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How to Look After Aeoniums - A Succulents Care Guide

Here's some tips on how to care for your Aeonium, so that you can make the most of your Tree Houseleek succulent.

An Aeonium Zwartkop being held up at the Garden Geeks store. | Garden Geeks UK
An Aeonium Zwartkop at the Garden Geeks store.

Tree Houseleek

Commonly referred to as the 'Tree Houseleek' due to the pretty, symmetrical, free leaf rosettes that for off their chunky trunk-like basal stems, Aeonium is a genus of subtropical succulents comprising of around 35 different species.

A member of the Crassulaceae family, Aeonium are native to Northern Africa and the surrounding Canary, Cape Verde and Madeira Islands, although they were grown throughout the Mediterranean during the classical era too.


Like a lot of succulents, outdoors your Aeonium will flourish in full sun to partial shade. If you have a particular hot summer, you may want to consider light shade.

Indoors, you'll want to give you Aeonium as much bright indirect light as possible. If you home doesn't get a lot of natural light, you may want to consider a grow light, to help give your houseplant a boost and stop it growing leggy towards the nearest light source.


Although they are succulents, Aeoniums require a little bit of moisture due to their thin root system, though they still do enjoy good drainage and not-too-dense soil.

Adding perlite and a little bit of sand to a general potting mix will help create a soil that drains well and doesn't compact too much, but retains a little bit more moisture than a generic succulent/cacti potting mix. A general succulent/cacti potting mix will work, but you may need to check for watering a little more regularly.

If you're growing your Aeonium outdoors in a flowerbed, you'll want to make sure your soil is porous enough, so that your aeoniums don't rot during a period of particularly rainy weather .


Like most succulents, Aeoniums are prone to root rot if overwatered or allowed to sit in soaking soil for too long. However, they do like a little more moisture than lots of other succulents.

To mimic the rain in their natural habitats, In spring and autumn water your Aeonium well, allowing the soil to mostly dry out (but not fully) before watering again. This will probably be every 7-10 days, but will depend on the climate.

In summer, (when the plant is dormant) and in winter (when its colder, wetter and the soil takes longer to dry), you can water your Aeonium a little more sparingly - once the soil has almost fully dried. This may be as little as once a month.

Aeoniums are succulents, and can store water in their fleshy leaves, so erring on the side of caution is always safer than drowning your plant. If your Aeonium is not getting enough water, you may notice some of its leaves start to dry up, curl or drop.


Aeoniums don't really require any extremes in humidity, normal household humidity is fine. Avoid excessive humidity and if growing outdoors in somewhere humid that rains a lot, make sure your soil is well draining.


Being a plant that enjoy a Mediterranean climate, Aeoniums don't really require any extremes in conditions. Generally, they like it not too hot, not too cold, not too dry and not too wet and can cope with a temperature range of 4-38°C.

Depending on your temperature and climate you should adapt your watering regime.

If you are growing your Aeonium outdoors and live in a rather hot and dry climate, you'll want to make sure they're not left to go too dry and get some shade. If you get cold winters, some Aeoniums can tolerate as low as 2 degrees Celsius, but more tropical varieties may suffer.


Almost all types of Aeonium / Tree Houseleek are non-toxic and pet safe, though we'd always recommend keeping your hungry moggies away from eating plants where possible.


Aeoniums are unlike some other succulents, as their main period of growth is during winter and/or spring and the plant usually goes dormant in summer.

Tree Houseleeks stand out from many of their relatives due to their free petal bearing flowers. Generally, Aeoniums are monocarpic, which means rosettes perish after flowering. However, don't worry, the plant will usually branch or offset to produce even more enjoyable displays, becoming a lovely tangle of twisting trunks and symmetrical rosettes.

Aeoniums are on the slower-growing side of succulents, with some species taking as long as five years to produce flowers from their central rosettes. On average, Aeoniums will grow to around 3 feet tall, though some species can grow to 6 feet, or as little as several inches high, depending on growing conditions. Aeoniums can form large bushes of rosettes, or kept in pots as a single stem too.

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