Tree aeonium, or Aeonium arboreum atropurpureum, appears frequently as a houseplant or outdoor ornamental succulent in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 9 to 11 for its striking rosettes of dark maroon foliage and resistance to dry growing conditions. The foliage is arranged on the tips of 2- to 5-foot-tall trunk-like stems and is joined in summer by long clusters of yellow flowers, which last a short time before fading. Like most succulents, Aeonium arboreum atropurpureum grows easily from leaf and branch cuttings. To reduce the likelihood of rot, the cuttings must be allowed to dry out for several days before potting them.
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Things you need
- Paring knife
- Hydrogen peroxide
- 4-inch pot
- Succulent potting mix
- 0.3-per cent IBA (indole butyric acid) rooting hormone
- Warming mat
Sanitise the blade of a paring knife or other small, sharp knife in hydrogen peroxide. Dip the blade into the peroxide, hold it there for 30 seconds and allow it to air dry before using it on the Aeonium parent plant.
Take a 4-inch-long cutting with one small rosette of foliage from the tip of the Aeonium stem, or pluck off a single leaf to root. Use the sanitised paring knife to cut the branch at a 45-degree angle as close to the main boot as possible.
Store the Aeonium cutting in a warm, dry location with good air circulation and bright, indirect light for seven to 10 days, or until the end dries out and appears whitish in colour.
Prepare a rooting pot for the Aeonium cutting. Fill a 4-inch pot with lightly moistened succulent potting mix. Lightly dust the end of the cutting with 0.3-per cent IBA rooting hormone. Insert the bottom half of the Aeonium cutting into the rooting pot and press the soil tightly around it. Maintain light, even moisture in the soil during the rooting process.
Place the potted Aeonium cutting on a warming mat set to 23.9 degrees Celsius. Expose the cutting to at least seven hours of very bright light every day. Check for roots in 15 to 25 days.
Transfer the Aeonium into a larger pot in three months, or once it begins to put on significant growth. Plant it outdoors in six to eight months, if desired.
Tips and warnings
- Take cuttings from a young, vigorous Aeonium plant; cuttings from older plants often lack the vitality to form new roots.
- Wear protective gloves when working with IBA rooting hormone, as it might cause skin irritation.
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