Photo: Blackstem Plants
Aeonium arboreum 'Zwartkop'
We call this the Goldilocks plant as it requires not too hot, not too cold, not too wet, not too dry conditions. When everything is just right it thrives on benign neglect.
In their native Canary Islands, Aeoniums grow on north facing hillsides and are happiest when placed in bright but not burning light. As succulents, they store water in both the stem and leaves so water only when the soil has dried out. Over watering will rot the fragile roots.
They 'rest' during our winter so leave them alone. During this dormant period, lower leaves will desiccate and fall off, the black colouring may revert to green and over heavy 'branches' may drop off. This is normal. Allow the broken 'branches' to dry and callous then pop them in a gritty loam mix to grow on.
In late spring start watering again and feed monthly with a half strength balanced fertiliser. Re-pot every two years in very gritty loam. The parent plant may die after flowering so take cuttings.
Glossy dark green, red to black