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Hap Hollibaugh

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Aeonium Questions


I’m wondering why the succulents on this plant have gotten so small in size…the pant used to produce very large “blooms”….

Any idea?
Thank you
Brian

Brian,

What you have on the ends of each branch is a rosette, not a bloom – if they bloom they will form giant pyramids of small yellow flowers. It’s kind of surprising when it happens.

Anyway, the rosettes shrink up in summer because the Aeoniums are winter-growers from a Mediterranean climate with a climate very similar to ours – all winter rains. They should start getting bigger again in October.

Peter

 

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Large Green Aeonium


aeonium_carol

Aeonium “Carol” is a large green Aeonium Hybrid that looks like a A. canariense hybrid. It was originally discovered in a garden in Santa Barbra so you know it will do well in the Bay Area.

How do we know it is a hybrid and not a cultivated variety? We don’t. But Aeoniums sure do hybridize readily, so there’s that.

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Aeonium Cultivars


This time of year, off season for Aeoniums, the differences in the cultivars is very pronounced. Other times these two look much more similar.

image

Aeonium “Garnet”

image

Aeonium “Velour”

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Green Aeoniums


Aeonium Jolly Green

Our newest green Aeonium is “Jolly Green”. Well that’s a festive name. I wonder who decided this particular succulent was festive enough for that name?

It is low growing, staying under a foot tall, and will spread about 4 feet wide. Red edged in sun, more green in shade. Hardy to 25F or so. Maybe below 30F you should throw a frost blanket on it.

Apparently this hybrid has uncertain garden parentage, so we’re not going to make a claim on the species or species.

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Stalked Aeonium


image

Aeonium undulatum

These only grow about 3 feet tall, but the giant rosette and the wavy leaves are quite distinctive. Full Sun at the coast, but afternoon shade inland for sure.

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Aeonium Cyclops flowering


Aeonium Cyclops flower

Aeonium Cyclops flowering

Hi

I think I know the answer to this but thought I’d ask anyway. Is there anything I can do propagation-wise with the flower?

Aeonium Cyclops edit

Thanks –
Karen

Karen,

Sorry but there’s not much you can do with that once it starts blooming. If there were other branches going, you could cut off the flowering one and the others would have a better chance of survival. You can still cut it off and it’s possible you would get branches from the cut end, but Cyclops is not a prolific brancher, so you might be better off just enjoying the bloom stalk.

Peter

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Aeoniums


Winter growing Aeoniums are really starting to look fresh, especially in the California winter sunshine. And by winter I mean 55F.

image

Aeonium “Ballerina” is very shade tolerant. The leaves are a bit sticky. Well,  maybe more than a bit.

image

Aeonium “Whippet” is our own low growing cultivar. Fast to branch, it will grow 30″ tall. And very colorful right now too. That’s what it’s good for!

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Aeonium Leaves


HELP
I bought this beauty a month ago, now seeming healthy leaves are falling off. I’m in Sacramento, hasn’t been that hot, it’s getting bright light, but not direct sun, heat here 70-90. Is this dormancy? Is it too hot?

aeonium

Still looks healthy on top yellow flower, it’s the two smaller bottom flowers that are lighter that the leaves are falling. Are they just too sensitive to heat? suggestions appreciated. It’s the nicest one I have.
Rick

Rick,
Aeoniums are winter growers and do go dormant in the summer, losing bottom leaves. However usually those leaves dry up first before falling off. I suspect that with dormancy and the difference in climate between Berkeley and Sacramento that more leaves have dropped off in response. The plant looks like it should be fine. Do not respond to this with extra water. Keep it in a cooler shady location for now. You won’t see new growth until November or so when it comes out of dormancy.
Peter

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Aeoniums


It can be tricky to ID Aeoniums since they look different in summer and winter, shade and sun, and one species can look just like another at a different time of year. For example…

aeonium_ballerina

Aeonium “Ballerina”

aeonium_frosty2

Aeonium “Frosty”

I believe these two are actually the same plant, and some books list them as synonyms. But they look very different! On the other hand, one has been growing in sun and the other in shade. There’s no question that they are correctly labeled based on books and such, but is that enough to know for sure? No!

