Getting Leggy

JoMarie27April 27, 2013

This is my Zwartkop aeonium which I have had for about one year, repotting once. As you can see it just keeps going upward with no other growths on the leggy stem which is now getting shaky. How can I make it more bushy or treelike?

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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

It most likely needs more sunlight. You can cut the to off and root it to help the shakiness

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 10:46AM
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bikerdoc5968 Z6 SE MI

Absolutely time to whack it! I'd cut it about 4" below the last leaves and callous the cut end and replant. Once it puts out new growth from the residual stem, that can be cut again and again and... you get the point. Some peole put a very very thin coating of Vaseline on the top of the cut to get it to branch and have a full head at the top. never tried it so I don't know for sure.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 11:25AM
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Beachplants(Z11)

Yes I second/third that and you may get a nice bushy (er) version if you force the stem to make branches.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 12:08PM
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bikerdoc5968 Z6 SE MI

I think, as Rian is suggesting, is the purpose of painting the cut stem with some Vaseline. Someone quite some time ago posted this Aeonium and told of the use of the Vaseline trick. Maybe do a search?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 12:27PM
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JoMarie27

Thanks all. I going to feel a bit like an executioner cutting off such a luxuriant head, but I will just have to do it or else it is clearly going to topple over. This very day I shall approach with a sharp knife and some Vaseline and a little plant pot to stick the severed head in. I hope I don't murder it....

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 4:40AM
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cactusmcharris

I don't think I'd do it until they're going into grow again, in August / September. Most Aeoniums are going into dormancy now.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 11:17AM
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hanzrobo(11)

I agree with Jeff, bad timing. Wait until it comes back into growth. Yours is already going to sleep.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 11:52AM
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bikerdoc5968 Z6 SE MI

I know I said to whack it earlier in this post and I am in total agreement with both Jeff and Ryan as to timing. I received this cutting as a gift from a very wonderful lady with no roots about 10 days to 2 weeks ago. I didn't have a choice, as do you with regard to when you do the dastardly deed. I was curious to see, if it had rooted. As you can see it has, in deed, begun growing little roots. Now, I don't expect any growth until fall but I know, unless I get negligent with the water which is always a possibility, I should have a nice plant.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 1:35PM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

That probally is best. I hope you didnt already do so. I forgot they dont grow in summer

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 4:29PM
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JoMarie27

Too late! It is looking drooping and sad in a new pot - maybe I have lost it. I have left the 'leggy 'stem in its original pot.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 4:02AM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

OH NO!!!!! Im am sorry for telling you to cut it off. Please keep both plants just barely moist and ho[pe for the best

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 10:02AM
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cactusmcharris

No, teen, not moist. Moist means rot on a plant that hasn't any roots. If one must water (and I encourage one to do so, even though it's going into dormancy), mist the cuttings with no roots.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 1:14PM
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paleopaque

If you've already cut it, it should be fine. Just make sure you let the cut ends dry for a few days before planting, otherwise it may rot if you plant it too soon. If you have powdered rooting hormone, I would recut the end (maybe about 1/8"), dip the fresh cut in powdered rooting hormone, then let it re-callous. Plant it in free-draining potting soil a few days later. Keep it in a shaded, but warm area, and mist the plant's soil in 1 to 4 weeks (depending on your weather and local humidity, the hotter and dryer the sooner you want to mist the soil). Some people root their succulents in pure vermiculite (or pumice if you have it) then transfer the plant to potting soil after you see healthy roots. This enables you to control the rooting medium's moisture better (you want it moist, like a freshly squeezed sponge, but not dripping wet). Give it it's first deep watering after you see sizable roots. Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 12:29AM
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JoMarie27

I will get some rooting hormone and redo the cut and replant, keeping the soil fairly dry and just misting. I will leave the stem outside in a sunlit area to do its own thing if it decides to...This is my first cactus other than a couple of artificial ones. I must say the latter cause me far less trouble!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 4:04AM
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bikerdoc5968 Z6 SE MI

JoMarie, I know you have been bombarded with advice. I am not the most knowledgeable but when I received my cutting pictured above, I allowed it to callous about a week and just planted it up without rooting hormones or any special anything. I'm not saying these kinds of things might improve the chances of a successful rooting, but an anti fungal or Vaseline will help stave off rot. The thing is not to get things too wet before roots begin growing. A little bit of judicial neglect and you and your plant will succeed.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 10:25AM
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lzrddr(91360)

though I am sure it could happen, I have never seen a cutting of an Aeonium rot... I just snap mine in half, don't even bother with a knife. then I shove it in the soil a few seconds later. Never had a failure (except with the woody-stem types like A haworthii (and still they USUALLY root). Just keep warm and fairly dry a few days. These DO grow in spring, summer and fall, too, by the way... just slower. These will form new roots any time of your you make a cutting (unless it's snowing outside, or temps are over 110, or you try rooting it in tar, concrete, sea water, etc.).

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 4:35PM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

LOL IZRDDR.

"(unless it's snowing outside, or temps are over 110, or you try rooting it in tar, concrete, sea water, etc.)."

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahah.

I have rooted them in pure vermiculite

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 4:41PM
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JoMarie27

Well then, end of story for the present but I will come back and let you know if there is any regeneration activity either with the severed head or the forlorn stalk. Thanks all!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 3:12AM
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JoMarie27

Here's the present follow up. The severed head drooped miserably and I thought I had killed it for sure. But on advice received here, I bought some rooting hormone, pulled it up again and dipped it in and replanted it. For a week it was touch and go, but then a miracle! All the leaves lifted up and it grew a couple of inches. It now looks in the best of health again. What will it do? Does it just keep on growing upwards again until the procedure has to be repeated? No growth in the remaining stump so far...

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 7:00AM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

I will continue to improve and put down new roots

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 8:04AM
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cactusmcharris

You really think so?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 1:20PM
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JoMarie27

I will also strive to improve and even put down new roots!!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 5:28AM
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JoMarie27

Not only is the cut head continuing to thrive, now some four inches out of the soil, but the stump which I just left outside with little care, has just started to get little budlike growths on the cut off stem. Looks like I am going to have an aeonium population explosion.....Thanks to all for the help.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 5:36AM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

Im just happy They both survived

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 8:00AM
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