Aeonium Ciliatum (Friged green aeonium)

arge rosettes, up to 30cms of green leaves with slightly frilly edges that go red in the sun. The plant branches freely and the head can become quite top-heavy,. In some summers, it can produce a spike of small creamy flowers above the foliage.

It is not frost hardy so best in a pot so it can be overwintered indoors. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Feed lightly and water in the spring when it begins to grow. A bright spot but not in blazing sun.

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Hardiness level Red

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Trunk-forming succulents bring some chubby architecture into a dry gravel garden, generous door-flanking container or terracotta window trough (or lead. But not plastic, we implore you). Even the most bijou of succulent collections needs height and interest, and as more people seem to be pushing the boat out with such things we present to you the Fringed Green Aeonium. Not overwhelmingly named but it is an Aeonium, it is green and it is fringed.

It does boisterously big rosettes of spoon-shaped leaves, up to 30cms in diameter, held stiffly aloft on textured stalks like cartoon trees and they look tremendous hovering above Echeverias and other ‘House leeks’ in a gravelly vessel, branching freely and over time developing their own performance of spinning green plates. The rosette leaves do have a slightly frilly, fuzzy edge to them and these will go distinctly red the sun. Given their size these heads can become quite top-heavy, so keep an eye on them for toppling.

Should any hit the deck don’t fret, one of the many joys of succulents is their willingness to re-root from damaged chunks so place any plummeted rosettes onto some well-draining substrate and wait. In some summers, if it’s long and warm, it will produce a spike of small creamy flowers above the foliage.

It is not frost hardy although we’ve heard some folk in sheltered urban centres have managed to bring them through the winter either through bravery or forgetfulness. We’d advocate for potting it so it can be overwintered indoors safely as the collapsed flump of a frostbitten Aeonium is not pretty. Wherever it’s grown, give it a bright spot and allow the soil to dry out between watering. Blazing full-on sunshine will scorch it. Feed lightly when it begins to grow.


N.B. When clipping several plants with the same tool, have a bucket containing a 5% bleach solution and swish your blades around for 30 seconds between plants to sterilise them. This will help avoid the chance of cross contamination of disease.

As with all woody plants, plant high, exposing as much of the taper at the base of the trunk as possible. Allowing soil to accumulate round the base of a tree can be fatal. Keep very well-watered when first planted.


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