Aeonium Arboreum ‘Atropurpureum’

Aeonium Arboreum ‘Atropurpureum’ featured image

This plant, a native of the Canary Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, is unique. It is a showy, evergreen plant with dark purple foliage on its rosettes. Rosettes are typical for all plants in the Aeonium family. The following are some quick material facts you need to know about Aeonium Arboreum Atropurpureum.

  • It has several common names, including Purple Rose, Black Rose, Purple Rose Tree, Dark Purple Houseleek Tree, and Black Beauty, all of which are descriptive of its appearance.
  • It can grow up to three to five feet high, but the container it grows can limit its growth.
  • It does best in well-drained soils and can tolerate exposure to full sun.
  • It can be grown in partial shade and less fertile soils.
  • It is mainly drought-resistant, but it requires watering more frequently than other succulents.
  • They grow in winter and remain dormant in summer.
  • It is monocarpic. Thus it produces one flower and then dies. This doesn’t mean that it is short-lived. It may take several years for flowering to occur.
  • You can grow it outdoors or in a container.
  • You can propagate it with cuttings, leaves, offsets on seeds.
  • It is resistant to drought, deer, and salt.

The Purple Rose is one of the easy succulents to grow. The following is how you take care of the plant under specific subtopics.

potted aeonium arboreum atropurpureum with beautiful leaves
Photo by @jethro_floyd via Instagram

Where Should You Place Aeonium Arboreum ‘Atropurpureum’

You can grow this plant both indoors and outdoors. It relishes direct sunlight, and therefore, having it outside ensures the plat gets as much sunlight as it needs for the best performance. Although it loves the sun, scorching, mid-day summer sun may be a little too much for it. Provide shade during summer high noons. Else, the sun will scorch the leaves.

If you keep this plant indoors, ensure you position it with bright sunlight coming through the windows. Southern and western windows are ideal for that. When it is indoors, you can place the purple rose under direct or indirect sunlight, provided you don’t keep it in dim light. You will need to move it outdoors from time to time in seasons when sunlight isn’t adequate to keep it healthy. During winter, for example, you can take the plant out in the sun for about six hours daily.

Please note that the Artropurpureum isn’t cold-hardy. It can’t survive in temperatures below 25o Fahrenheit (-3.8oCelsius.) Thus if there is frosting in winter at your location, you should move the plant into the house because it will die.


The soil on which you plant Aeonium arboreum Atropurpureum should be well-draining while retaining some moisture in the ground. Ensure your potting mix has loamy and sandy soil in equal portions to attain this unusual balance. The loamy soil will give your plant the nutrients it needs, while the sand will ensure it drains quickly. On the other hand, you should add peat moss to the mix to help it maintain the moisture necessary to keep the plant going.

How to Water Aeonium arboreum Atropurpureum

The purple rose tree grows in winter, and that’s when it needs water the most. You give it only enough water in summer to keep it alive. It requires more moisture than most other succulents, and that’s why you need to add peat moss to the potting mix. However, waterlogging affect it just as adversely as it affects different succulents. The roots should rest in too much water because such sogginess makes them susceptible to root rot. Root rot can easily lead to the death of the plant.

How do you know when to water Aeonium Atropurpureum? It isn’t easy to give you a definite timeline because many circumstances work in concert to decide when the tree needs more water. If, however, you put your finger in the soil on which the succulent is planted in winter and find it wet in the first inch, don’t water it. Please wait until the first week is dry and give it another drink. Please remember the soil should be well-draining, and the pot should have provision for letting out excess water.

aeonium atropurpureum leaves with water drops
Photo by @gamm_vert via Pinterest


This plant needs fertile but not too fertile soil; thus, you should feed it sparingly. You should only apply fertilizer during winter and spring, its growing seasons. Avoid watering it in summer because it doesn’t need any additional feeding; it just has no use for the extra nutrients.

Please give it a succulent fertilizer mixed to half-strength once per month in winter. Overfeeding can cause the plant to die. Therefore, keep your feeding regime in the recommended proportion and within the prescribed timelines. 

Humidity and Temperature

Aeonium arboreum Atropurpureum is a native of the Canary Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, and a similar climate would be ideal for its growth. It prefers moderate conditions where the temperature is neither too high nor too low, applying to humidity. The best humidity level is sixty to seventy percent. They grow in winter because the ideal temperature is sixty-five to seventy-five degrees Fahrenheit (eighteen to twenty-four degrees Celsius).

Pests and Diseases

The black rose is vulnerable to attack by scale bugs, aphids, mites, and mealybugs. It would help if you inspected your plants regularly. This practice enables you to catch an infestation before it gets out of hand. Severe infestation by any of these pests causes your plant’s leaves to develop brown spots that generally look unhealthy. This is because these pests suck the sap from the leaves.

These pests also secrete sugary substances that attract ants, further compounding the situation. The best way to handle them is by spraying the affected parts with pesticide soap. You can use the liquid dishwashing soap mixed with water at a ratio of 1:1 and spray. The soap irritates the insects, dislodging them from the plant. You can also use plant-based pesticides such as those made of pyrethrum or neem.

Root rot is the most complex disease, and you can avoid it by keeping the soil well-drained. Root rot is often characterized by yellowing leaves that end up falling off. These are also the symptoms of a plant suffering from sunlight deficiency. If your soil has been dry, you see the leaves yellowing, especially in winter. Take the plant out in the sun for about six hours a day for a few days; it will recover.

The leaves will start browning due to the heat by exposing the plant to the scorching, mid-day, summer sun. Move the plant under a shade when the sun is too hot.


How to Propagate Aeonium arboreum Atropurpureum

You take more or less similar steps to propagate using stem cuttings, leaves, and offsets. The steps are as follows.

  1. Take a sharp knife or a sharp pair of scissors and sterilize them with alcohol or methylated spirit.
  2. Cut off the stem cutting of at least two inches with at least two nodes. Rooting will occur from these nodes. If you are propagating from a leaf, cut a mature one from the lower-most part of the plant. Please remove it from the base where it is connected to the stem. If an offset, remove the soil and cut it off from the root that produced it.
  3. Put the part you have cut under a shade and allow it to dry off for about four days.
  4. Stick the cutting, leaf, or offset in soil suitable for growing a dark rose as described above.
  5. Water regularly like you would water an established plant in the species.
  6. Be patient; rooting may take up to four weeks to begin, after which you continue with the husbandry.

Using Seeds

  1. Buy certified seeds from an authorized dealer.
  2. Put the seed an inch deep in soil with a composition described earlier.
  3. Cover the seed and water like you would water a mature plant.
  4. Wait for germination and transplant if necessary.

Plant more seeds than the plants you need because you can’t be sure of the seeds’ vitality.

aeonium atropurpureum plants in the garden
Photo by @AuJardinInfo via Pinterest

Final Thoughts

Novice gardeners can appear like sophisticated gurus at a minimum effort by growing Aeonium arboreum Atropurpureum. This plant is not difficult to maintain, and it gives your garden a refreshingly beautiful appearance with its showy, evergreen rosettes. It is a keeper if your environment allows it to grow.

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Richard Miller

Salute everyone. It's Richard, the author of this Succulent & Xeriscaping blog. I am a traveler and a nature lover looking for a connection with the wild green. In my journey, I found a love for succulents and xeriscaping. What attracts me is the long-lasting & unique beauty of every plant I have the chance to see with my own eyes. Welcome to my little blog and let's enjoy a good time together!

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