Plant of the Month Archive: Aeonium Family
Let’s talk about this months exciting succulent. The wonderful and exotically beautiful Aeonium!
The name Aeonium actually originates from the greek word “aionos” meaning immortal! Pretty fancy right? Aeoniums have been grown for hundreds of years all around the world. They are native to the Canary Islands of Spain. And most were spread by ships stopping by for supplies. The main reason Aeoniums do so well here in California is because like the Canary Islands we are both Mediterranean climates.
Cool thing about Aeoniums is they actually go through a period of dormancy during our hot summers here in Southern California. Which means they will shed a lot of their older leaves to save energy, and the crown of the aeonium will either drop down or close to shelter the growing tip from the harsh weather. But come late fall the Aeoniums will return to their normal glory and bush back out for the seasons to come.
They are one of the easiest and most vigorous winter growing succulents you will find. So many different hybrids exist now you can virtually make them fit into any color scheme or garden style you want. They come as clumping ground cover or as tall sculptural pieces.
Aeonium flowers or inflorescence is monocarpic. Which means they will bloom once and then die. But fear not! Because Aeoniums will branch out at the base and have several babies that take place once the parent inflorescence dies.
They are apart of the Crassulaceae family.
Aeonium is actually a fairly small genus and only contains about 35 species. But of course because they are such an awesome succulent we continue to make really awesome hybrids. because, well, Aeoniums are just AWESOME.
Hope this information helps you and have an Aeon-awesome day!
RACHAEL COHEN is the creator & owner of INFINITE SUCCULENT, a plant art, styling and educational service in San Diego, Ca.
Through her art and styling, as well as her writings & workshops, Rachael connects and engages her clients with the natural world. Simultaneously, she helps them achieve the botanical atmosphere of their dreams!
Rachael’s book of succulent crafts - Infinite Succulent: Miniature Living Art to Keep or Share - will be released end of February 2019.
Where to grow Aeonium:
Generally speaking, if you live in more temperate conditions, Aeoniums will do well with 4-6 hours of sun. However keep in mind where you plant them because the surrounding environment will affect the way they grow. If they are surrounded by hot walls, rocks, decomposed granite, Aeoniums might suffer more in full sun vs. having more shade. Watering:
If you want your Aeoniums to grow then feel free to give them a little extra water during late fall, winter, and spring. These periods are when they look the most lush and also bush out more. Feel free to fertilize monthly with a granular succulent and cactus fertilizer. For summer months water them sparingly because they do go dormant.
Like a true succulent you can propagate these guys by stem cutting (leaf propagation with these is much rarer). It’s not necessary to let the fresh cut stem callus over but it’s a good preventative if you want more of a success with your propagating. I would recommend propagation during the cooler season for a faster rooting out and success rate. However it can be done during their dormant period in summer, but they will take longer to root out and establish. When first planted, water once and let dry out in between waterings to get them started. No need to fertilize until they get established.
The most common pests to plague Aeoniums are mealy bug which usually squeeze in between the leaves at the crown of the plant. They are a sap sucking insect and can be harmful to your plant if they get out of control. To naturally take care of the pest you can take soapy water with a Q-tip and clean them away. or spray the plant down with 10% rubbing alcohol and 90% water solution. Make sure not to apply these solutions to your plant in the hotter times of the day because of potential to burn the leaves. Monitor your plant to see if any new infestations occur and if all else fails. Neem oil will also take care of the mealy bug as well as other pests for future use.
Have any further questions about Aeonium care?
Reach out on our Ask the Botanist page.
THANKS FOR READING!
RACHAEL & zoey