Aeonium Zwartkop is a perennial ornamental succulent that originates from the Canary Islands and North Africa and is a member of the crassulaceae family.
They produce 50-150mm (2"-6") diameter rosettes of waxy succulent leaves, generally at the end of naked stems.
Plants are generally grown for their rosette of bright green, blueish-green or purple leaves, rather than their yellow flowers.
Depending upon the plant, and species, the leaves can have attractive variegations.
They can grow to around 600mm (24") high and the spread can be similar subject to how it is allowed to branch.
Although this plant is grown in the open in their country of origin, in the UK it is better to offer them some protection hence the reason for them being treated as container plants.
They can be placed in a sheltered spot outdoors during the summer months then placed undercover as the weather cools to say 5°-10°C (45°-50°F)
The plants tend to do better at temperatures between 10°-25°C(50°-75°F)
When grown indoors they should be given a bright, sunny location.
Treat them like any other succulent by growing them in suitable sized pots of a gritty cactus potting compost.
They should only need potting on every two to three years.
Water plant sparingly during its dormant period, they should only need sufficient water just to keep them moist.
When the plants start to grow (circa week 10) they will require more frequent watering, about once a week should be sufficient.
In high summer they may occasionally require more water, subject to temperatures watering should be reduced from September onward.
Feed the plant with a balanced water-soluble fertiliser once a month from May through to August.
Pests & Disease
The are generally disease and pest free although they may on occasions be attacked by Aphids and or Mealybugs.
Some clones of black leaved aeonium are disinclined to branch, in this case, sever off the top section and treat as a long cutting between 80mm and 300mm (3"-12") in length inserted 80mm (3") into gritty cactus compost.
Leave the cuttings a day or two to callous before potting up.
They usually root in about 2 weeks.
Keep barely moist at a temperature of 18°C (64°F).
The stump usually regrows within a few weeks.
Aeonium can be increased by shoot tip cuttings and/or leaf bud cuttings circa Week 23
Trim off the top shoots and root them in pots containing a compost mix of 50% compost and 50% sharp sand.
If large numbers of cuttings are required, pull off individual leaves and insert them into pots, containing similarly mixed compost.
Place cuttings in filtered light (not direct sunlight) until rooted.
Mist the plant with water during this time to prevent them dehydrating.