Tuesday 19 March 2013

It had to happen in the end

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. 


  1. Its probably safer to keep it in the house... My friend who owns a nursery gave me one.

  2. Oh no...that's so sad! I do hope that piece re-roots for you...and I agree, with a wider base, it would be so much more stable. Fingers crossed for you!

    1. It has allowed me use a smaller pot and free up some space.

  3. Very sorry to see the collapse but am rooting for you and the aeonium's survival!

  4. Ahhhh, that is so sad. I actually went hunting after one of these following your post. Mine is quite tiny (http://www.stuffigrow.com/2013/01/aeonium-expansion.html for a pic). I hope your cutting roots nicely and I'm sure it will soon be a majestic specimen again.

  5. Thank you, I'll make sure I post an update on how it goes.
    Yours looks like mine did when I got it, don't worry they grow quickly.