Looking for an in-depth care guide for your Aeonium arboreum? You’ve come to the right place.
This Aeonium arboreum care guide covers everything a gardener might need to keep their Aeonium healthy and beautiful.
in this article:
About Aeonium arboreum
Aeonium arboreum, also called Houseleek Tree and Tree Aeonium, is a beautiful succulent plant native to multiple Canary Islands (including Tenerife, La Palma, El Hierro, La Gomera, and Gran Canaria).
It is among the most famous Aeoniums in cultivation today, mainly because of its incredibly popular cultivar Aeonium Zwartkop, which has earned the Award for Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society.
This Aeonium is considered invasive in Australia and has become naturalized in the Americas.
Aeonium arboreum has gorgeous green leaves arranged in a pinwheel pattern in the form of a rosette. Tree-like, thick branches form the supporting stems that prop up the green rosettes aboveground.
Unlike many Aeoniums, the rosettes are generally smaller than the plant’s body and don’t form a large canopy over the entire bush-like structure.
The branches multiply profusely, so there are always cuttings that you can take from the plant to propagate it further.
|Botanical Name||Aeonium arboreum|
|Common Name||Tree Houseleek, Tree Aeonium, Irish Rose|
|Light||Full sun, Partial shade|
|Soil||Well-Drained, Loamy, Sandy|
|Tolerant||Deer, Drought, Salt|
Aeonium arboreum Care
Aeonium arboreum is a beautiful plant that can be used indoors and outdoors. It’s easy to care for and grows well in most climates, but proper care will help it thrive. Learn the proper steps to grow and care for the Aeonium arboreum plant to ensure its health and beauty.
Aeonium arboreum is a sun-loving plant and will thrive when given full sun.
If you are growing Aeonium arboreum in a container, place the container at an angle to maximize exposure on all sides of the Aeonium.
Plants need light to grow, so it’s essential to ensure they get enough sunlight. If your plants don’t get enough natural light, you may need to supplement artificial lighting until your plants receive adequate amounts of natural sunlight.
Aeonium arboreum is a bit more tolerant of shade than some of its cousins, especially during the hotter months of the year.
Aeonium arboreum prefers well-drained soil. It does not like organic matter or anything that would make the soil too soggy. Instead, use sandy, gritty, and airy soil that drains quickly.
Don’t be afraid to add potting sand or perlite to help with drainage if you have heavy clay soil in your garden; this will benefit all your succulents!
In addition, be sure your soil has good airflow. It will help prevent root rot and fungal diseases in your Aeonium. Luckily, the same materials that help with drainage also help with the airflow.
Water when you feel the soil is completely dry. With their shallow root systems, Aeoniums require more frequent watering than most other succulents.
Suppose you live in an area like Southern California, where temperatures remain mild year-round with slight seasonal variation. In this scenario, you may want to stick with a regular watering schedule that includes three times per week in spring (when there is active growth) and once every two weeks during summer dormancy.
Temperature and Humidity
Aeonium arboreum is a fairly easy succulent to grow and thrive. It prefers a temperature between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, with humidity levels between 40 and 60 percent. The plant may be sensitive to cold temperatures depending on how dry the soil is.
If the soil is moist and temperatures drop below freezing, there is a high chance the water will freeze and damage the plant from the inside out. Therefore, keep the plant as dry as possible during cold snaps.
If you notice your plant is getting leggy or its leaves are turning yellow, it may be due to low humidity levels. You can easily elevate the humidity around your plant by misting it daily, placing a humidifier nearby, or growing other plants that require high humidity, such as bromeliads, in the same room.
Aeonium arboreum is a succulent plant, so it’s not necessary to fertilize it. However, if you’d like your plants to grow larger and faster, feeding them a balanced fertilizer once at the start of their growing season will help.
Feed Aeonium arboreum in spring or fall with a diluted solution of about 1/4 strength for cactus and succulents.
