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Growing Aeoniums PDF Print E-mail

Aeonium Succulents

Aeonium succulents are native to the Canary Islands, North Africa and Madeira. They tend to form rosettes of leaves at the end of the leafless stem which takes on the appearance of a branch. Flowers are usually in the form of pendant racemes and are typically yellows.

Aeonium arboreum

This is the classic form of an Aeonium, leafless stems which are tipped with a rosette of fleshy leaves. In the case of Aeonium arboreum they are green

Growing Requirements


In cultivation the daytime summer temperature should be kept between 20C - 30C and can be allowed to fall to 12C - 15C at night and 12C - 18C during the winter day and not less then 5C during the winter night.

The best way to keep during the summer is to grow them outside from May through September and place them in a sunny spot where they get maximum sunlight. From September through May they should be moved to a south facing window.

The Aeonium plants come in a range of leaf colours from bright grassy green through deepest purple with variegated forms being very popular.

Aeonium atropurpureum

Pot Type

Aeoniums are best grown in a terracotta type pot which should have at least one drainage hole in the base and it should be unglazed. This type of pot allows good drainage and allows the compost (therefor roots) to breath. Compost

Aeonium prefer an rich and very free draining compost which should consist of:

  • 1 part John Innes no. 1 compost
  • 2 part peat or coir based compost
  • 1 part sharp sand or grit
  • 1/4 part broken crock pieces (small)


The plants should be kept almost completely dry during the winter months, only water them to prevent the roots from completely drying out, once a month should be fine.

Aeonium haworthia variagata

From March onwards the plant will begin to grow and watering should be increased gradually until late May when the plant should be in full growth. As the compost is very free draining and the pot used is porous you can safely water this type of cactus at least once a week during the summer so long as the plant pot is allowed to drain and not sit in a tray of water.


During hot weather you may need to water the plants once a day so long as the plant is actively growing. From late September watering should be reduced to force the plant to go in to a state of semi dormancy, by November you should be back in to the winter watering regime.


Grow aeoniums in bright sun during the summer and winter to avoid lush weak growth, strong sunlight will encourage the full colours of the leaves to develop.


If the compost is fresh then feeding may not be necessary at all, if the plant hasn't been repotted recently then half strength general purpose fertilizer can be used at watering time from May onwards once a month. Do not feed the plants from September onwards as this can cause lush growth which can be fatal during the darker cold months.


Repotting should be done every other year or every three years, annual potting is not necessary. Remove the plant from its pot by cradling the stem if it is very tall. Carefully tap it out of the pot and remove the old compost to examine the roots, if any are damaged or showing signs of rotting they should be removed as close to the plant as possible.Re plant it using the same mix of compost as it was originally in (fresh) and use a pot just slightly wider then the width of the plant. Do not be tempted to over pot as this will cause the unused compost to go stagnant and you may lose the plant.


See propagation section for seed sowing and cuttings.

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