Aeonium kiwi, also referred to as aeonium haworthii kiwi, aeonium haworthii, pinwheel succulent, or just kiwi succulent, is a species of succulent plant that originates from the Canary Islands, an island off the coast of Morocco in northwestern Africa. The species, like many succulents, has adapted to its natural habitat by developing leaves that store water so it can survive long periods of drought. Although not hardy in cold weather, kiwi succulent plants do well in dry climates and can be propagated both sexually and asexually.
Aeonium haworthii kiwi is an intriguing plant with striking variegated leaves and miniature kiwi-like fruit that requires special care and propagation if you want to enjoy it in your garden all summer long. Here are some easy steps to ensure that your Aeonium kiwi thrives.
Origin and descriptions
Aeonium kiwi, also known as Green torch or pinwheel succulent, is a very unique houseplant. It’s native to Africa and makes a wonderful addition to any home. There are over 100 species of Aeonium in existence, with many varieties of kiwi available. The most popular (and well-known) is Aeonium kiwi.
Kiwi succulent is not commonly found at nurseries, but they can be purchased online or through specialized plant sellers. However, if you wish to propagate your own plant from seed you will need an existing specimen or some leaves from another specimen.
Aeonium kiwi propagation
Aeonium haworthii may be propagated by both seeds and cuttings, but its seeds are rare in cultivation as only a small number of plants will produce them. Instead, to grow Aeonium kiwi from seed, you must collect ripe fruit from wild populations and sow it immediately in a greenhouse or other protected environment.
Seeds should germinate within two weeks if sown at 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius). Once seedlings have emerged, move them into full sun for hardening off before transplanting outdoors after all danger of frost has passed. The plant is slow-growing with most cultivars taking four years to reach flowering size.
If grown indoors, keep it near a sunny window where temperatures do not fall below 60 degrees F (16 degrees C) at night. Water regularly during summer and reduce watering slightly during the winter months when growth slows down.
Aeonium haworthii kiwi prefers sandy soil that drains well and good air circulation to discourage fungal diseases such as botrytis blight. If grown outside, give it plenty of room because mature specimens can spread up to 3 feet wide (90 cm) over time.
Aeonium kiwi care information
The Aeonium kiwi can be grown in full sun to partial shade. Bright light and an open, airy atmosphere are best for these plants. Since they will be receiving more light than other succulents, you’ll want to make sure they get plenty of ventilation so they don’t cook in their own steam.
If you grow them outdoors, they will need protection from strong winds. Aeoniums prefer dry soil; keep it on the drier side during summer months and water only when soil is completely dry.
Fertilize with a weak liquid fertilizer every month or two during spring and summer; use half-strength fertilizer during fall and winter. Water sparingly throughout fall, winter, and early spring—these plants do not like wet feet!
Aeonium haworthii require 4 hours of direct sunlight a day and should be placed in an area that gets at least 3 hours of sunlight every day. If they aren’t getting enough light, they will show signs of lanky and sickly growth. Make sure your kiwi plants are getting enough sun by keeping an eye on their leaves; when healthy, they should be green and vibrant, with purple flecks all over them.
In their native habitat, pinwheel succulent are found growing in nutrient-poor soil on rocky slopes. It’s not surprising, then, that these succulents can grow in nearly any type of soil. However, when grown in porous material such as cactus soil or perlite, they tend to become leggy and elongated.
Instead, use a good quality potting mix (such as one made for cacti and succulents) that drains well but retains enough moisture to keep your plant happy.
If you don’t have access to store-bought potting mix, you can create your own by combining equal parts of coarse sand, pumice stone, and sphagnum moss with some added organic matter like peat moss or composted manure. Mix thoroughly before filling your pots.
Water aeonium kiwi when they look really dry. Remember, however, that succulents don’t like to be left in standing water for long periods of time, if you notice your aeonium kiwi leaves becoming soft and slimy or just shriveling up and dying, it’s probably because you are watering too much!
If your plant is potted in soil, make sure to let the excess water drain out of its container before putting it back on display. If you have an aeonium kiwi planted directly into gravel or other mediums without drainage holes, try using a tray underneath to catch any extra runoff.