If you don’t want to bother with fertilizer, Aeonium arboreum will still be perfectly happy without it!
Avoid feeding during the summer as that’s when these plants usually go dormant.
It’s also important to note that over-feeding can cause problems for your succulents, so it’s important not to overdo it!
If you’re unsure about how much fertilizer does the job, you can forgo it entirely, and your plant will grow just fine without it.
Aeonium arboreum will benefit from regular pruning to help maintain its shape and keep it looking healthy.
Suppose you’re growing your succulent in an area with less sun exposure than recommended. In that case, trim its branches so they don’t get too long for the space available.
Only prune during spring and fall because that’s when the growth phase is in full swing.
Avoid pruning during summer at all costs as this is the dormant phase, and any stems or leaves that are pruned away during this time won’t return.
Potting and Repotting Aeonium arboreum
Aeonium arboreum can be easily potted and repotted. The best time to propagate your Aeonium is in winter or early spring before the plant starts growing again.
You’ll want to fill the pot with fresh, well-draining, airy soil. A good mix is essential for the continued wellbeing of an Aeonium.
It would help if you also stopped watering your plant for about one week before repotting it so that its roots dry out and will tolerate being disturbed better during this process.
How to Repot Aeonium arboreum(Step-by-step)
- Remove the plant from the pot. Start by gently removing Aeonium from its current container. You can do this by running a tool with a thin edge (e.g., trowel) around the sides of the old container until you feel it loosen, then pulling up.
- Remove any excess soil from around the roots with your hands or a trowel and discard it. Use tweezers if necessary to remove any thorns that might be sticking out of the soil (if you’re unsure about handling them).
- Remove any dead roots and discard them. When looking at the roots, you’ll notice that some are brown or black. These are dead and should be removed. Use your fingers or a trowel to gently scrape away any soil around the roots (make sure not to damage them). If necessary, use a knife or clippers to cut off any large roots that are too big for the new container.
- Add in the potting mix. Add enough potting mix to cover the top of the roots by about 1/2 inch. Press down on the soil gently, so it sticks together and forms a solid ball.
- Put your plant back into its new home and cover its roots with fresh potting mix until they’re covered up by about 2 inches (5 cm) worth; then gently press down on each side until firm contact is made with topsoil, so it doesn’t move around when watered later on down the road.
Propagating Aeonium arboreum
There are two main methods of propagation for most Aeoniums: Leaf and Stem cuttings.
how to Propagate Aeonium arboreum By Stem Cuttings
- To take stem cuttings, use sharp pruners or clippers and snip off a piece of the plant’s stalk about eight inches long.
- Use clean tools for this step so that you don’t spread any disease from your plants onto the new ones you’re trying to grow.
- Clean up the bottom half inch of this stalk—this part will be buried in soil when you transplant it into its own pot (or directly into your garden).
- Then place this piece of the stem in a dry spot at room temperature until its wounds callus over, which could take anywhere between two days and two weeks, depending on how quickly they heal up naturally without intervention on your part. This prevents roots from rotting in the new potting medium.
- Plant the cutting in a potting medium that drains well. You can use vermiculite, perlite, or coarse sand to help with this process; these materials allow water to flow through them more freely than regular garden soil does.
- Once roots form, the cutting is ready to transplant into your garden or a larger pot.
How to Propagate Aeonium arboreum by Leaf Cuttings
- Pull the leaf from the plant, not tearing it apart but keeping it intact at the base. Don’t worry too much if you tear the leaf – it won’t affect your ability to grow a new plant!
- Separate the blade from its stem by cutting off any part that connects them at or near their base (like stem cuttings). Be careful not to cut too low on either side – you don’t want any parts of your leaves missing when they’re ready for transplantation!
- Allow the cut end to callus over entirely for a few days.
- Once the wound has healed and dried, you can plant your leaf cuttings in a pot or container filled with potting soil and keep them indoors.
- Keep the pot slightly moist, humid, and under indirect light until roots form.
