Aeonium Zwartkop | 7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About |

Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’ is an amazing succulent with an unusual color combination. The name originates from a Dutch name which means the black head.

Further it could also relate to the two German words ‘Schwartzkopf’ or ‘Schwarzkopf. They also mean the black head.

This is a monocarpic plant which could be taller once it grows. However it would take several years to produce a bloom.

This succulent is commonly called as black rose, black tree Aeoniums and black beauty. Let’s find out this black beauty in this article.

Aeonium Zwartkop

How do I identify Aeonium zwartkop?

The highlight of the plant would be the foliage they carry in beautiful dark purple. You could spot them in almost black color.

Aeonium zwartkop will form rosettes in a striking manner. Those rosettes would look like flowers. 

Size 

When they mature, plants could grow about 4 feet ( 1.2m ) tall. Rosettes will be about 20 cm wide.

One look care guide

Botanical NameAeonium Arboretum ‘Zwartkop’
Common Nameblack rose,
Plant TypeSucculent
Mature Size4 feet ( 1.2m ) tall.
Sun ExposureFull sunlight to partial sunlight
Soil TypeWell draining
Soil pHmoderately acidic or slightly acidic or even in neutral soil
Bloom TimeSummer
Flower ColorYellow
Hardiness Zones9-12
Native AreaCanary Islands
ToxicityNon toxic
Average price  8 USD

How do you take care of Aeonium zwartkop? 

Light Requirement 

Aeonium zwartkop would enjoy growing under partial shady areas. However, they can also thrive in full sunlight as well.

If you have placed your plant in a bright sunny place where it would get extreme sunlight, it is best to acclimate the plant, to avoid it getting damaged .

Ensure that you gradually expose the plant to full sunlight. So that the plant will not  get traumatized. 

If you expose your plant for a heat wave or under intense heat , chances are that  they could suffer from sun damage and sunburn.

In those circumstances, best is to relocate them indoors or to a shady place to protect them from those.

Temperature and humidity

They would prefer to have hot and dry conditions to thrive well. The best possible minimum temperature that Aeonium zwartkop could thrive in is -4 degrees Celsius.

That could thrive in that temperature for a  shorter period.

Aeonium Zwartkop

Is it cold hardy

Aeonium zwartkop is not a cold hardy plant. They can thrive in mild frost conditions. However they cannot survive in freezing temperatures for a prolonged period of time.

In case, if you have exposed your plant to freezing temperatures . chances are that they could not thrive in those conditions and could finally perish.  

 If you consider a mild winter situation, Aeonium zwartkop could still survive if we keep them outdoors.

With that being said, If you are someone who lives in an area where you will go through extreme winter conditions, you need to take necessary actions to safeguard your plant from freezing temperatures and from frost.  

You could simply relocate the Aeonium zwartkop plant indoors when you experience those conditions. You should ideally grow them in pots or in containers which you can  easily relocate.

However, If it is not possible for you to bring it indoors,  you could utilize frost covers or even frost clothes to safeguard them from those conditions.

Hardiness Zone

They would love to grow in USDA hardiness zones 9-12

Watering Requirement 

We need to water the Aeonium zwartkop weekly if they are experiencing extreme heat conditions especially during summer times.

When weather conditions get better, you could water them once every 12 days, particularly if you have planted them outdoors.

On the other hand, if you have grown them in humid areas,you do not have to water them as often as above.

During the winter season, you could simply let Aeonium zwartkop to depend on rain water and refrain from watering them often.

Having said, if you don’t get rain during winter, you could water them every three weeks

Aeonium zwartkop prefers the rain water during winter. They tend to grow better due to that reason during these days. Their growing season could be from winter to early spring.

Furthermore, if you still wish to clarify whether you need to water the Aeonium zwartkop plants, you could simply inspect the moisture level of the soil.

If you feel like it is dry when you touch it, you need to resume watering. Keep in mind, to not over water them as it is always better to under water them.

