Aeonium arboreum, commonly known as Tree Aeonium or Houseleek Tree, belongs to the Crassulaceae or Stonecrop family. This succulent is native to the Canary Islands, where its natural range includes arid desert regions. Tree Aeonium has waxy foliage that forms rosettes. It grows quickly and produces abundant yellow flowers on racemes from late winter through early spring. This visually striking succulent grows in a range of shapes, sizes, and colors in containers and rock gardens.
Tree Aeonium grows best in full sun during the cooler months and when grown in coastal areas. When grown inland or during the summer, provide this succulent with afternoon or partial shade.
Though Tree Aeoniums tolerate various soil types as long as they're well-drained, it prefers light, porous soil. You may want to amend your planting site with sand and limestone chips. For container gardening, plant Tree Aeonium in a moderately moist medium with excellent drainage.
This drought-tolerant plant hates water around its roots, so be careful to avoid excessive watering. In the wild, this succulent goes dormant in summer, so water sparingly during the hotter months, allowing your plant to dry out between waterings. In the winter, reduce watering to once per month.
The Tree Aeonium thrives in temperatures that range from 40 to 100 °F (5 to 38 °C) in USDA plant hardiness zones 9 to 11. During the winter, Tree Aeonium grows best with nighttime temperatures of 50 °F (10 °C).
Tree Aeonium does not require much fertilizer. Two to three applications of a balanced fertilizer during the growing season feed this succulent.
To propagate your Tree Aeonium, remove its terminal rosette or take leaf cuttings in late winter or early spring, then plant the cuttings or rosettes in well-drained soil. You can also sow seeds in sandy soil in late summer.
Pests and Problems
Though Tree Aeonium is not particularly susceptible to infestations, pests include aphids, mealybugs, scale insects, and thrips. If this succulent is planted in a site with poor drainage, its roots may rot. Although the yellow flowers are attractive, each time they bloom, a rosette dies. You can avoid flowering by cutting the terminal rosette every year in late winter and propagating it by planting the rosette at the plant's base, where it will form roots.
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