The Aeonium Zwartkop, also known as succulent black rose, black Aeonium or blackhead plant, belonging to the Crassulaceae family, originating in the Canary Islands or from different areas of Africa such as Morocco.
It is a succulent perennial and hybrid plant, that is, it is the result of the crossing of other plants.
It is believed that it could be a hybrid of Aeonium Arboreum or Aeonium Manriqueorum.
One of the most notorious characteristics of this plant and which, makes it a very captivating plant, is the almost black purple color it has.
Its leaves are about 6-8 inches long and 15-20 cm wide, its leaves are bright, fleshy, dark burgundy and pointed.
One of the biggest attractions of this plant is that, if grown in full sun, its foliage becomes almost black and if it grows in partial shade, the rosettes are reddish-purple with a green center.
The Aeonium Zwartkop produces yellow flowers, which are grouped in clusters, which makes a wonderful contrast with the purple blackish color of the leaves.
Tips to take care of the Aeonium arboreum Zwartkop
As we mentioned earlier, the Aeonium arboreum Zwartkop is characterized by its purple color almost black when it is in full sun and when it is in partial shade, the color is reddish-purple with a green center.
The good thing about this plant is that it can grow both in full sunlight and in partial shade, depending on the color you want the plant to take.
You only need sun in winter and protect them from the wind in spring.
During the summer it is good to protect the plant from the sun in the sunniest hours of the day.
The darker the leaves, the better the tolerance to the sun.
They need warm temperatures to develop in the correct way. The minimum temperature supported by the Aeonium Zwartkop is -4 ° C, only for short periods.
The Aeonium Zwartkop can be grown directly in the garden in suitable climates and also in pots, with a mix of potting soil with special soil for succulents and cactus.
If they are cultivated in pots, it is necessary to place a layer of volcanic gravel in the bottom of them to facilitate the drainage and not to place plates, so that the water of irrigation flows freely.
You can make your own mix of equal parts of potting soil and soil for cactus and succulents. Add some wood shavings to add texture to the floor.
The Aeonium Zwartkop can be easily cultivated in sandy soils, dry to moderately humid and well-drained in full sun or medium shades.
The Aeonium Zwartkop should be watered once a week in winter and twice a week in summer, making sure that between irrigation, the soil is perfectly dry.
But do not leave the soil too dry. When they are on the ground, they need less watering than plants that are in pots.
And in places that rain a lot, they do not need you to water them.
Avoid puddling and remove excess water that may remain in the pot dish (if you use the dish).
Although they tolerate drought, Aeonium requires a more regular watering than other succulents, since they have a shallow and relatively small root system.
Plagues and diseases:
The plants can present problems with typical garden pests, such as woodlice or aphids.
The main enemy of this plant is the excess of irrigation or poor drainage of the substrate, which can cause fungus and rot.
Spray the succulent well with some natural anti-pest soap or neem oil at the first sign of pests and repeat this process weekly until the pests have disappeared.
They reproduce easily by cuttings that can take from the ends of the stems.
The ideal period to collect cuttings, is from mid-spring to early summer, you just have to cut the ends of the tall stems with the rosette of leaves and a piece of the stem, let the wound dry for a few days and plant the cut separately and in a few weeks, roots will develop.
It is important to transplant the black Aeonium every two or three years into a pot slightly larger than the plant. It is very easy to transplant it, you just have to follow the following steps:
1. Loosen the plant carefully from its pot by grasping the base of the stem.
2. Then shake off the excess soil.
3. Trim damaged or decaying roots with disinfected scissors.
4. And finally, just plant it in another larger pot.
The Aeonium arboreum Zwartkop flowers from winter to spring, presenting intense yellow flowers grouped in spike. After flowering, the rosette suffers a withering but then recovers.
During the whole growing season, that is, from spring until the end of summer, it can be extended until autumn, it is important that if you live in a mild climate, you must pay with mineral fertilizer, such as Nitrofoska, by throwing a small spoonful once every 15 days.
Prune the plant:
This type of plant does not need to be pruned, you just have to remove the dry and battered parts, to avoid creating parasitic diseases.
The Aeonium Zwartkop, is a kind of succulent, which adds a very interesting touch to any garden, thanks to the peculiar color of its leaves and the beautiful contrast they make with their yellow flowers.
Like any Aeonium, this plant requires low maintenance, only that, although it requires more watering than any succulent, care must be taken with the excess water, since this could cause the roots of the plant to grow rot.
Like always is a great plant to add to your collection.
Hope this article was helpful please let me know if you have any questions.