Soil Requirement Type / pH

Just as with other succulents in general, Aeonium zwartkop also wishes to have a soil type which has an excellent draining.

You can be tactful and apply some perlite Into the  cactus potting mix and then use. Further if  you are lives in a dry area, you could mix them at a ratio of 2:1.

If you live in a humid area, mix them at a ratio of 1:1. You could use sandy soil blending with potting soil along with coarse sands instead of perlite.

Aeonium zwartkop likes to stay in a moderately acidic or slightly acidic or even neutral soil mix. They would prefer a soil mix along with light composition. Ideal pH could vary  from 5.6-7.3.

Flowering and Fragrance  

Aeonium zwartkop are monocarpic plants which means they perish once they bloom

This is a common feature among the other Aeoniums too. Once they bloom in summer , the flowers will be yellow.

Flowers are made from the center of the Rosset. You could spot flowers significantly as they are contradictory to the color of the foliage  of the plant.  

Flowering would only take place, when the plant has formed a lot of offsets and baby plants.

The offsets will propagate on their own and will continue forming more offsets after the parent plant perishes.

Aeonium Zwartkop

Pot size Potting and Repotting

You should do repotting during their actively growing season. Firstly, remove the  plant from the pot gently without harming it.

You could trim it away from the root mass.

After that , place the root ball in a new fresh container with proper soil mix. Ensure that you place the plant at the previously grown depth in the original pot.

Fill the pot with more soil mix. You could water them after two days of repotting. Keep watering them during their growing season. Minimize watering in the dormant season.

When you select the pot, ensure that it contains  enough draining holes for better drainage.

Where to Plant 

Aeonium zwartkop cannot withstand the colder temperatures.  Hence, If you live in a place where the temperature drops to-1° C (30° F) or more, the best thing is to bring it indoors.

Best is to grow the Aeonium zwartkop plant in a container or in a pot which you could easily  relocate. It prefers to be in sunlight. They could do well in bright sunlight.

Best recommended is to place the Aeonium zwartkop plant in a place where it could get at least 6 hours of bright sunlight.

If you have grown it  indoors, ensure that you have  planted it  near a window from where it could get adequate sunlight.

Fertilizer and time of year

You may add a little dose of fertilizers during their actively growing season which is from spring to summer.

You may use a fertilizer like Nitrofoska. You could feed them once every fifteen days. A spoonful would be  adequate  for this purpose.

Dormancy

Aeonium zwartkop are summer dormant plants. They usually tend to shed their leaves during dormancy.

Stems would also look bare. However their dormancy is temporary and they get back to their usual growing pattern when the weather conditions get better and whether temperature cools down.

During dormancy of these plants, you can’t expect them to be growing well.  Instead they will be in sleep mode.

Refrain in propagating, repotting during this period. Unless, those will lead the plant to stress. You should control Watering too. 

Be mindful to not over water or over feed them during their dormancy. If you do so, they could badly affect the plant.

Aeonium Zwartkop 5 1

Other plants Pairs Well With

Aloe juvenna “Tiger Tooth Aloe” could make a great pair with Aeonium zwartkop plants.

Can it be toxic to pets

They are generally non-toxic to both humans and animals

Common bugs and  illness issues 

Leaves falling off could be one major issue of these plants. This mainly happens due to faults in watering. It could be either under watering or even over watering . Adjust your watering accordingly.

Do not keep the soil moist as it could lead to root rots. Repotting would be the best remedy for this lf you have come across any root rots. .

Aphids attack – They could also damage the plant and could cause to develop black sooty mold which is harmful for the plant.

Mealybug  Attack – They usually form on the leaves as white cotton spots. They could develop mold and will make the plant vulnerable for more diseases. You need to treat this with a fungicide immediately.

Ants invasion – Whenever aphids and mealybugs are present on your plant, you will get ants. They also land on the plant and harm them.

Special Care tips

You have to be careful when watering.  You could be tricky in placing the plant in a saucer of water for a few hours.

