Aeonium haworthii ‘Kiwi’ (the kiwi succulent or Aeonium kiwi) is known for its tricolor, rosette-forming foliage. Native to the subtropical climate of the Canary Islands, Aeonium kiwi prefers more moisture than other succulents. It is most commonly grown as a houseplant but can be grown outdoors in warmer climates.
The leaves are spoon-shaped, slightly concave, and grow in a dense rosette formation. The kiwi succulent is characterized by bright green leaves that have pink, yellow, or cream edges. Each rosette produces a tall stalk with a cluster of small, star-shaped yellow flowers.
|Scientific Name||Aeonium haworthii ‘Kiwi’|
|Common Names||Aeonium Kiwi, Kiwi Succulent|
|Plant Type||Monocarpic succulent, perennial|
|Size||Up to 12” tall, 12” wide|
|USDA Hardiness Zones||9-11|
|Propagation Methods||Offsets, leaf cuttings, seed|
|Soil Type||Sandy, well-draining|
|Sun Exposure||Full sun to partial shade|
Aeonium Kiwi Care
Aeonium kiwi prefers bright light away from direct, intense sun. Exposure to harsh sunlight will cause the leaves to fade or become sunburnt, displaying white or brown spots. For kiwi succulents grown indoors, choose a south- or west-facing window and use a sheer curtain to provide dappled light. If growing outdoors, protect from the intense afternoon sun. In too little light, Aeonium kiwi will become leggy and the leaves may fade.
The kiwi succulent requires a well-draining substrate that is slightly more moisture-retentive than succulent or cacti soils. Combine three parts regular potting mix with one part sand and one part perlite. If planting outdoors (USDA zones 9-11), Aeonium kiwi does best in sandy loam soils. Consider planting in a raised bed if the natural soil is heavy clay.
Water slightly more regularly than other succulents but take care to avoid overwatering. Water when at least the top inch of soil is dry. This will be around once or twice a week during the active growing season in winter and spring. Water well and allow excess to drain away. When grown outdoors, Aeonium kiwi is likely to receive enough water from rainfall. It is summer dormant so will require less frequent watering during the hot months.
Kiwi succulents are comfortable in average humidity and unlikely to require additional measures. Most indoor environments provide adequate humidity levels. Avoid overly humid conditions that can lead to fungal issues.
Feed with a quarter to half-strength diluted fertilizer once a month during the growing season. Avoid overfertilizing which can damage the sensitive roots. During summer dormancy fertilization is not necessary.
Occasional pruning to remove dead or damaged leaves will help to maintain the plant’s appearance. As a monocarpic plant, each rosette will die after it has flowered. To remove dead rosettes, make a clean cut at the stem and avoid damaging healthy tissue. For leggy plants, cut the stem back to a point where new, compact growth can emerge.
- Use a clean, sharp knife or pair of scissors. Sterilize tools with rubbing alcohol before and after pruning.
- Avoid watering for a few days to allow the cut edge to callus and heal.
Kiwi succulents may take several years to reach maturity before flowering. Each rosette produces a single stalk with a compact cluster of flowers that lasts 4 to 6 weeks, after which the individual rosette will die. Aeonium kiwi flowers in late winter or early spring.
How to Propagate Aeonium Kiwi
The kiwi succulent propagates well by offsets or cuttings. It is possible to propagate by seed but it is a slow process and less common. The best time to propagate is in late winter or early spring.
Aeonium Kiwi Offsets
Offsets (pups) are a natural method of reproduction for many succulents, including Aeonium kiwi. New, small rosettes develop from the base of the main stem of the parent plant.
- Select healthy offsets that are well-developed.
- Remove some of the soil around the base of the offset to expose the roots and slightly loosen.
- Hold the base of the pup by the stem and gently twist it to separate from the parent plant. If necessary, use a sharp, sterilized knife.
- Let the pup dry for a few days.
- Plant the offset in a well-draining substrate. Incorporate a little more sand and perlite into the mix than when potting the parent plant.
- Place in bright indirect light. Pups will take a few weeks to establish roots and begin growing independently.
Aeonium Kiwi Cuttings
For kiwi succulents that are tall or leggy, taking stem cuttings can encourage the parent plant to grow more compactly. This method of propagation is also a good option for overcrowded plants.
- Select a healthy, young stem from the main plant.
- Use a sharp, sterilized knife or pair of scissors to cut the stem just below the rosette.
- Let the cut stem dry for a few days.
- Plant the calloused end into a well-draining substrate and water lightly.
- Place in bright indirect light. Stem cuttings will take a few weeks to establish roots.
Repot kiwi succulents in the spring when they have outgrown their container, approximately every 2 to 3 years. Avoid watering for a few days after repotting to allow the plant to settle. Plant Aeonium kiwi in pots with adequate drainage.
Overwintering and Summer Dormancy
In climates with winters below 30 °F, cultivate kiwi succulents indoors or bring containers inside for the cold months. During summer dormancy, reduce watering frequency. Signs that Aeonium kiwi is dormant include slowed growth and leaves curling slightly inward. In hot climates, protect the plant from extreme temperatures.
- Brown or white leaf edges: Caused by intense sun. Move the plant to a location that is bright but protected from harsh sunlight. Once sunburned, leaves will remain permanently discolored. Remove damaged leaves or allow them to fall off.
- Dropping leaves: Older leaves will drop off naturally and are not always a cause for concern. If the plant is displaying other symptoms of stress, it may be a sign of overwatering, underwatering, or insufficient light.
- Yellow, wilted, or mushy leaves: Caused by overwatering and may be a sign of root rot. Allow the soil to dry out completely. In severe cases, replant in fresh substrate.
- Shriveled, crispy leaves: Caused by underwatering. Check soil moisture to ensure it is dry and water thoroughly. Remove damaged leaves.
- Faded or less vibrant leaves: Caused by both harsh sunlight and low-light conditions. Move to a location that receives bright indirect light.
Note: Aeonium kiwi dying after flowering is a natural part of this plant’s life cycle and not a sign of poor health. Remove the dead rosette and propagate new plants from its offsets.
The kiwi succulent is not particularly susceptible to pests. However, aphids and mealy bugs can be a problem. Spray infected plants with an insecticidal soap.
Careless watering and excessive moisture can cause fungal problems.
- Root rot: Caused by overwatering and a poorly draining substrate.
- Powdery mildew and leaf spot disease: Caused by water on the foliage or humid, overcrowded conditions. Avoid overhead watering to prevent moisture on the leaves.