Aeonium is a type of succulent that’s known for the way its “blooms” branch out. The leafy greens start as rosettes, then eventually grow into longer stems that host multiple plants. You’ve seen the pictures of the Aeoniums that are just flourishing and covered in rosettes, and this is what you want to have in your garden. But what if your Aeonium isn’t branching out?
Aeoniums should branch out naturally, but let’s face it, in this day of age, who has time to wait for results anymore. We want to know how to make your Aeonium start branching out as soon as possible. Keep reading to find out five things you need to know about making an Aeonium branch out.
Table of Contents
- 1 Know Your Growing Conditions
- 2 Know Your Variety of Aeonium
- 3 Know What Might Prevent Your Aeonium From Branching Out
- 4 Know How to Encourage Your Aeonium to Branch Out
- 5 Know How to Keep Your Aeonium Healthy After it Branches Out
Know Your Growing Conditions
Aeoniums need just the right growing conditions to thrive, step one in the process of getting them to branch out. While proper growing conditions are the foundation for a healthy plant, it won’t guarantee that your Aeonium branches out, but without the right conditions, you can be sure that it won’t happen.
So start with these growing conditions to make sure you’re on the right path.
Getting the Right Conditions
Aeoniums grow in a Mediterranean climate, so they like their temperatures to be nice and mild. They like warm winters and cool summers, and Aeoniums also like a bit more moisture than other succulent plants do, so you want to make sure to keep their soil that they are growing in is nice and damp.
Although Aeoniums are very resilient and do just fine with a bit of neglect, there are still some things you need to do to properly care for your beautiful Aeoniums. These things would be:
- Having good quality soil
- Having a proper watering schedule
- Proper temperature and humidity
- Adequate light
- Fertilizer if you want it
The right growing conditions are key to getting your Aeonium to grow strong, healthy branches. As long as you give the plant what it needs, it will do a lot of the work for you. Just make sure to keep it watered properly and watch the branches grow, and the rosettes bloom!
Choosing High-Quality Soil
Choosing high-quality soil is super important to make sure you promote healthy growth in your Aeonium. One thing you want to remember with Aeoniums is that they have very shallow root systems, and keeping those roots moist is crucial. There are a couple of qualities you want your soil to have, these qualities are:
- Good moisture retention
- Proper drainage
It’s important to make sure that your soil has these qualities because if it doesn’t, then you run a couple of risks doing so. You could potentially:
- Dry out your plant because of bad moisture retention.
- Get root rot or fungal infections from not having proper drainage.
You don’t have to go through these issues, though. These issues are easily avoided issues as long as you take the proper precautions to make sure to prevent them. Taking these precautions is going to encourage the strong growth of your plants.
Mixing Up the Soil
There are a few things that make good soil for your Aeonium. You could buy something premixed, but it may be best to make your mixed soil. Good options for soil could be:
- Sandy Loam with perlite added
- Regular Potting mix with perlite added
There is also a mix that is recommended for Aeoniums posted by Joy Us Garden that you may be interested in making. The mix consists of:
- 50% succulent potting mix
- 50% regular potting mix
- A couple of handfuls of coco coir
- A couple of handfuls of compost
- A couple of handfuls of orchid bark
- ½” of worm compost on the top layer
The soil you choose to use will be important to help stimulate the proper growth from your Aeonium for it to branch out. The higher quality the ingredients you put into your soil, the higher quality of plant that you are going to grow from that soil.
Setting Your Watering Schedule
Water it’s one of the many sources of life. The proper watering schedule for your Aeonium will depend on a few factors. The factors that can determine what a proper watering schedule for your Aeonium would look like are:
- The size of your container
- The moisture retention of your soil
- The level of drainage that your soil has
- Temperature and humidity of the environment
A good rule of thumb for watering your Aeonium would be to water when the first inch of soil or whatever medium you’re using dries out. You want to water this way because the root system of the Aeoniums is very shallow. If you were to let a large container completely dry out, then your roots could have long been dry before then.
How Much to Water?
