Any Aeonium buffs out there?

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Mike P
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Re: Any Aeonium buffs out there?

Post by Mike P » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:36 pm

I treat mine as summer growers but provide enough moisture through the winter to stop too many leaves shrivelling. The winter growth tends to be pale but I find they colour up nicely enough when placed outside for summer.
Anyone else suffer from Tortrix moth caterpillars attacking them at this time of year? A lack of visits to the greenhouse has allowed them to munch the growing points out of one of mine without being detected.
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Re: Any Aeonium buffs out there?

Post by Liz M » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:33 pm

I treat my Aeoniums as winter growers, in that I keep them above freezing and water them enough (really just damp) to stop them from dropping too many leaves in winter. They lose their colour over autumn and winter then pick up better colour as spring moves on, then I put them outside when fear of frost has passed. They have their best growth period during autumn, once the weather cools and it is still warm enough for them to grow, as long as they are watered. They get watered well in spring and early summer. In the heat of summer, as we had last year, I put mine in the shade as they were looking stressed but always water the ones that can take it, mostly Aeonium arboreum and its hybrids. Some you dare not water such as tabuliforme and aureum and it's counterparts from the other islands. It pays to know which can take water in summer and which can not.
As for the names of the ones Rodsmith has shown. The first I suspect is a hybrid and could be one I have learnt is Aeonium tenese and the second I can not tell as it looks a little young and is slightly etiolated.
Obsessive Crassulaceae lover, especially Aeoniums but also grow, Aloes, Agaves, Haworthias and a select number of Cacti.
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Re: Any Aeonium buffs out there?

Post by rthr » Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:06 pm

I have aeoniums growing wildly out in the garden (albeit in SE Spain) where they get full morning sun all year round, rainfall only in Autumn/Spring (if they're lucky), and temperatures generally ranging from -5 to 45C. I give them no special attention. In summer they're more-or-less dormant - they have fewer, paler leaves and those that remain curve inwards, shielding the tight rosettes which unfurl to some extent come autumn/winter. My A. arboreums are currently in full bloom and attracting the busy local bees. We had fairly decent rains in October and it last rained here at the start of November; yesterday's outdoor temps were Min: -3C; Max: 19C.

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Re: Any Aeonium buffs out there?

Post by rodsmith » Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:17 am

Thanks again for all the additional replies. There doesn't seem to be a consensus over growing/dormancy periods so I'll follow the motto "moderation in everything" and give them a bit of water in the winter and enough in summer to prevent total death. My A. simsii gets very little water from April to September and by then it is looking very much the worse for wear. It is amazing how it flourishes after watering has commenced in early autumn. This is a photo I took on 4 January this year.
Aeonium simsii 4 January 2019.JPG
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Re: Any Aeonium buffs out there?

Post by Chez2 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:11 am

el48tel wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:23 pm
Chez2 wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:01 pm
I'm not knowledgeable but have kept a few aeonium for over a decade. Some grow too big so I start again from cuttings. I would say they are summer growers in the UK. Mine grow fast in summer but in winter they don't grow much, even if kept warm. If they do grow its difficult to stop them getting etiolated. Even with slow growth I find the dark purple ones lose their dark colour due to lack of light. I have kept them in a heated outbuilding, greenhouse and polytunnel.
Hate to disagree but it is loss or lack of development of the other plant colours like xanthophylls and a higher concentrations of the chlorophylls in new growth because of light which changes the colour from reds browns purples to yellow-green. As the leaf ages the other pigments increase. In Fall colours in tree foliage the decrease in temperature causes chlorophyll to be lost first and the remaining other pigments are thus in higher concentration and the Fall colours "develop", when actually it is the ratio of the pigment concentrations which are responsible for the colour. Some pigments are in higher concentration in the top surface of the leaf rather than the underside resulting in leaves looking a different colour on the top compared to the bottom.
Its not just the new growth that is affected. If they have insufficient light the existing tissue can become paler. If the plants grow too quickly eg in a greenhouse in summer their new growth can also be pale but does become darker when pigment develops.

In my plants its nothing to do with the colour difference between the top and under surface of the leaf, they are both the same. When grown outside in summer both surfaces are both dark. I have seen someone grow them very quickly in summer in a greenhouse and the new growth takes time for the pigment to develop.

The aeonium I keep grow in UK summer outside. They hardly move when kept either in a heated outbuilding or greenhouse / polytunnel in winter. The growth is much better shaped and the correct colour when it grows outside in summer. In winter I struggle to keep them in good condition and they end up losing some leaves.
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Re: Any Aeonium buffs out there?

Post by Stevium » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:17 am

Jumping on this topic to ask about my Aeonium sunburst. I've had it since it was tiny and it's quadrupled in size since I got it. The leaves are healthy and there's plenty of colour on them, but the stalk is weak and is unable to support the leaves without flopping over. Is there anything I can do to remedy this?

If it's relevant, I'm growing indoors in a south west facing window.
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Re: Any Aeonium buffs out there?

Post by Liz M » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:42 pm

Hi Stevium. The stem is floppy because you are growing inside, presumably in summer, as well as winter. I definitely recommend growing it outside in summer, protecting it from excess rain and sun. In winter, don't water it very much. Too much water will encourage it to grow in weak light, which will have caused the stem to be weak as well.
Obsessive Crassulaceae lover, especially Aeoniums but also grow, Aloes, Agaves, Haworthias and a select number of Cacti.
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Re: Any Aeonium buffs out there?

Post by MikeT » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:39 pm

I find most Aeoniums go dormant in the winter, and grow happily in summer. A. 'Velour' and 'Zwartkop' go green in the centres of the rosettes over winter, due to low light levels, but colour up well once they start growth in the spring in higher light levels.
Aeonium saundersii goes dormant in summer heat, then grows as temperatures fall in the autumn. Water in summer doesn't provoke growth. It's the only Aeonium I have that behaves this way, but I have only a limited number of species/cultivars, there may well be others that follow this pattern.
Stevium wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:17 am
Jumping on this topic to ask about my Aeonium sunburst. I've had it since it was tiny and it's quadrupled in size since I got it. The leaves are healthy and there's plenty of colour on them, but the stalk is weak and is unable to support the leaves without flopping over. Is there anything I can do to remedy this?
I'd agree with Liz, but add the suggestion of beheading the stem in the spring, once growth has started, and re-root this as a new plant. You may get offsets forming on the remaining stem, but no guarantee at all for this.
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Re: Any Aeonium buffs out there?

Post by Paul in Essex » Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:46 pm

Interestingly (well I find it interesting!) the ones I grow outside won't shift to summer growing - they insist on growing in winter. Which given that there aren't many hardy ones, does limit it rather. But simsii, smithii and spathulatum just reduce down to a tiny little bud in summer: a host of hybrids (largely with simsii in the mix to give hardiness) refuse point blank to grow during summer. Same with Dudleya.
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