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Aeonium Arboreum: The Rose of Succulents

Aeonium arboreum is a slow-growing succulent native to the Canary Islands and Africa. Arobreum is a larger variety of the Aeonium genus, with stunning rosettes sitting atop a branching growth formation.

Aeonium Arboreum

Aeonium Arboreum Appearance

Aeonium arboreum, when grown indoors, reaches a height of 3 feet (0.9 meters) tall. The plant has a rosette growth habit, with outstretched branches to display its foliage. The round, succulent leaves are round and often mistaken for being artificial because of their consistency. The foliage ranges from a solid color to variegated. Aeonium zwartkop, also called the black rose, features deep, blackish-green leaves. Blooms appear in late winter to early spring. The pink flowers are star-shaped, and form clusters at the end of the rosettes. The plant may take up to five years to mature and produce blooms.

Light Requirements of Aeonium Arboreum

Provide bright, indirect sunlight for optimal growth, though the plant will tolerate some shade. Ideal conditions are a place in a sunny room, a few feet from a window, or near a window with a sheer curtain to filter the light.

Watering Your Aeonium Arboreum

Unlike many houseplants, all Aeonium arboreum, including Aeonium zwartkop, have their growing season in winter and spring. As a result, the plant will need more watering during these months. Allow the top 1 inch of soil to dry between watering, then water thoroughly until the moisture runs through the pot’s drip holes. During the summer and fall dormancy months, reduce waterings just enough to keep the plant hydrated.

Soil and Fertilizer Requirements

Soil and Fertilizer Requirements
African Seeds

Aeonium arboreum prefers a well-draining, sandy loam soil. Regular potting soil, amended with perlite, is also an acceptable growth medium. The plant has a shallow roots system, so a shallow pot works well. Feed your plant once per month, during the winter and spring, with a balanced fertilizer diluted to half strength. Withhold feedings during the dormant season.

Temperature and Humidity Levels

Aeonium arboreum experiences most of its growth when the temperatures are between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 to 23.8 Celsius). Aeoniums prefer higher humidity than other succulent plants. For dry climates, supplement low humidity by placing a tray filled with pebbles and water under the plant’s drip tray during the growing season.

Propagating Your Aeonium Arboreum

Propagating Your Aeonium Arboreum
Succulent Plant Care

Propagate your plant by taking a cutting of a younger stem with one leaf rosette. Use  sharp and sterile shears and make a clean cut. Lay the cutting on its side, in a dry, warm place with no light. Once the cut end has formed a callus, plant the cutting in a small pot filled with a 50/50 mix of regular potting soil and succulent soil. Place the pot in bright, indirect sunlight and water the cutting lightly once per week. Once the cutting has established a root system, water as a mature plant.

Common Pests and Diseases

Aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, and scale are common pests to watch for. Inspect your plant regularly for insects, and their telltale signs. Mealybugs, aphids and scale leave behind sticky honeydew after feeding on the plant. Spider mites spin tiny webs, visible on the leaves and stems. Treat the plant with horticultural oil, as directed. 

Root rot is a result of overwatering your plant. Soil with a constant, high moisture content develops fungus, which rots the roots of the plant. Younger plants are more susceptible, with the first sign presenting as yellow or red leaves. If rot is present, cut away any affected roots that appear dark and mushy. Repot your plant in a clean pot with fresh soil. Remove as much of the old, infected soil from the plant as possible before repotting.

Aeonium arboreum is a unique succulent plant with a pleasing, symmetrical appearance. The plant’s large size makes it a great choice as a statement plant. For a low-maintenance houseplant with high impact, this plant fits the bill.

Aeonium Arboreum FAQ

What Type of Soil is Best for Aeonium Arboreum?

Use a well-draining soil with a pH between 5.6 to 6.0 for optimal growth.

When Should I Repot My Aeonium Zwartkop?

Repot your plant every two to three years to refresh the soil.

Is Aeonium Arboreum Considered Toxic?

No, the plant is not considered toxic.

What Zones Will Aeonium Arboreum Grow Outdoors?

The plant will grow outdoors in USDA 9 to 11.

Should I Prune My Aeonium Arboreum?

Yes, you can prune your plant to maintain shape for aesthetic purposes, and to remove any unhealthy stems or foliage.