When the time does come to water, make sure you soak the soil like you would with other succulents. After this, just keep an eye on that first inch or so of soil, so you know the next time you need to water them.
Create the Right Climate
Aeoniums grow naturally in the nice mild Mediterranean climate. So you could bet that these guys want warm winters and cool summers. One thing these guys like and need a bit more of than other succulents do would be water.
Aeoniums are used to having a little bit more humidity and moisture soil. The closer you could have them to their natural climate, the more naturally they will grow.
What Can You do to Create the Right Climate?
So we know the climate is really important, but what can we do to keep the proper climate? There are a few things you could do to help keep the climate right. You could:
- Keep them shaded when it is too hot outside
- Keep them in brighter areas when it is too cold
- Bring them inside when neither of those options is available
Aeoniums do their best when they are kept at around temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees and have their soil and roots kept nice and damp.
If you can, do your best to make sure you give your Aeoniums the proper temperature and humidity; you could look forward to blooming bunches of flowers on the many branches of your Aeonium.
Aeoniums are strong succulents, but they still don’t like either extremely hot or cold. What happens to your Aeonium depends on whether it was too hot or too cold outside.
|Too Hot||– Leaves curling up |
– Leaves turning yellow
– Leaves turning crispy
– Leads to dormancy
|Too Cold||– Leaves get mushy|
– Leaves go limp
Making sure your Aeoniums have the proper environment to grow will be one of your best bets to make sure they will grow how they should and produce a lot of branches.
Lighting, one of the many necessities for plants to be able to thrive. Whether you grow indoors or outdoors will make a difference in the type of lighting that you will need for your Aeonium.
Here are some things to keep in mind, lighting-wise, for indoor vs. outdoor growing:
|Indoor Growing||With indoor growing, you want to provide bright but indirect light to your Aeoniums.|
|Outdoor Growing||With outdoor growing, you could go with full sun or partial shade, depending on how hot it gets around your area.|
Just like soil and water, lighting is going to be one of the most important things to help your plant grow strong and healthy.
Feed Them Right!
If you choose to fertilize your succulents, you could feed them a fertilizer at half strength once a month during the growing season. Just make sure you don’t fertilize them in the summer when they are dormant.
Know Your Variety of Aeonium
There are many varieties of Aeoniums, and each variety has its characteristics that you may want to look for to make sure you’re going to have a look that you’re going for. Aeoniums come in a lot of shapes, different colors, they range in size, and they have different environmental needs as well. Some of these varieties may not branch out as much as others, so if you want a plant full of branches and rosettes, you have to make sure to get the right variety.
Here are a few of the varieties of Aeonium that you might come across when plant shopping at your local greenhouse. Keep in mind. Some are more common than others:
|Aeonium Undulatum||– Light green|
– Large spoon-shaped leaves
– Stalky stems
– Branch out down low
– Grow over 3 feet tall
|Aeonium lancerottense||– Dense and bushy growers|
– Lots of thick branches
– Grow around 2 feet tall
|Aeonium urbicum||– Grow up to 6 feet tall|
– Rosettes also get bigger
– Long branches
|Aeomium Arboreum ‘Zwartkop’||– Deep dark purple leaves|
– About 4 feet tall
– Often branches closer to the base of the stem
It’s really important to know your variety because even though most Aeoniums will develop branches naturally, there are still a lot of characteristics that are different between species that might impact development and appearance.
Know What Might Prevent Your Aeonium From Branching Out
Pretty much the biggest thing that is going to stop your Aeonium from branching out properly is going to be not properly taking care of the plant. This could take the form of many things. For example:
- Bad soil
- Over or underwatering
- Improper temperature
Low-quality soil is often the source of many plant issues. There are a couple of problems that you could have with your soil. These problems would be:
- Poor drainage
- Poor moisture retention
Either of them could be very detrimental to the proper growth of your plants. So you want to make sure that the soil you are using is the right kind of mix for your plant. Otherwise, you won’t get proper growth from your Aeoniums.
|Poor Drainage||– You could accidentally overwater.|
– Increase your risk of root rot.
