If you’re looking for a beautiful Aeonium succulent to add to your home, Aeonium canariense is an excellent choice. It’s incredibly easy to care for and grows indoors just as well as outdoors.
In this guide, we’ll explain what kind of environment you need to keep your Aeonium canariense healthy, how much water and sunlight it needs, how often you should fertilize it and what type of soil mix will give it the best chance of growing well.
We’ll also tell you about common illnesses that affect these plants and how to treat them so that your Aeonium canariense thrives!
in this article:
About Aeonium canariense
Aeonium canariense is a succulent plant native to the Canary Islands. It typically grows 2 to 3 feet tall with large velvety rosettes up to 12 inches in diameter. The leaves are green with reddish or pink edges. Aeonium canariense blooms in the summer, producing clusters of star-shaped flowers ranging from yellow to bright gold.
Like most Aeoniums, Aeonium canariense is monocarpic (flowers once, then dies). However, it offsets freely into multiple rosettes, which continue the culture once one rosette dies out.
|Botanical Name||Aeonium canariense|
|Common Name||Canary Island Aeonium, Giant Velvet Rose, Tree Aeonium|
|Light||Full sun, Partial shade|
|Soil||Well-Drained, Loamy, Sandy|
|Tolerant||Deer, Drought, Salt|
Aeonium canariense Care
Aeonium canariense is a forgiving plant that doesn’t mind some neglect here and there. So if you’re one of those gardeners that often forget to water, this might be a plant for you.
As with most succulents, Aeonium canariense prefers full sun. If you can’t manage six hours a day (the recommended amount), grow it in a location that receives at least a few hours of direct sunlight daily.
Depending on how much light this Aeonium gets, it might need more water than usual during watering sessions.
Suppose you’d like to bring your plant indoors for the winter months and live where there’s less sunlight than usual. In that case, Aeonium canariense will do just fine in an east-facing window with some shade from trees or buildings—but don’t forget to move it back outdoors once temperatures begin warming up again!
Most succulents do best in well-draining soil that contains plenty of organic matter (though Aeoniums handle nutrient-poor soils admirably).
Aeoniums can tolerate various soil types but prefer sandy loam or a potting mix with some added perlite for aeration and drainage.
Gravel and pumice are also good options to amend your soil, as they allow for good drainage and aeration. Also, ensure to avoid soils that are too heavy or compacted; this can cause root rot and other issues.
The best way to tell if your potting medium is well-draining is by taking a handful out of the pot and letting it drain in the sun. If water doesn’t drain quickly and efficiently, you must add more perlite or pumice powder to improve drainage.
Water Aeonium canariense when the soil is dry to the touch. New growth may appear yellow or brown if you haven’t watered enough, but this will correct itself once the plant has been adequately watered.
Make sure to water more often in hot weather and less often in cold weather. Because of their shallow root systems, Aeoniums also require more frequent watering than other succulents during their growing season from spring through fall.
It would help if you reduced watering during winter and summer when your plant is dormant (i.e., not actively growing).
After watering your Aeonium, drain any excess water that collects in the bottom of the pot. Overwatering and poor drainage are two of the most significant issues that can cause root rot and other problems.
Temperature and Humidity
Aeonium canariense thrives in temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18-24°C), with humidity around 50%. Therefore, you should monitor the plant regularly and adjust its temperature and humidity accordingly.
Aeoniums don’t tolerate freezing weather well and should be brought indoors during cold snaps or frost events that are expected to last more than one night.
Even though they’re drought-tolerant and can survive in poor soil, aeoniums like regular feedings of an all-purpose or balanced fertilizer every spring or fall.
If your plant is small, use half strength (or even less) when fertilizing; otherwise, use full strength until the potting medium fills about halfway up the roots, and then cut back on maintenance for a few months.
You should also be aware that some varieties need more feed than others—check with your local nursery for advice on which kind will do well in your area before ordering one online!
Pruning is a necessary part of plant care. You’ll need to prune it every once in a while to keep it looking tidy. The best time to prune your Aeonium canariense is during its growth period from fall through spring.
If you choose to prune at other times of the year, ensure the plant isn’t too stressed by the heat or sun exposure before doing so.
You can also use pruning to maintain the shape of your Aeonium canariense. For example, if you want it to be more compact, shear off any branching stems that are getting too tall (including the main stem).
This will force the remaining stems to grow sideways to fill the gap, resulting in a fuller and bushier growth!
For those who prefer single-stemmed plants (and are willing–and able!–to wait), cut back unwanted stalks all around until only one remains growing upright.
Potting and Repotting Aeonium canariense
When potting and repotting Aeonium canariense, you’ll want to make sure you use a potting mix that drains well. You can achieve this by adding sand or perlite to the soil.
How large of a pot you choose depends on your plant’s size and whether there’s room for it in the space where you want to put it.
The general rule is one gallon of soil for every four inches of stem height, so if your plant has five or six inches of stem height, use a gallon-sized container.
The best time to repot Aeonium canariense is when it’s actively growing (spring or fall). If you wait until the plant has stopped growing for the season, it will lose some of its vigors and won’t put on as much new growth as it would have if you repotted earlier in the year.
In addition to giving the plant plenty of room for its roots, repotting is also an excellent time to clean out any dead or diseased material around the base of your plant. If you have an Aeonium canariense of more than one year old, you can remove some of its older leaves (but don’t take off all of them).
How to Repot
Remove the plant from its current container, gently pulling it out, being careful not to damage the roots, and setting it aside so you can work on repotting it later.
- Discard the old pot or gather the soil inside for future projects.
- Place an appropriate size new container—preferably clay or terracotta—on top of newspaper or paper towels (both will help absorb moisture) and fill with fresh potting mix until about 1/3 full.
