The Complete Guide to Aeonium Canariense: What is it, How to Grow it, and Where to Plant it.
Aeonium Canariense is a unique succulent plant found only in the Canary Islands. They are also referred to as “Canary Island Aeoniums.” These plants are part of the Crassulaceae family, including other types of succulents, such as cacti and jade.
If you’ve ever come across a succulent houseplant that looks like a gorgeous giant rose, rest assured that you are in the presence of the Aeonium Canariense, also known as the “Giant Velvet Rose,” the “Mint Saucer,” the “Hen and Chicks Aeonium” or the “Canary Island Aeonium.”
The “Aeonium Canariense Subplanum,” the “Aeonium Canariense Virgineum,” and the “Aeonium Canariense Variegate” are three of the most popular varieties of this plant that you can see everywhere. With colorful fleshy leaves that grow in a cluster to resemble a rose, the Aeonium Canariense is a shrub-like plant that is easy to grow and maintain. It can be the perfect houseplant for your shelves and tabletops, and they will thrive under the right conditions.
This plant belongs to the Crassulaceae family and can be of different colors and shapes depending on its species and where you are growing it in the world, the soil quality, and the weather.
Cultivation and History.
Because this plant is native to the island of Tenerife, located in the Canary Islands, it is also sometimes known as the “Canary Island Aeonium.” In its original habitat, the Aeonium Canariense grows 1300m above sea level along the slopes and cliffs of the island’s northern side.
The Aeonium Canariense derives most of its names from its appearance, as a fully grown plant looks just like a blooming rose. Although the climate of the Canary Islands suits this plant the most, it can thrive anywhere in the world with a warm and sunny climate.
Propagation of Aeonium Canariense Plants.
It’s pretty easy to understand and undertake Aeonium Canariense propagation if you already have a healthy and mature plant at home. The quickest way is by using the stem cuttings of an existing plant. For propagation, a stem cutting must be taken from the existing mother plant with a sharp pair of scissors. The stem must contain at least one leaf for successful propagation.
A fully mature stem cutting can contain multiple leaves, but they must be cut away with scissors or shears, keeping only two fleshy leaves on the stem. The stem cutting must dry out and grow callouses in the open air before replanting. After growing several callouses, the stem cutting should ideally be planted in a well-draining pot of succulent potting soil and must be kept moist and regularly watered.
Under the right conditions, the stem cutting should be growing roots in a few weeks, but the plant would need a few months to grow properly into a mature plant.
Growing and Aeonium Canariense Care Guide.
Once matured, a healthy Aeonium Canariense isn’t very hard to take care of and maintain. Because they are tropical plants, they have specific needs for sunlight and warmth compared to other houseplants, but these plants can thrive anywhere.
If you live in a warm climate, varieties of Aeonium Canariense can be grown in the soil under natural conditions. However, for slightly colder climates, they can be planted in pots and kept around the patio, balconies, sunny windowsills, or even on furniture inside the house.
Pruning and Maintenance.
Aeonium canariense plants don’t need regular pruning, only when they spread too much or when their stems are needed for propagation. When planted in pots or small containers, these plants stay within the space available. The stems grow together to create a dome-like structure resembling a giant rose that rarely spreads. As a result, they don’t need pruning to retain their shape or size.
However, regular trimming of some species of the Aeonium Canariense, especially the ones that grow multiple stems, can keep the plant looking its best. In some cases, dry and dead leaves can be cut away using a sharp pair of scissors or shears, and malformed or spindly stems can be cleared away to give the healthy branches more growing space.
Cultivators to Select.
Different varieties of Aeonium Canariense can be found worldwide to be potted as houseplants, their shapes and sizes depending on where you live in the world. Most of the time, new plants can be propagated easily from a healthy and mature plant.
However, choosing a young stem with a slender shoot is essential for the best results. The stem cutting should ideally have at least one leaf on it; if the stem is covered with multiple leaves, it should be trimmed down, keeping only one or two healthy leaves intact. This is an important rule not to be missed for the propagation process to be completed.
Whether you are planting your Aeonium Canariense on the ground or in a pot, it needs to be in a sunny location. Most species of this plant require direct sunlight all year since they originate from a tropical region. Without sufficient light or brightness, the leaves of the Aeonium Canariense will grow to be deformed and elongated. They can eventually die without sunlight.
If you cannot create direct sunlight for a long time, the plant should at least be placed on a windowsill or on the balcony where it would get long hours of brightness, natural warmth, and indirect sunlight. Depending on the species, Aeonium Canariense flowers and plants need both shade and sunlight – direct and indirect. If your plant gets too much direct sunlight for extended periods, its leaves might burn and eventually die.
In short, the correct balance of sunlight and shade is crucial for these plants. They need to be in a naturally bright location with direct sunlight and long hours of shade.
Watering And Soil Requirements.
Like any other succulents, Aeonium Canariense plants should only be watered when the soil is completely dried. These plants need to be in a well-drained pot so that the soil stays moist without any standing water. Too much water can kill these plants as they are naturally drought tolerant.
A new plant, propagated from a mature one, might need more watering initially. However, as the stem cuttings settle into their new location and mature, they should only be watered when necessary.
The Aeonium Canariense is a succulent and thrives best when particular succulent soil is used. These kinds of soil are well-draining because they are mixed with sand, perlite, and even large pieces of pumice, stone, and grit. The presence of these other components in the soil creates a sound drainage system inside the pot that helps the plants better.
For any Aeonium Canariense plants, the ideal potting soil is a mixture of mineral components and nutrient-poor soil mixed with at least 40% lava, gravel, perlite, and quartz.
Temperature and Humidity.
