The aptly named Aeonium Sunburst is a perennial succulent that lights up your garden with its vivid burst of green, yellow, and a touch of reddish pink around the edges of the leaves of the rosette. The variegated pattern and the symmetrical rosette are eye-catching features of this plant that grow 2-3 feet in height with an equal spread.
The Crassulaceae family includes Aeonium Sunburst, which grows as a shrub. It has fleshy, large leaves, serrated edges, and pointy ends. When the plant grows in partial shade, the leaves are broader and longer than those grown in full sun. In the shade, the leaves do not have the pink hue present in plants grown in full sun.
You can see young rosettes branching out from around the main rosette. White flowers appear in summer in this monocarpic (after flowering, the main plant will die) plant. Cream-colored flowers grow out from the center of the rosette in a cone and will last for about a month. The rosette dies after flowering.
Over 35 varieties of Aeoniums exist, ranging in size from small to large. Among the most popular choices for gardeners is the Aeonium Sunburst. In the summer, the plant is dormant, but in the fall and winter, it grows well.
Cultivation and History
The Aeonium Sunburst is a native of the Canary Islands, Africa. This succulent’s glossy and fleshy leaves are so perfect that they resemble an artificial plant. The plant takes around five years to reach its full growth. It can be planted any time of the year and is best for outdoors.
It can be grown indoors, but it needs a large area relative to other indoor plants and thus is best grown outside in the garden or in a large pot with ample space around it. Pups from the mother plant can be used for new growth. Aeonium Sunburst is usually planted directly in the ground as a perennial. Pot is better if you want the plant placed on a patio or deck.
Propagation of Aeonium Sunburst
Just like other succulents, Aeoniums are easy to propagate. The Sunburst is no exception, and the best way to multiply your plant collection is to propagate by cuttings. Remember that Aeoniums do not grow from leaves or seeds.
Sometimes, you will see stem pieces fall from the main plant. These will readily take root where they fall, or you can take them and plant them in suitable potting soil that drains well.
The following steps will show you how to get many Aeonium Sunburst plants:
- Stem with a clean knife or gardening shears; cut off a stem with a leaf rosette. Place the stem in a cool, dry place for about three days, during which time it will form a scab over the cut.
- Take a small pot with drainage holes and fill it with a potting mix for succulents. Alternatively, you can mix equal parts of the regular potting mix and succulent potting mix. Once you are ready, place the stem cuttings in the soil. It should be just deep enough to hold the cutting straight. The new cutting can be placed with bright indirect sunlight and shade. Watering at this point is done very lightly once a week.
- Once the plant has developed roots, the soil can be allowed to dry out before watering. As it grows, you can transfer the plant into a larger pot if needed. This process works well with pups or offsets around the mother plant. Generally, the roots will take about 2-3 weeks to appear.
How to Grow and care for Aeonium Sunburst
Growing this perennial plant can bone directly in the ground or a container. Either way, remember that the Aeonium Sunburst has a shallow root system and thus requires only three or four inches of soil.
Roots develop extensively along in Aeoniums, as is seen in pot-bound plants. These roots should be kept moist for better growth.
When branches of the plant become scraggly and leggy, you can cut them and plant them separately. A new plant will quickly form new shrubs. Sometimes, you can see branches snap due to the weight of the rosette. These also can be used to grow new plants.
Pruning and Maintenance
Pruning plants and maintaining them under ideal growth conditions will result in a healthy plant. Pruning can be done at any time, although it will benefit the plant more if done during the period of dormancy which is the summer in the case of Aeonium Sunburst plants. Trimming and pruning the plant routinely will help prevent pests and diseases.
Cultivars to Select
Aeoniums are highly adaptive to hot and dry climates. There are about 35 varieties that come in a wide range of sizes, colors, and textures. However, fleshy leaves that store moisture, shallow root systems, and changing color are according to the amount of light the plant receives. Some of the popular cultivars apart from the Aeonium Sunburst are:
- Aeonium arboretum ‘Zwartkop’ or ‘Black Rose’: This is a remarkable plant with deep burgundy leaves that are sometimes close to black. The leaves and plants are relatively large and eye-catching.
- Aeonium arboreum: This plant has bright green rosettes and branching stems and forms shrubberies. The plant can grow to around 6 feet in height when planted in the garden.
- Aeonium Garnet: This hybrid variety has colorful green tipped with dark red.
- Aeonium haworthii ‘Tricolor’ or ‘Kiwi’: The rosettes of this plant are about 4 inches and have pale yellow centers that turn red and green. The plant is about 3 feet tall.
- Aeonium arboretum ‘Atropurpureum’: This is a striking Aeonium that is about 5 feet in height and has bright maroon leaves when grown in bright sunlight.
