Monday, February 18, 2013

Aeonium blooms are really slow but beautiful

I have been wanting to show this little succulent miracle for a while.  I finally got all the photos together to show you the transition of Aeonium to the Aeonium bloom stalk flower.  The plant needs to be mature before it will bloom.  I planted this big blue pot in 2008.  The first bloom started to appeared in the winter of 2011.   It's been so cold here that the Aeonium's in my big blue pot got cold burned.  It looks pretty bad.  It did try to bloom in two places.  But it got too cold and the flower stalks are coming out deformed.  I think I will be cutting off every Aeonium stalk, dig out the old roots, put in new dirt and replant.  That would be a good idea for another post wouldn't it.

Aeonium just starting to flower

This first photo shows the Aeonium starting to extend from the apex (or growing point) of the plant.  This started at the beginning of December 2011.  The fifth to be exact.  But as you can see it had started a few days before but I didn't catch it.

Aeonium happy and starting it's first bloom

See the Aeonium on the right hand side starting to extend in the middle.  If you look at the center closely you can see that the plant produced a bunch of leaves right at the center.  It needs the plant material because you won't believe how far the bloom will extend.

Aeonium bloom elongating

And it continues to push out as the days go by.  December 18, 2011 and it is going strong.

Aeonium bloom stalk

It's January 29th and the bloom stalk completely extended.  It now has to complete it's internal growing so that it can bloom.

Aeonium buds

I wanted to show you a close up of the bloom stalk with all the buds.  As you can see all the little flowers are going to be yellow.

First flowers to appear

Even more flowers open up on February 11, 2012.

Just a few buds open

February 15, 2012 and a few more are opened.

Almost done opening

So now it's March 1st and they are almost all open.  It takes a long time for it to bloom.

Close up of Aeonium bloom

I wanted to show you a close up of the blooms.  Aren't they beautiful!

Aeonium bloom in full bloom

All but a couple are open now and it's March 12, 2012.  It still goes on for another few weeks before looking shabby.  When it really starts looking bad I cut it off way down near the dirt in the pot.  Yes they are monocarpic which means the plant dies after blooming.  But with this pot another Aeonium was ready to take it's place.  Don't you love the red color the plant has at this time of year?

So if you have been keeping track this has been going on for about 3 months.  It was glorious and can't wait for it to happen again.  Looks like I will have to wait till next year though.

Have a great week everyone and remember:

It's Another Beautiful Day!



Mark and Gaz said...

Love your Aeonium blooming photologue Candice! It's quite dramatic and beautiful eventhough they are monocarpic :)

Gerhard Bock (Bamboo, Succulents and More) said...

Beautiful! I'm so glad you posted this because I have one starting to bloom.

Candice Suter.....Sweetstuff said...

Thank you so much you all and Gerhard I can't wait to see yours. Hope it doesn't get frozen like mine did!

Janis said...

Lovely photos, and colors are gorgeous. Thanks for posting.

Don't feel bad about cold damage. Few years ago, a pesky squirrel nibbled the entire rosette off my 'Sunburst' even before I could get a chance to plant it out. Still, I threw the pot with stump out into the garden, and eventually it tipped over and rooted in. Discovered it one day while cleaning up. Now I've a bunch of baby rosettes, and maybe the courage to give aeoniums another try. Thanks for your inspiration, Candice.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this with photos of progression. I had moved my small one-rosette plant into a sunnier spot on the patio and it immediately began to push out a stalk, which is almost 2 ft off the rosette, and has many white buds that still are unopened and it has been almost 3 months to get to this point. I was tempted toward drastic indoor forcing cuz I thought it was stalled and failing to bloom. Now I know they are very slow to blossom, and I'm thrilled with anticipation! I know more from reading this than I could find elsewhere, going to read more of your posts.

Lily said...

Hi! I recently bought an aeonium, so I looked up info on the Internet and it said these plants go dormant in summer so to put them in a cool shaded place. Since yours is outside and so big! I'm assuming that's out of the question, do you leave it out all year round?

Candice Suter.....Sweetstuff said...

