Aeonioum Sunburst, is a hybrid succulent plant from the family Crasaulaceae. It is a very popular succulent due to the large variegated, tricolour leaves forming a showy rosette.
Aeonium Sunburst is a medium sized shrub with the main stem branching out and ending in a rosettes type arrangement. Each rosette can measure up to 30-40 cm across, depending on conditions it’s grown in. Plants in shade can measure wider and grow longer leaves whereas plants grown in full sun will be more compact and smaller, with more stubby and colourful leaves. This cultivar can grow over 50cm tall and wide. The leaves are green, yellow and pink with a pointy end. Plants grown in the shade tend not to develop the pink edges that the sun grown plants have. Young rosettes form in a circle around more mature rosettes and eventually branch out.
The flowering of this plant can be random, depending on the age and location of the plant. Most of the time Aeonium Sunburst can flower in late winter-early spring. A cone of cream flowers will grow out of the centre of the rosette. The flowers last for approximately a month then the rosette will die. The flower spike, including the rosette it is shooting out off can be cut down completely. It is unlikely the whole plant will die when flowers appear, only the rosettes that have flowered.
Aeonium Sunburst easily propagates by cuttings. The best time to propagate is in early spring. As with most Aeoniums, Aeonium Sunburst is a summer dormant plant and difficult to propagate during the summer months.
After cutting an offset or a branch, leave in a shaded, dry spot for about 24 hours and then plant either directly in the garden or in succulent potting mix in a pot. Keep the planted cutting a very bright protected spot with morning sun/ filtered light/ under 30% shade cloth to maintain the colour and hardiness of the plant. Roots should appear in 3-4 weeks.
Aeonium Sunburst is unlikely to grow from leaf or seed.
Aeonium Sunburst is a hardy plant that can withstand poor soil and a range of temperatures. It is not frost hardy and will freeze and die if exposed to temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius (32 F). If grown in a climate where frost and snow is common in winter, this plant should be grown in pots and brought indoors until the danger of frosts passes.
The best position for this plant is morning sun, however, it can also be grown in full sun and bright shade. Plants in shade will grow larger, longer leaves with less colour and plants in sun will grow compact and brilliant vibrant yellow, green and pink.
Aeonium Sunburst is suitable to plant in the garden as well as in pots, though the pot should be fairly big. Pot plants should be kept in afternoon shade during heatwaves over 40 C (104F). Plants in the ground should cope with these temperatures as their root system can stay cool.
For best result, water this plant when the potting mix/soil has dried up. Aeonium Sunburst will cope with droughts, but to prevent soil becoming hydrophobic, it should be watered regularly.
Aeoniums are dormant in summer and grow in the cooler months, unlike most other succulents. It is best they are left alone in summer, though they will need to be watered when temperatures rise.
To prune Aeonium Sunburst cut the tallest head or the heads you do not wish to keep with clean scissors. If you only want one main head on a taller stalk, you can keep cutting offsets as they appear. If you'd like a bushy plant take to tallest head to allow the offsets underneath to spread and create new ones.
We do not advise to just prune leaves halfway through. If there are damaged or discoloured leaves pull to the side to take them off completely.
Aeonium Sunburst, especially if grown in pots, is susceptible to mealy bugs and aphids. Mealy bugs can either hide in-between the leaves, close to the stalk or attack the root system. Aphids often appear when the weather starts warming up in early spring and are more easily spotted as they tend to attack the centre of the rosettes, though, sometimes can also hide on the undersides of the leaves.
Caterpillars and snails are also known to feed on aeonium leaves.
Aeoniums are said to be deer resistant.
In Australia, Aeoniums will be eaten by possums if they are within their reach.
Aeonium Sunburst is a little harder to come by. If it is not available in nurseries, online succulent shops will almost certainly stock them. These plants may be more readily available in their growing season.