There are quite a few plants among indoor succulents both with a classic appearance and adorning themselves with their unusual details. One of the most popular representatives of the Tolstiaceae family - Aeonium is rightly considered a plant not only hardy and long-lived (as its name suggests), but also extremely spectacular. Juicy leaves collected in flower-like rosettes most often rise on bare shoots, creating a feeling of exotic trees in a mini format. Though not easy to grow, Aeonium domesticum variegatum can be the true stars of both large room collections and decorate a table setting or work corner.
The juicy green rosettes-flowers of Eoniums
The appearance of Eoniums reminds many florists of the garden star among succulents - the amazing "stone rose" molodyl. Aeoniums do form rosettes of leaves, also similar to rose or dahlia flowers. But these plants are very different in character and boast a much greater variety in height, growth form and leaf color. Among aeoniums there are both the most modest and unremarkable room succulents, whose beauty can be appreciated only at close range, and imposing exotics, in which it is not so easy to recognize a decorative and deciduous culture from the Tolstiaceae family.
Eonium (Aeonium) - a large genus of succulents, developing as a compact shrub or herbaceous crop. They are true long-lived plants that add decades to the interior of rooms. Like all succulents, eoniums are characterized by fleshy, water-accumulating leaves and shoots. The stems are powerful, straight, branched or growing one at a time, gradually turning woody and glistening with markings from fallen old leaves that resemble scars. Some species of Aeonium form spectacular aerial roots.
The height of these plants varies from a modest 10-15 cm to almost 1 m. At the same time, in different species, the stems can be both pronounced, resembling woody plants, and almost completely hidden under squat rosettes of leaves. The fleshy leaves are always sessile, tapering to the base, shaped like petals or rhombuses. Rare pubescence or absolute glossy surface is combined with edges decorated with fine white cilia or small denticles.
Leaves are gathered into very dense, flower-like rosettes, arranged in them in a tiled, patterned pattern. Rosettes vary in diameter from a few centimeters to almost 1 m, but are always located at the ends of the stems.
The coloring of the leaves varies from the usual light green to various reddish, brown, purplish hues, most often unevenly distributed on the leaf plate. Aeonium blooms very rarely in indoor conditions. Pyramidal brushes of inflorescences of bright yellow color are very spectacular and last for a long time. But the lack of flowering has its own advantage. Species which form a single rosette of leaves most often die after blooming.
The best species of indoor eoniums are rightly ranked:
- Eonium noble (Aeonium nobile) is a spectacular indoor succulent with edge-bending, very lush olive leaves that form flower-shaped rosettes up to half a meter in diameter.
- Eonium burchardii (Aeonium x burchardii) is an undersized but very showy hybrid species with a rather dark beautiful stem and rosettes of leaves up to 10 cm diameter that have a pointed apex and brownish-orange edge transitioning to a bright green color at the leaf base.
- Eonium ornamental (Aeonium decorum) is one of the most spectacular branching species of Eonium, developing as a remarkably delicate, loose shrub whose rosettes of leaves rise to a height of 50 cm. Scabrous shoots with lozenge-shaped scars and densely arranged whitish outgrowths are crowned with elegant, graceful, miniature rosette-like rosettes. The greenish-pinkish smooth leaves, up to 3 mm long, look like young rose leaves due to the small, sharp denticles along the edge.
- Eonium canariense (Aeonium canariense) seems to consist of rosettes alone. The stems of this succulent are practically invisible, the rosette of leaves, especially on young plants, practically lying on the ground. The leaves are unusually large, with an original curve of leaf plates, an unusual color, seemingly brown-green. Gradually the rosette of leaves becomes loose, and may reach about half a meter in diameter.
- Eonium virginum (Aeonium canariense var. virgineum) is a charming succulent whose most attractive part is the thick cilia at the edge of the leaf plates. It forms almost flat, very beautiful rosettes of rounded leaves. Produces many leaves, which all together form a cushion-like appearance of numerous green flowers. The corduroy-like foliage, rich green coloration, and light fragrance that emanates from the greenery only add to the charm of this wonderfully succulent.
- Eonium domestic (Aeonium domesticum, today reclassified as hybrid Aichryson domestic (Aichryson x domesticum)) also branches quite strongly, but is limited to only 30 cm in height. It has almost prostrate, arching branches only at the top, and darker, obovate leaves with a rounded edge. Its leaf rosettes resemble those of a zinnia flowering.