Hi Lily! I live in Sunset zone 9b microclimate 14. We get some freezes during the winter and in the summer it gets really hot. Aeoniums are winter growers that is true. I have mine is morning sun and they get afternoon shade. So they do need some sun for sure. When it gets really hot and if I don't give them enough water the heads will curl up in a ball. So watch for this and if starts to happen give them more water. And yes they are left out all year round. I have them next to the house so they get some warmth in the winter. I do cover them with frost cloth when it looks like we are going to have a frost! Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Hi neighbor! I live in an old bungalow in downtown Sac. I removed my entire front & back lawn & replaced it with DG. I am slowly researching & obtaining drought tolerant plants that I hope will do good in our region. Anyhow, I am sort of new to the aeonium blooming process & was hoping you could help me with the following: I was given a aeonium cutting a little while back & it mothered a lot of babies. It started to bloom about 2 weeks ago but now the flowers are drying out. Should I cut the flower stalk or let it fall off naturally? I read somewhere to cut & leave about 7" & new rosettes will form. Can I cut the other rosettes or should I leave them alone? Also, I don't use fertilizer (but use epson salt)...will any all-purpose fertilizer work or is there a specific one I should use? My plants look pretty healthy but wish they looked as good as your plants :) Thanks kindly for all your help & inspiring blog! Maria

Candice Suter.....Sweetstuff said...

Hi neighbor! Wow I would love to see photos of your new drought tolerant garden. And let me tell you a little bit about Aeoniums. They are winter growers and once they bloom that flower stalk with plant will die. If it has babies you can cut them off at any time and plant anytime. Even though they grow mostly in winter that doesn't mean they don't do some growing in hotter months. But you will have to cut it off when it gets ugly. I leave about 6 inches of stem (depending on what kind of aeonium) and then push a couple of those inches in the soil. They will root easy.

As for fertilizer. I don't do much. I use Osmocote or Miracle Grow mostly. Nothing fancy. And most in the spring. With my cactus I use a lawn fertilizer with the most Nitrogen.

So Maria! I would love to come and see your garden. What do you think?

Anonymous said...

Hi Candice! Thank you so very much for the info. Sorry if I took a while to answer back...surprise family visit from Mexico. I would love to meet you...I'd feel so honored! I must admit though, that my outdoor space is pretty bare bones at the moment & I'm kind of embarressed. I just started last fall with removing my entire brick chimney to reuse for the front walkway & ripping out the lawn/weeds/mismatch concrete & replacing with DG. I did this by hand, with help from my papa...with a grub hoe, sledge hammer, brick by brick, sweat & tears...& some much needed cold cervesas. That was a workout! I think it looks so much better, but the front has zero plants to date. I hope that all changes soon. I also hope Sac residents take advantage of city's "cash for grass" program & remove their lawn too. We had removed the lawn a little too early to qualify :( I am on a limited budget, so this would have helped. But you gotta love that succulents can be so easily propagated & can suit many budgets. Where I'm having problems is with the front of the house. It faces north & is mainly shaded, receiving minimal morning sun. I am not sure what plants to plant here. As for the back yard, it's all mr.Sun & I think anything drought tolerant will thrive there. We have some nopales & tunas growing there that we barbecue, peaches, citrus tree & some succulents. Nothing too out of this world, but its mine & its getting better (better all the time). Now with the weather so nice, I'm getting more ideas (my mind tends to go into hybernation during the winter). I started to play out a patio with the leftover brick, build a bench out of recycled stuff, etc. I have a buddy who is a carpenter & use to be a welder. I'm apprenticing part-time & I'd like to create some pieces that will make the space more special. I'm an artist & enjoy the process of learning from others, so I greatly appreciate people like you who take the time to inform & above all inspire. You should write a book! I'd love to have you over some time...perhaps when things aren't looking so sad over here. How does that sound? Again, muchas gracias! Maria (aka Ace)

Candice Suter.....Sweetstuff said...

Hi Maria!

Wow you are a go getter for sure. That sounds like quite a bit of work but well worth the effort. Really sounds nice. It has been pretty crazy around here also and I am just getting a new potting table built by a neighbor. Tomorrow I paint and then I will be able to reorganize and everything is in such a mess. When I get it all pretty I would love some visitors and I love to give cuttings out!!!

Are we Facebook friends. If not you should find and friend me. Candice Suter. Then we can get to know each other.

Anonymous said...

Hey Candice, thanks! I'm sure your new potting table will turn out great. One definitely get motivated with such beautiful weather. Will keep in contact. I'm also on pinterest. Just.ace. Take care! Maria