It was May last year that I posted my last entry on the cristate aeonium (here), not sure if anyone remembers how big it had got for that very narrow stem. That stem has always looked a bit fragile.
As usual it wasn't given great winter protection and I forgot the golden rule of keeping plants on their edge of their hardiness. That is know how they react to frosts. Some wilt then firm up, some show no initial damage and then rot, other turn to mush overnight. With aeoniums the stem wilts. If the wilt was not been too bad, the plant recovers when it warms up.
You can guess where this is going.
Checking the plants after the last cold period I was greeted by this:
You can see how the stems have rotted where they wilted due to the frosts. I had to cut the main head off to get this photo. Out came the scissors and exploring; some stems were firm others were rotted all the way up to the leaves. I probably caught it just in time and had to apply a liberal dose of anti mould treatment to try and stem the rot. The majority of the plant had to be binned, but a couple of the heads were hopefully saved.
I should be able to re-root this and start from a wider base. Who knows what this one will turn out to look like. Maybe next year I'll remember to give it proper protection. I am beginning to see how much extra warmth my old shed provided to these very marginal plants.