That will allow the roots to absorb the required amount of water through their draining holes

These are easy to care for plants. simply fulfill their basic requirements and they will reward you with a great plant

Aeonium Zwartkop

How do you propagate a Aeonium zwartkop? 

Stem cutting would be the best way to propagate these plants. This method will give you the most reliable results  and it will be the faster way  too.

First, you have to obtain a stem cutting. Leave it for two days until it gets dry. However, if you live somewhere which is humid, then you should leave it like that for some more days.

Of course the duration to get the stem cutting  dry could change  depending on the thickness of the stem . If the stem is more thick, it will take a longer time to get it dry.

Secondly you could dip the cut edge in a rooting hormone.

This is not mandatory to do. However if you wish for speedy results and if you want to make this propagation process more successful, you may go ahead with this step.  

When the stems have become calloused, place them in a well draining soil mix.

Resume watering them every few days when the soil is dry. Do not expose them  for direct sunlight.

It could take several weeks to form the new roots. After that, it will take a few more weeks for the stem cuttings to  root in the soil. You could get that verified by simply tugging at it.

If the plant is not sliding , that means the roots have established in the new soil mix.

Refrain in exposing them for direct sunlight until the roots get completely established. You could gradually increase the sun exposure as it grows.  

Aeonium zwartkop losing leaves and causes

It is quite normal for these plants to drop their older leaves when their new leaves grow. The older leaves will look wilted, withered, droopy and brown in color.  

Particularly the leaves at the base of the plant tend to dry up fast and drop as the leaves develop at the top of the plant.

Furthermore, if they are experiencing extreme heat or summer months, they will tend to drop their leaves and look like the plant is dying.

How do you repot Aeonium zwartkop?

You should do repotting  during their actively growing season.  Firstly, remove the  plant from the pot gently without harming it.

You could trim it away from the root mass. After that , place the root ball in a new fresh container with proper soil mix.

Ensure that you place the plant at the previously grown depth in the original pot.

Fill the pot with more soil mix. You could water them after two days of repotting. Keep watering them during their growing season. Minimize watering in the dormant season.

Aeonium zwartkop plant benefits

We could use these plants for gardens given that we could provide the proper environmental conditions for them. Furtherwe could use them for  Beds and Borders, Patio alo. 

They would make a great fit for containers as well. Moreover we could plant them in rock gardens, succulent gardens and in Mediterranean gardens as well.

Aeonium Zwartkop 4 1

Related questions 

Is Aeonium zwartkop an indoor plant?

You could grow this as an indoor plant if you could provide them adequate sunlight. These plants require adequate levels of sunlight to survive and to remain in  the attractive purple color.

It would be better if we could grow them outdoors since they can gain plenty of sunlight there.

If you are someone who lives in an area where you will go through extreme winter conditions, you need to take necessary actions to safeguard your plant from freezing temperatures and from frost.  

Then you simply have to plant them   indoors when you experience those conditions. You should ideally grow them in pots or in containers which you could easily relocate. 

When you grow them  indoors, make sure that they get adequate sunlight to maintain their optimal growth as well as to maintain their purple color.

Is Aeonium zwartkop toxic?

They are  generally non-toxic to both humans and animals

Does Aeonium zwartkop need direct sunlight 

It is not mandatory to have direct sunlight. In fact these plants would thrive in six hours of bright sunlight. It could be ideally the morning sunlight. In the afternoon, they would be pleased with partial sunlight during the afternoon.

Should I mist my Aeonium zwartkop?

You should not mist these plants.  In terms of watering these plants, you should water them thoroughly and deeply instead of misting.

Credit to: Urban Scape Bangalore
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About author

I’m Dr. Chamika, As a hobby love talking about plants and showing you that taking care of indoor plants. My website is knowledge I’ve learned over the years and continue to learn about growing succulents. If you’re a succulent lover, then you have come to the correct place.