With no hint of even a scattered shower on the horizon, and increasingly frenetic morning and evening activity with the watering can, as I rush past my Aeonium arboreum I throw it grateful and admiring glances in equal measure and make a mental note to water it in a few days time! With their bold, architectural structure, aeoniums not only make a big aesthetic contribution to the group of plants in pots outside our front door, they demand very little in return, and I can’t imagine being without them.
There are many different forms, one of the most striking being
which has purple black leaves … after a few years it becomes almost tree-like but if you run out of space, it’s dead easy to take cuttings, just break off a few rosettes and pot them up in some gritty compost. As its name suggests, the leaves of A. ‘Blushing Beauty’ are flushed with pink, and earlier this year I bought ‘Voodoo’ which has large purple red rosettes.
Aeoniums love to spend summer outside but must have protection from frost and they dislike overwatering during their dormant months. However, even if you don’t have a greenhouse, they are reasonably tolerant of lower light levels and can easily be overwintered in a porch or on a windowsill.