Aeonium arboreum produces its blooms on tall inflorescences. This means you will see the flowers in conical clusters at the top of a stalk rather than all over the plant. The small yellow, star-shaped blooms are about 0.25 inches wide and appear in spring.
The blooms will last about two weeks, and the plant will be more attractive than usual.
Like most Aeoniums, Aeonium arboreum is monocarpic: it produces only one set of flowers before dying off entirely after its bloom cycle. (Do note that some hybrids of Aeonium arboreum are not, in fact, monocarpic.)
However, as mentioned above, you can divide your plants to produce more offspring before they die and continue growing them in separate pots or planted beds outdoors.
Aeonium arboreum is non-toxic. It contains no known chemical compounds harmful to pets or other animals.
NOTE: This page is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. The toxicity of an ingested substance varies depending on the amount ingested, the animal’s weight, and its sensitivity to specific allergens. Contact your veterinarian or local animal poison control center immediately if you think your pet may have ingested a toxic substance.
Aeonium arboreum is susceptible to many pests that can be troublesome but are generally not fatal. These include aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects.
Aphids are tiny green or black insects that feed on the sap of plants by piercing their leaves with needle-like mouthparts. They are often found in clusters around the stem or leaf axils, where they suck away at the plant’s juices until it becomes wilted or yellowed.
Mealybugs are small white or grayish bugs covered in a sticky white coating made up of wax secretions and excrement, which gives them their appearance. They infect the undersides of stems, leaves, and buds consuming nutrients from these areas and causing damage by sucking the sap out of new growths where they lay their eggs after feeding on warm-blooded creatures like humans when handled carelessly (ouch!). If left untreated, their offspring will continue to multiply ad infinitum until nothing but empty husks remain behind!
Scale insects can also be troublesome. There are two types: armored scales, which have a hard outer shell, and soft scales whose body is covered with wax. They feed by sucking the sap out of plants’ leaves, stems, or trunks! Unfortunately, the latter group excretes large amounts of honeydew on the plants they inhabit, which attracts sooty mold growth and may lead to ant infestations.
The first option to treat any of these pests should always be natural remedies like horticultural oils or neem oil. Rub the solution on the affected parts, and if you’re lucky, the infestation should melt away.
Industrial strength pesticides should be a last resort as they hurt the plant just as much as the pests.
- Placing under harsh sunlight
- Using poorly drained potting mediums
- Fertilizing during dormancy
As with most succulents, overwatering can be a problem. However, Aeonium arboreum prefers to be kept on the dry side rather than becoming waterlogged.
If you overwater your plant, it might develop root rot or other diseases caused by excess moisture in the soil.
To prevent this, ensure that you water your plant only when it appears to need water and never leave it standing in standing water for long periods (such as overnight).
Good drainage, both in the form of drainage holes in the pot and a well-draining potting medium, are also essential in preventing overwatering.
It is also possible to underwater Aeonium arboreum plants if you are not careful about how much water they receive during their growing season (spring through fall).
If your plant does not get enough moisture, its leaves may turn brown and shrivel up—this is much easier to treat than overwatering.
Just fix your watering routine, and your plant should recover nicely.
Overfertilizing is another common problem for Aeonium arboreum plants. To avoid this, ensure your plant only receives fertilizer during its growing season (spring through fall).
Err on the side of caution, and don’t feed your Aeonium if you’re unsure about the dosage. These succulents are just fine without any fertilizer at all.
Frost burn is the damage caused by below-freezing temperatures affecting non-winter hardy succulents. This damage presents itself as unsightly white discoloration of the leaves in mild cases. In extreme cases, the leaves turn to mush.
In areas with cold winters, the best way to protect your plant from frost damage is by moving the plant indoors as the colder months approach.
Alternatively, you can cover the plant’s pot with a plastic tarp overnight, so the night frost doesn’t set in.
Aeonium Arboreum – Useful Care Tips (Video)