Introduction: Planting an Unlikely Pair of Succulents : Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana & Aeonium Arboreum

Picture of Planting an Unlikely Pair of Succulents : Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana & Aeonium Arboreum

What’s that saying about lemons? I’ve heard it many times and it’s something about life giving you lemons so you make lemonade. Oh yes, and in this case, the result is an unlikely pair of succulents to share a pot. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with my Kalanchoe blossfeldiana and my Aeonium arboreum (the variety is autropurpureum) cuttings so I decided to plant them all together in my pretty blue Calla Lily pot which I’ve had for ages.

Step 1:

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You can see the aeoinum cuttings that I planted at the front (not the larger rosette – that’s a different variety) of the tray. They were tinged with purplish burgundy in early June & then turned green. Now, in December, they’re turning color again.

When I drove 9 hours from Santa Barbara to Tucson 1 day ahead of the movers, my smallish car was jammed packed with plants, pots and 2 cats. I was crammed into the driver’s seat with limited vision and slightly frazzled nerves from Oscar yapping away the whole trip but I did feel like I was commanding a mobile greenhouse. I left most of my fleshy succulent plants behind but brought cuttings which I taken the day before the move. I’m not sure how this kalanchoe made it in (I had at least 5 of them in my previous garden) but it did.

Step 2: At My Work Table Planting the Kalanchoe & Aeonium Cuttings

I call this an unlikely pairing because you normally don’t see these 2 succulents planted together. Kalanchoe blossfediana (commonly called “kalanchoe”) is often seen in dish garden plantings for both home and office. It’s sold as a short term blooming houseplant instead of an indoor plant in it for the long haul. The Aeonium arboreum is an exterior plant which develops into a tree-like form over time reaching around 3′.

Aeoniums, so I’ve heard through the horticultural grapevine, are difficult to grow outdoors here in Tucson. It makes sense because many of them are native to the Canary Islands which are called the islands of eternal spring – their climate is much more like San Diego than the Sonoran Desert. I love to use aeoniums for crafting and just had to bring a few cuttings when I moved. I’m going to have a go at growing these indoors (I do have a couple of cuttings growing outside and so far so good on those too) because isn’t that what a lot of gardening is all about? It’s well worth a try!

Step 3:

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The aeoniums cuttings & the kalanchoe at my work table waiting to be planted up. There had been a wind storm a few days earlier that swept the kalanchoe off my fence & sent its grow pot flying somewhere not to be found. Honestly, that was the catalyst for this planting project!

Step 4:

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Where it happily sits today beneath a skylight & welcomes all into my guest bathroom. As you can see, the kalanchoe is full of flower buds so I’ll find out what color it is.

What I did:

– I used succulent & cactus mix along with just a bit of organic compost to plant this combo.

– Moved the pot to a bright shady area to it could settle in.

– Watered it thoroughly after 5 days.

– Let it dry out for a few more days before moving indoors. I think these 2 plants look great planted together. I like the look of the kalanchoe even when it’s not flowering. The aeoniums won’t stay nice and low they they are right now. They’ll grow and develop a stem so I’ll need to cut them back and replant once a year. That’s just fine with me

propagating succulents is a snap!

Happy gardening,

Nell

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