Do you want a unique plant with more emphasis on shapes than colours? Aeonium sunburst is one of the best choices. Also known with its scientific name, Aeonium decorum, the sunburst variant is one of the loveliest rosette-shaped succulents. A few of these plants are enough to fill up your garden, giving you otherworldly display.
Characteristics of Aeonium Sunburst
All Aeonium succulents have rounded or oval leaves that are arranged in rosettes. Thirty-five species are grouped in this genus, and all of them have unique shades and shapes. The sunburst variant is evergreen, with light green leaves and yellowish edges. There are subtle shades of pink at the leaves’ points and edges. The sunburst has small flowers that grow at the centre of the rosette.
The sunburst’s leaves have spoon-like shapes, creating flowery appearance once the rosette is in full growth. Each rosette grows on a thick, single stem, either from a pot or garden soil. Aeoniums are perfect for gardens often plagued by mammals, such as wild bunnies and deer. You can plant it in abundance to create borders or combine it with other Aeoniums.
Requirements to Plant Aeonium Sunburst
Growing Aeonium sunburst requires you to provide a Mediterranean atmosphere and condition since this succulent originated from Canary Island. Here are several requirements to grow this plant:
Bright light with partial shade
Aeonium loves some bright light with partial shade during the half day. Bright, direct light for more than four hours will scorch the plant and create brown spots at the edges of the leaves.
Aeonium may tolerate slight drought, but its ideal temperature is between 18 and 24 degrees Celsius (65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit).
Sandy, well-drained soil
Aeonium tolerates sandy, slightly dry soil. However, it cannot thrive without a little moisture. You need to provide a soil mix that has good drainage to prevent rotting. Regular potting soil with slightly loam characteristic is good for the plant.
Unlike other succulents, you cannot wait until the soil dry to water Aeonium. Make sure to provide enough irrigation during the growing season, especially in winter and spring.
How to Multiply Aeonium Sunburst
Sunburst succulent plant can be multiplied (propagated) by planting living stems inside ideal soil. Since the rosette grows on top of a single stem, it may weigh down and break the stem.
When this happens, you can plant the broken stem in new garden soil or pot and let it grow.
During the growing period, you may see new side shoots coming beside the adult plant. Whenever you see the shoots, cut them to plant Aeonium, so you will always have a new plant growing. Let the stem end dries for one or two days before you plant it.
Never cut the stems for propagation during the dormant period, which usually happens during summer. Stems will not grow roots if you take them from dormant plants.
How to Care for Aeonium Sunburst
Aeonium sunburst care requires slightly more attention than other succulents. If you keep them in ideal condition, they will thrive without much fuss. Here are the steps of caring for sunburst plan:
Keep the plant in partial shade
Place your sunburst plants in spots that will get partial shade during half the day. If you keep them in pots, you may need to place them on different spots in the garden, especially if you don’t have ideal spots for such lighting condition.
Water occasionally during summer
Aeonium usually goes dormant during summer, and it stores water for the purpose. Limit watering to once a week during this time, to prevent rotting because of excessive water. However, don’t let the plants get scorched and dried out since heat can shrivel the leaves.
Water more often during winter
Aeonium grows during winter, so you need to increase watering during cold days. Please pay attention to the soil and water whenever you see it dry (but not cracked). Test by putting your finger one to two inches deep inside the soil. If the finger comes out dry, it is time to water the plant.
Prepare new pots with a soil mixture to repot the succulent every few years. While the rosette can be replanted once it falls, it is better to repot the plant before the fall and plant the stems yourself properly.
Garden Types Suitable for Aeonium Sunburst
The sunburst plant’s special characteristics make it perfect for certain types of garden. It is perfect to adorn coastal garden since it can take wind and salt sprays tolerantly. Succulents are generally good for the coastal garden since this garden type needs hardy plants.
Sunburst plans are also perfect for the rock garden. The elegant but hardy characteristics are suitable for rough landscape. They are also great as border plants, which you can grow on uncovered parts of a rock garden. Combine the sunburst plants with other Aeonium types to create a unique look.
The Mediterranean garden is also great for sunburst plan since it thrives in a Mediterranean climate. Plant the sunburst around fountain pool or between stone tiles. Try planting the sunburst with other Aeonium types that have different colours, such as A. arboreum atropurpureum (maroon leaves), A. haworthii tricolour (green, yellow, pink), or A. arboreum zwartkop (black).
Common Aeonium Sunburst Problems
Aeonium is a hardy genus. These succulents are not bothered by deer and rabbits, and few bugs bother them. However, you can still expect scales, mites, and aphids to appear on them. If the problem is mild, you can treat it with horticultural soap or oil instead of insecticide.
Slugs may appear on Aeonium plants and take some bites. You can pick them up to prevent the damage. Other precaution step includes scattering crushed eggshells around the plant. They will create a sharp surface that feels unpleasant for the slugs to crawl on. You can also try sprinkling salt on them since Aeonium sunburst tolerates salt.
The sunburst plant is a unique succulent that has the otherworldly appearance, but it requires more attention than typical succulents. It requires enough light with partial shade, more water during winter, and continues stem planting for propagation if you want to keep them thriving. Despite the extra requirements, Aeonium sunburst is a perfect plan for those who love unique, elegant succulents.