Aeonium Kiwi: How to Grow the Lovely Tricolor

The vibrant colors of Aeonium Kiwi make it an instant show stopper. This succulent has leaves variegated with deep shades of yellow and green. When placed in the sun, its tips are crowned with brilliant red. The spoon-shaped leaves grow uniformly into beautiful rosettes.

The origin of Kiwi Aeonium is a mystery. The most common belief is that it’s a hybrid of Aeonium haworthii, which is from the Canary Islands. Because of this, it’s often called Haworth’s Aeonium or Aeonium Pinwheel by mistake.

Kiwi Aeonium’s distinct looks are matched with distinct care. It demands different conditions than your average succulent. So, let’s dive into the specific care of this prestigious plant.

Good Products for Aeonium Kiwi:

Quick Care

A close-up of the tricolor yellow, red, and green leaves of this aeonium variety
A close-up of the tricolor yellow, red, and green leaves of this aeonium variety. Source: Eric Hunt
Common Name(s)Aeonium Kiwi, Kiwi Aeonium, Aeonium
Decorum Kiwi, Dream Color, Tricolor
Scientific NameAeonium haworthii ‘Kiwi’
FamilyCrassulaceae
Height & SpreadInside H 6-12” S 6-12”; Outside H 2-3’
S 2-3’
LightFull to partial direct or indirect sunlight
WaterWater deeply once a week
SoilWell-draining
FertilizerHalf-strength liquid fertilizer monthly
during the growing season
Pests & DiseasesMealybugs and aphids

All About Aeonium Kiwi

Dream Color is a bit picky about temperature. Unlike most succulents, it doesn’t like to be hot and dry. On the other hand, it won’t grow in temperatures below freezing. Because of this, Dream Color is well-suited for zones 9-11. 

In colder climates, Tricolor makes a great indoor plant. If you have your heart set on keeping it outside, use a container that can be brought in when needed. Because it likes moisture, this succulent is great for terrariums.

You’ll notice your Aeonium Kiwi actively growing in the winter and spring, albeit slowly. It goes dormant during the summer, requiring little to no water. It’s completely normal for this succulent to drop its old leaves.

After a few years, Aeonium Kiwi grows classic yellow flowers in the summer. Sadly, because this is a monocarpic plant, it will die after flowering. If this beautiful omen shows up and you don’t want to lose the plant, propagate the unbloomed stems before they die.

Dream Color Care

You can grow indoors or outdoors, provided you give it ample light
You can grow indoors or outdoors, provided you give it ample light. Source: laurent7624

As mentioned, Aeonium Kiwi has different demands than other succulents. Once understood though, this plant is rather straightforward. For a brief overview of Aeonium Kiwis and their care, watch this video.

Light & Temperature

The exquisite colors of Dream Color are dependent on sunlight. However, this succulent burns easily. A couple hours of direct sunlight a day should keep the plant happy (as long as it’s not in high heat). Dream Color also grows fine with no direct sunlight, though the colors won’t be as vibrant. While indoors, an east or west-facing window is ideal so your Kiwi won’t get too much direct sunlight.

When it comes to temperature, 65-75° F is ideal. The lowest temperature Aeonium Kiwi can handle is 20° F.

Water & Humidity

Tricolor’s shallow roots call for lighter and more frequent watering than other succulents. Don’t overdo it though! Water once a week in the winter and spring. Aeonium Kiwi thrives in moisture, but should never be left sitting in water.

Tricolor goes dormant in the summer and doesn’t need water at this time, unless it’s really dry. The leaves might curl up to prevent water loss by evaporation. This can be prevented by keeping your succulent inside during the summer. If you’re worried about the leaves, just give your Kiwi a drink and it should be fine.

Too little water will make the plant droopy and the leaves shriveled. Conversely, too much water results in mushy, discolored leaves.

Soil

Don’t let the moisture preference fool you. Aeonium Kiwi still needs well-draining soil like every succulent and cactus. You can use specialty succulent soil or potting soil mixed with perlite.

Aeonium Kiwi prefers its soil to be slightly acidic or neutral in pH.

Fertilizer

Aeoniums don’t require fertilizer, but it will help. If you decide to, use a half-strength, balanced, liquid fertilizer. Your Aeonium Kiwi should be fed once a month during the growing season and not at all during dormancy.

Repotting

Repotting every few years is good for your Tricolor’s health. This should be done at the end of the summer, right before its dormancy ends. Your succulent will be happy to have a fresh space for the growing season!

