I’ve been asked a lot over the last couple of years for an update on my Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’ and cuttings (read part one and part two) and I kept promising to write one and then forgetting. Finally though I’ve stopped being lazy and forgetful, and here for your delight, is an introduction to my now extensive Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’ tribe, all originating from the original plant.
To bring you up-to-speed, a few years on from discovering how easy Aeoniums are to propagate from cuttings, I now leave all my Aeoniums outside year round. This is in part because our garden is so sheltered here in Clapham I can do that but also because I noticed they can survive down to -7C (test in your area with one plant first). In terms of branching, you can see above that the cuttings are showing no problem in doing this naturally when left outside.
I’m not quite sure why they seem to branch better outside, perhaps it’s their natural way of growing? They do attract caterpillars in winter here outside but they’re not eating the main growing point completely because it still grows.
All of these plants were grown from small offshoots that I snapped off and rooted. I find they root so easily and quickly, that it’s almost too easy and you could find yourself addicted to growing a collection of them… like me.
The smaller ones are the youngest but are growing quickly now we’re into the warmer weather. They seem to go much lighter in winter and it’s only now that rich black emerges, it’s very satisfying when they change because I found I was forgetting just how dark they can be.
I feel I should probably explain why I have so many and haven’t given them away. This year I want to make our garden feel naturalistic (albeit a totally made up place type naturalism) and have dotted the Aeoniums all about the place like weird alien flower mushrooms.
Despite originally not overly liking the plant because they looked a bit too odd and clunky, I’ve become very fond of my tribe and so I’ve explored ways to integrate them and they’re now a main element of the garden.
And what of the original plant? You’ve actually already seen it in the main image of this page. Here’s the parent now:
I love its natural lean and here I’ve used that to trail it over our raised bed wall, which I think looks great. It’s never been as vigorous as its cuttings, something wrong with its roots I believe. I could rectify that but I enjoy a plant’s peculiar characteristics and detest everything being perfect.