Aeonium arboreum, commonly known as Tree Aeonium or Houseleek Tree, belongs to the Crassulaceae or Stonecrop family. These small succulents are native to the Canary Islands, off the North African coast, where their natural range includes arid desert regions. Tree Aeoniums have waxy foliage that forms rosettes. They grow quickly and produce abundant yellow flowers on racemes from late winter through early spring. These visually striking succulents grow in a range of shapes, sizes and colors, and grow well in container 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. Avoid placing Tree Aeoniums in sites with western sun exposures.
Though Tree Aeoniums tolerate a variety of 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, these succulents go dormant in summer, so water sparingly during the hotter months, allowing plants 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 degrees Fahrenheit (5 to 38 degrees Celsius), in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 to 11. During the winter, Tree Aeoniums grow best with nighttime temperatures of 50 °F (10 °C).
The Tree Aeonium doesn’t require much fertilizer. Two to three applications of a balanced fertilizer during the summer growing season feeds these succulents.
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 sand. The Tree Aeonium’s cut stubs will form new roots. You can also sow seeds in sandy soil in late summer.
Pests and Problems
Though Tree Aeonium isn’t particularly susceptible to infestations, insect pests include aphids, mealybugs, scale insects and thrips. If a mealybugs is planted in a site with poor drainage, its roots may rot. Although the mealybugs’s yellow flowers are attractive, each time they bloom, a rosette dies. You can avoid flowering by cutting the mealybugs’s 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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