A gorgeous evergreen succulent, the Aeonium ‘Sunburst’ plant is the recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society.
This guide will provide all the information you need to grow your own Aeonium ‘Sunburst’ plant.
You may have seen this beautiful succulent growing in your local garden center and wondered how to care for it. Well, we’re here to tell you it’s easier than you think!
You’ll learn how to choose a location when to plant and transplant, how much sunlight they require, what soil is best and how often they need watering.
We’ll also provide tips on keeping them looking their best through proper pruning and fertilizing techniques, along with some common pests and diseases that can affect this species.
in this article:
About Aeonium ‘Sunburst’
Aeonium ‘Sunburst’ is a beautiful evergreen succulent from the Crassulaceae family.
It forms showy rosettes of succulent leaves arranged on woody grey stems. Leaves are heavily variegated, with lemon yellow and green stripes running along the length of each leaf.
The edges of the leaves are tinged with a light red hue that becomes enhanced under direct sunlight. These spoon-shaped leaves form a slight tip near their apex where the red tint is strongest.
The plant produces small pale yellow flowers during spring, but these are not very showy. The flowers appear on conical clusters borne on racemes that rise above the foliage.
|Botanical Name||Aeonium decorum ‘Sunburst’|
|Common Name||Aeonium ‘Sunburst,’ Copper Pinwheel|
|Origin||Hybrid, Garden origin|
|Light||Full sun, Partial shade|
|Soil||Well-Drained, Loamy, Sandy|
Aeonium ‘Sunburst’ Care
Sunburst aeoniums, sometimes called crested Aeoniums or Copper Pinwheel, are aptly named. Their succulent fronds remind one of the rays from the sun in all directions. They’re also easy to grow and care for and make beautiful accents in the garden or container.
Aeonium ‘Sunburst’ is a succulent that needs full sun to thrive. Therefore, the best location for your plant would be on the south or west side of your house, where it will receive the most direct light possible.
If the temperature is high, try to avoid putting this plant in the direct afternoon sun; sunburn is a frequent occurrence in Aeonium succulents.
If you don’t have any exterior space for your plant or if your growing season is short due to cooler temperatures, consider bringing ‘Sunburst’ indoors for the winter months.
It will do just fine under fluorescent lights, or artificial grow lights as long as they’re above its foliage (though we recommend keeping them at least eight inches away).
But remember that this is a temporary solution; these plants require sunlight to grow properly.
The soil for your Aeonium ‘Sunburst’ should be a mix of 50% cactus mix and 50% sand. The soil should be well-drained and light, with an airy texture rather than clumpy or dense.
It is also essential that the plant’s roots can spread out and grow freely without being restricted by the soil itself.
You can purchase cactus mixes at most garden centers, though you can make your own if you prefer (check the ingredients to ensure they contain no pesticides).
Sand and gravel are also easy to find at home improvement stores or any place where gardening supplies are sold.
Aeonium ‘Sunburst’ needs to be watered when the soil is dry. If you use a soil-based potting mix, water deeply so the entire root ball is watered.
If you use a succulent or cactus mix, water thoroughly until water runs out of the drainage holes in the bottom of your container.
Water aeonium ‘Sunburst’ in the morning or early afternoon to give the soil plenty of sun to hasten the water drainage.
Water less during the summer months because these plants are dormant at this time; increase watering slightly in spring as temperatures rise and sunlight increases (once every two weeks).
Temperature and humidity
You should look for temperatures ranging from 18 to 24°C (65 to 75°F). It can tolerate high temperatures, so you don’t need to worry about it getting too hot.
Aeoniums require average room humidity and do best around 40-60% room humidity.
For most people, humidity is not something to worry about as this moisture level is naturally present in almost every home.
It’s always a good idea to fertilize succulents in spring and fall, using a fertilizer formulated for cacti and succulents. Make sure the fertilizer is slow-release and balanced for the best results.
If you’re new to growing succulents or don’t have much experience yet, it’s best not to fertilize more than once yearly with balanced liquid fertilizer at the start of the growing season.
The best time for pruning this plant is spring or fall when it’s not too hot out, and you can work in relative comfort.
You can use scissors to trim off any stems growing from your Aeonium ‘Sunburst’ base if they’re too long or thick.
You can also thin out some of the leaves if desired—this will help create a more bushy appearance and make it easier for light to reach all parts of the plant so that it thrives.
However, don’t try to do any major shaping during the summer because Aeoniums go dormant during this time.
Propagating Aeonium ‘Sunburst’
Propagating Aeonium ‘Sunburst’ is easy and can be done by either stem or leaf cuttings.
By Stem Cuttings:
The most common propagation method is stem cuttings, which only requires a healthy stem with a rosette on top and a pot of soil.
- Take a healthy-looking stem cutting from the parent plant with a robust rosette growing at the top.
- The best time to take your cutting is in early fall, when growth is just beginning, and the risk of frost is far away.
- Once you’ve removed the stem cutting from the parent plant, allow it time to callus over. Anywhere from a day to a week should work. This will prevent root rot when the cutting is placed in fresh soil.
