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Aeonium Arboreum: How to Take the Cuttings

Aeonium arboreums, like other succulents, are very easy to propagate. Here I show you how I take cuttings to prepare them for planting.

Aeonium Arboreum cuttings tutorial

I got my Aeonium arboreum (the variety is “atropurpureum”) at a lecture about succulents at the San Francisco Botanical Garden about 20 years ago.  The curator of the desert garden at the UC Davis arboretum was speaking and brought plants to sell.

This was of the very 1st succulents I ever bought and I carried it with me when I moved to Santa Barbara. I now have 3 of them in pots and a few in the garden so I want to share with you how I take cuttings of this small tree-like succulent.

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I’m throwing this picture in just for fun.  Another 1 of my Aeonium arboreum “atropurpureums” was blooming & I wanted to show you how bright & large the flower heads are.  The bees love them!

This plant, like other aeoniums, tends towards a somewhat tall and leggy growth habit.  The individual stems will eventually branch at different points giving them even more interest.  If they branch towards the top of the stems, the weight of the heads can cause them to bend over.  And that’s exactly what happened to mine that was planted right outside my dining room window 8 years ago.

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Here’s 1 of the stems that I cut off with the branches shooting off of it.  The whole thing was completely down on the ground this past winter.  

I wasn’t planning on doing a video on this particular aeonium but because it fell over, I decided why not.  If you have this succulent just be prepared because it may happen to your plant too.  See how I take cuttings of it in this video:

This is 1 plant that you don’t need to take the cuttings from the soft wood or the tender new growth.  I could have let that tall stem heal over for a few weeks and planted it just like that.  However, the Aeonium arboreum grows relatively fast.  I wouldn’t want to plant that tall stem because the same thing could happen all over again within a short period of time.

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Here you can see I cut the aeonium into “bite size” pieces.  Because the heads are fairly large, I wanted to cut the stems down which eliminates their chance of toppling over.

By the way, this is what the stems look like when they’ve healed over.  These cuttings were taken over 3 months ago.

A few things to consider when taking of Aeonium arboreums:

1- Make sure your pruners are clean & sharp as you want to make nice, clean cuts.

2- Take your cuttings at an angle.  It reduces the chance of infection & makes for a sharper point when sticking them into the mix.

3- The stems & branching stems can curve so you can either work with that or make the cut above the curve.

4- Even though the stem has been cut down, the head may still be heavy in proportion.  You make need to stake the cutting.

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3 of the heads looking nice & healthy.  If you’re curious as to how I would plant these, then click right here.

My original intention with these Aeonium arboreum cuttings was to replant them back with the mother plant.  I decided there were already enough stems in that particular planting so I gave most of them to my friend who lives in Oakland when she was visiting.  And the couple of cuttings that remain … well, in just a few weeks they’ll be making the journey with me to my new home.  Cuttings on the move!

Happy gardening,

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These aeonium cuttings make quite the bouquet!

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5 comments:

  1. New leaves shows new life 😉

  2. I’ve just a while ago gotten my first succulent… a String of Pearls. It resulted in instant addiction. These plants are like a bad drug!!! I know this clip is old but it had the question I was asking myself… the same one you asked about the leftover stalk lol. I got a cyclops aoenium (tho much smaller than yours… and had to behead it and it had a long stalk which I cut down to a couple of inches and the leftover piece. I’ve decided I’m going to try rooting it in water. I first saw you in the one you did about the String of Pearls and have been watching all I can find that you do. I wish you had a place to put photos, I’d like to get your opinion on my “pupping stations” and the indoor gardens I’ve made. Did you ever find out from anyone else if they have used the remaining stalks?

  3. Hi Dawne – Succulents are addicting. I was going to cut down on them now that I live in the desert but that’s not working! Someone on my Youtube channel said they had rooted stalks. I gave away most of those aeoniums when I moved but did take a few cuttings. Nell

  4. Thanks thanks alot Nell….

    I realy enjoy your vlogs, keep the hard beautiful work up.

  5. Thank you so much Emad! Nell

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