Looking for something truly unique?
What about a dinner plate-shaped succulent? It’s a conversation starter, for sure!
Aeonium tabuliforme is a truly unique species and a testament to nature’s symmetry. If you’re a succulent lover, chances are you’ve heard of this one.
In this guide, you’ll find all you need to know about Aeonium tabuliforme plants. How to properly plant your plant, how much water it needs, what type of light is best for growing it, what nutrients it needs, and much more.
in this article:
About Aeonium tabuliforme
The Flat-topped Aeonium (Aeonium tabuliforme)— sometimes referred to as the Dinner Plate Aeonium—has got to be one of the more striking-looking types of succulents out there.
It is a unique Aeonium that stands out from the rest of the genus because of its strangely-shaped rosette.
It is an evergreen succulent with a flat rosette of broad, rounded, and soft leaves.
The leaves measure 3 to 5 inches in length and have a waxy, smooth texture. They are often bordered with white, silvery-gray, or brownish hairs that give them a slightly furry appearance.
The leaves are arranged on top of each other, growing radially outward. As a result, they won’t bend or curve inwards like most rosettes but rather stay completely flat—resulting in the iconic dinner plant shape.
|Botanical Name||Aeonium tabuliforme|
|Common Name||Dinner Plate Aeonium, Flat-topped Aeonium|
|Soil||Well-Drained, Loamy, Sandy|
Aeonium tabuliforme Care
Aeonium tabuliforme is a beginner-friendly succulent, despite its exotic nature. Just follow some fundamental rules to keep your succulent happy and healthy.
Aeonium tabuliforme likes full sun, but can tolerate partial shade. So set it out in the open if you have a bright, sunny spot on your patio that gets at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight per day, and you have no worries about the plant’s safety from the hot afternoon sun.
In most scenarios, sunburn is not an issue. However, best practice dictates that we seek to prevent rather than treat. So, avoiding setting your plant’s pot out in the open during the peak afternoon.
Aeonium succulents need well-draining soil that’s high in organic matter. You can achieve this by mixing together two parts of potting soil: one part – coarse sand or perlite, and the other part – compost or worm castings.
Place the mixture in a large, shallow container with drainage holes to have plenty of space for the water to exit.
Alternatively, you can buy a standard succulent potting mix from your local garden store. These mixes are handcrafted to create the perfect growing environment for succulents and other drought-tolerant plants.
The first and most important rule of watering an Aeonium, or any succulent, is to avoid overwatering. Water your plant deeply but give it all the resources to drain the excess water quickly and efficiently (hint: soil).
However, compared to other succulents adapted for living in hot deserts, Aeoniums have much shallower root systems. Even though they’re drought-tolerant and will survive on less water than many other plants, they still need regular watering.
Feel the soil if you’re unsure if your Aeonium needs watering. If it’s dry to the touch – water it. If it feels moist – wait until the next day or the day before watering again.
You can also check for signs of over- or under-watering by looking at the leaves:
- if they turn brown and crispy at their edges – you’ve probably been overwatering for too long
- if they start curling up like paper – you may be underwatering your plant
Temperature and Humidity
Aeonium tabuliforme requires a temperature between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If your home temperature doesn’t fall within this range, you can use a heat mat or grow light to create the right conditions for your plant.
The humidity should be around 50 percent.
These plants prefer higher humidity levels than many other succulents, so check on them regularly throughout the year to ensure they’re getting what they need.
When temperatures dip below freezing outside—even indoors if it’s too cold in general—your Aeonium may become damaged because its roots are too sensitive. So bring it inside a heated room during frosty weather until spring arrives again!
Fertilize Aeonium tabuliforme in spring and fall when new growth appears. Use a balanced fertilizer: one that contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) in equal amounts. These fertilizers are labeled 10-10-10 in most cases, and all nurseries have them in stock.
Aeoniums are not heavy feeders and can be fertilized sparingly during their growing season. When fertilizing, it’s essential to follow the directions on the package carefully. A little feed here goes a long way with these plants, so don’t overdose!
You should only apply fertilizer directly on top of the soil.