Being a tropical succulent, the ideal temperature range for these plants is between 64°F to 75°F (18° to 24° Celsius). A few hours in direct sunlight, followed by indirect sunlight, shade, and natural brightness, is what these plants require to thrive.
Fortunately, the Aeonium Canariense plants can tolerate a wide range of humidity ranging from 40% to 80%, but its ideal humidity level is around 60%.
Fertilizer and Feeding.
These plants need to be fertilized at least once every month during the growing season. A natural water-soluble and time-release fertilizer will be ideal for the Aeonium Canariense plants, but half-strength diluted liquid fertilizer manufactured especially for succulents also work.
These plants don’t need much fertilizer to grow, and almost none during regular times.
Common Pests and Diseases of Aeonium Canariense Plants.
Unfortunately, these plants are prone to a few common and easily rectifiable pests and diseases, including:
- – Aphids,
- – Spider mites,
- – Scale bugs,
- – Mealybugs,
- – Pythium and
- – Botrytis.
Managing Pests and Diseases.
Most of the problems Aeonium Canariense plants face can be easily solved at home if the matter is caught at the right time.
Aphids, for example, are minuscule green insects that feed on the juice of plants and can be easily controlled by spraying soap and water. Spider mites, too, can attack the plant and spin webs between the leaves. They can be removed by spraying with water until the web of spider mites is washed away.
Scaly bugs can harm Aeonium Canariense plants by sucking away all the sap from inside the leaves and stems. Spraying the plants with a garden hose regularly can keep scaly bugs away from the plants.
Mealybugs usually leave white cottony substances on the plants they attack, which are easier to spot than the bugs themselves. Besides, mealy bugs secrete a kind of sugary substance like honeydew which leads to mold on the plants and bacterial and fungal infections. However, mealybugs are slow creatures that hide under the leaves of the plants and can be easily removed with a brush or a pair of tweezers.
Pythium and Botrytis are two kinds of fungus that attack the stems of the plants near the soil surface and the leaves, especially during the rainy season or when the temperature is low. Reducing the amount of regular watering or spraying baking soda mixed with water will keep these fungi away from your plants.
Common Problems with Aeonium Canariense.
Most of the time, your Aeonium Canariense plants can show distress because of faulty watering schedules or insufficient sunlight.
Bottom Leaves Shedding Off.
It is entirely normal for Aeonium Canariense plants to shed old leaves from the bottom of the plants so that new leaves can grow. However, when the leaves don’t drop off on their own, they’ll stay on the plants but appear dry, dead, or drooping. If pulled lightly, the leaves will come out easily without causing any damage to the plants.
However, if your plant is shedding more leaves than the average rate of shedding healthy leaves from the top, it may signify its dormancy period. For these plants, the dormancy period occurs during sweltering summers or severe dry seasons.
A particularly severe heat wave can also cause more leaves to shed off from the bottom of the plant but maintaining a regular watering schedule can stop this.
Leaves Turning Brown and Falling Off.
Aeoniums need both direct sunlight and partial shade to grow and thrive, and they tend to get sunburnt if left in direct heat for a long time. During intense summer days or heat waves, if your plant gets too many hours of direct sunlight, its leaves will appear sunburnt, scorched, and eventually dry up and fall.
An excellent way to avoid this is to move your plant to a location with alternate periods of direct sunlight and shade.
Plants Dying After Flowers Bloom.
This is also quite normal. These are monocarpic plants, and they will die after each flowering.
Aeonium canariense flowers are white or yellow and shoot out from the center of the rosette or the plant. After the flowers bloom, the plant is most likely to die. Most Aeonium Canariense plants will live for a few years before blooming and dying; stem cuttings can be taken from the same plant multiple times to propagate new plants.
Best Uses of Aeonium Canariense Plants.
In its natural state, this plant can grow up to 2-3 feet in height, with a more shrub-like appearance. However, when potted in a container, Aeonium Canariense plants take a more limited growth pattern, growing only as large as the container allows.
These plants can be used as houseplants and as a filler on the ground, among other plants. They grow perfectly well with other succulents and can be used in elaborate and extensive floral arrangements.
Outside, Aeonium Canariense plants can be used in rock, Mediterranean-themed, or succulent gardens.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: How do you care for aeonium Canariense?
A: It is easy to care for Aeonium Canariense plants if the right conditions are present. These plants need a good balance between direct sunlight and shade and a careful watering schedule.
Q: Do aeoniums like the full sun?
A: A tropical plant, Aeonium Canariense requires at least a few hours of full sun and direct sunlight daily. At the same time, this should be balanced with at least a few hours of brightness, natural warmth, and shade.
Q: Do Aeoniums multiply?
A: Stem cuttings from a healthy and mature Aeonium Canariense plant can be used to propagate into several other plants by following the rules. Through this process, it can be said that these plants do multiply in one sense.
Q: How do you care for Aeonium Succulents?
A: Aeonium Succulents, a species of the Aeonium family, is a tropical plant but also a succulent. This means that this plant needs only a little watering when the soil becomes completely dry. Overwatering can eventually lead to the plants dying, so a detailed schedule is maintained. Also, Aeonium Succulents need plenty of direct sunlight and a few hours of shade.
Q: Do Aeonium Canariense plants bloom?
A: These plants do bear flowers, but being monocarpic plants, the plants die after every flowering.
Aeonium canariense plants come in various colors, shapes, and sizes depending on where you are planting them and where you live. They can grow up to 2 to 3 feet tall in their natural condition but will confine themselves to the size of the container inside your home.
Being easy to care for and needing only a relatively small amount of water, these plants are one of the easiest houseplants to take care of if you can manage the right amount of sunlight.