by Lynn KirkJun 15, 2021

how to care for aeonium


Succulents are among the more care-free plants, and aeoniums are among the more care-free succulents. No wonder aeoniums are so popular! So how do you take care of an aeonium? Here are 10 simple steps for year-round aeonium care:

  1. Leave it be. No need for fuss, no need for pampering. Tip: If an aeonium is planted correctly the first time, you won’t need to fret over its ongoing care. 
  2. All the dirt. Start with the right soil, which is a bit different than the fast-draining soil mix used for most other succulents. Tip: An aeonium tends to welcome a bit more water than the rest of the succulent family, so it’s best to use a regular potting mix amended with something like peat moss or pearlite.
  3. Freeze to death. The aeonium originated in a Mediterranean climate, so naturally it prefers the same -- temperate temperatures that are not too hot, not too cold. Tip: That’s why it fares well in planting Zones 9 through 11.
  4. Let there be light. As with most succulents, the aeonium plant grows best outdoors in full sun to part shade. If you notice the leaves beginning to curl, it might be a moisture-retention response to sun overexposure. Tip: Indoors, give the aeonium bright, indirect light, such as on a sunny window sill.
  5. Show its true colors. Some aeoniums change colors throughout the year, but they need full light to reveal their real colors. Tip: Sometimes you need to experiment with exactly how much light the indoor aeonium garden needs, especially as the seasons and amount of sunlight change. 
  6. Test the waters. Aeoniums prefer moderately moist soil that’s neither soggy wet nor totally dry.  If planted outdoors in a region with high humidity or abundant rain, you may not need to water it at all. After all, it stores water in its fleshy leaves like other succulents. Tip: Poke your finger in the top of the soil and it feels dry a full inch or two down, it’s probably time to water your aeonium.
  7. Don’t bug me. Watch for damaging pests, such as aphids, ants, slugs … and most of all, mealybugs! Tip: If you spot them, try an organic spray of neem oil or water mixed with a mild insecticidal soap.
  8. Feed me. Add light fertilizer during the growing season to promote growth. Tip: Hold the fertilizer until aeonium is dormant, which it typically during the hot summer months.
  9. Prune ‘n’ plant. Aeoniums can get leggy during their active growing season, meaning their branches tend to grow longer and longer without support. If a branch falls off and touches the soil, the piece might produce new roots and a new plant. Tip: If your aeonium starts to become unusually leggy, it might be stretch----ing out to reach more sunlight.
  10. From flower to funeral. Enjoy the aeonium’s flower while you can because the rosette or blooming stem bears its seeds only once . . . then it dies.  Tip: Keep on propagating so you'll always have more to enjoy!