Aeoniums are a genus of succulent plants with fleshy leaves that grow in a gorgeous rosette shape. This genus covers around 35 species of succulents that come in various sizes. Their name comes from an ancient Greek word aionos that means ageless or immortal.
Aeonium is easy to take care of since this plant doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. They are a perfect succulent for people who are just starting their stone garden. These plants thrive in the Mediterranian climate, so the temperature shouldn’t be too high or too low.
It is good to mention that the majority of aeonium succulents are safe for cats and dogs. The plants are not toxic, so you can let your furry friends play near your succulent garden without worrying something could happen to them.
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About Aeonium Succulents
- Aeoniums are evergreen succulents that come in a variety of colors, sizes, and shapes. Their color depends on the level of sun exposure, as well as the climate they are growing in.
- These succulents love dry and warm climates. However, aeoniums don’t like frost or extremely high temperatures.
- Some species of aeoniums may go completely dormant in summer, requiring no water to survive since they have it stored in the leaves. Additionally, aeoniums are highly resistant to pests, and they are not prone to diseases.
- Aeoniums don’t need too much watering in winter. Test the soil first to make sure it is dry and then water the plants. If you do it every day, the extra moisture could cause the root rot.
- You can grow these succulents both indoors and in a garden. If you plant them outside, remember they need sunlight or partial shade.
- Growing aeoniums in pots is an excellent idea because you can protect your plants from bad weather and provide them with the optimal growing conditions.
- There is no need to use any special fertilizer, but consider adding a bit of the cactus potting mix when propagating aeoniums.
- Propagating aeoniums is easy. You can do so from seeds or cuttings. Stem pieces can also grow into new plants once they fall to the surface below.
- Almost all aeoniums are perfectly safe for pets. They are not toxic for cats and dogs, so you can let your furry friends get close to these stunning plants.
Aeonium Features: An Overview
- Aeoniums are perennial succulents that form rosettes. The fleshy triangular leaves can be green, yellow, red, or even purple, depending on the specie you choose. A mature aeonium succulent can grow from 2 to 60 inches.
- These succulents are native to the Canary Islands, but can also be found in East Africa, Morocco, and Madeira. The Canary Islands are often regarded as the place with eternal spring since winters are unusually warm. The climate there is Mediterranian. Therefore, aeoniums can adapt to a variety of temperatures all around the globe.
- Aeoniums are sometimes confused with other species of succulents. They are often mistaken for echeverias, graptopetalums, and pachyverias. All of them have similarily shaped rosettes.
- Several Aeonium species form shrubs. These can be up to 60 inches tall. The elongated stems have rosettes at the top.
- Wild aeoniums prefer solitude, and you can find them living alone on rocky hillsides. They grow in clusters and stay away from other plants.
- Aeoniums will need at least six hours of sunlight to develop fully colored leaves.
- Once an aeonium succulent matures, it can produce flowers on a stem. The stem is about 8 inches tall, and the flowers are grouped at the tip. The flowers can be pink, red, white, yellow, or gold. The color once again depends on the specie. It is good to know that aeoniums are monocarpic. So once the stem and the flower reach the end of the lifecycle, they will die. You could propagate the succulent before it blooms.
- Winter is the growing season for these succulents. However, they can’t stand frost or cold weather. If you live in such a place, keep your aeoniums indoors. On the other hand, aeoniums can survive droughts because of their unique way of storing water inside the leaves.
Taking care of aeoniums is super easy, and they are an ideal choice for beginners. Aeoniums can thrive on their own if you create the proper conditions for them. You can plant them outside in your garden, or keep these succulents indoors. However, you have to provide them with a well-draining potting mix, regardless of where you place the plants.
Aeoniums grow in spring and winter, but you have to watch them closely in summer, especially if you live in a warmer climate. These succulents are not keen on hot weather, so the best location for them is a partial shade with lots of moisture. If you decide to keep your aeonium indoors, make sure you place it by the window because they need natural light.
As previously mentioned, aeoniums sometimes go dormant in summer and don’t require any water unless the temperatures are too high. What’s interesting about aeoniums is their root system. It is not fully developed, but the plant itself found a way to store water in their fleshy leaves. If the leaves are slightly curled inwards, it is a sign that the aeonium is trying to preserve moisture and that the temperatures are too high for their liking.
While aeoniums are resilient plants, there are a couple of problems you might encounter, namely root rot and various insects. Try using clay pots if you intend to grow aeoniums indoors. They have excellent drainage that will keep the root system healthy. This step is even easier outside. The soil should be moist but not too wet.
Scale and mites could be attracted to your aeoniums, so check for these insects often. If you notice any pests, the safest thing you could do is spray a bit of neem oil on your aeoniums. It will not cause damage to the plant, unlike some harsher insect control products.
Aeoniums don’t require a lot of watering, especially in summer. These succulents can be outside all year round, and not need any special care from you. They like Mediterranean temperatures, but dry summers are not their friends. In the case of long periods of heat and no rain, you have to water them more frequently than before.
Water them every five to ten days in case of a drought. But once again, it is not obligatory. Your aeoniums will do just fine if you forget to water them (but don’t make it a habit). On the other hand, too much moisture could be a problem for some species. So if you reside in a very humid place where it rains a lot, you have to protect your aeoniums from excessive humidity.
Colder months present a different challenge. Once again, there is no need to water the aeoniums too much, especially if you get a good amount of rain where you live. But if you notice that the foliage is changing color and becoming dry, revise your watering schedule. The same goes for indoor aeoniums that could need some extra care during winter. Also, water them with lukewarm water. Coldness could shock the roots.
Succulents, in general, are easy to propagate, and aeoniums are no different. New plants often grow from dry leaves and stem pieces that fall to the ground. The quickest way to manually grow your aeonium garden is by cutting off the stems. Choose a stem that has a small rosette at the top and remove it carefully. Set it aside for three days, preferably away from the direct sunlight, and let the stem heal itself.
The selection of soil is entirely up to you. Keep in mind that succulent growers often recommend filling up a pot with regular planting soil, and mixing it up with a cactus potting mix. Remember to use a well-draining clay pot.
Once the stem is all healed up, put it into the soil. It should stand straight. Place the pot somewhere warm and sunny, and water the succulent once a week. There is no need to go overboard, a small amount of water is enough.
Your new aeonium will be ready for replanting as soon as it develops a root system. Let the top layer of the soil dry before you start repotting the plant. Stop watering the succulent for a couple of days and check the ground with your finger. Then you can transfer your aeonium either into a bigger pot or to your garden.
Aeonium succulents are perfect for beginners who are just starting to expand their gardens. These plants are low-maintenance and can take good care of themselves. You can forget to water them every once in a while, and Aeoniums will still thrive.
This specie of succulents come in different sizes and colors, so they are incredibly picturesque. If you are inspired by the stone gardens of the Mediterranean and want to make one in your yard, Aeoniums are ideal succulents to get you started. Plus, they look lovely indoors as well!