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Yellow Aeonium Flowers


aeonium_schwartzkopf_blooms

Aeonium “Schwartzopf” in bloom. I’ve never bothered to photograph one of these giant pyramidal bloom stalks before since I don’t like them. In general, these can take so much energy out of the plant that we recommend you cut them off before they get this far or it can kill the plant.

This one is in my front yard and is from our original parent plant from back when we started the nursery. We haven’t taken any cuttings from this one in many years since we had originally over-harvested it, but its back looking good these days. So you would think I would cut this off, but it’s only one branch out of many so I figured we could let it go. This one time. But never again!

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Aeoniums


Large Aeonium “Whippets” – these are the first we’ve had in 5 gallon size, and they are not just nice – they are very nice. Gorgeous even. This is our own cultivar. Actually, it’s a sport off an A. “Schwartzkopf” that we’ve been growing successfully as its own plant for 6 years now. It’s a quality plant.

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Colorful Aeoniums


Mike sends along a picture of Aeoniums, plus a picture of Benjamin next to a blooming cactus he took at the nursery.

Hi Cactus Jungle folks,

I stopped in this past weekend to pick up some aeoniums, and you were kind enough to let me take some pics of the beautiful plants (and whippets) while I was there. I’m attaching a couple.

Thanks again!
Mike

Thanks Mike for making my blogging job easier this morning!

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Aeonium Questions


Howdy cactus jungle,
My crested aeonium has developed some brown spots on its leaves, but everything else seems fine. There’s even healthy looking new growth/rosettes. Should I be concerned? Should I give it a neem oil treatment?

Thanks for any advice you can give,
Tony

Tony,
I wouldn’t be too concerned since the new growth looks good. It was probably freeze damage or hail damage. On the other hand, it could be mites. Check for tiny insects, for barely visible webbing. If it’s mites then it does need to be treated with neem oil.
Peter

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New Aeonium Cultivar


I see one of our Aeonium arboreums has a new sport rosette that we should be able to take a cutting and grow a new plant from this offset.

If we succeed with this rosette, turning it into a whole new Aeonium cultivar, what do you think we should name it?

Pretty!

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Aeonium Bloom Season


We often get asked questions about these giant blooming stalks. The news isn’t good.

I bought a small aeonium from you guys a long while back. It now is flowering and I just read that you said it would die after flowering. Should I cut the branch off below the flowering large branch now? thanks RoseAnn

RoseAnn,

Aeoniums are “almost” monocarpic, the rosette that blooms, certainly dies after flowering and the plant uses a lot of resources to “get frisky”. So I generally cut the bloom off when the first of the flowers open and use it as a cut flower, it actually can last over a month in bloom if you change the water regularly. You can let it bloom out on the plant as long as there are other rosettes on the plant, but it will struggle if it sets seed.

Take care,

Hap

Thanks Hap. Will the other rosettes on the plant die along with it?

RoseAnn,

Usually the other rosettes survive, but they seem to sulk for awhile before showing normal vigor again. I assume the flowering and seed making hormones suppress their metabolism and active growth. So they can look pretty ratty for a year afterwards.

Hap

And just for fun here’s one of our Aeonium “Cyclops” going through the whole bloom cycle thing. I think it’s time to cut cut cut it’s head off.

That’s a lot of little yellow flowers.

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Aeoniums Featured


Horticulture Week Magazine has featured Aeonium “Atropurpureum”. I suppose that makes it their Plant of the Week.

Whenever I talk to gardening groups or friends people never fail to mention how much they admire the ornamental value of Aeoniums. They belong to the family Crassulaceae, the genus contains about thirty species. These plants are a succulent with woody stems from the Canary Islands, Madeira, and North Africa.

Over the last three years I have really enjoyed propagating these plants from stem cuttings. I have tried propagating from leaf cuttings by nipping off the succulent leaves and simply inserting them into a John Innes number 1 compost, waiting for the leaves to take root. My brief trial at this stage has not yet been successful , but I will return to that method trying various techniques, temperatures, and growing mediums. It would be interesting to hear from anyone who has had success using this method.