Choose a container that has room for growth and fill it with new, well-draining soil. After repotting, resume your Tricolor’s regular watering schedule.

Propagation

Aeoniums are easily propagated by cuttings and division. For best results, propagate your succulent in the spring or winter, when it’s growing. You should also water your plant thoroughly before starting.

Stem cuttings are the perfect way to multiply your Kiwi Aeonium for yourself or to give away. The process is easy:

Cut: Make the cut a few inches below the stem’s rosette. Dip the ends in rooting powder if desired.

Dry: Let it dry – out of the sunlight – for a day or two.

Plant: Stick the cutting upright in well-draining soil. Water your new Dream Color like usual and keep it away from direct sunlight until it’s established.

Propagation by offsets or division is easy with Dream Colors because they start the process for you! When the stems hang low, they send out roots, expanding the plant. If you see this, you can easily cut off these offsets and plant them using the cut, dry, plant method. You can also wait until they’re rooted and then divide the plant.

Pruning

Pruning is only necessary if you want to doctor your Tricolor’s shape. The rosettes of this succulent typically grow close together like a shrub. If your Tricolor has received insufficient light, the stems may stretch out, ruining the round build.

You can prune back stray stems and offsets to retain the Tricolor’s shape. If all the stems are spaced out though, it’ll be best to propagate and start over.

Troubleshooting

Aeonium 'Kiwi' in a planter with kalanchoe, etc.
Aeonium ‘Kiwi’ in a planter with kalanchoe, etc.. Source: cultivar413

Kiwi Aeonium is usually pest and disease resistant. However, there are a few things to watch out for.

Growing Problems

Crusty brown or black spots on the leaves are sunburns. You can prevent them by keeping your Kiwi Aeonium out of direct sunlight and heat. Once the damage is done though, you can’t remove the spots. Luckily, they won’t hurt the plant if it’s removed from the sun and heat.

Aeonium Kiwi bruises easily. The bruises are brown discolorations on the leaves that cause no lasting damage. Prevent bruising by handling your succulent with care.

Lastly, a common problem with succulents is etiolation – stretched out stems. This is caused by a lack of sunlight and is easily prevented. If your Dream Color is already etiolated, you can leave it as is or propagate the stems for a fresh start.

Pests

You won’t find many pests on Kiwi Aeoniums. On the rare occasion that you do though, they’re most likely mealybugs or aphids.

Mealybugs are scale insects that feed on plant sap. They’re white in color and leave cottony egg sacs. These nasty feeders can make your succulent droopy and discolored. Left alone, mealybugs will eventually kill the plant. Remove mealybugs by washing your succulent with insecticidal soap or liquid dish soap and water.

Aphids are the famously small insects that drink sap. They live on the undersides of leaves and can cause black, soot-like mold. They, along with mealybugs, may attract ants. Eliminate aphids with insecticidal soap or orange guard spray. To prevent them, use Diatomaceous Earth, neem oil, or ladybugs.

Remember that the best, and sometimes only, method of prevention is to catch infestations early.

Diseases

When it comes to Kiwi Aeoniums, the most common threat is root rot. This is caused by excessive moisture and leads to bacterial infections. You’ll notice that the roots become mushy and discolored.

To prevent root rot, frequently check that the soil is draining properly. Your Aeonium Kiwi should never be left sitting in water. If rot is already present on your succulent, you’ll need to repot it. After you remove the succulent from its container, cut off the rotted roots with a sterile knife. Replant your Tricolor in new, dry soil and let it sit for a couple days before watering.

FAQs

Q. Why are the leaves falling off my Aeonium Kiwi?

A. This is usually a sign of overwatering. Let the soil dry out and don’t water your plant more than once a week. Take note that it’s normal for Aeonium Kiwi to drop its old, bottom leaves.

Q. Why is my Aeonium Kiwi losing its color?

A. Aeonium Kiwis get their red tips from sunlight. To keep this lovely feature, give your plant a few hours of direct sunlight each day, avoiding high heat.

Q. Why is my succulent leggy?

A. Succulent stems grow taller, or leggy, in search of sunlight. Move your Kiwi Aeonium to a sunnier spot to prevent it from stretching more. Already-stretched stems can’t shrink down but can be propagated from.


The Green Thumbs Behind This Article:

Rachel Garcia
Succulent Fanatic

Kevin Espiritu
Founder

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