Aeonium arboreum ssp. holochrysum

Green paddle-shaped leaves with burgundy stripes along their margins, atop woody branches. Leaves tint brown with sun. Cones of yellow flowers in spring.
height 2–5ft
width 2–3ft
tolerates Coast, Cool Summers, Drought, Gophers, Pots, Neglect, Salt, Wind
Low – Moderate
Aeoniums are from the Canary Islands, making them a carefree plant for Bay Area gardeners. It is natural for aeonium heads to shed lower leaves during summer, becoming smaller and more compact. Once winter rains come the heads expand, adding many new leaves. This summer stress is a wonderful seasonal change in the Mediterranean garden.

Once established, most aeoniums will survive in Bay Area gardens without additional water. Water your aeoniums at least once a month during summer and they will look more full and lush. Be sure to let the soil dry between watering or you risk root rot or aphids.
exposure Part Sun – Full Sun
drainage In Ground: Cactus Mix, In Pots: Cactus Mix, Tolerates Sandy Soil
fertilizing All Purpose, Low Needs
origin Canary Islands
17, 20–24

Sunset Zones Map

Outdoor Exposure Guide


Full Sun
Six or more hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Shade
Three to five hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Sun
One to two hours of sun beams directly landing on the plants leaves.

Full Shade
The plant is never fully lit by sun beams, but is in a bright spot or has dappled sunbeams playing over the leaves throughout the day.

Deep Shade
The plant never has dappled light on the leaves, and is in a place that feels dim, even on a nice sunny day.


Growing Notes

Most aeoniums are monocarpic, meaning that an individual head will die once it flowers, usually replaced by the lower suckers on clumping and branching varieties. This can often be overcome by removing the flower (but leaving the stem that held it) once the flower is past peak bloom. It will take time, but with some luck you’ll get new growth along that stem instead of having it die completely.
Aeoniums tend to be brittle, so they should be kept away from high traffic areas where physical damage is a possibility.
When over-fertilized, aeoniums grow lush and soft, attracting aphids.

Special Interest

The sub species holochrysum is ever so slightly different in that it has lighter, greener leaves and a more flat crown. Perhaps its best identifying feature is that the typical species has fuzzy flowers and flower stalks, while holochrysum has smooth flowers and flower stalks.