How to Grow Aeonium

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Aeonium is a rosette-forming succulent. Some Aeonium have leafy rosettes at the base; some have rosettes that sit atop sturdy stems. The leaves can be green, pink, deep red-black, and some have yellow edges or variegation. Aeonium can grow from a few inches tall to as tall as 4 feet.

Aeonium can bear brightly colored star-shaped flowers –yellow, red, white, or pink. Flowers may appear in spring, in winter, or in early summer.

Mid-summer is a rest period time for Aeonium. Water and fertilize Aeonium regularly during the growth time, but not during the growth pause in midsummer.

Aeonium is a genus of about 38 species. Aeonium is native to North Africa and the Canary Islands.

Get to know Aeonium

  • Plant type: Succulent in the Crassula Family
  • Hardiness temperature: 30℉ (-1.1℃); some shed their leaves in midsummer or midwinter.
  • Optimal growing temperature: day, 45° to 60°F (7° to 16°C); night, 10° to 15° cooler. 
  • Shape and size: Rosette-forming; some form a clustering base; some sit atop a sturdy stem leaves can be green, pink, red-black or with a yellow variegation;
  • Flowers: Brightly colored flowers—yellow, red, white, or pink
  • Bloom time: Spring, some in winter, some in early summer
  • Common name: Stonecrops
  • Genus name: Aeonium
  • Family name: Crassulaceae
  • Origin: North Africa, Canary Islands
Aeonium arboreum var. atropurpureum f. nigrum Schwarzkopf
Aeonium arboreum var. atropurpureum f. nigrum Schwarzkopf

Planting Aeonium

  • Plant Aeonium in bright light or partial shade outdoors.
  • Indoors grow Aeonium in bright light, no direct sun, from southern, southeastern or eastern exposure. Fresh air circulation is important. 
  • Grow Aeonium in a porous, sandy loam that is well drained.
  • Grow Aeonium in pots that are too large, rather than too small.

How to water and feed Aeonium

  • Keep Aeonium well-watered during growth, but not during the growth pause in midsummer.
  • In spring and summer, let the soil dry between thorough waterings. Overwatering causes plant to rot.
  • Aeonium prefers humidity of10% to 20%. 
  • Feed Aeonium every 6 weeks, during spring and summer growing period, with low-nitrogen, high-potassium fertilizer. 

Aeonium care

  • Grow Aeonium in a snug pot promotes top growth and reduces the chance of root rot. 
  • Aeonium dies after blooming, so a new plant must be grown each year. Use leaf cuttings or seeds. Allow cuttings to dry for 24 hours, place the cutting in peat and sand mixture then set in a warm location. 
  • Aeonium rests from fall to early spring. Place Aeonium in a cool, bright location where it receives 5 hours of sunlight daily. Decrease water and withhold fertilizer. 

Growing Aeonium as a houseplant

  • Aeonium arboreum is a treelike form that grows to 3 feet tall. It is often grown as a houseplant.
  • Giveaeonium direct light, low humidity, and a cool temperature in winter.
  • Let the soil dry to the touch between waterings.
  • Fertilize once every six weeks in spring and summer.

Aeonium pests and diseases

  • Check Aeonium for aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, scale. Be alert for fungus disease. 

Aeonium propagation

  • Propagate Aeonium from seed or stem cuttings, plant in a cactus mix.

Aeonium species to grow

  • Aeonium arboreum. Grows to 36 inches (91 cm) tall; rosettes are flattened, bright green; golden yellow, 8-inch flowers appear top erect stems. The most common variety. A. a. ‘Atropurpureum,’ has purplish leaves; ‘Zwartkop’ has black leaves.
  • A. canariense (velvet rose, canary island aeonium). Rosettes reach 2 feet wide, covered with smooth white hairs; bears yellow flowers.
  • A. decorum. Grows to 30 inches (76 cm) tall; coppery red leaves and white flowers with dark pink markings.
  • A. floribunda. Lemon yellow blooms in summer.
  • A. haworthii (pinwheel). Shrubby growth 2 feet high; blue green leaves are often tinged with red at edges; creamy-colored, spring flowers.
  • A. mobile. Grows to 24 inches (61 cm) tall; scarlet blooms and olive green leaves.
  • A. tabuliforme. Grows to 20 inches (51 cm) tall; yellow blooms and a rosette of small green leaves. 
  • A. undulatum (saucer plant, dinner plate). Dark, glossy leaves on single stems; yellow blooms.

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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