Aeonium Sunburst is a succulent that grows well in bright sunlight to partial shade. Indoor plants grow in indirect light. The amount of light the plant receives will determine the final color of the leaves. Darker colors can be brought out by direct bright sunlight. In the shade, the colors will be more green than red. Also, the plants that grow in bright sunlight are more compact.
The regular potting mix that is available may not be sufficiently porous for Aeonium Sunburst plants. This potting mix can be adjusted to the needs of the Aeonium by adding perlite to make it retain moisture without being too wet. You have to be careful when planting in garden beds as the soil may be too dense for the plant. Adding peat moss can improve the soil texture to suit Aeoniums.
Careful watering helps the Aeonium plant to thrive in most soil types and climatic conditions. During the summer dormancy period of the plant, watering can be restricted to once or twice a month. In the winter, watering can be done after checking the soil. The first two inches of soil dryness is a good indication that the plant needs water. Aeonium Sunburst can take more moisture than other succulents, but too much wetness in the soil can lead to root rot.
Temperature and Humidity
Aeonium varieties’ growth period is typically from winter to spring, which means the plants like the cold climate. A climate that is not too hot or too cold is ideal for Aeoniums. A balance of heat, moisture, and dryness combines to bring out the true growth potential of the Sunburst.
Fertilizers and Feeding
During the summertime, when the Aeonium Sunburst is dormant, the plant doesn’t need any fertilizer or other form of feeding. At other times, a half-strength fertilizer can be used once a month or once in two months.
Managing Pests and Diseases
The most common pests that attack succulents are partial to Aeoniums too. Mealybugs, scale insects, spider mites, aphids, and ants can be seen along the leaves, stems, and underside. It is difficult to get rid of these because of the tight rosette leaves. A mild insecticidal soap can be sprayed to remove these bugs. Snails and slugs also can be harmful to Aeonium Sunburst plants.
Wet soil continuously will result in root rot; when this happens, the plants that show decay should be removed so that any fungal infection will not spread. Overwatering is the leading cause of root rot; hence, care should be exercised when watering and done on a need-only basis.
The best use of the Aeonium Sunburst is as a garden display staple. It is ideally suited when you want to make a statement of shapes and colors in your garden. Examples of uses include rockeries, garden edging, and borders. These plants will tower over other varieties and should be placed accordingly in your garden.
Aeonium Sunburst is a versatile plant that adds beauty to your garden. These beautiful succulents last a long time. Some potted plants will thrive for five years and even longer when planted directly in the garden.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Does Aeonium Sunburst need sun or shade?
Yes, Aeonium Sunburst requires full bright sunlight as well as partial shade.
What is Aeonium Sunburst good for?
With its unusual color combinations, this beautiful plant is an asset to any garden. They are suitable for color and character in any garden.
How do you take care of an Aeonium Sunburst?
There is very little that you have to do in taking care of Aeonium Sunburst. Water when the soil is parched, ensure the plant has sufficient sunlight, and move the plant indoors or have a frost cover during cold weather.
Is an Aeonium Sunburst an indoor or outdoor plant?
It is both an indoor and an outdoor plant. When it is grown indoors, the plant will be smaller in size, while it will grow 5-6 feet tall in the garden.
Why is my Aeonium Sunburst dying?
Aeoniums shed their leaves during dormancy and may look like they will die. Once it reaches the active growth period in late fall and winter, it will grow back.
Do Aeoniums like full sun?
Aeonium plants like indirect bright sunlight and partial shade. It will grow bigger and wider when grown in the shade. In full sun, the plant color will intensify to a reddish hue.
How do you make Aeoniums Sunburst plants bushy?
Plants that grow well in bigger pots or on the ground. If the plants get regular water and feed, they will grow stronger and branch more.
What happens to Aeoniums after flowering?
Aeoniums are monocarpic plants. This means that once it blooms, the main rosette of the plant from which the stem with flowers grew will die. Once the blooms fade away, the plant should be discarded.
Do Aeoniums have deep roots?
No, Aeoniums have a shallow root system. They also can develop roots along their stems.
When should I repot my Aeonium Sunburst?
The best time to repot your Aeonium Sunburst is during its growing season in the fall or winter. The plant should dry out entirely before repotting and ensure the new pot is bigger than the root ball.
Do you water an Aeonium Sunburst plant in winter?
Yes, since it is the period when the plant grows. Too much water is not recommended as it can cause root rot.
How do you prune Aeonium Sunburst?
When the Aeonium Sunburst plant starts to be leggy, it is time to cut off the rosettes and replant them. The rosettes are replanted as cuttings after pruning. The rest of the plant, including the roots, is discarded.
Can Aeoniums be grown from leaves?
This is one difference between Aeoniums and other succulents. The Aeoniums cannot be grown from leaves. Even when roots can be seen extending from the leaves, they tend to shrivel up and die without producing any new plants. Only stem cuttings produce viable new plants.