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How to Propagate Aeonium

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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.

Propagate Aeoniums by stem cuttings, except for unbranched species such as Dinner Plate Plant (Aeonium tabuliforme), that die after flowering and are propagated from seed. Aeoniums are hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11.

Stem Cuttings

  1. Clean the sharp pruning shears by dipping it in rubbing alcohol.
  2. Decide how long a stem cutting to take. For tree-like forms with bare stems, it could be 5 to 6 inches (12.5 to 15 cm) long. For small shrub-like forms, it could be 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) or shorter. Cut off the piece of stem containing the leaf rosette.
  3. 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.
  4. Fill a clean container that has drainage holes with a well-draining potting mix. Use a pot just big enough to contain the cutting.
  5. Put the cutting into the potting mix, burying just enough of it to hold the cutting upright. Put the cutting in bright indirect light, watering it lightly once a week.
  6. Resume regular watering when the Aeonium develops roots. Water thoroughly, then let the top 2 inches (2 cm) of soil dry out before watering again.

Seeds

  1. Collect seeds after the Aeonium has finished blooming. Put them in a paper bag and allow them to dry.
  2. Fill a shallow clean nursery flat with the same potting mix you used for rooting the cuttings.
  3. Sow the seeds on top of the soil, scattering them evenly. Cover them with twice their thickness of the potting mix. Water the flat well.
  4. 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.
  5. Prick out individual seedlings when they have reached 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) in diameter. Give each seedling its own 2-inch (5 cm) pot, transferring it to just the next bigger pot size as the plant grows.

Tip

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 do not root.

Source: sfgate.com

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