Aeonium Cyclops (Updated 2023)

As a succulent enthusiast, I can’t help but marvel at the unique beauty of Aeonium Cyclops, also known as the Giant Red Aeonium. This mesmerizing hybrid plant, a cross between Aeonium undulatum and Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop,’ is a captivating addition to any garden or indoor space. In this comprehensive guide, I will walk you through the various aspects of caring for A. Cyclops, from its distinct characteristics and propagation methods to common problems and FAQs. Let’s dive into the captivating world of A. Cyclops!

Characteristics of Aeonium Cyclops

With its striking appearance and majestic size, A. Cyclops stands out among the numerous succulent species. The rosettes, shaped like large dinner plates, sit atop a long, slender stem that can reach up to 4 feet in height. The newer leaves tightly overlap at the center, displaying very little crimson, while the outer leaves spread out, forming a rich burgundy coloration, giving the impression of a singular green ‘eye’ at the center – hence the name A. Cyclops.

This succulent is an evergreen perennial that flourishes during the winter and spring months while entering a dormant phase in the scorching summer. During this time, it will curl its leaves to minimize water loss, making it crucial to provide the right balance of light and water for its well-being.

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Plant Guide for Aeonium Cyclops

Family and Origin: A. Cyclops is a hybrid of Aeonium undulatum and Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop.’ It belongs to the Crassulaceae family.

Common Name: Giant Red Aeonium

Size: A. Cyclops can grow to impressive heights of 4 to 5 feet, with a width of 3 to 4 feet.

Cold Tolerance: It can withstand temperatures as low as 25°F (-3.9°C) and is best suited for USDA hardiness zones 9 to 11.

Heat Tolerance: While A. Cyclops can tolerate mild heat, it’s sensitive to extreme heat and requires protection during scorching summers.

Light Requirement: A. Cyclops thrives in full sun but can tolerate partial shade, particularly in arid regions.

Water Needs: As a succulent, A. Cyclops is drought-tolerant and stores water in its leaves. Water the plant when the soil is dry, allowing it to dry out completely between waterings to prevent root rot.

Maintenance: A. Cyclops requires minimal maintenance. Remove dead leaves when necessary to maintain its tidy appearance.

Toxicity: A. Cyclops is non-toxic to pets, making it a safe addition to indoor spaces.

Propagation of Aeonium Cyclops

You can propagate A. Cyclops through stem and leaf cuttings, both of which are relatively straightforward.

Propagation by Stem Cuttings:

  1. Choose a healthy stem with a robust rosette and cut it just below where it branches out.
  2. Allow the stem to callus for about two weeks to prevent rot.
  3. Plant the stem in well-draining soil and expose it to indirect sunlight.
  4. Water it once a week or when the soil feels dry.
  5. Once roots have formed, reduce watering frequency until the plant is ready for transplantation.

Propagation by Leaf Cuttings:

  1. Take a healthy leaf cutting and allow it to callus over for a few days to a week.
  2. Optionally, dip the cut end in rooting hormone.
  3. Insert the leaf into well-draining soil or perlite.
  4. Keep the soil slightly moist and maintain temperatures above 60°F (15.6°C) during rooting.

Tips for Successful Repotting

Repot A. Cyclops every 2 to 3 years, preferably during the fall or spring. When repotting, choose a slightly larger pot with drainage holes to ensure proper water flow. Use a well-draining potting mix, preferably a sandy loam blend or a mix of regular potting soil with perlite. Avoid overwatering after repotting to prevent root rot.

Common Problems and Solutions

1. Root Rot: Overwatering and poorly draining soil can lead to root rot in A. Cyclops. To prevent this, allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings and ensure the potting mix is well-draining.

2. Dropping Leaves: A. Cyclops may shed leaves during its dormant phase, particularly in the summer. This is a natural process, and new leaves will grow during the cooler months.

3. Brown Spots on Leaves: Brown spots on leaves indicate sunburn. Provide some shade during scorching summer months to protect the plant from direct sunlight.

4. Aphids, Mealybugs, and Scale Insects: Watch out for common succulent pests such as aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects. Use neem oil or isopropyl alcohol to remove them from the plant.

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Q1: Can I grow Aeonium Cyclops indoors?

A: Yes, you can grow A. Cyclops as a houseplant, provided it receives bright light near south- or west-facing windows. Move the plant outdoors during summer and bring it indoors when temperatures drop below 40°F (4.4°C).

Q2: How often should I water Aeonium Cyclops?

A: Water A. Cyclops when the soil is completely dry. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings to prevent root rot.

Q3: Does Aeonium Cyclops bloom?

A: Yes, A. Cyclops blooms in late winter and early spring, producing small yellow, pyramid-shaped flowers on tall stalks.

Q4: Is Aeonium Cyclops safe for pets?

A: Yes, A. Cyclops is non-toxic to pets, making it a safe addition to pet-friendly households.

In Conclusion

Aeonium Cyclops, the Giant Red Aeonium, is an enchanting succulent that captivates with its striking appearance and ease of care. With its unique burgundy and lime rosettes, this plant adds a touch of exotic beauty to gardens, patios, and indoor spaces alike. By providing the right balance of light, water, and well-draining soil, you can ensure the success of your A. Cyclops and enjoy its majestic presence for years to come. Embrace the charm of A. Cyclops and welcome this extraordinary succulent into your plant collection!

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