A genus of plants native to the Canary Islands, Aeoniums have leaf rosettes at branch ends that look like large flowers. Most Aeoniums form a small shrub or small tree-like plant, but some don’t branch. There are about 35 species as well as hybrid cultivars.
- Clean a sharp pruning shears by dipping it in rubbing alcohol.
- Decide how long a stem cutting to take; for tree-like forms with bare stems it may be 5 to 6 inches (12.5 to 15 cm) long, and for small shrub-like forms it could be 0.5 inch (1.3 cm) or shorter. Cut off the piece of stem containing the leaf rosette with the pruning shears.
- Allow the end of the cutting to heal in a shaded place for at least three days, longer if the stem is thick and succulent.
- Fill a clean nursery container that has drainage holes with a mixture of half cactus and succulent potting mix and half perlite, well mixed and slightly moistened. Use a pot just big enough to contain the cutting.
- Put the cutting into the rooting medium, burying just enough of it to hold the cutting upright. Put the cutting in bright indirect light, watering it lightly once a week.
- Resume regular watering when the Aeonium develops roots. Water thoroughly, then let the top 2 inches of soil dry out before watering again.
- Collect seeds after the Aeonium has finished blooming. Put them in a paper bag and allow them to dry.
- Fill a shallow clean nursery flat with the same mixture you used for rooting the cuttings.
- Sow the seeds on top of the mix, scattering them evenly. Cover them with twice their thickness of the potting mix. Water the flat well.
- Put the flat in bright indirect light and cover it with plastic wrap. Keep the potting mix moist until germination occurs. Remove the plastic wrap when germination starts.
- Prick out individual seedlings when they have reached 0.5 inch (1.3 cm) in diameter. Give each seedling its own 2-inch (5 cm) nursery pot, transferring it to just the next bigger pot size as the plant grows. Keep the soil level the same so the flat plant isn’t buried.
Things You Will Need
- Pruning shears
- Rubbing alcohol
- Nursery containers
- Cactus and succulent potting mix
- Nursery flat
- Plastic wrap
Take cuttings when the plant is actively growing, usually fall in USDA zones 9 through 11. Aeoniums go dormant in summer; cuttings taken while plants are dormant don’t root. Each leaf rosette dies after it blooms.
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