If these strategies still aren’t working for you, try misting them with warm water instead; remember not to spray their foliage directly though!
Do not fertilize kiwis when they are dormant, as it will disturb their rest. Use fertilizers that are high in nitrogen during their active growth period. Nitrogen promotes vegetative growth. You can use a water-soluble fertilizer with a ratio of 10-10-10 or 12-12-12, with each number representing an element (N=nitrogen, P=phosphorus, and K=potassium). Mix them at one tablespoon per gallon of water, following label instructions.
Aeonium kiwi is a succulent and will generally not survive temperatures below 10 degrees. If you are in an area that experiences colder temperatures, it is important to either protect your plant with mulch or bring it indoors during colder months. During hotter months, be sure to provide ample air circulation and avoid over-watering. Aeonium kiwi does best between 60 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Keep an aeonium kiwi plant in a humid environment, such as a bathroom or kitchen. The ideal range for optimal care is 40 to 60 percent relative humidity. Too much or too little moisture will cause premature leaf drop, so aim for a comfortable middle ground. A humidifier and/or frequent misting can help maintain proper levels of humidity. Note that you should not place a water-filled tray underneath your plant, as it may get too moist and rot from sitting in soggy soil.
To keep Aeonium kiwi looking its best, prune off any browning or dead foliage in spring to late summer. You can also prune it during fall, but beware of drastic temperature changes. These can lead to leaf burn, so try not to do it when there are strong winds.
When to repot
There are two times of the year when repotting a kiwi is recommended: in spring, right after it blooms, and in fall. The latter time is for repotting into larger pots (you’ll know to do so if your kiwi’s growing out of its pot). In both cases, use a commercial soilless mix designed for cactus and succulents. Water thoroughly before you repot; allow any excess water to drain away from the roots before you put your plant back in place.
During dormancy, aeonium kiwi needs to be kept at a cooler temperature. Between 50 and 55 degrees is recommended. They should also be watered very little to avoid rot, which can develop if they are kept too wet for too long of a period of time. If your kiwi does not come out of dormancy after 6 months it may be in trouble and should be checked by an expert. Be sure not to give up on your plant just yet though!
Flowers & Fragrance
Aeonium kiwi has beautiful flowers and an intoxicating scent that smell like apples and honey. Its scented flowers attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies.
Aeonium kiwi is a slow-growing plant that can take years to flower, depending on the conditions it’s given. They do, however, grow quickly once they reach maturity. If you are planting indoors or outdoors in warm climates, where temperatures stay above 75 degrees F., your plant will mature and begin flowering within three to five years. However, if you live in colder climates or tend to keep your home cool during winter months, your aeonium kiwi will take longer to develop
Aeoniums are toxic to dogs, cats, and birds. Ingestion of plant material will cause gastrointestinal upset in these animals. If an animal has ingested part of a plant, take a sample of that plant to your veterinarian as quickly as possible so that it can be identified and appropriate treatment given.
USDA Hardiness Zones
Aeonium kiwi thrives in USDA hardiness zones 9 through 11. While it can survive temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit, it will not thrive at these temperatures. If you live in a zone below 9, consider growing your aeonium kiwi indoors or protecting it from frost with some type of covering.
Pests and diseases
Aeonium kiwi is not subject to many diseases or pests. The only real threat it faces is root rot, which can strike if you water it too much and let its soil get soggy. To avoid problems, make sure your plant drains well and doesn’t sit in a saucer of water.
If you do notice signs of disease, cut off any affected parts immediately and dispose of them—don’t compost them! If possible, treat with an organic fungicide like neem oil; otherwise, isolate your plant from other members of its species. You should also take steps to improve air circulation around your aeonium by pruning nearby plants that might be shading it out.
If you decide to propagate a kiwi plant, be sure to follow these instructions carefully. While aeonium kiwis are particularly easy to propagate and grow, they can still become vulnerable when exposed to contamination or mismanagement.
Before planting your new sprouts in a larger pot, give them at least two months of care in their propagation pot. This extra time will ensure that your kiwis are ready for growth before being removed from their nursery.