Aeonium Arboreum [ee-OH-nee-um ar-BOR-ee-um] hails from northern Africa and the Canary Islands and does well in most coastal settings.
The Aeonium is a member of the Crassulaceae or Stonecrop family. It is grown as a perennial in warm climates and planted as an annual or moved indoors for the winter in cold climates.
The common names include:
- Pinwheel Desert Rose
- Thickleaf Aeonium
- Houseleek Tree
- Tree Anemone
- Tree Aeonium
- Irish Rose
Aeonium Arboreum Care
Size & Growth
Typically, Aeonium Arboreum has a spread of about 3′ feet and a height of about 3′ feet tall. Under ideal conditions, the plant can grow to be 4′ feet high. Aeonium tends to have very shallow root systems.
These pretty plants are similar in appearance to Echeveria (a.k.a. Hen and Chicks.) Their leaves grow in attractive rosettes in a variety of colors ranging from green to maroon. After blooming is complete, the rosettes that produce blooms die back.
Flowering & Fragrance
The small, star-shaped, yellow flowers grow in bunches on racemes throughout the late winter or early springtime.
Light & Temperature
If keeping your Aeonium as a houseplant, put it close to a Southern or Western window where it will receive bright, indirect sunlight throughout most of the day. In an outdoor setting, place your plant in a full sun or partial shade setting.
Protect your plant against cold temperatures. These plants can tolerate brief spells of 25° F weather. However, if subjected to cold weather throughout the winter, they will freeze.
In colder climates, it’s a good idea to allow your plants to enjoy being outdoors in the warmer months of the spring, summer, and early fall, but be sure to bring them in during the cold winter months.
This plant is winter hardy in USDA hardiness zones 9B through 11B.
Watering & Feeding
These succulents are a bit more moisture-loving than most other types of succulents. Use the soak and dry watering method to water Aeonium.
Remember that less is more with Aeonium Arboreum. They do better under dry conditions. Be careful not to overwater as this will cause root rot.
Generally speaking, you should water your Aeonium thoroughly about once a week. Be sure to allow the soil to dry thoroughly before providing another deep watering.
These plants are dormant during the summer months, so you should water less in the summer. During this time, a monthly watering may be enough. However, if you’re keeping your plant outdoors, it may do fine with natural rainwater in the summer.
Be careful not to fertilize your Aeonium during the summer because this is the dormant period.
In the winter and the springtime, the plant will be in its active growth phase. This is the time for fertilizing. Use a water-soluble, balanced houseplant fertilizer at half strength. Fertilize about once monthly throughout the growing season.
Soil & Transplanting
These plants do better in a standard, high-quality well-draining soil mixture or in sandy soil than in a succulent mix.
They do not need a great deal of soil, and they do not require frequent replanting. You can expect to repot your Aeonium once every two or three years using a relatively shallow planter.
Repot in the autumn while the plant is in a phase of active growth. Withhold watering for a couple of days and then water thoroughly.
When replanting, be careful not to damage the plant accidentally. The branches tend to be a bit fragile. If you break off branches, allow them to dry out in the open air for a couple of days and then pop them into some potting soil to grow new plants.
Grooming & Maintenance
Prune for size and shape as needed. Trim away dead or damaged leaves and stems.
Popular Aeoniums To Grow and Collect
How To Propagate Aeonium Arboreum
The best way to propagate Aeonium plants is through stem cuttings. If your plant overgrows, stretches, or begins to tumble over because it has become too big, this is a sign that you should prune it and use the cuttings to grow new plants.
Remember to allow cuttings to dry for a day or two before placing them in fresh soil. This allows the cut to heal and prevents problems with rot.
Aeonium Arboreum Pest or Disease Problems
These plants are relatively trouble-free with the right amount of watering, light, humidity, and care. However, excessive watering causes root and stem rot and attracts pests. If overwatered, Aeonium is attractive to spider mites and mealybugs.
Is the plant considered toxic or poisonous to people, kids, pets?
Aeonium Arboreum is non-toxic.
Is the plant considered invasive?
Generally speaking, this plant is not listed as invasive. However, one cultivar, Aeonium Arboreum Rosales, has naturalized in a very small area in Southern California. As with all plants, take care when planting in an area where it can overwinter and reproduce as it may adapt and become invasive.
Suggested Aeonium Arboreum Uses
Aeonium Arboreum is a very easy-care succulent plant. It is a good plant for people who don’t do well with plants and just starting to learn about plants. It is also an excellent choice as an office plant for busy plant enthusiasts.
These plants make excellent container plants, and they also make good specimen plants. If you live in a warm setting, you can plant them directly into your garden for use as a groundcover.