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02/04/2014 at 14:50

I acquired a small rooted cutting last year at a plant swap. It has grown well and was over wintered on a bedroom window sill, with hind sight I think it was a little too warm but the plant has grown well. However it looks like a 15 inch palm with leaves on the top 6 inches. How can I make it branch or does it do it naturally as the weather warms.   I am tempted to remove the top two inches and treat that as a cutting in say May when it goes outdoors. All/ any advice much appreciated

02/04/2014 at 15:52

Hi Bilje - I have about 10 of these now (having started with only one).  Mine have also been kept inside and have suffered a little, like yours they have got too warm I think! I live in the South West so unlikely to get any severe frosts (fingers crossed) so gave them a good drink and put them out in a sheltered place this weekend.

Dont worry about branching, they will do that of their own accord.  If they branch and get too leggy in the future just take more cuttings.

To do so, cut one of the rosettes off, with a stalk of about 4-6 inches.  leave it out for a few days for the cut end to dry and 'heal over' then push into some gritty compost, water and leave, its as easy as that!

02/04/2014 at 16:09

Thanks SF, bl****y freezing here! well not literally about 6 degrees So no point in putting anything tender out. I have an unheated  greenhouse so when this foggy cold weather lifts it can go in the greenhouse then my patio. I'll talk to it to encourage it to branch. I'm astounded at how much it has grown in one season, as I said I think it was too warm and occasionally looked a bit droopy as it had dried out. I'm used to echeverias which I leave almost dry. One of them looked a little sorry for itself last week...not a watering problem but the dreaded vine weevil, luckily I have others of the same variety. 

03/04/2014 at 08:00

You'll have more than you know what to do with soon!  I leave mine out most of the season and only bring inside in about November.  I have found that they dont mind being on the dry side.  Last night had a quick check on the ones I put outside and they have perked up considerably already.

When sowing some seeds in a tray outside at the weekend (I am waiting for a potting shed to be delivered) I spotted a wine veevil having a leisurely stroll up the fence.  Needless to say he didnt last very long!  Will need to get some nematodes to use when it gets a little warmer.

03/04/2014 at 09:04

Agree wo tally with SFord.  I too live in far South west and grow aeoniums.

The leginess is part and  parcel of the plant.  Even outside it tends to grow that way.  I too take cuttings...top few inches and they root and grow away quickly.  This helps the main plant to branch a little.  In my experience, if you cut too far back the plant can suffer or die.

I think they do best kept in well drained compost in pots plunged in the ground and then lifted again for the winter.  Despite surviving very well most winters here they can suffer from cold and wet so wise to bring indoors then.

03/04/2014 at 10:19

I have several variants of this aeonium and they all tend to leginess. Sometimes they produce several top rosettes and sometimes just one large rosette.

I keep mine in my south facing conservatory all year round and they are happy in there. The attitude of the purple leaves tends to make them look drier than they actually are - in fact, being succulents, they can go for long periods of time without water.

The only thing you have to beware of with these and other succulents is the dreaded mealy bug. This shows as white woolly spots usually at the point on the stem where the leaves join and it is almost impossible to get rid of.

04/04/2014 at 08:07

Mine also suffered from Aphids when in my conservatory this winter.  And there must have also been a snail somewhere (although I looked for one, I couldnt find one) as there were a few nibbles!

07/06/2014 at 22:59

Back in the first few weeks of April I said I'd talk to mine to make it branch...well I've noticed it is producing an off shot or two, I'm very excited. It's still in my cold green house and doing OK but I think I'll probably put it out on a sunny patio. Thanks to you all for reassuring me re off shoots.

09/06/2014 at 07:54

Great to hear Bilje!  All mine are looking great, particularly the ones I have strategically placed in pots against a huge (about 3 1/2 foot tall) scented leafed pink geranium which is flowering its socks off at the moment.  The contrast against the pink flowers of the geranium and the black aeonium look fab.

07/10/2014 at 15:07

Just an update to my original post and again thanks for the info. My Aeonium has been out doors all summer and seems to have grown by about another 10 inches. It has a whole circle of off shoots but non grew big enough to detach so hopefully they will grow a bit more next Spring and I can propagate them then. I also bought for 50p a discarded Aeonium Kiwi, it's a sprawler. It's done well and when I accidentally broke a stem off I tried the tips as cuttings and they appear to have rooted ..yippee another free plant.

07/10/2014 at 15:14

Well done!  I have also taken cuttings from a green version of the aeonium (label lost so dont know what variety).  Rotted well so repotted a few weeks ago to get them established before putting them in my nearly new potting shed for winter.  Came home to find that birds had pulled them out so have bunged them back in again - fingers crossed they'll be fine.

Birds also did that with some oriental poppy root cuttings taken a month or so ago.  I may have popped them back in upside down as I cant see any sign of life yet!

07/10/2014 at 15:46

my blackbirds are manic they'll pull out anything they can get their beaks on, my pots of cuttings and new beds all get festooned with wire netting squares to attempt to defeat them. At least I don't get bothered with squirrels, but I have had move burrowing in pots of tulips....you've got to love nature to be a gardener I reckon.

best of luck with the cuttings

07/10/2014 at 15:51

Thanks - They were looking a bit floppy when I put them back in but hopefully the rain has perked them up a bit - its been too horrible in the evenings to get out into the garden to have a look after work (and still pitch dark when I leave for work).  They should be fine, they're fairly robust I think.

07/10/2014 at 16:25

A bit nippy in the front garden this morning so I took pity on my aoniums and brought the in to the conservatory for the winter.  I started with one little cutting about six years ago.

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/61654.jpg?width=223&height=350&mode=max

 

08/10/2014 at 09:32

They look great.  Also love the colour of the pelargonium too.  I love creating and getting plants for free (or reduced) - can't beat it!

My front garden is south facing and gets so hot and dry in the summer.  I've spent this summer repotting sempervivums and succulents into different sized old teracotta pots, topped with gold/cream coloured gravel, ready to make a really nice tiered display under my lounge window next summer (along with the aeoniums) - hope I have enough room to keep them in my potting shed this winter - although they do okay in a sheltered corner of the garden.

08/10/2014 at 10:57

I too enjoy sempervivums in terracotta pots although mine are prone to vine weevil yuk. As I said I'm in the NE but my houseleeks live out doors against the house wall and do ok. I've stopped gritting mine as I found the off shoots didn't root through it and I wanted nice full cushiony pots if you get my drift. have you tried echeverias which look like big houseleeks? , I do overwinter them in my cold greenhouse and even the bedroom window sill. The have very peculiar flowers in orange red. 

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