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The Black Rose Succulent | All You Need to Know

Black Rose Succulent

Meet the succulent Aeonium Arboreum Zwartkop, also known as the Black Rose Succulent.

When grown properly, Black Rose Succulent can bring fairy tale magic to your home or garden by transforming into an enchanted tree of beautiful burgundy roses.

Aeonium Arboreum ‘Zwartkop’ (Black Rose) is one of the most striking plants in the succulent family. If you have chosen to carry this lovely plant into your home, you will need to learn some tips to ensure proper care for your lovely succulent.

This plant can be defined as a Dark Knight in the backyard when illuminated by moonlight, as it adds tremendous suspense with its striking appearance. It has intricately layered, dark stubby rosettes that sprout at the tips of bare branches like Gothic pinwheels.

The Black Rose is a big, airy shrub that looks artificially perfect in a single whimsical planter while commanding attention when clustered in masses. With just a few simple requirements and a few grooming tips, the Black Rose succulent will easily become the center of attention wherever it resides.

Buy Black Rose Succulent - Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’

The Story Behind The Black Rose Succulent

This succulent’s genus name (Aeonium) is derived from the ancient Greek word “aionos,” which means “ageless,” and refers to the Dark Rose succulent’s youthful properties. This evergreen belongs to the Crassulaceae family of subtropical plants and is a common horticultural succulent.

The Canary Islands have been the Black Rose succulent’s natural habitat, focusing on Tenerife, El Hierro, Gran Canaria, La Palma, and La Gomera.

The succulent has been found in North Africa, from Madeira, Morocco’s western coast, across Ethiopia, the Semien Mountains, and East Africa. Between the 8th and 6th centuries BC introduced the Greco-Roman world to the Black Rose along the Mediterranean Sea. Succulents have recently been grown in California and the Iberian Peninsula in South Western Europe.

Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’ Blooms.

Black Rose Succulent Bloom
Black Rose Succulent Flower

The Dutch name ‘Zwartkop’ was registered in the Abbey Gardens catalogs starting in the early 1980s. It also goes by the German word ‘Schwarzkopf,’ which translates to ‘Black Head.’ While it is unclear if the plant originated in Holland or Germany, it is accepted that its seedling was raised in Europe and introduced to the United States by the UC Berkeley Botanic Garden.

The Black Rose succulent has been given the descriptive names Aeonium arboreum, Aeonium ‘Black Rose,’ Tree House Leek, Irish Rose, Purple Crest Aeonium Aeonium Black Top due to its unique appearances of large, dark, fleshy leaves and stalk-like stems.

In 1993, this cultivar received the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit.

The Black Rose Succulent Stands Out In a Crowd.

Black Rose Succulent

Aeonium Black Rose grows up to 3 feet (90 cm) long, with smooth curving stems and chunky rosettes of dark burgundy leaves. The succulent grows in clumps of bare, gray-brown stems meticulously arranged and begin branching from the plant’s base.

Large terminal rosettes with thick, waxy pointed leaves grow from the stems’ tips and can spread to a diameter of 6 to 8 inches (15.24 to 20.32 cm). These succulents enjoy the sun and the cold, with leaves that turn a dark, almost black hue in the sun and a reddish-purple tint with a green base.

All summer long, Black Rose succulent owners will receive a special treat. Pyramid-shaped, bright yellow flowers bloom in long, conical clusters from the center of mature plant rosettes, offering a stark contrast to the dark leaves.

Aeoniums are monocarpic species, which means that the rosette can only bloom once and then die. However, flowering does not occur every year, and not all rosettes bloom at the same time so that you can be confident of long-term plant life.

The Growing Requirments for 'Zwartkop' (Black Rose)

Whereas most succulents are low-maintenance, the Black Rose Zwartkop needs some care. This plant is particular about its soil needs and water requirements, making it a one-of-a-kind succulent.

You can also grow Aeonium Arboreum ‘Zwartkop’ indoors, but you must meet indoor growing criteria.

If you’re growing them indoors, place the pot near the brightest window to ensure the plant gets plenty of light.

Furthermore, avoid overwatering them and plant them in well-draining soil while growing them indoors. Read about the outdoor growing requirements for Aeonium Arboreum ‘Zwartkop’ in the following segment.

Let There Be Light All Around The Black Rose Succulent

Light around the black rose succulent

These succulents need a lot of light to survive when it comes to Aeonium Arboreum ‘Zwartkop’ caring. This is why these chubby succulents grow outdoors, even in cold weather.

The Black Rose is a sun worshiper, choosing to spend at least 6 hours in partial shade to full sun. To allow the plant to acclimate without getting sunburned on the leaves, it should be gradually exposed to intense sunlight. Mature plants can withstand full sun exposure better than younger, less developed plants.