- Eonium undulatum (Aeonium undulatum) is a showy but somewhat unusual and very powerful plant with a thick, scarred, silvery stem and large leaf rosettes up to 30 cm in diameter, resembling a half-opened bud. Leaves of this species are roundish, strongly narrowed at the base, densely packed, brightly colored.
- Aeonium arboreum (Aeonium arboreum) - spectacular semi-bush with practically not branched shoots, woody only at the base, dense rosette of leaves located on the tops of shoots, colored mainly in brown with rare splashes of light green. The leaf rosettes reach 20 cm in diameter, are spatulate in shape, and due to the different angles of bending they appear more luxuriant.
- Eonium holochrysum (Aeonium arboretum var. holochrysum) forms original bushes with straight, slightly drooping shoots only at the ends and narrow, spatulate, very thick leaves, with a purple stripe along the leaf margin and in the very center. The yellow-green color combined with the colored stripes looks very variegated. The leaf rosettes reach up to 20 cm in diameter.
- Eonium lindleyi (Aeonium lindleyi) is a compact shrub, reaching a height of only 30 cm, but strongly branching, with very thin curved brown shoots crowned by dense small rosettes of dark green. The slightly pubescent leaves with a round edge resemble those of the ochytes. The leaves of this species are sticky and rather fragrant.
- Eonium tabuliforme (Aeonium tabuliforme) is one of the most stunted species, forming a sessile, almost flat plate-like rosette of sessile, petiolate arranged leaves, creating a kind of green "boulder" up to 50 cm diameter. The stem is strongly shortened, almost inconspicuous. Narrow at the base, the leaves turn into an expanded shovel-shaped top edge with beautiful whitish cilia. It stands out for its perfect symmetry and stunningly beautiful tortoise-like patterns.
- Eonium haworthii (Aeonium haworthii) is a spectacular branching "tree" with unusual widely spaced thin stems and massive aerial roots that seem to prop up the arched, curving shoots. At the tops of the stems are dense rosette-like green flowers with gray-green leaves decorated with a reddish stripe along the edge.
Virtually all eoniums are represented not only by species plants, but also by decorative varietal forms. Especially popular are all varieties of Variegatum and the so-called "black" varieties.
Home care for Aeonium
Growing Aeonium is very easy. It is a light-loving and sensitive to excessive moisture succulent plant, which despite its natural preference for cool overwintering is well tolerated even at room temperatures. It is not at all difficult to take care of the Aeonium, this plant is suitable even for beginner florists. Compact and amazingly beautiful in detail, they require attention on only one parameter - eoniums are meant to be admired. They are piece accents that deserve a special place in the interior.
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Lighting for eonium
All eoniums without exception are sun-loving plants that, even in winter, require the selection of the brightest lighted locations. For variety plants, as well as for species with variegated leaves, any shading causes a complete loss of the characteristic coloration. Moreover, even in a light penumbra in any Aeonium stems become much thinner, elongated, curved, and plants form small and not as effective rosettes.
For this room succulent preferably choose only southern locations on windowsills. The windows oriented strictly to the south or southeast are considered optimal. However, during the hottest period in summer, when the plants are at temperatures outside the optimum range, it is better to protect the fleshy leaves of this succulent from the sunlight. This succulent does not like artificial extra light in any form.
Despite its love for as bright light as possible to the heat-loving plants aeonium cannot be ranked. This culture looks most impressive only if optimal conditions are maintained, alternating different modes of maintenance during the phase of active development and during the resting period. Aeonium feels great at air temperatures of 20 to 25 degrees during the spring and summer. Lower temperatures can be destructive for the plant, but higher ones can increase sensitivity to direct sunlight and dependence of the plant on fresh air.
In winter all eonium species without exception prefer coolness, keeping in the temperature range from 10 to 12 degrees. But it is not necessary to be afraid of normal room conditions. Unlike many other plants, aeonium adapts well to normal room conditions even during the winter. The plant will form fewer rosettes, and their diameter will decrease a little. In summer it feels perfectly well in the fresh air, in the garden or on the balcony. At the same time, the obligatory endurance affects the beauty and attractiveness of both the leaf rosettes themselves and the color of the leaf plates. You can keep Aeonium in the fresh air all summer long. It can be taken out as soon as the night temperature rises above 10 degrees and left until the first cold snap arrives. During the rest of the year the plant should be ventilated as often as possible.
