Aeonium haworthii


Sempervivum haworthii


Aeonium haworthii is native to the Canary Islands, off the coast of northwest Africa. This region is characterized by its mild, temperate climate, and the plant thrives in rocky, coastal areas where it experiences a mix of sun and partial shade.


Aeonium haworthii is a striking succulent belonging to the Crassulaceae botanical family. This species grows in a branching pattern, with multiple rosettes forming on each branch. The rosettes themselves can be quite compact, measuring around 10 cm in diameter. The plant typically grows up to 60 cm in height and width. The leaves are spoon-shaped, green with pinkish-red edges, creating a beautiful contrast. In late winter to early spring, it produces pyramidal inflorescences of small, starry yellow flowers. These flowers are particularly attractive to bees and other pollinators. As a monocarpic plant, each rosette blooms once and then dies, but the plant continues to live and grow through new rosettes and branches.


The plant has a slow growth rate but it easy to cultivate. It prefers bright, indirect sunlight. Too much direct sun can scorch the leaves, while too little can cause leggy growth. It is not frost-tolerant and should be protected from temperatures below freezing. In cooler climates, it can be grown as a houseplant or moved indoors during winter. Well-draining soil is crucial, typically a mix designed for cacti and succulents. The plant does well in both ground soil and containers, making it versatile for gardeners. To achieve this feature, you can mix the pumice soil, clay and soil. Remember to use a perforating pot to drain excess water. Watering should be moderate but infrequent, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. The plant is drought-tolerant but benefits from regular watering during the growing season; in winter you should stop the watering to allow the plant to enter dormancy. If you want a faster and lush growth you can fertilize the plant once a month during the growing season with the specific fertilizers for succulents; stop fertilizing throughout the winter. If the pot starts to be too small for the plant you can repot the plant in a pot 2 cm wider. Repotting should be done early in the growing season with fresh new potting soil. Be careful to red spiders and mealy bugs.


Propagation can be done by stem cutting leaf cuttings or offsets. By stem cutting you can make the cut during the spring and then let the cutting dry; after a few days the cut surface will dry and a callus will form, then place the cutting in a mixture of sand, soil and pumice. By leaf cuttings you can pluck a leaf, let it callous over, and then lay it on soil until it roots and sprouts a new plant. The leaf cutting is easy but is a slower method. The plant occasionally produces offsets, or “pups,” which can be gently removed and replanted. To increase the success of propagation you can make two or more cuttings at the same time. For cuttings it is recommended temperatures around 20 °C.


The plants of the genus Aeonium are very efficient in the depuration of the environment and very robust. For these characteristics they are, among the plants, studied by NASA for future use inside the spacecraft. Aeonium haworthii can easily crossbreed with other Aeonium species, leading to a wide variety of hybrids, each with unique characteristics. In its native habitat, it plays a role in supporting local ecosystems, particularly as a source of nectar for pollinators.

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