Aeonium vs Echeveria: Key Differences for Succulent Lovers

Disclosure: As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

Please note that while we always strive to provide 100% up to date and accurate information, there is always the small possibility of error. Therefore, we advise conducting further research and due diligence before consuming any plants or exposing pets to anything mentioned on this site. Kindly refer to the full disclaimer for more details here.

Aeoniums and Echeverias are two popular genera of succulent plants that share a few similarities but have distinct differences that set them apart. Both are prized for their beautiful rosette formations, which display leaves in an eye-catching circular pattern. However, knowing the nuances between Aeoniums and Echeverias is essential for proper care and identification, ultimately leading to happy and healthy plants.

The leaves of these two succulent types may appear quite similar at first glance, but upon closer inspection, we can spot some differences. Aeoniums have flatter leaves with small, teeth-like points along the edges, while Echeveria leaves are more rounded and smooth-edged. Their leaf growth patterns also vary, as Echeverias tend to have leaves pointing upwards, whereas Aeoniums display their leaves more flatly.

In addition to foliage differences, the origins and growing conditions of Aeoniums and Echeverias also play a role in distinguishing these succulents. By understanding what sets them apart, enthusiasts and casual gardeners alike can make the most of these unique, beautiful plants in their own indoor or outdoor gardens.

Aeonium Overview

Origins and Distribution

Aeoniums are succulent plants that belong to the Crassulaceae family and are native to the Canary Islands, Madeira, Morocco, and East Africa. The Canary Islands are regarded as the main center of species diversity for Aeoniums, where they are a common sight in various habitats, from coastal cliffs to mountainous regions.

Plant Features

Zurich, Switzerland, May 24, 2023 Aeonium Hierrense plant at the botanical garden

These plants are characterized by their attractive rosette formations with flat leaves. Aeonium leaves have small pointed edges, which resemble teeth, distinguishing them from Echeveria leaves that lack such points. Aeoniums come in a range of colors, including green, purple, and variegated varieties, providing a visually appealing assortment of choices for gardeners.

Growth and Care

Aeoniums prefer a soil mix that is capable of draining effectively, typically a combination of cactus mix and perlite or pumice, to ensure that their roots don’t become waterlogged. They are known to thrive in partial to full sun, with some species tolerating a range of light conditions, including partial shade. Aeoniums have a dormancy period during the hot summer months, requiring less water during this time. They may drop some leaves as they conserve water and energy, but with proper care, they will bounce back and continue to grow.

When it comes to propagating Aeoniums, they can be easily propagated through stem cuttings. Remove a healthy section of the stem with a sharp, sterile instrument, allow it to callus for a few days, and then plant it in a soil mix that is capable of draining effectively. Water sparingly until roots have established, and then follow the regular care routine for Aeoniums.

In summary, Aeoniums are attractive succulent plants native to the Canary Islands and surrounding areas, known for their flat, rosette-forming leaves. Providing proper care, including a soil mix that is capable of draining effectively and appropriate watering during their dormancy period, will help these beautiful plants thrive in your garden or home.

Echeveria Overview

Origins and Distribution

Echeveria, a popular and diverse genus of succulents, originates from Mexico and Central America. With over 150 recognized species and numerous cultivars, these plants have spread and adapted to various habitats across the globe. They can now be found in many regions, including South America, Africa, and Asia, where they thrive in arid environments.

Plant Features


Echeveria plants are known for their captivating rosette-forming foliage and attractive colors. The leaves are generally fleshy, spoon-shaped, and come in a wide range of hues, such as silver, red, pink, and blue-green. These plants also produce stunning flowers on long stalks that rise above the rosettes. The flowers usually have a bell or star shape and appear in colors like pink, orange, or yellow.

A key aspect that distinguishes Echeveria from other succulents like Aeonium is the absence of teeth-like pointed edges on their leaves. The shape of Echeveria leaves is more rounded as compared to those of Aeonium plants.