– Increase the risk of fungal infection.
|Poor Moisture Retention||– You risk the roots drying out early.|
Make sure before you plant your succulent that you have properly mixed soil with growing your Aeoniums in. Having either of these issues will keep your plants from growing as they should.
Overwatering and Underwatering
Overwatering and underwatering will end up causing the same problems as if you were to have poor moisture retention or poor drainage in your soil.
Here a few signs of over or under watering that you could look for:
|Overwatering||– The leaves become bloated|
– The leaves get soft
– The leaves may end up falling
– Could lead to root rot
– Could lead to fungal infections
|Underwatering||– The leaves fall off to save water|
– The leaves shrivel up
– The leaves can dry up
– The leaves feel soft
With ideal conditions, you want to keep your Aeoniums at 65 to 75 degrees and keep the soil nice and damp.
These guys like the nice mild Mediterranean climate, so the closer you could get to give them that, the more naturally they will grow, and you could expect to get plenty of branches with lots of rosettes that will bloom big beautiful flowers.
If you have improper conditions, though, and your Aeoniums get too hot or too cold, you could have a few issues. These issues could be:
|Too Hot||– Go into dormancy|
– Leaves curl up
|Too Cold||– Leaves will get soft|
– Leaves may start to droop
– If severe will just deflate
If you have them outdoors and it’s over 75 degrees outside, maybe try to find them a little bit of shade or some sort of cover to keep them cool. If it’s under 65 degrees, then you may want to look into bringing them inside to keep them warm.
Pests, no one wants them pestering around anywhere, especially not on your Aeoniums! There are a few pests that you have to worry about with your Aeoniums. These pests include:
- Spider mites
Pests can stop the precious growth that you’ve been waiting for! If an infestation isn’t taken care of as soon as possible, it could have fatal consequences for your special Aeoniums.
How do These Pests Affect my Aeonium?
|Aphids||– They suck sap|
– Transfer viruses to the plant
– Weaken the plant
– Stunt the growth of the plan
– Excrete honeydew that could lead to fungal infections
|Mealybugs||– They suck sap|
– They eat the leaves, and the open wounds leave the succulent prone to bacterial or fungal infections
– The leaves look deformed where the bugs caused damage
– They leave honeydew which could lead to infections
|Spider Mites||– Puncture the leaves to drink the juices|
– They leave a bunch of white spots on the plant
– They cause leaves to fall off
– They will spin webs around your leaves
Know How to Encourage Your Aeonium to Branch Out
Even though you’re doing all the right things to promote healthy growth and development in your Aeonium, it still might struggle to branch out on its own. But there’s good news! You can give it a little nudge to help the process along.
Suppose you want to go from having a lonely bare stem that looks like a decorative lollipop to having a bounty of branches with more of those vibrant rosettes. Besides waiting for them to grow out and branch out naturally, you could cut the stem of the Aeonium to make it branch out.
How to Force Your Aeonium to Branch Out
- You will need some nice clean shears to cut right on the stem. You’ll be cutting the stem of your Aeonium.
- For a taller plant, you will want to cut more. You may cut up to 6 inches. For smaller plants, you may only need to cut the stem down to as small as half of an inch.
Once you’ve trimmed the stem, there’s room for new growth, allowing the stems to branch out. But this still takes time, so don’t expect results overnight. It’s also important to remain diligent in caring for your plant while the new branches develop.
Know How to Keep Your Aeonium Healthy After it Branches Out
Now all you need to do is give them all the care and love that they need to grow properly. Always make sure to:
- Have high-quality soil that drains and retains moisture well
- Find the proper watering schedule to keep your roots damp
- Try to keep your plants nice and cool. 65 to 75 degrees
- Make sure you have the proper lighting
- Check for pests regularly
Now that you know how to get your Aeonium to start branching out and what could prevent it from doing so, there’s only one thing you need to do from here. Well, it’s a lot of things, but they bundle into one.
You just need to make sure you tend to your Aeoniums to make sure they have just enough of what they need. As long as you do this, you could expect your Aeoniums to grow lots of branches ready to bloom.