Aeonium tabuliforme is a plant that you can prune to maintain its shape, keep it compact and bushy, or both.
If you want to keep your Aeonium tabuliforme in a specific form, consider pinching out the tips of new growth as they emerge at the start of the growing season.
To avoid damage during summer dormancy, we recommend waiting until autumn when temperatures have cooled for at least four weeks before trimming Aeonium tabuliforme.
Following these steps, your Aeonium tabuliforme should maintain its shape and stay compact and bushy. But if you’re looking for a succulent that requires no pruning, consider growing something like a Haworthia instead.
Plants in this genus need zero maintenance and remain relatively small throughout their lifetime.
Potting and Repotting Aeonium tabuliforme
Aeonium tabuliforme is usually repotted in the spring or autumn. The plant requires a well-drained soil mix that drains quickly and has plenty of inorganic matter, such as perlite or pumice.
Depending on how quickly the roots become pot-bound, you’ll need to repot every two to three years.
This Aeonium goes dormant during the summer. Unfortunately, many gardeners are unaware of this phenomenon and significantly hurt their Aeonium succulents by overwatering or repotting during this period.
Avoid any activity that might stress your plant in the summer, including repotting.
How to Repot
- Remove the plant from its pot gently using the gathered tools. The plant should be placed in a sink or on newspapers so that excess water can drain away.
- Any dead roots need to be removed before repotting as they will not recover once replanted into new soil and will weaken your plant even more in future years if left behind.
- Remove all old soil from around the root system of your Aeonium tabuliforme by gently tapping some soil off with your fingers until all traces of old material have been removed (if you’re worried about damaging roots, use fine tools instead). This is important because leaving behind bits of old compost could cause problems later.
- Add fresh potting medium to the new pot and fill it with about one-third.
- Place your Aeonium tabuliforme in the center of the pot and gently firm down around the base so that it stands up straight.
- Add more soil to fill the pot almost to its top.
- After a week, the plant should have settled down its roots properly. It is now safe to water, and you can proceed with the regular care routine.
Propagating Aeonium tabuliforme
Propagate Aeonium tabuliforme Using Stem Cuttings
If you want to propagate your Aeonium tabuliforme, you can do so by taking stem cuttings from the plant. To take stem cuttings:
- Use a sharp knife or pruning shears to remove stems from healthy plants in mid-spring when they are at least two years old (the older they are, the better).
- Leave at least 3 inches of stalk on each cutting; if there are less than 3 inches, it’s not worth taking because it will not have enough energy stored up yet for future growth.
- Cut off any damaged leaves so that all nutrients aren’t wasted on those dying leaves that might already be dead anyway!
- Store each cutting in a dry spot after cutting them off, so they have plenty of time to heal up. The weeping wound resulting from cutting a succulent needs to be allowed to heal to prevent any chance of root rot in the new potting medium.
- Once that’s done, place them into warm (not hot), moist soil and provide humidity—this can be done by putting a plastic covering over the top of your container.
- Roots will start to grow over the next few weeks. When you’re certain they’ve grown enough, uproot the cutting from this container and transplant it into its new home.
Propagate Aeonium tabuliforme Using Leaf Cuttings
You can propagate Aeonium tabuliforme using leaf cuttings.
- Take a leaf cutting from a healthy specimen during the spring or autumn, as new growth is forming. Trim away any damaged leaves and leaf stems before taking the cutting.
- Separate the leaf from the stem where it attaches to the stem.
- Allow the cutting to callus over for one week to prevent root rot.
- Then, plant it in soil with good drainage and decent airflow. Choose a relatively smaller pot so you don’t have to waste too much potting soil on what will be a temporary home for the plant.
- Plant your callused over-cuttings in the pot.
- Place the pot somewhere warm and sunny but out of the way of direct sunlight. Grow lights work well too.
- Make sure there is plenty of humidity while they’re growing new roots, so mist them with water twice daily if necessary.
- When the new roots have formed, and your cuttings have started to grow leaves, you can repot them into a larger pot.
