Aeonium Arboreum ‘Zwartkop’ (The Black Rose Succulent)

Aeonium Arboreum ‘Zwartkop’ feature image

A brilliant addition to your succulent garden is Aeonium Arboreum ‘Zwartkop’ – a succulent with dark purple foliage that will add contrast and charm. Because of their dark purple – almost black – color, they are also known as Black Rose or Black Tree Aeoniums. The Black Rose succulent, like all other aeoniums, has rosettes of waxy leaves that almost look like black flowers. Their stems can grow up to 3 or 4 feet.

Aeonium Zwartkop is fairly easy to grow and propagate, and if you’re interested in knowing more about this beautiful succulent, keep reading.

The Story Behind The Black Rose Succulent ‘Aeonium Zwartkop’

Aeonium, or Dark Rose, is a low-maintenance succulent thriving in sunlight, belonging to the Crassulaceae family. Native to the Canary Islands and North Africa, it was introduced to the Greco-Roman world between the 8th century BC and the 6th century AD. ‘Zwartkop,’ registered in Dutch catalogs, is also known as ‘Schwarzkopf’ in German, translating to ‘Black Head.’ The debate over its origin aside, this distinctive succulent with fleshy leaves and dark stems has various names like Aeoneum arboreum, ‘Black Rose,’ Tree House Leek, and more.

Plant Physical Part of Aeonium Arboreum 'Zwartkop' Image

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Aeonium Zwartkop Care

It is recommended that Aeonium Zwartkop be grown outdoors, but if your living situation does not allow for that, they can be grown indoors, as long as you follow certain requirements:

Sunlight: They need bright light, so make sure they are close to a window. If your plant doesn’t have enough light, and there is no way for you to give it the 5-6 hours of sun it needs, you will need to invest in a grow light. This will help your Aeonium Zwartkop get the light it needs, even if you do not have access to sunlight.

Temperature: It prefers warmth. They can be put outdoors as long as the temperature is on the higher side. If the temperature outside is freezing, Black Rose needs to be protected so they do not die.

Soil: Aeonium Zwartkop needs a well-draining potting mix or soil. It is best to use loam or sand soil type. There are cactus potting mixes available that you may use, along with draining soils such as perlite, coarse sand, or pumice. The type of soil you use should account for humidity. Less humid places need less draining soil, while high-humidity places need more of it to keep the soil from getting too wet.

Watering: Aeonium Zwartkop doesn’t need too much water but thoroughly. Its watering requirements depend largely on the climate, humidity, location, and the soil’s moisture. In places with high humidity, you do not need to water the plant often. Plants that grow indoors need less water when outdoors. During summer, they must be watered once a week or every ten days. During winter, you may water it less, depending on the above factors.

DO YOU KNOW? Caring (propagating, pruning/trimming, beheading, watering, …) is a set of skills that is widely applicable to succulents. Read the in-depth guide here >>

Richard Miller – Succulent City

How To Propagate Aeonium Zwartkop

The easiest way to propagate Aeonium Zwartkop is through stem cuttings. To propagate your Black Rose, cut off a stem, let it dry, and then plant it using proper soil. You may use the rooting hormone on the stem before it dries to help speed up the propagation process. It needs water every few days and needs to keep away from direct sunlight till its roots grow. Once the roots grow fully and the plant matures, you can decrease the watering and increase the sunlight exposure.

Common Problems

Leaves: If your Black Rose isn’t receiving enough sun, its leaves will lose their purple color and turn green. They also drop the old leaves as new ones grow, and the old leaves appear wilted and dry. You can let leaves fall out on their own or remove them to make your plant look more aesthetically pleasing. If the leaves wilt at a quick pace, some issue with the plant needs fixing.

Overwater and Underwater: These are the most common issues with this plant happen because of the water it receives. Both under-watering and over-watering can wilt the plant. It is also very susceptible to rot because of its low water needs. Too much watering or overly wet soil can set the rot in the stem. To salvage the plant, you will need to remove the parts that have rotted and then propagate from what is left.

Pests: Aeonium Zwartkop is a sturdy plant that is resilient to most bugs. That said, some pests might damage the plant, such as greenflies or mealybugs.


Aeonium Zwartkop is not toxic to people, livestock, cats, dogs, and birds. You can grow them if you have pets since the plants will cause no harm, even if they are ingested.

Final Words

Thank you so much for reaching out here! I think it’s pretty much everything I know and want to write about Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop.’ I hope this article will be helpful enough. If there is anything I miss or any questions, let me know in the comment section. Thank you for visiting Succulent City, and I hope to see you around soon 🙂

Succulent City chief editor


Succulent City

Hey everyone! Welcome to Succulent City! We are all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, we began the journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, our fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and we gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!

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Posted in Succulents