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.

Aeonium Zwartkop Succulent

The Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’ (Black Rose) are succulent plants formed by waxy leaves in the form of showy rosettes, distributed in stems that can exceed 3 feet in length. They have a very distinctive feature: their dark purple, almost black, color on the foliage. Thanks to this, these succulents are a good option if you want to add a different touch to your garden; their peculiar shape and color will surely make your garden have that distinctive touch that this plant offers.

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Zwartkop Succulent

Are Aeonium indoor plants or outdoor plants?

These are plants that need a lot of light to thrive and maintain their purple color. This need means that they grow best outdoors, where they get plenty of sunlight. However, when these are produced in this way, they must be meticulous when the environment begins to reach shallow temperatures or to the level of freezing. It is also possible to grow them indoors, but this requires specific special care to develop optimally and retain their characteristic dark color.

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Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’ indoors: IG@jcutler90

Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’ indoors

The first thing to consider if you want to grow indoors should be the lighting. This succulent plant must be offered as much bright light as possible since if it does not receive an adequate amount of sunlight per day, its leaves may lose the characteristic dark color of this plant and begin to turn green. To ensure that it will have enough light, we can place it near a window that receives a lot of sunlight.

If the plant in its current place does not receive enough light, it will begin a process of etiolation; that means it will start to lengthen its stems many times searching for more light; This can lead to plant weakness low growth. If this begins to happen, it is best to move the plant around the house to find the point where it best receives light, it may take several attempts, and in case it does not work, you should consider moving the plant outdoors to that can receive the necessary Sun.

Another thing with which we have to be very careful is its irrigation. We cannot overwater our Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’ when growing it. It is best to find a potting mix that has good drainage. Less light & moisture on the soil is harmful to plant which quickly kills it.

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Aeonium Zwartkop Outdoor: IG@plant_obsessed

Aeonium outdoors

When grown outdoors, Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’ can tolerate partial shade, but it is best to provide as much sunlight as possible to maintain its dark pigmentation. Of course, if the plant is exposed to totally direct sunlight, it is best to find a way to acclimatize it not to burn its leaves. To do this acclimatization, we must slowly increase the amount of direct sunlight that the plant receives until it can tolerate higher temperatures or direct Sun.

Heat gain during a heatwave causes damage and burns to Zwartkop. This tends to affect small plants more since mature plants tend to tolerate these cases a little more. To protect your plants during these heatwaves, you can move them to places with a little more shade. Either under a larger plant or by using an umbrella; the point is to offer a more significant amount of shade.

As is usual for succulents, Zwartkop needs dry, well-drained soil; otherwise, our plant may rot. Another piece of advice to reach this level is to use cactus soil. Thus we keep our succulent dry and avoid any excess humidity. We can also use sandy soil to keep our land dry.

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Zwartkop Irrigation


Climate, i.e., season and the area’s humidity decides about Irrigation of Zwartkop.In the summer, during intense heat, it is generally patchable to water this plant every eight days. Therefore providing them with a good measure of water to support it, but not too much to drown it. In colder seasons and climates, one watering every 11 days is more suitable for this succulent.

Located in a more humid place or keep ‘Zwartkop’ indoors, you will not need such constant watering.

If you are in winter with rains, you could easily let them water your plant, and it would be excellent. Aeoniums species are benefited from the rain in these seasons. It tends to grow a lot of it is a drier winter. But with humidity, with a watering every two weeks, the Zwartkop should resist well.

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Aeonium Zwartkop Succulent Watering


The soil should feel completely dry for at least one inch below the plant before it is time to water it again. Doing this check makes it easy to adapt the irrigation frequency that our plant needs according to our soils, temperatures, climate, and humidity. If you are still unsure, you can use implements to help you measure soil moisture and temperature, such as hygrometers or moisture meters.

A good technique when watering is also essential; it is not the same to spray the plant on top than to water it directly underneath; water may not reaches its roots and does not absorb enough if it is spread. Also, if the Sun is intense and the leaves are damp, this can contribute to burning. The best thing to do is water it underneath directly and let all the water soak into the soil.

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Image: Reddit@u/lasada

What tolerance do Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’ have to low temperatures?

When temperatures drop, while ‘Zwartkop’ can tolerate mild frosts and even some sub-zero temperatures, it should not be exposed to these for long. If it is exposed to these temperatures for too long, this can permanently damage your plant. For those with severe winters in icy and humid places, your plant should be protected from frost or freezing temperatures to avoid any severe damage.

The best way to do this is to plant it in a pot and take your plant inside.

Take it out when the cold is not so intense or even in summer. In case it is planted in the ground, you can protect them from the constant frosts and low temperatures. This is with covers or greenhouses that help conserve some heat to your plant.