Grow Aeonium Arboreum Sunburst in Your Succulent Garden

Updated on May 2, 2019
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Sherry has maintained homes and landscaped yards for 48 years in Southern California. She has collected water-wise succulents for 12 years.

Aeonium 'Sunburst'
Aeonium 'Sunburst'

An Easy Care Succulent for Landscaping

Aeonium arboreum 'Sunburst' is a striking succulent plant to use as a mass planting for big impact and bright color. The plant reaches 30 inches high and has platter-sized rosettes that can be 10 inches across.

The color is light yellow with green variegation down the center of each leaf. With the right amount of sun, the rosettes blush with pink around the edges. The rosettes sit atop long curved half-inch thick stems of a neutral gray.

Plant them together and the various sizes, rosette clusters, and single rosettes appear to be bursting. I will tell you what you will need to get your aeonium Sunburst growing like a riot in your yard.

Mass planting for big impact
Mass planting for big impact

Planting the Sunburst Succulent

Want to go slow and not spend a lot of money? Buy one Sunburst succulent plant. The area above started as one plant. It has taken six years to propagate a four square foot area. Three plants would be a good start if you prefer more to look at in the beginning. Later, at the established stage, there will be plenty to throw away.

This year the mass planting was extend further and mixed with aeonium decorum Kiwi. Breaking rosettes off the top of tall mature stems and replanting at random distances produced this bed of color.

By spring the mass planting was in gorgeous display. The patch is eye level on a slope and offers stunning beauty for the price of one plant and a little waiting.

aeonium arboreum 'sunburst'
aeonium arboreum 'sunburst'

Succulent Plant Care

During California's hot summers, water your plants once a week. They do best with partial shade for half the day. Hot sun will burn the leaves and turn the edges brown, but the ground can be dry for 5-7 days.

A freeze will make the plant's leaves wilt and then dry up.

As tall stems break or topple over, replant in the immediate area to maintain the planting.

Kiwi and Sunburst aeonium
Kiwi and Sunburst aeonium

At the top of this photo are the aeoneium decorum Kiwi that are mixed with the Sunburst. The Kiwi has a far smaller rosette. In spring the Kiwi's bright red tipped edges are striking.

In Southern California the best time to expand your succulent garden is after the Holidays when it is cool and we are getting our seasonal rain. When spring arrives your work will burst with color and variety.

I have seen the Sunburst rosettes in all yellow and many variations of green variegation. The plant is pretty.

Easy to grow in pots for patios and apartment balconies.

Mass planting sunburst aeonium
Mass planting sunburst aeonium

Propagating Sunburst Succulent

When propagating allow the end of the stem to dry out for a day or two. Also, cuttings can be put directly into soil that will be dry for a couple of days.

Sunburst does well in our clay soil and the clippings do well in my mother's very sandy soil, as well.

The plant will last two to three years and topple over. Break the long stem off and replant to maintain full color and dense growth in the area.

Aeonium Sunburst
Aeonium Sunburst

Do You Have a Succulent Garden?

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Color variety with your Sunburst aeonium.
Color variety with your Sunburst aeonium.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

  • How can I keep the leaves of my Aeonium Arboreum Sunburst from drying out?

    The leaves will burn in full hot sun over 90 degrees. Also, the bottom leaves naturally dry up and fall off as new growth is added to the top. You will get dry leaf litter at the base of all aeoniums, as well as, the sunbursts.

  • Do sunburst succulents need a lot of room for rooting?

    No. Sunbursts have a sallow root system and may even topple over if allowed to get too top heavy. Pull tall plants up and clear away old roots. Break off the tops, let ends harden for a day and replant. The plants do well in pots and for landscaping.

  • My sunburst is not forming any new rosettes and the old ones are burning off. The stem is also very tall and thick. Is it dying? Should I cut the stem and replant?

    The sunburst has a growth limit. It can get two feet high and then the plant shows signs of aging out. Before it gets to this point break off young spouts and plant for a continuous display. Yes, you can uproot and break the stem of the very tall older plants. Let the stem dry and replant the next day or two. You will notice that the smaller clippings reroot and grow better. Try them all. These plants are succulents, but they do not like hot direct afternoon sun and burn easily. They will survive, but expect best displays in spring, early summer and fall.

© 2013 Sherry Venegas

Growing Succulents: Easy and Fun

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    • paperfacets profile imageAUTHOR

      Sherry Venegas 

      11 months ago from La Verne, CA

      The best way to propagate the sunburst is to clip off the smallest rosettes from a healthy plant and let the end dry out over night. Put the end of the stem in a well draining pot. After you see roots forming plant in the location desired. After you are familiar with the plant and the growing location then you can break off small cuttings and place directly in the soil and water sparingly. Do not be too timid because some will take root and some will not. Some seasons will be more spectacular than others too.

    • profile image


      11 months ago

      How to get the sunburst to grow new baby sunburst ?

    • profile image


      2 years ago


      I'm from south Africa and would love to start collecting succulents.

      Can you send me clippings and leaves of different varieties..

      Sadly my budget isn't too big

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      That succulent sunburst is a winner for me! What a lovely plant that I do need to add to my collection of plant beauties.

    • BlogsWriter profile image


      7 years ago

      I have seen this succulent plant in a garden, reminds me of the cactus, they make the garden look so colorful.

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Gee 

      7 years ago

      I plant my succulents in a hypertufta pot. Sometimes in the Southeast USA, there will be a surprise freeze and I hate to loose a plant!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      7 years ago

      I love them all. My succulent garden is hit and miss, but I'm trading starters with a couple of friends now. It's fun to introduce a new member to our succulent family. The Aeonium Arboreum is next!

    • Anthony Altorenna profile image

      Anthony Altorenna 

      7 years ago from Connecticut

      I like the variegated foliage of the aeonium arboreum. I've added several freeze-resistant varieties of succulents to a rock garden, and I also grow several other varieties in containers. During the summer, I move the pots out to the deck where they get lots of sun. As the cold weather approaches, I mover them to a sunny area for the winter.

    • pheonix76 profile image


      7 years ago from WNY

      Actually succulents aren't considered a family (biologically speaking); a succulent is a type of plant characterized by fleshy leaves/stems that retain water (an adaptation to arid environments). Cacti are my favorite type of succulents, especially Mammillaria spp. I'm a bit of a botany nerd, thanks for sharing! :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I've bought cacti so that I could take photos of their flowers. These are amazing plants with unique beauty.

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 

      7 years ago from Kansas

      I don't have a succulent garden, but I think I need to make room this spring for one!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      These are beautiful. Too bad I don;'t think they would survive the winter here in Colorado.

    • CamelliaPenny profile image


      7 years ago from South Carolina

      I have one on my back porch that my son picked out as a "treat" in Lowe's for good behavior! I don't even know what it's called, though! He loves showing people his plant, though.

    • GardenIdeasHub LM profile image

      GardenIdeasHub LM 

      7 years ago

      I was very interested in growing aeonium arboreum and thanks for the tips.

    • profile image

      makorip lm 

      7 years ago

      I've always admired the Succulents, need to plant some.

    • Steph Tietjen profile image

      Stephanie Tietjen 

      7 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      Such a beautiful plant. I envy your climate that allows you to plant outside.

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 

      7 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      These look beautiful. I have a few hens and chicks, but they are small and not as showy as these.

    • RedShoesGirl profile image


      7 years ago

      I don't have a garden right now, but these plants are lovely. I must say that I love that dog in the background :)


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