Aeonium arboretum

Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’ aka Black rose

New cutting late March 2018
New cutting late March 2018
Aeonium arboreum growing in a sidewalk garden in California

 

Aeonium arboreum

The flowers are actually leaves, in older plants they can be as large as 8″ across. The true flowers are a bright yellow, and look like small daisies. I’ll post photos once it blooms. These just arrived this week. A new batch arrived, I’m trying some outside and some indoors.

Colors vary from red to silvery green, some varieties are only green. Red/green ones will turn redder with more light, summer heat and winter cold, less water, pretty much any stressor. This is true of the Crassulaceae family of plants.

The plant grows long stems with sparse clumps of rosettes. It looks like a small tree when fully grown (~3′)

I’m hoping to grow it outside. I have some indoors, some in the ground and a few in pots outside. I’ll post more information after I see how they do. It’s rated for zones 9-11 so it’s probably best grown as a house plant.

Indoors grow it in full sun, well drained soil, same as you would for any succulent. Outside avoid full afternoon sun. Water it more in the summer, less in the winter, giving it a thorough soaking and letting it go almost dry between waterings. These go dormant in the summer and winter, most growth occurs in the spring and fall. Water less during dormant seasons.

Propagation is by cuttings in early spring. The two plants in the photos are cuttings, I’ve potted them up in wet soil, I’ll let the soil get drier and give them more light over the next few weeks.

The earliest mention of this plant I could find was late 1880s where it is mentioned as a houseplant or plant for warm, dry landscapes.

It’s in the same plant family as jade, Crassulaceae. It’s native to the Canary Islands where it prefers to grow on volcanic hillsides among the rocks.

Outside try to keep the plant between 40’F-80’F.

I’ve read they can handle a gentle frost, We had a frost last week, it is early fall so the ground is still quite warm. The plants seem okay. I’m still working on an upper bound temperature.