- Dig a small hole in the soil and place the root ball within.
- Secure the plant in its new home, patting it down gently, and then fill the container with more soil until it reaches the pot’s rim.
- Water after a week and place in a warm, sunny location. Continue to water regularly until new growth appears.
Propagating Aeonium canariense
Propagate Aeonium canariense Using Stem Cuttings (Offsets)
Aeoniums are easy to propagate from stem cuttings.
- To take a stem cutting, use a sharp knife or pruning shears to shear through the bottom of a healthy stem at least 6 inches long. Ensure that the top part of your cutting includes at least one fully mature rosette.
- Wash and thoroughly dry your cutting before you place it in a moist environment for rooting. A drying period of 2-3 days will ensure the wound of the cut is completely healed, and the plant is safe from early root rot.
- Place your cutting in an airy container filled with well-draining potting soil. Use pumice and perlite as needed to improve drainage.
- Cover the container with plastic wrap or waxed paper and secure this covering with tape to maintain humidity around the plant until rooting occurs (allow up to several weeks).
- Once you’re certain the cutting has developed roots, remove your covering and plant your newly rooted cutting into moist soil where it will receive some shade but not full sun exposure until established (about two months).
- Avoid direct sunlight and overwatering to safeguard your plant.
Propagate Aeonium canariense Using Leaf Cuttings
When you take a leaf cutting, wait until the plant has been well-established for a few months before attempting it. This will ensure that the leaves have enough time to develop, giving them a better chance of rooting in new soil.
- Cut the attachment point of the leaf and the stem using a sharp cutting tool.
- Allow the cut-end some time to heal and callus over.
- Once your leaf has healed sufficiently, it’s time for you to prepare it for transplanting into fresh potting soil.
- Fill your planting container with moistened potting soil and place your newly prepared cutting into it so that its base is just below surface level and the cut end of the leaf is covered by at least ½ inch (1 cm) of soil.
- Now place your new baby Aeonium canariense seedling in bright indirect sunlight with temperatures between 65°F/18°C during winter months down to 70°F/21°C during summer months.
- Make sure its surroundings are between 50–80% relative humidity consistently. Try using a humidifier nearby to combat lower levels or cover the pot with a plastic cover so that all the humidity remains inside.
- Once the plant has developed its roots, you can move the root ball into a new pot with fresh soil to continue the culture.
Propagate Aeonium canariense Using Seeds
Aeonium canariense is a naturally occurring Aeonium found in the wild. It can be propagated using seeds if you have them available. However, note that this process takes much longer than propagation via offsets. Nevertheless, if you’re willing and able to commit to propagating via seeds, the process is pretty simple.
- Wait until spring and plant the seeds in potting soil.
- The seeds should be near the soil’s surface and not buried too far underground.
- Keep the soil consistently moist and conditions humid to facilitate root growth.
- Maintain temperatures between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.
- Once the seeds develop into seedlings, transplant them into a regular pot.
Aeoniums bloom from late spring to early summer on racemes, short, densely packed clusters of flowers that grow along a stalk.
Unlike many other succulents, Aeoniums are monocarpic, producing only one set of flowers per rosette before they die. However, this doesn’t mean you have to plan your nursery around their blooming period—they’ll keep producing new rosettes over time!
Aeonium canariense produces small yellow flowers shaped like small stars. These blooms appear in clusters on short stalks above the plant’s foliage and usually last for only a few days before fading away.
Aeonium canariense is considered to be a non-toxic plant. No toxic effects have been reported on humans or pets.
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.
A few common pests can affect Aeonium canariense, but you can usually control them by treating the plant with a mild insecticidal soap.
Most of these pests are small and not of significant concern, but keep an eye for these three in particular.
- Placing under harsh sunlight
- Using poorly drained potting mediums
- Fertilizing during dormancy
If your Aeonium is in a container, it’s vital to avoid overwatering. The roots of an aeonium do not like to sit in water and can rot if they do. Also, the leaves turn yellow and brown on the edges and tips if you overwater your plant. The roots may also feel soft or squishy when you touch them.
If you suspect overwatering, remove the plant from the pot and let all excess soil drain out before setting it aside for several days until the soil dries out completely. Then, remove any affected roots and replant. Do not water again until you’re sure the soil is completely dry; this indicates adequate drainage within its potting mix (which is where most problems occur).
Compared to other succulents, Aeoniums require slightly more water than usual. If your plant is underwatering, it will show signs of wilting or drooping. The rosettes might also start shedding outer leaves.
If you have an aeonium underwatering, correct this by watering more frequently and deeply. Be sure to water until the excess water drains out of the bottom of your pot, but do not drown your plants! Aeoniums should never sit in excess water, or they will rot.
Overfertilization can cause yellowing leaves and root burn. The best way to avoid overfertilization is by limiting the fertilizer you give your plant.
Slow-release fertilizers are also available if liquid fertilizer isn’t working out for you. These release their dosage over an extended period of time, giving the plant time to adjust.
Frost damage occurs when the plant is exposed to temperatures below 32°F (-0.5°C).
The leaves of the plant become white and may appear covered in soot or powdery mold. In milder cases, the white discoloration remains contained to the tips of the leaves. This type of damage can be recovered. But if the damage is too severe, i.e., complete whitening of the leaf, you’ve probably lost this plant.
In most cases, new growth does not appear on the plant for several months after frost damage occurs, though you can still expect it to recover if the root system remains active.
Dropping leaves is a natural part of the Aeonium canariense growth cycle. Aeoniums shed their old leaves during summer to make room for new, fresh foliage. There is no way to prevent this leaf drop from occurring.
However, if you notice that your plant is dropping leaves off-season, it could be due to underwatering or too little sunlight. Adjust accordingly.
How to Take Care of a Aeonium canariense (Video)