Watering and humidity
Like all succulents, eoniums need fairly moderate watering. Between watering sessions, the soil should have time to dry out almost completely. With less frequent watering, even very busy flower growers can afford to grow the plant. In winter the procedures should be very rare, only not allowing the substrate to dry out completely (but the humidity is significantly reduced compared to the period of active development). Water should not get on the base of the rosette and stem, the drops should not accumulate in the center of the bush in any case. Getting the stems wet is the most common cause of a variety of rot and fungal infections for the aeonium. Therefore, watering for this plant should be carried out strictly along the edge of the pot.
An increase in air humidity is absolutely unnecessary to aeonium. They perfectly tolerate even the driest air and the work of heating systems, do not need even rare spraying, including during the hottest periods in summer. In fact, all humidification procedures are reduced to regular removal of accumulated dust.
Fertilizer for Aeonium
Fertilizer this succulent needs only during active growth from spring through summer. At the same time, feeding for eoniums is carried out even less often than for cacti. One application every 2-3 weeks is sufficient for this plant.
Mixtures of fertilizers for cacti or other succulents are best for the Eonium.
Trimming of Eoniums
The Eonium tolerates a forming pruning, not cardinal, if necessary. Plants need it only if the shoots are too thin and stretch out, plants lose their decorativeness. In early spring, at the first signs of the beginning of growth, overgrown, curved shoots are cut off and used for rooting. On the remaining stumps, eoniums usually form a large number of young rosettes.
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Transplanting eoniums and substrate
Like all succulents, eoniums need a water permeable, very light and loose substrate. Optimal for it are considered soil mixtures consisting of equal parts of leaf, sod soil, coarse sand and peat. Ready-made substrate intended for cacti is also suitable for this plant in terms of its characteristics. Adding charcoal to the soil allows you to prevent the majority of diseases of aeonium.
Transplanting plants also will not give trouble to florists. Only young plants are transplanted annually, but adults need to replace the container and substrate only with a frequency of once every 2-3 years. Plants can both be transplanted and partially remove the substrate. But since aeoniums are hypersensitive to root rot, for them necessarily lay a high layer of drainage with a minimum height of 7-8 cm. It is desirable to keep the depth level the same.
Diseases and pests eoniums
Eoniums cannot boast an enviable resistance to pests and diseases. They are particularly fond of powdery worms, which settle in the dense rosettes between the leaves. It is very easy to notice the defeat of pests, because of them the growth stops immediately, the attractive appearance of the rosettes gradually changes to neglected. It is better to fight any pests by mechanical washing with a soapy solution. Insecticides for this culture are used only as a last resort.
A variety of fungal diseases are also very common on aeoniums. But they occur in the plant only if care is not taken, in particular, if careless watering, during which the base of the bush or rosettes gets wet.
Prevalent problems in cultivation:
- extension of shoots, distortion of the plant and loss of attractive appearance when the light is not bright enough;
- appearance of yellow and brown spots when overwatering;
- appearance of dark zones on leaves in shade;
- oppressed appearance, loss of color when lack of access to fresh air.
Propagation of eoniums
These succulents are very easy to propagate. The method of obtaining new plants from seeds as well as rooting cuttings is suitable for eoniums.
Seeds of the plant are very small, they are simply scattered on the surface, without covering with substrate, and after light spraying with a sprayer cover with film or glass. If the air temperature exceeds 20 degrees Celsius, they germinate very quickly and give friendly sprouts. Growing the plant requires a gradual change of individual containers.
Cutting is an even simpler method. For rooting, stems with rosettes of leaves on top are used. Shoots are cut with a sharp knife at an angle of 45 degrees, immediately treating the surface of the cut with crushed charcoal and letting it dry for 2-3 days. Then cuttings with leaf rosettes are planted in a pot with a mixture of leaf soil and sand or in clean sand, deepening by 2-3 cm. With moderate watering and light substrate moisture, plants form roots even without greenhouse conditions, but keep them in diffuse light.
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