Aeonium mardi gras succulent is one of the most famous succulents from around the world, known for its spectacular long leaves in bright colors that really stand out in any garden or home.
You can propagate aeonium mardi gras in three ways – either by letting it grow as an offset of your existing plant or through stem cuttings, or leaf cuttings, which can provide you with new plants that are genetically identical to your original one.
All the techniques are relatively easy to master, and you’ll have your new succulent babies in no time!
The Aeonium mardi gras succulent was first discovered in the wild by ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes on the island of Mascarene, where it grows at altitudes above 1000 feet, on the slopes of volcanic mountains.
It was later described by botanist Curt Polycarp Joachim Sprengel in 1808 as Echeveria tabuliformis. The name comes from the Latin word tabula, meaning table, and from its typical table-top shape.
Origin and distribution
Aeonium mardi gras succulent is endemic to southwestern Africa, particularly in arid areas of Namibia. The succulent grows between 12 inches and 18 inches tall and has star-shaped rosettes of grayish-green, fleshy leaves which can reach up to 7 inches across.
It blooms in late summer with small clusters of white flowers that are covered with a fine powder that gives them a frosted appearance.
It will grow well indoors or outdoors as long as it is planted in well-drained soil and receives plenty of sunlight. This plant prefers temperatures below 75 degrees Fahrenheit but can tolerate temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit if kept dry.
Aeonium mardi gras propagation
Just like many succulents, propagation is easy with Aeonium mardi gras (tissue culture) or by separating offsets. The propagation process for mardi gras succulents is fairly straightforward, provided you get a healthy cutting with roots. Take two stems (or offshoots) from a mature succulent.
Use sharp, sterile pruning shears to cut through each stem at an angle just below a leaf node, the little bumps where leaves attach to stems. The leaves will fall away as you cut; that’s okay.
A nice, fat stem node should remain where each leaf was attached, this is where new roots will form. Leave both cuttings in a dry, well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight for about three weeks.
After three weeks, one of your newly severed pieces should have developed roots and look like it’s ready to plant on its own.
Plant it in a pot filled with cactus soil or other well-draining potting mix and water regularly until it grows strong enough to survive on its own. It may take up to six months before your cutting takes root and begins growing. Once it does, you can remove it from its original container and transplant it into a larger container or directly into your garden.
If either of your initial cuts fails to develop roots after three weeks, try again! It may take several tries before they successfully root. Once rooted, most mardi gras plants prefer full sun but will tolerate partial shade. They are drought tolerant once established, but regular watering while young will encourage faster growth.
Aeonium mardi gras care information
Mardi gras succulent plant is not particularly hard to care for, though it can be a bit finicky. The mardi gras aeonium grows best in well-drained soil, and prefers bright light but can handle less than the direct sun, but too much sun will burn their leaves.
Aeonium mardi gras are drought tolerant once established, so keep them on a regular watering schedule (though don’t overdo it). Fertilize with an all-purpose houseplant fertilizer during spring and summer, and cut back during fall and winter.
When you water your mardi gras plants, make sure to allow excess water to drain out of their pot before putting it back on its pedestal or table; standing water can cause root rot.
Also, check that your mardi gras is getting enough air circulation; if you see any signs of mold or mildew on its leaves, turn up your fan!
Aeonium mardi gras likes fairly bright light with about three hours of direct sunlight per day. But that isn’t all: When grown outside in dry climates, it prefers full sun; when grown inside or in humid climates, partial shade is best.
It can also take a lot of heat and needs to be protected from frost. In fact, if you live in an area where temperatures drop below freezing for more than a few days at a time, don’t even bother trying to grow an aeonium outdoors, it will die.
Aeonium mardi gras prefers well-draining soil. If your soil is heavy and tends to stay wet for extended periods of time, you’ll want to add perlite or vermiculite as a drainage agent.
A good potting mix for mardi gras includes 3 parts loam, 1 part compost, 1 part sand, and 1 part peat moss. Mix together in a large container until thoroughly combined. Fill containers with a little more than half of their capacity with soil mixture, and then water until moist but not soggy.
When planting your succulents, be sure to leave room between each plant; they will grow slowly at first but eventually form colonies when they mature.
This succulent does not like to dry out between waterings. However, it also does not need as much water as other succulents; it will rot if you overwater it. It can be watered up to once a week in warm weather and once every two weeks in winter.
