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Aeonium ‘Mardi Gras’ is one of the must-have succulents! It is ideal for adding a touch of nature in just any living space due to its beautiful, showy rosettes of lemon yellow and emerald green color combination that turns pink to rich burgundy when grown in full sun or placed in cooler temperatures.
On top of that, this succulent has very low care and maintenance needs! So if you are new to growing succulents, then Aeonium ‘Mardi Gras’ is just the perfect plant for you.
Not convinced enough? Read on to learn more.
Aeonium ‘Mardi Gras’ is a festive succulent that can grow up to 50 cm tall and has rosettes of leaves with beautiful variations of deep red (almost black) to orange, green, and cream colors during warm weather and can turn into a striking combination of bright pink and lime green in cooler temperatures or when grown under bright light.
1. Watering Demands
Although Aeonium 'Mardi Gras' has an impressive ability to survive with small amounts of water, its watering needs are very similar to most succulents. This also means that overwatering should be avoided at all costs, as they can easily develop root rot, especially when left sitting in wet for too long.
So to prevent any issues related to watering, your goal is to replicate the drought conditions of its native habitat. You can achieve this by watering your Aeonium Mardi Gras thoroughly (until the water runs down the drainage hole of the pot) whenever the top 1 to 2-inches of the soil feels dry. Do this from Autumn to Spring, then cut back with your watering to once every 2 to 3 weeks during the winter months.
Under extreme heat and dry conditions, which usually happens in the Summer months, Aeonium 'Mardi Gras' will go through a dormancy period and should therefore be left alone. In other words, this succulent doesn't need any watering at all. However, if you live in a place where the climate is very humid during Summer, then you may give your Mardi Gras a drink of water. Just make sure to allow the soil to dry out completely before you do.
You may consider using either a moisture stick or your finger by poking into the soil to test its dryness level before watering. And make sure to throw away any excess water that’s been collected on the pot's saucer after each watering, so your succulent wouldn’t be sitting in wet soil for too long.
To get more watering tips, click here.
2. Sunlight Needs
One of the keys to keeping an Aeonium Mardi Gras grow happy and healthy is to make sure it gets all the sunlight it needs every day. Generally, this succulent requires plenty of bright sunlight a day to thrive, so if you are planning to grow yours outdoors, choose an area where it can get some shade in the afternoon (to help protect it from the scorching sun and prevent the risk of sunburn), and at the same time, receives at least 5 to 6 hours of filtered sunlight a day.
Also, bear in mind that Aeonium Mardi Gras doesn't tolerate low-light exposure, so if grown as an indoor houseplant, it's best to place this succulent in a bright, sunny spot, like 1 feet away from a south-facing windowsill, where it’s also toasty warm.
In the event that your Aeonium Mardi Gras starts to show signs of becoming leggy, stretch out, or pale in color, then it's not getting enough sunlight it requires to grow to its full potential. When this happens, move it to a brighter spot right away, or better yet, use a grow light to supplement its lighting needs a day.
3. Temperature Requirement
Aeonium Mardi Gras is not cold-hardy at all! So if you live in an area where the temperature tends to drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit (or -6.7 degrees Celsius), it's better to grow this plant in a pot where it can easily be carried indoors once it gets too cold. Otherwise, it's fine to grow this plant outdoors all year round, especially if you are located in Zone 10.
In extreme heat, Aeonium ‘Mardi Gras’ will go under dormant mode and may begin to curl or close up its rosettes, which is totally a normal behavior of this plant, as it’s just its way to prevent excessive water loss, especially for those that are kept outdoors in the hot summer months.
4. Soil and Pot
Like any other succulents, Aeonium Mardi Gras has the ability to store water in its thick and fleshy leaves. This means that it's ideal to use porous and well-draining soil to keep it happy, and at the same time, this helps lessen the risk of root rot. If you intend to blend your own soil mix, most succulents prefer a ratio of 3 parts potting soil, 2 parts bark fines, and 1 part perlite or pumice.
When it comes to pot or container, the most suited one to use should be a little bit wider and taller than the plant for best growth. Furthermore, it's also vital to make sure that the pot has drainage holes, so any excess or unnecessary water can easily find its way out after each watering.
In case the pot that you want to use doesn't have any drainage holes, you can easily drill one yourself. To find out how, you may check out our “How to Drill a Drainage Hole” blog.
Aeonium 'Mardi Gras' can easily be propagated, especially through cuttings and can be done in just 4 simple steps:
Step 1: In Spring, take at least 4 inches long of healthy stem cuttings from the mother plant. Do this by holding the stem in one hand to help it steady, then use your other hand to cut it off using a clean, sharp knife or a pair of scissors. Select a young, slender shoot to propagate for a higher chance of success.
Step 2: Leave the cuttings somewhere dry and warm for a few days until the cut has calloused to reduce the chance of the cutting developing rot later.
Step 3: Once the cuttings have callous, plant them in a pot filled with well-drained soil. Make sure that half of the stem is above the soil level.
Step 4: Add about 0.5 inch of grit or perlite over the soil to improve drainage, then gently shake the pot to leave a level surface.
Once you are done, place your cuttings indoors, in a well-lit place such as on a sunny windowsill with a temperature of 64 to 68 degrees, then water it sparingly until it is rooted. Just don't water directly onto the leaves and keep the compost barely moist at all times.
If you want to propagate this succulent through offset, all you need is to carefully remove the offset from the mother plant using a clean, sharp knife. Once done, make sure to brush off any old, extra soil from it, then wait for at least 2 to 3 days for it to dry out or callous over before planting it in well-draining soil.
Although most Aeoniums are safe to be around humans and pets, Aeonium Mardi Gras is known to be toxic. So better be careful whenever you handle this succulent, and make sure to place it out of your pets and kids reach to avoid them from digesting some parts of this plant accidentally.
Pests like mealybugs or scale can infest Aeonium Mardi Gras. This, however, can easily be treated by wiping them off with cotton swabs dipped in rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol).
Read our Pests and Diseases Treatment article to learn more.
Overwatering Mardi Gras will most likely result in root rot, especially when the plant has already been sitting in wet soil for far too long. And keep in mind that root rot is the most common cause of killing a succulent, which is why it’s critical to ensure that you are only giving this plant the right amount of water by making sure that the soil feels dry between irrigation.
In the event that your Mardi Gras is already showing you symptoms like molding, rotting, mushy leaves, and a sick-looking plant, then there’s a high possibility that root rot has already occurred, and you need to take immediate action to save it.
For more information on how to save an overwatered succulent, visit our article.
Aside from overwatering, you should also look out for signs of an underwatered Mardi Gras, like having dry or wrinkled leaves. Once you see this symptom, quickly give it a good soak of water to keep it hydrated and healthy.
For Types of Succulents Careguide. Read more information here.
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