Today at Gardenprue we opted for a crassulaceous plant that attracts a lot of attention. It has caught our attention because it can be grown outdoors, resisting well winter temperatures (mild climates) and since we are in the middle of winter, it is not bad to know that we have cold-resistant succulent plants since the main factor that characterizes them is their resistance. to drought and heat.
We present you the Aeonium arboreum.
4 NOTES ON THE GENUS AEONIUM
The genus Aeonium spp. it is known mainly for a specific species, Aeonium arboreum. It is the species that is most cultivated from the ornamental point of view of the plant. Even so, this genus consists of almost 100 species, of which just under half are indigenous to the Canary Islands .
Of course, we can consider the genus Aeonium as ours. It can be found throughout the Mediterranean basin and island areas such as Sardinia or Sicily and even in areas such as Morocco or East Africa.
It has a bushy bearing with branched stems and the formation of dense rosettes composed of fleshy leaves, a characteristic that identifies succulent plants.
Depending on the species and variety, the color variations in its leaves range from green to an almost black, glossy purple with a special appeal.
Some varieties of the genus such as Aeonium arboreum can grow to 1 meter or even more and their very long inflorescences of yellow flowers are very characteristic .
The yellow inflorescences with the purple rosettes are striking and of an unequaled contrast. An additional advantage of this plant is that the flowers last a long time on the plant, providing added aesthetic value.
In some varieties, when grown outdoors in the sun, the direct incidence of the Sun causes an accentuation of the purple tones, achieving a gradient from green to purple from the heart of the rosette to the tip of the leaf of high ornamental value.
GENERAL CARE OF AEONIUM ARBOREUM
We are going to focus on the best known species to highlight the most important aspects in its care.
Many succulent plants have their thermal limits above 10 or 15ºC. It is not the case we are talking about today whose thermal limit can be estimated at about 5ºC. It is even capable of withstanding records slightly below 0ºC for a short period of time, although it may suffer tissue damage. Therefore, for outdoor cultivation it is recommended for mild climates, free of winter frosts.
The sunlight is best suited for this crasulácea. Therefore, it is the sunny outdoors where we will see our Aeonium grow with great vigor. It tolerates indirect sun situations but always with good lighting as far as possible.
As a succulent plant, the water needs are little more than testimonial. It does not reach the level of cacti, but as always in this type of plant, it is better to sin from a defect than an excess.
The watering interval during the summer will be by letting the substrate dry completely and leaving it dry for one or two days. In winter , it is advisable to completely suspend any water intake .
The roots suffer from water stress very easily. For this reason, a sandy substrate with very good drainage is necessary . Two possible mixes for a suitable substrate are:
- 1/3 sand, 1/3 garden soil, 1/3 peat
- 1/2 sand, 1/4 garden soil, 1/4 peat
MULTIPLICATION AND GROWING IN A POT
The multiplication of Aeonium arboreum is very complicated by seed and amazingly easy by cutting. For this reason, reproduction by seeds is relegated to nurseries and producers for the purpose of genetic improvement and new varieties.
From a gardener point of view, cutting is the option. Leaf, stem or even whole rosette cuttings can be made with some stem that will be embedded in a new substrate somewhat more sandy than the final one until it takes root.
The cultivation in pots is perfectly possible, for example, for those climates that do not allow its cultivation outdoors due to intense winter cold.
Its size and growth will be much smaller, although its twisted and branched stems with rosettes will give the appearance of a bonsai rather than a houseplant . It is worth trying.