And, alas, Aeoniums are mostly winter growers. I put them out dutifully in the spring, usually just in time for them to go dormant. Some of them will close their little heads tightly, as if to say, "Would somebody turn out the lights? I'm trying to sleep here. And no, I really don't want anything to drink." The others just sit there, doing nothing. Then in the late fall, just when I have to bring them in, or else, they open up again. And there they are wide awake, in the meager light of winter, straining toward the south windows, as if to say "Gee, it's dark in here." If I place them under fluorescent lights, they do okay, but often lose their color. "What a lousy sun lamp; I'm losing my tan. And can a body get a drink and something to eat around this joint?" Since they are grouped with my other succulents, most of which are sensibly using winter as a time to catch up on their beauty rest, I tend not to water them as much as they might like. This results in leaves drying up and falling off.
Aeonium 'Sunburst' and what may or may not be Aeonium manriqueorum 'Zwartkop,' outdoors, enjoying the brief window between late spring growth and summer dormancy. 'Zwartkop' is already tightening up.
It is hard to believe that this elaborately crested Aeonium 'Sunburst,' is just a monstrose version of the plant to its right. I spent about half an hour last Saturday removing tiny dried leaves from its tightly packed clusters.
Succulent grouping on my back stoop. To the left, on the wooden table, are Aeonium arboreum atropurpureum and a very faded Aeonium haworthii 'Pinwheel'. The Aeoniums pictured in close shots above share the wire shelf with Aloe congolensis, Aloe hemmingii, Aloe brevifolia, and Aloe ramosissima. This picture is much better when viewed full-sized, so clicking it is recommended.
So, though I try, my Aeoniums are never quite looking their best. And if they really could talk, they would probably agree: "Oh well, she does the best she can." So the faint praise comes right back to me, damn it all!