Most succulents thrive on neglect, and the Aeonium arboreum plant is no exception. As long as you don’t completely forget to water it, it’ll probably survive! It’s the perfect plant for people with black thumbs and people who don’t have a lot of time to tend to their plants.
These succulents aren’t just easy to care for—they’re also super beautiful! They have long branching stems and big rosettes in colors like green and maroon. They remind us a lot of Echeveria and Hens and Chicks. If you like those succulents, you’ll love this one for sure!
Even though Aeonium arboreum plants are pretty easy to take care of, there are a few things that can kill them. So stick with us and keep reading to learn all about aeonium care!
Most Aeoniums are native to the Canary Islands. Because they’ve adapted to a coastal environment, they like a little more moisture than other succulents.
To give our Aeoniums a little more moisture, we like to plant them in a less porous soil blend than the one we plant our other succulents in. We blend a little bit of regular potting soil with our favorite succulent soil to create a soil blend that retains just a little more moisture.
Two parts succulent soil to one part potting soil is what we like to go for. It’ll drain a little slower than regular succulent soil and keep the Aeoniums moist, but not too moist. We don’t want to cause root rot!
Speaking of roots, did you know that Aeoniums have shallow root systems? Aeonium arboreum plants can get to be up to four feet tall, so you’d expect them to have deep roots. But even tall Aeoniums can survive in fairly shallow containers because of their shallow root systems.
Because Aeoniums don’t need a lot of soil, they make great container plants! They look great in stylish indoor planters like this one and only need to be replanted in bigger containers about once every three years. The best time to repot them is in the fall, during their active growing season.
After we replant our Aeoniums in a bigger container, we give them a few days to acclimate to their new pot before we water them. This gives them a chance to root and helps prevent root rot.
Another thing to keep in mind when you’re planting Aeonium is that their branches are pretty fragile. They have a tendency to snap right off, so you have to be careful when handling your plant!
If a few branches pop off, don’t worry! You can leave them to scab over for a few days and then replant them. They should take root and form brand new plants! We’ll talk about this more later.
Watering Aeonium Arboreum Plants
Aeoniums do like a little more moisture than other succulents, but you still can’t go crazy with the watering can! You should only water your Aeoniums when the top layer of soil feels pretty dry. You’ll probably end up watering them about once a week.
During the summer months, when they’re dormant, you should cut back on the water. Watering them once a month should be enough during the summer. If your plant is outside and gets some rainwater, it may need even less frequent waterings or no water at all!
You should soak and dry your Aeoniums the same way you do with your other succulents. Before you water them, stick your finger an inch deep into the soil and make sure it’s dry. If it’s still pretty wet, hold off on watering for a little longer.
If the soil feels pretty dry, grab your watering can and soak your Aeoniums until water runs out of the drainage hole of the pot. If your Aeoniums are in the ground, water them until the soil feels wet about an inch down.
One of the few ways to kill your Aeoniums is by overwatering them, so make sure you follow the soak and dry method! Otherwise, they’re pretty chill plants that can withstand a lot!
Aeonium arboreum plants grow during the winter and spring, which is the best time to fertilize them. You should fertilize them with a balanced, water soluble fertilizer, diluted to half strength. So if the directions say to dissolve 1 tablespoon of fertilizer into a gallon of water, you’d only use ½ tablespoon. You can fertilize them up to once a month during their growing season.
Remember not to fertilize your Aeonium arboreum plants during the summer months—that’s when they go dormant!
Light and Temperature Requirements
If you keep your Aeonium arboreum plants inside, then you should put them near the brightest window in your home.
Outside, though, these plants prefer partial shade to full sun, especially during the summer months when the sun really beats down on them. They do best with bright but indirect sunlight, so provide them with some light shade to prevent them from burning in the hot sun.
Aeonium arboreum plants generally don’t like cold temperatures. They can survive for short periods of time in 25 degree weather, but they can’t handle long winter freezes without turning into popsicles. So if you live in an area that gets lots of cold weather and snow, bring your Aeonium arboreum plants in for the winter to keep them nice and toasty!
Can Pests Kill Aeoniums?
Pests and overwatering are kryptonite for Aeoniums! Pests like mealybugs and spider mites are aggressive and can kill your plant if you let the infestation go on long enough.
That’s why it’s important to recognize when an infestation is happening and nip it in the butt quickly! Mealybugs are white and fuzzy, so they’re often mistaken for mold. Spider mites are a little harder to see and identify. The first signs of damage will be brown or yellow spots on the leaves of your plant. As the infestation continues, you might notice webbing on the plant that looks like spider webs.
Both of these types of infestations can stunt your plant’s growth, cause damage to its leaves, and even kill it if it goes on for too long. Yikes!
But there is something you can do to help! You can spray your plant with insecticidal sprays or neem oil. To curb a mealybug infestation, you can also spray your plant with some rubbing alcohol if you put it in a spray bottle. Keep spraying your plant until the bugs are gone. Make sure you move any infected plants away from the rest of your plant collection too so the pests don’t spread!
If one of the stems of your Aeonium arboreum plant falls off when you’re repotting it or falls over because it’s too heavy, you can propagate that stem to create a brand new plant instead of discarding it.
You can also take a cutting directly from the plant underneath one of the rosettes. Just grab a sharp garden knife and cut the stem about 5 or so inches beneath one of the rosettes.
Before you plant your cuttings, you’ll have to let the cut ends heal over for a few days. Wait until the cut sides have scabbed over completely before you plant your cuttings in succulent soil.
Once they’re planted, keep them in a location that gets bright, indirect sunlight and water them regularly. Over the next few weeks you’re going to want to keep the soil barely moist at all times. When the plants take root you can put them on the same watering schedule as your mature Aeonium arboreum plants.
Now that you know how to take care of Aeonium arboreum plants, are you going to go out and buy a few? The next time we go to the nursery we’re definitely going to grab a couple! Let us know if they’re on your wishlist too in the comments section below!
Better yet, let us know if you have this in our exclusive Succulent Plant Lounge. Everyday we have exclusive members giving each other tips and tricks on how to take care of their succulent babies, we know you’d like this too!
Happy planting! ?