- After the cutting has callused over, put it into a container filled with a succulent/cactus mix.
- Place this container in an area with plenty of sunlight and medium moisture.
- Keep checking on the cutting periodically for signs that roots have formed before moving them outdoors into their permanent location.
By Leaf Cuttings:
Taking leaf cuttings can be a great way to propagate succulents. This is especially true if you want to grow more than one plant from the same parent plant. The process is similar to taking stem cuttings but with a few minor differences.
Leaf cuttings are easy to do, but they take longer than stem cuttings.
- Pull off a leaf from your Aeonium ‘Sunburst’ using your hands. Separate the leaf just above where they start to rise out from the rosette.
- Allow the leaf cutting a couple of days to a week to callus over.
- Then, place the cutting in a pot of moistened soil with bright, indirect light and high humidity.
- Wait for the roots to develop, then transplant the cutting to a fresh pot.
Potting and Repotting Aeonium ‘Sunburst’
Like many other Aeonium succulents, Aeonium ‘Sunburst’ likes to stay in the same pot for about 2-3 years. After this time, the plant will start to outgrow its pot. This is when you need to repot it.
If your Aeonium ‘Sunburst’ sits in standing water or gets waterlogged, it will quickly develop root rot which is incredibly hard to recover from. Repotting correctly is essential in making sure this doesn’t happen.
When you’re ready to repot your Aeonium ‘Sunburst,’ you should do so during the spring or summer. While this succulent can tolerate some light frost, leaving your plant outdoors is not advisable if temperatures dip below freezing.
When potting and repotting an Aeonium ‘Sunburst’, use a well-drained soil mix that does not contain much organic material.
The proper pot size for this succulent depends on your plant’s root mass—if you’re unsure what type of pot would work best for your specific situation, ask someone at your local garden center!
What you need:
How to Repot
- Lift up the Aeonium from its current container and gently remove any extra soil. Set aside for now.
- Take your new container and fill it with potting soil until it’s about 1/3 full. Don’t press down on the soil as you add it; just let it settle naturally into place.
- Carefully place the Aeonium in its new container and gently pack in more soil around it, leaving only about half an inch of space between the top of the soil and the rim of your pot.
- Water your plant lightly, careful not to get any soil into the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.
- Place your Aeonium where it will get plenty of bright light and good airflow.
- Placing under harsh sunlight
- Using poorly drained potting mediums
- Fertilizing during dormancy
The blooms of this plant are the next thing to watch for. Aeoniums are monocarpic, which means that they bloom once and then die. This occurs in spring, typically around April or May.
The flowers are pale yellow and clustered into a small star shape with five petals each. After flowering, the plant will wither away until only its dried remains are left.
Even though aeoniums only bloom once, this doesn’t mean they are a lost cause.
Aeonium ‘Sunburst’ produces multiple rosettes on more than one stem. Each rosette blooms individually and dies on its own after flowering. Once a rosette has died, you can safely cut away its stem to make way for new growth as the other rosettes will continue the plant.
Aeonium ‘Sunburst’ is not toxic to humans or pets. However, although the plant contains no known toxins, it’s still not recommended to let your pets eat one.
Aeonium ‘Sunburst’ is prone to pests like other aeoniums and succulents. These include aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects.
To prevent infestation by these pests, always buy healthy plants from reputable garden centers or nurseries.
Once you bring home your new plant, keep it away from any potential sources of insecticide residues such as pesticides sprayed on nearby plants (this includes nursery employees who may have sprayed their own plants).
When you notice signs of infestation, like white cottony masses on leaves or stems, place the plant in the sun for two days to kill any existing populations of insects before treating it with insecticidal soap spray.
Your Aeonium ‘Sunburst’ is most likely to face these common problems.
In the case of root rot, the leaves will start dying or turn limp. You’ll also see that the roots have turned black and mushy.
Root rot is mainly caused by overwatering, so ensure not to let your plant sit in water.
If it does happen to get root rot, you’ll need to remove the root ball from the container, clear away the dirt from the roots and cut away any mushy or black roots with a sharp shear. Then, plant it back in the soil and wait for the roots to grow again.
Treatment is a hit-or-miss prospect. Some plants recover while others don’t.
If your plant gets too cold during wintertime in your area (or if there is a sudden cold snap), then its foliage may turn crinkly and dry up and fall off due to frost damage.
Although these plants are considered frost-hardy to about 25 degrees Fahrenheit, this only holds if the plant is completely dry.
Too Much Sun
If your plant gets too much sun, you’ll see burn marks on the leaves in the form of black or brown spots.
Cut away any affected leaves to make room for new ones to grow. Then, move the plant’s container out of direct sunlight.
Make sure not to put Aeonium ‘Sunburst’ in direct sunlight for more than 6 hours per day.
Aeonium ‘Sunburst’ plants are known to shed their leaves naturally during their dormancy in the summer. If the plant is healthy, it will develop new ones in its place.
However, if you notice many leaves falling off at once or the plant looks wilted and yellow, you may have a problem with underwatering or too much sunlight.
Aeonium ‘Sunburst’ – Growing and Care Tips (Video)