Sunday, 14 October 2012

Growth Report: Aeonium Schwartzkopf

I brought my Aeonium Schwartzkopf (also known as zwartkop) inside a couple of weeks ago and you can see that it has lost a lot of colour already. I got this plant of eBay almost exactly a year ago ('before shot is the last pic on the page). It is amazing to see how it reacts to light, darkening almost immediately. Aeoniums are known as potentially very fast growers, so in that respect the growth this year is slightly disappointing. It did grow however as you can see. The rosettes have doubled in size (maybe even more than doubled) and there the stems have also grown about twice as long as you can see quite clearly in the pic below.

Here you can see by the colour difference that the branches have grown about twice as long. At the height of summer it went semi dormant and did not grow at all but right now there is actually something of a growth spurt of a couple of fingers breadths. How I am going to prune it will decide how the plant is going to look in the future. Most people strive for a full bushy plant full of rosettes. But I much prefer a plant with a lot of exposed stem, an airy and architectural look. To try and get that look I will postpone pruning it too soon. As soon as you cut of a rosette you encourage branching. I think I will wait with pruning until the branches are twice as long again and then I might cut of one of the rosettes. I will probably have to repot into a larger and mostly heavier pot  because the rosettes have grown so much and it is starting to get a bit top heavy.

Winter care: I have put this inside because the chance of a sneaky frost is a bit too high for my liking. It is still in active growth so I am still watering once a week, though I will nudge it into dormancy in a month or so.

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