This aeonium succulent doesn’t mind being indoors as long as it’s perched in the house’s brightest part. During the warmer months, it would enjoy the chance to spend some time outside. If you cannot relocate the plant, you should consider purchasing a grow light.

This shrubby succulent thrives in USDA hardiness zones 9–12 and can withstand temperatures as high as 100°F (38°C). The Aeonium Black Rose can withstand light frost but not freezing temperatures.

The Black Rose Has Specific Soil Desires.

Unlike other succulents, the Aeonium Black Rose will not thrive in cacti and succulent potting mix. They need well-draining soil that is mildly or moderately acidic or neutral, with a light composition and pH range of approximately 5.6 to 7.3.

These plants prefer dry to medium soil moisture and dislike wet soil.

This succulent can thrive in a mixture of cactus potting mix and perlite, with a bit of peat moss added to increase the soil’s porosity.

Use a combination of cactus potting mix and perlite; if you live in a dry environment, use a 2:1 solution of cactus mix and perlite. If you’re growing the plant in a humid environment, blend perlite and cactus potting mix in a 1:1 ratio. You can use sandy soil by combining potting soil and coarse sand instead of perlite.

Watering Requirments

While most succulents are drought-tolerant, must water them according to the environment in which they grow. It is also affected by the humidity and weather in your area. E.g., if you live in an arid environment, you will need to water your chubby succulents more frequently.

During the summer, when temperatures are high, you can water your Aeonium Arboreum ‘Zwartkop’ every seven days. However, when the weather cools down, water them every 12 days, particularly if you have placed the plant outside. Conversely, if you live in a humid climate, you would not need to water them as often.

Similarly, if you have high humidity levels inside, your succulents’ water needs would be different. It is preferable to rely primarily on rainwater during the winter and avoid watering succulents more frequently. Water your Aeonium Arboreum ‘Zwartkop’ once every three weeks if your region does not receive any rain during the winter.

Propagating the Black Rose succulent

Stem cuttings are the best way to propagate an Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop.’ These plants do not reproduce from leaves, but stem cuttings are simple to propagate and almost always successful.

  1. Take stem cutting as the first step. Allow it to dry for a day or two. If you live in a humid climate, the process may take longer than two days, depending on the thickness of the stem. The longer it takes to dry, the thicker the stem.
  2. Apply rooting hormone to the plant (optional step). I usually skip this step, but some people like to help speed up the rooting and propagation process.
  3. Place them in well-draining potting soil after the stems have dried and sealed or calloused.
  4. Step 4: Water the soil every few days or when it becomes dry, and keep it out of direct sunlight.

  5. Roots should have formed after a few weeks. In a few weeks, the stem cuttings should be rooted in soil. By tugging on the plant, you can see if it has rooted.

    If the plant does not easily slide out of the soil, roots have formed, and you now have a new plant that will grow, branch out, and produce more aeoniums.

  6. Keep the plant out of direct sunlight until it has fully rooted. As the plant matures, gradually increase the amount of light.

  7. As the plant matures, you can reduce watering as it becomes more drought tolerant.


Black Rose Succulent propagateLeading Lifestyle PathosBay
Black Rose Succulent propagate 1 Leading Lifestyle PathosBay

Stem cuttings of Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’ (Black Rose) propagate very easily. Place them in soil, and they will root in a matter of weeks. Soon, you’ll have a slew of new plants sprouting up all over the place.

Broken stem of Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’ (Black Rose)
I was able to propagate this stem by sticking it in the soil after it broke off. It is now flourishing in the same pot.

Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’ (Black Rose) stem cutting Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’ stem cutting Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’ stem cutting Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’ stem cutting Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’
This plant sprouted from a broken stem (see above). It is still doing well and may need to be repotted to a larger pot soon because it is outgrowing this one.

Threats To The Black Rose Succulent

Overwatering is the most dangerous threat to any Black Rose succulent owner. Because of their small and shallow root system, these succulents are prone to drowning.

While aeoniums are usually pest-free, aphids and mealybugs enjoy munching on the stems and leaves. If you see a line of ants moving around your plant or a white, cotton-like material on the leaves, it’s a sure sign that your succulent is infected. Can solve your bug problem with a good squirt of insecticidal soap or neem oil.

The exceptional Aeonium Black Rose will add an exquisite buzz and beauty as a backdrop plant in a rock garden or as a vibrant show on a sunny windowsill if you’re looking for a succulent that will turn heads.

The Bottom Line

Adding another lovely succulent to your garden sounds exciting, but bear in mind that the plant requires proper care to grow healthy. By following the instructions outlined above, you will ensure that your Aeonium Arboreum ‘Zwartkop’ (Black Rose) grows happy and healthy.

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