Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Aeoniums are bizarre things...

I noticed right before Christmas that my Aeonium ‘salad bowl’ was starting to grow a nose. When we returned, after a few days away, it was bigger. It has to be blooming right? I kept thinking it was wrong time of the year, but it turns out it’s not.
The helpful guys at the Cactus Jungle put me straight saying that Aeonium are “winter growers and generally bloom in winter thru spring.” They went on to confirm what I suspected: “Some of the smaller Aeoniums don’t die back after blooming, although they always lose the branch that has bloomed” well since this plant has only the one branch I guess that means bye-bye to my Aeonium, we had a good couple of years together.
Here’s what it looked like yesterday, Jan 3rd. I wonder if it will bloom in time for January’s Bloomday on the 15th?
The stems below are Aeonium ‘Schwarzkopf’. I beheaded my plants before the frost killed them and enjoyed them as “cut flowers” for a couple of months. Well they weren’t looking so good and I figured it was time to toss them, that’s when I noticed those little bumps along the stem…can you see them?
I’ve had A. Schwarzkopf sprout from the top of a decapitated stem, and I’ve rooted cuttings. But I’ve never seen babies sprout along the length of the stem. Have you? I guess it makes sense, those little scars are where there were once leaves. I can't wait to see how they grow!


  1. Sometimes plants can be really surprising. I have always liked ferns, but I didn't get fascinated by them until I resd thst they propogsate by means of sperm whicch swim through the ground. Nice post - I learned a lot.

  2. Winter IS a strange time for plants to reproduce and flower, but I guess they're just doing what comes naturally. Are they from the southern hemisphere?

  3. I wonder if you could root a piece of the one that's about to bloom, a leaf maybe?

  4. Don't worry ! After the flower you will get a lot of seeds...and you will get many many plants. In fact the name of the species is urbicum. Salad bowl is a common name not the name of an hybrid. So the seeds will give you the same plants as the mother.
    I grow a lot of Aeoniums many of them from the national collection owned by the exotic garden of Roscoff in France.
    All the best.

  5. That is so bizarre...I had no idea they could do that...plants just never cease to amaze me. Either that or you've discovered a mutant strain that will take over the world.

  6. I loved the description you used of "growing a nose" Aeonium flowers can be spectacular, although it is always sad to loose the main plant.
    Most aeoniums will produce new heads along the stem if you cut the top off. The trick it to get the balance right between getting several plants and getting growth. It may be worth taking every other one off to encourage faster growth from the remaining ones.

  7. A Year, are you pulling my leg?

    MulchMaid, I guess you can take the plant out of the southern hemisphere but you can't take the southern hemisphere out of the plant!

    Darla, uhm...might be worth trying.

    JP, thank you! I will give growing the seeds a try.

    Scott, take over the world? I'll be rich then right?

    Spiky O, thanks for the tip. I'll wait a bit longer until I can see which ones are the strongest growers and then get rid of the runts.

  8. Great pictures chronicling the growth of the 'nose'! We'll be standing by to see if it makes it into the Bloom Day post.

  9. I have a number of plants that are doing strange things also...endlessly fascinating!

  10. My huge aeonium out front in my big blue pot has it's first bloom also. I was very surprised because it is fairly cold here. But it is still pushing out and I can't wait. I am waiting for some sun to take good pictures of it. And I am hoping that it does not get knocked off because it pokes out into the walkway to our front door. Cross your fingers!

    Can't wait to see the progress of your bloom. And yes aeoniums will get leggy if not topped off. Then just like you see tiny plants will grow out of the stem.

  11. Aerie-el, it's looking even less nose like today.

    Ricki, I hope to see pictures of these plants.

    Candy, sounds precarious...maybe you could build a little blocking wall next to it. Or hand threatening signs?

  12. I know it is precarious. I think caution tape and signs might work! Good idea!

  13. One of our Aeoniums started busting out a flower a couple weeks ago here. They're all growing like crazy, so we'll have plenty of extras to send you this Spring.

  14. Flowering doesn't have anything to do with what hemisphere a plant is from. Aeoniums are desert plants adapted to mild winters. Day/night lengths trigger blooming, regardless of where a plant is from.


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