I can assure you that we never grow these from leaf cuttings. It’s never worked for us even when a leaf has some aerial roots started. Stem-cuttings rule.

Here’s a sad picture of the Aeonium parent plant in question from Hort Week.

It’s a beautiful plant, just a sad picture.

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Identifying Aeoniums


Sometimes we can identify Aeoniums, other times we prefer to just make up names. What do you think?

Hi

It was really nice meeting you this week. You have a fantastic place and some really fine specimans of cactus, especially Aeoniums. The pictures attached may be Aeoniums but I have not been able to identify them. Can you tell me if they are Aeoniums? If not, any ideas? By the way, within this planter are two different types of the same plant. The really purple ones, and the less purple with more green.

I really appreciate it. I have one other species of Aeonium I’m going to send pictures of. I cannot identify it either.

Have a great weekend. I’m sure we’ll see you again.

Fran

Fran,
The unknown one will have to remain unknown for now. I’ll blog it to see if anyone else can come up with a cultivar name. Otherwise, I recommend Aeonium “Wizard”.

The other lower ones, green with pink edging, are Aeonium subplanum.

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Aeonium Down


Hi Guys,
Timber! It just fell over from one day to the next. I guess it got too heavy for its stalk? Now what? Any tips on how to save it, and/or move it to a new container or directly into the ground?

Thank you!
Kelly

Kelly,

Ouch! You have a couple choices: Repot in a larger container and plant deeper, with several inches of the stem under fresh cactus/succulent soil, (do the same in the ground) or cut it off and try and re-root it, though it is late in the season to root winter growers like Aeonium (they root best in fall and winter since they are actively growing, this time of year they are starting to shut down for their normal summer dormancy period), but you should be able to as long as you place it somewhere with afternoon shade so it only gets four to six hours of sunlight (you need to confuse it so it doesn’t go dormant while it is trying to root. The stump left behind may or may not resprout.

Good luck,

Hap

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Aeonium arboreum


Sent to us from Jbot

It’s an Aeonium arboreum with the central stem missing, but what’s that I see – another new rosette forming right in the middle!

And of course the big rosette we’re looking at is about to bloom out with hordes of little yellow flowers and then that branch is going away forever.

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Blooming Aeoniums


Hi Hap and Peter and gang,

Here is one of our client’s Aeonium ‘Schwartzkop’ in bloom. Wondering how to prune this once it is finished blooming. Looks like nearly every floret is blooming. Please advise.

Thanks,
David

David,
Oh dear! Cut the branches with flowers off as soon as they start to open, and enjoy them in a vase. Letting them go to bloom on the plant will kill the whole plant. Oy!
Peter

Hi Peter,
Oy veh is right!!! So if we cut off the blooming branches, there will be nothing left? If this is a Black Swan moment, perhaps we simply replace? Please advise Professor Peter!

David

David,
It looked to me like you had a few branches that were not going to bloom, but if close to the whole plant is blooming, then enjoy the show and replace the plant when it is done. You can also take cuttings of the 2 or 3 non-blooming branches and reroot them individually.
Peter

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Blooming Aeoniums


I have an aeonium that I bought there a couple years ago. In
the last week the center of the main flower has protruded out like a
nose. Prior to this the leaves laid flat.

Is this normal/healthy? Is this a growth spurt?

Thanks for your help, Michael

Michael,
Your Aeonium is about to bloom. Congratulations! Anyway, the rosette will extend and turn into a large pyramidal shape covered with little yellow flowers. This can be very pretty, but it also takes so much energy from the plant it can kill the whole plant.

You can enjoy the giant pyramid bloom stock, and hope the rest of the plant survives, or you can go ahead and cut off the blooming rosette right now, which will save the plant, and leave you with a low shrubby plant for now.

Cut the stem for that one rosette off down low, and you can place the large cutting in a vase and enjoy the blooms that way. Spray the cut end on the plant with household hydrogen peroxide to help it heal, and it should branch from that point later in the winter.
Peter

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