Aeonium Zwartkop

BiljeBilje Posts: 378

I acquired a small rooted cutting last year at a plant swap. It has grown well and was over wintered on a bedroom window sill, with hind sight I think it was a little too warm but the plant has grown well. However it looks like a 15 inch palm with leaves on the top 6 inches. How can I make it branch or does it do it naturally as the weather warms.   I am tempted to remove the top two inches and treat that as a cutting in say May when it goes outdoors. All/ any advice much appreciated

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  • SFordSFord Posts: 224

    Hi Bilje - I have about 10 of these now (having started with only one).  Mine have also been kept inside and have suffered a little, like yours they have got too warm I think! I live in the South West so unlikely to get any severe frosts (fingers crossed) so gave them a good drink and put them out in a sheltered place this weekend.

    Dont worry about branching, they will do that of their own accord.  If they branch and get too leggy in the future just take more cuttings.

    To do so, cut one of the rosettes off, with a stalk of about 4-6 inches.  leave it out for a few days for the cut end to dry and 'heal over' then push into some gritty compost, water and leave, its as easy as that!

  • BiljeBilje Posts: 378

    Thanks SF, bl****y freezing here! well not literally about 6 degrees So no point in putting anything tender out. I have an unheated  greenhouse so when this foggy cold weather lifts it can go in the greenhouse then my patio. I'll talk to it to encourage it to branch. I'm astounded at how much it has grown in one season, as I said I think it was too warm and occasionally looked a bit droopy as it had dried out. I'm used to echeverias which I leave almost dry. One of them looked a little sorry for itself last week...not a watering problem but the dreaded vine weevil, luckily I have others of the same variety. 

  • SFordSFord Posts: 224

    You'll have more than you know what to do with soon!  I leave mine out most of the season and only bring inside in about November.  I have found that they dont mind being on the dry side.  Last night had a quick check on the ones I put outside and they have perked up considerably already.

    When sowing some seeds in a tray outside at the weekend (I am waiting for a potting shed to be delivered) I spotted a wine veevil having a leisurely stroll up the fence.  Needless to say he didnt last very long!  Will need to get some nematodes to use when it gets a little warmer.

  • I have several variants of this aeonium and they all tend to leginess. Sometimes they produce several top rosettes and sometimes just one large rosette.

    I keep mine in my south facing conservatory all year round and they are happy in there. The attitude of the purple leaves tends to make them look drier than they actually are - in fact, being succulents, they can go for long periods of time without water.

    The only thing you have to beware of with these and other succulents is the dreaded mealy bug. This shows as white woolly spots usually at the point on the stem where the leaves join and it is almost impossible to get rid of.

  • SFordSFord Posts: 224

    Mine also suffered from Aphids when in my conservatory this winter.  And there must have also been a snail somewhere (although I looked for one, I couldnt find one) as there were a few nibbles!

  • BiljeBilje Posts: 378

    Back in the first few weeks of April I said I'd talk to mine to make it branch...well I've noticed it is producing an off shot or two, I'm very excited. It's still in my cold green house and doing OK but I think I'll probably put it out on a sunny patio. Thanks to you all for reassuring me re off shoots.

  • SFordSFord Posts: 224

    Great to hear Bilje!  All mine are looking great, particularly the ones I have strategically placed in pots against a huge (about 3 1/2 foot tall) scented leafed pink geranium which is flowering its socks off at the moment.  The contrast against the pink flowers of the geranium and the black aeonium look fab.

  • BiljeBilje Posts: 378

    Just an update to my original post and again thanks for the info. My Aeonium has been out doors all summer and seems to have grown by about another 10 inches. It has a whole circle of off shoots but non grew big enough to detach so hopefully they will grow a bit more next Spring and I can propagate them then. I also bought for 50p a discarded Aeonium Kiwi, it's a sprawler. It's done well and when I accidentally broke a stem off I tried the tips as cuttings and they appear to have rooted ..yippee another free plant.

  • SFordSFord Posts: 224

    Well done!  I have also taken cuttings from a green version of the aeonium (label lost so dont know what variety).  Rotted well so repotted a few weeks ago to get them established before putting them in my nearly new potting shed for winter.  Came home to find that birds had pulled them out so have bunged them back in again - fingers crossed they'll be fine.

    Birds also did that with some oriental poppy root cuttings taken a month or so ago.  I may have popped them back in upside down as I cant see any sign of life yet!

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