if this happens.
These plants grow better under full sun in colder areas however, light shade might be necessary for hot summers. They will thrive indoors under indirect bright light.
These plants prefer more moisture than other succulents, but over-watering or water-logged soil can cause root rot. Water whenever the topsoil dries out in winter.
Although they prefer humid conditions, avoid misting the plants unless you’re propagating cuttings.
The small spaces between the leaves and stems on fully mature plants can collect water when you mist, providing the perfect environment for mold or mildew to grow on the leaves. They grow better in Mediterranean-type climates – temperate, but not very humid.
When growing them indoors, temperatures of 65 – 75°F are best. When growing them outdoors, proper growth is maintained by covering the plants with light shade in hot and arid climates.
They can tolerate temperatures of 40 – 100°F although they might become dormant if they are exposed to high heat in particularly hot summers, as their main growing season is in winter and spring.
Sandy loam or potting soil amended with vermiculite or perlite is much better than a succulent/cacti mix as these plants need the soil to retain some moisture. If growing in dense soil in garden beds, amend the soil with moss or coco peat to help improve soil porosity.
These plants are perfect for growing as potted plants since they need very little soil. Repot the plants in 2 – 3 years with fresh soil. Pick a container with good drainage to avoid stagnant water and root rot.
Like other succulents, these plants are rather easy to propagate using cuttings in spring. Even stems that break off the plant will readily take root in the soil surrounding the plants.
Cut away a stem containing a rosette. Place the cutting in a dry and warm and shaded spot for around 3 days to let the cut end callus – this is important as it will help prevent root rot after planting the cutting.
Fill a small container with good drainage with a combination of equal measures of potting soil with cactus/succulent mix. Put the cutting’s calloused end into the mix, deep enough to hold it in place. Place the container under indirect bright light and lightly water it once a week.
Once strong roots have developed, let the topsoil dry before watering. Replant it in a larger container or garden as needed.
During its growing season, feed the plant with a diluted balanced fertilizer once a month and stop feeding when the plant is dormant.
Pruning is seldom necessary unless the stems get too leggy. Replant the pruned cuttings to propagate new plants.
These plants typically attract aphids, scale, mealybugs, and mites, including ants that are attracted by the sugary secretions from mealybugs and aphids.
Ants are difficult to eradicate from these succulents because of their tight rosette leaves. Use suitable ant bait near the plants to attract and eliminate them from the leaves.
When the ants are eliminated, focus on getting rid of the other pests. Spray the plant with insecticidal soap or neem oil solution to remove the pests.
It’s completely natural for the lower leaves of the rosette to fall off. The rosette might close up a little, too. Even if the plant appears to be dying, it’s probably becoming dormant, particularly in summer. Let the plant rest and do not do anything or try to take cuttings.
This can also happen when the weather is too hot and the plant is underwater. The leaves might curl up to prevent water loss in extreme heat. There’s a subtle difference between whether the plant is heat- or water-stressed.
If the weather is too hot, water the plant and check if the rosettes reopen and uncurl, although the leaves might continue to fall off.
If the plant gets too much sun, the leaves can get sunburned and turn brown. You can either remove the burned leaves or simply wait for the leaves to fall off naturally. Move the plant or provide light shade to protect it from direct sun.
When the plant flowers, the main stem will start dying. Cut away the head with the rosette and flowers. It may look unsightly at first, but the stem will have babies growing on it that continue growing and eventually become mature.
Can Aeonium survive winter?
Unlike other succulents, these plants can thrive in cool winters and can tolerate temperatures of 40°F. They should be brought indoors if temperatures drop below 40°F or at the first sign of frost.
Can Aeonium be grown indoors?
They make excellent houseplants if you don’t over-water them. Keep them under indirect bright light and in temperatures of 65 – 75°F.
Why are the leaves falling off my Aeonium?
Leaf drop is natural, particularly with lower leaves that drop off and die. They can also shed leaves when they become dormant or if they undergo extreme heat or over- or under-watering.