Propagate Aeonium tabuliforme Using Seeds
Propagating Aeonium tabuliforme using seeds is an excellent way to ensure you have a good supply of these beautiful succulent plants. The seedlings will take several years to reach maturity, but they will eventually produce new plants. The process is simple.
The hardest step in propagation by seeds is finding the seeds themselves. While some gardeners might get lucky, it’s unrealistic to expect seeds from homegrown specimens. You’ll have to order them from a specialist.
- First, bury the seeds one inch deep in a pot or tray filled with moist, well-draining growing medium.
- Cover them lightly with more soil if needed to keep the light out until they germinate (which might take several weeks).
- Maintain temperatures between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit and humid conditions.
- Wait for seeds to form into seedlings and transplant them into a fresh pot.
Aeoniums are monocarpic plants, producing only one set of rosettes during their lifetimes and then dying after flowering. Because of this, you may find several small rosettes at different stages of development growing close together on your plant throughout the summer (and winter).
The newer ones will eventually catch up with the older ones as they mature into full-size rosettes. Maturity occurs after about 3-5 years. Before that, there is little chance your Aeonium will flower.
The blooms of the Aeonium tabuliforme are found on racemes, which are long, thin stalks bearing flower clusters at their apex. These blooms appear around midsummer and are small and star-shaped.
Aeonium tabuliforme is considered to be non-toxic for 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.
You should also be aware of the following pests that can harm your Aeonium tabuliforme:
- Placing under harsh sunlight
- Using poorly drained potting mediums
- Fertilizing during dormancy
Overwatering is one of the most common mistakes new gardeners make, even with plants like Aeonium tabuliforme. As a result, the leaves will turn yellow and then brown, sometimes accompanied by wilting.
If you see this happening to your plant, remove all soil from around the roots and leave it out in the sun for a few hours. Then put it back into its pot and repot it into fresh cactus soil (which drains well). You can also try pruning off damaged edges on older leaves if they have turned brown, as this may help.
If your plant is still not recovering after removing all excess moisture from its roots and giving them some time alone in bright sunlight, there are other things you can try:
- Move it to a higher light level (but don’t forget to move it back up when the plant recovers).
- Reduce watering frequency while increasing water volume per watering session (for example: instead of watering once every week, do so every two weeks).
While overwatering is much more common, underwatering is also an issue. If you suspect that your Aeonium is being underwatered, here are some signs to look for:
- The leaves will begin to turn brown and shrivel up.
- The plant may also shed its leaves in response to this stress. This can be a normal part of its growth pattern, but if it happens suddenly, it could indicate that something has gone wrong with the watering schedule (or lack thereof).
If you notice any of these symptoms, increase your watering frequency slightly and see if that helps.
It is important to note that Aeonium tabuliforme is a slow-growing, low-maintenance succulent. Excess fertilization can cause root burn, which will cause your plant to undergo unnatural growth and become stunted.
The recommended time to fertilize Aeonium plants begins at their growth phase, usually in the fall. You can use any balanced fertilizer for your plants, but be careful not to over-fertilize. This succulent foliage will become even more colorful and vibrant when applied correctly.
You may have heard of frost damage, but what is it? Frost damage is when your plant has been exposed to cold temperatures, and the leaves have either fallen off or become damaged.
The most common symptoms of frost damage are white spots or dead patches on the leaves and stems.
Frost damage can be prevented by limiting windows and doors in your home, using curtains or blinds to keep out drafts, placing plants near sources of heat (such as heaters), making sure that there’s plenty of insulation, and other measures. But if it occurs anyway, there are ways you can fix this issue!
If the damage isn’t too severe, the rest will recover over time if you cut off the affected parts.
If you notice your Aeonium tabuliforme dropping leaves in the summer, it’s nothing to worry about. Aeoniums shed their leaves naturally during their summer dormancy, so there’s no need to panic or force the plant to do something it isn’t meant to do.
Your plant should sprout new leaves in time for fall. Keep an eye on it for signs of stress, and ensure you don’t overwater it over the summer.
Aeonium tabuliforme (Dinner Plate Aeonium) – Best Growing Tips (Video)