Make sure to never let your plant stand in water. If the excess is caught in the leaves, they will die quickly and new ones will grow slower than usual.
Be sure to check your plant’s soil regularly and water only when necessary. If you see that your Aeonium has dried out a bit, give it a good soak. You can do so by placing it in a sink or tub with lukewarm water for about 15 minutes.
Like all succulents, Aeonium mardi gras succulent prefers to grow in nutrient-poor soil. They don’t require much fertilizer, but they do appreciate a quick boost every now and then, especially during periods of active growth. Use controlled-release or slow-release fertilizers only if you can’t provide supplemental feedings on a regular basis.
Aeonium mardi gras is one of those plants that thrive in warm temperatures. If you live in a cooler climate, move your plant outdoors when nighttime temperatures reach 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
You may also want to move it outside during warmer days if nighttime temps dip below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. In general, avoid exposing your succulent to extremely cold temperatures for long periods of time or allow them to dry out frequently.
When it comes to maintaining Aeonium mardi gras, keep them away from heating and cooling vents, which can dry out the indoor air. It is important to be aware of air quality while caring for these succulents.
Too much humidity is just as bad as too little! If you are going to use a humidifier, ensure it’s away from your plant so that water droplets do not fall on its leaves or stems.
The ideal humidity range is between 40-60%. Do not let your plant dry out completely, but also avoid overwatering.
Take care of your Mardi Gras succulent by pruning it back regularly to keep its foliage a uniform size. When you do, be sure to cut off any brown leaves, which indicates that your plant has reached maturity and should be repotted in an appropriately sized container.
When to repot
Repot an aeonium if its roots are growing through drainage holes or if it is planted in a container that has gotten too small for it. If you repot a plant that’s not in bloom, wait until it flowers.
Because of their sensitivity to transplanting, avoid moving a plant from one pot to another during its bloom cycle—wait until you’re certain you won’t disturb its roots.
Some succulents (and aeoniums) exhibit periods of dormancy during which they require less light and water. The leaves will turn yellow and eventually brown. Be patient, as your plant is not dead! Once your aeonium re-emerges from dormancy, you can begin watering and fertilizing it again.
In most cases, it should begin growing new leaves in no time. If your plant doesn’t emerge after several months, however, consult an expert to determine whether or not it needs repotting. You may need to replace its soil with a fresh potting mix.
Flowers & Fragrance
Aeonium mardi gras plant produces small, star-shaped flowers in shades of pink or red. The plant is highly fragrant, and its scent has been described as rosemary-like and like a more subtle version of pineapple.
Aeonium mardi gras plant blooms once every three to four years—which makes them a great subject for cut flower arrangements.
Mardi gras succulent does have a relatively quick growth rate, reaching up to 10 inches tall. If you’re looking for a long-term plant, Aeonium Mardi Gras is not it. It’s best suited for small gardens or large pots where it can be easily moved around and repositioned as needed.
Aeonium mardi gras is generally considered safe, but toxicity may occur if it’s ingested in large quantities. If you notice excessive vomiting or diarrhea, seek immediate medical attention. Side effects may include abdominal pain, fever, and dehydration.
In addition to consuming large amounts of the plant itself, it’s also possible for your pet to accidentally ingest parts of an aeonium mardi gras while chewing on furniture covered with dried leaves and roots.
USDA Hardiness Zones
Aeonium mardi gras succulent thrives in USDA hardiness zones 8b through 11. You can grow it as a houseplant or outside, provided you live in one of these areas. It’s important to note that aeonium mardi gras succulents need bright light, but not direct sunlight.
They also need excellent drainage and should be watered thoroughly and allowed to dry out between waterings. If your plant starts to look droopy, you may be overwatering it; try giving it less water next time.
Pests and diseases
When you have a sick succulent, it’s easy to feel lost. Luckily, they’re hardy plants and can easily recover from small mistakes.
The first thing to remember is that if your plant has been attacked by pests or diseases, you need to remove it right away to keep those contaminants from spreading throughout your collection.
Wash your hands thoroughly before working with any of your plants (or touching any other part of your home) to avoid spreading diseases and contaminants to other parts of your collection.
If possible, try to identify what was wrong with your plant in order to help prevent similar problems in future years. It may be beneficial to grow only one variety of each species so that you can observe how each variety reacts when exposed to different conditions.
If your succulents are particularly valuable or sentimental, you may want them inspected by professional horticulturalists who will also be able to help prevent future problems with specific varieties of succulents.