Aeonium Zwartkop

aeonium zwartkop

The Aeonium Zwartkop Succulent

A brilliant addition to your succulent garden is Aeonium 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. Aeonium Zwartkop, 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 on reading.

By Acabashi – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia

About Aeonium Zwartkop

Aeonium Zwartkop is a low-maintenance succulent that thrives on sunlight. Aeoniums are mostly native to the Canary Islands but can be found in other places as well. They can grow in pots or containers or even as summer bedding. It is a branching shrub, with leaves with vibrant black-purple color and a lime-green center. Aeonium Zwartkop is the plant’s botanical name, and it belongs to the family Crassulaceae.

Does Aeonium Zwartkop Grow Indoors or Outdoors?

For Aeonium Zwartkop to thrive, it needs a lot of sunlight. It is recommended that the pots or containers they are growing in should be placed outdoors. They can be put outdoors as long as the temperate is on the higher side. If the temperature outside is freezing, Black Rose needs to be protected so that they do not die.

Growing Aeonium Zwartkop Indoors

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

The two most important factors that will help your Aeonium Zwartkop grow indoors are sunlight and water. They need bright light, so make sure they are close to a window. If your Black Rose isn’t receiving enough sun, its leaves will lose their purple color and turn green. 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.

Aeonium Zwartkop does not need a lot of water when it is grown indoors. Constantly wet soil will harm the plant, so ensure your plant is planted in well-draining potting soil, with sand to help drain excess water.

Sunlight Requirements for Black Tree Aeoniums

Aeonium Zwartkop needs plenty of sunlight and should be grown in full sun or partial shade. New plants can get burned in the full sun, so slowly introduce it to sunlight by increasing exposure incrementally. If the sun is too strong and is burning your plant’s leaves, consider buying a sunshade or moving the plant to an area where there is shade.

Soil Requirements

Aeonium Zwartkop, like many other succulents, 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.

Photo by Neslihan Gunaydin on Unsplash

Watering Requirements for Aeonium Zwartkop

Aeonium Zwartkop does not need too much water, and its watering requirements depend largely on the climate and the humidity. Also, it depends on whether you have planted your Black Rose indoors or outdoors and the soil’s moisture. In places with high humidity, you do not need to water the plant often. Plants that are grown indoors need less water because water evaporates faster when the plant is outdoors and slowly when it is indoors.

During summers, they need to be watered once a week or once every ten days. During winters, you may water it once every ten days or once a fortnight, depending on the plant’s location (indoors or outdoors), the humidity, and other factors.

It is important to water Aeonium Zwartkop thoroughly. Misting it is not sufficient, and the plant may not absorb the water it needs.

How to Propagate Aeonium Zwartkop

The easiest way to propagate Aeonium Zwartkop is through stem cuttings. If you want to propagate your Black Rose, cut off a stem, let it dry, and then plant it using proper soil. You may use rooting hormone on the stem before it dries to help speed up the process of propagation. It needs water every few days and needs to be kept 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

Even though they are easy to maintain, growing Aeonium Zwartkop can have certain problems. They drop the old leaves as new ones grow, and the old leaves appear wilted and dry. You can choose to let leaves fall out on their own, or you can remove them to make your plant look more aesthetically pleasing. If the leaves wilt at a quick pace, some issue with the plant needs to be fixed.

Most 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. In order to salvage the plant, you will need to remove the parts that have rotted and then propagate from what is left.

Pests on Aeonium Zwartkop

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.

By Claudio Gratton, University of Wisconsin – Plant Health, Wikimedia


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 it is ingested.

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