Growth and Care

Echeveria plants are generally low-maintenance and easy to grow, provided that they receive adequate care and suitable growing conditions. Some factors to consider to ensure their healthy growth are:

  • Sunlight: Echeverias require at least four hours of direct sunlight daily, with six hours being optimal for their growth and color development. Be cautious of excessive sunlight, as it may cause sunburn on the leaves.
  • Soil: Soil that is capable of draining effectively is essential for Echeveria to prevent root rot and waterlogging. A mixture of cactus soil and perlite or pumice can provide proper drainage.
  • Water: Proper watering practices are crucial for Echeveria. Permit the soil to become dry completely dry before watering again to avoid overwatering. During winter, when the plants are dormant, reduce the watering frequency.
  • Temperature: Echeverias prefer temperatures between 50-80°F (10-27°C), but can tolerate mild frosts for short periods. Protect them from extreme temperatures to maintain their health and appearance.

In summary, Echeveria is an alluring genus of succulents that can enhance any garden or indoor collection with their striking rosettes and vibrant colors. Owing to their low-maintenance nature, they are a favorite among plant enthusiasts and make perfect additions for beginners exploring the world of succulents.

Key Differences

Leaf Structure

Echeveria secunda Azulita

Aeonium and Echeveria are both succulents with a rosette appearance, yet they differ in leaf structure. Aeoniums have flatter leaves with small pointed edges like teeth, while Echeveria leaves are more rounded and don’t have teeth-like points. The variety of Echeverias also leads to different colors such as silver and red source.

Growth Patterns

Aeonium growth habits

These two succulents exhibit divergent growth patterns. Aeonium plants tend to grow taller with larger rosettes, while Echeverias boast smaller sizes with thinner leaves. In terms of temperature tolerance, Aeoniums can handle cooler climates and even light frost. Echeverias, conversely, favor warmer temperatures source.

Water Requirements

Similar to other succulents, both Aeonium and Echeveria have low water requirements. However, there might be slight variations in their specific needs:

  • Aeonium: Water sparingly during the growing season. Ensure the soil is dry before re-watering, then reduce watering during the dormant period.
  • Echeveria: Permit the soil to become dry out completely between waterings. Overwatering may lead to root rot and other issues.

Remember that proper drainage is essential for both succulents to avoid waterlogged soil, which can negatively impact their health and growth source.

Common Varieties

Popular Aeonium Varieties

Aeoniums are a genus of succulents with around 35 to 60 different species. They typically have flatter leaves with small pointed edges, resembling teeth. Some well-known varieties of Aeonium include:

  • Aeonium arboreum: This variety, also known as the Tree Aeonium, features large rosettes on branching stems. It’s available in various colors, such as green, purple, and variegated forms.
  • Aeonium Kiwi: This vibrant green variety has red edges on its leaves, creating a striking contrast. It’s a popular choice for both indoor and outdoor succulent gardens.
  • Aeonium Sunburst: Known for its large, variegated leaves in shades of green, yellow, and white, the Sunburst is visually appealing and adds a touch of brightness to any collection.

Popular Echeveria Varieties

Echeverias are another genus of succulents, flaunting over 150 recognized species. They’re characterized by their rosette shape and rounded leaves without teeth. Here are some well-loved Echeveria varieties:

  • Echeveria Perle von Nürnberg: This striking variety has beautiful, purple-tinged leaves with a powdery appearance. Its unique coloration makes it a popular choice for indoor gardens and arrangements.
  • Echeveria Black Prince: Boasting dark purple to black leaves, this moody Echeveria creates visual interest and provides a dramatic contrast when paired with lighter-colored succulents in an arrangement.
  • Echeveria Lola: Often called the “Ghost Echeveria” due to its blue-gray leaves with a slightly powdery coating, Echeveria Lola is an eye-catching and elegant plant that adds a cool-toned touch to any arrangement.

In conclusion, both Aeonium and Echeveria succulents offer a multitude of visually stunning and unique varieties to choose from. Whether used as standalone plants or combined in creative arrangements, these popular succulents consistently delight enthusiasts with their distinctive characteristics and wide range of colors.

Propagating Aeonium and Echeveria

Propagating Aeonium and Echeveria plants can be an enjoyable and rewarding process. While both plants belong to the succulent family, they have distinct propagation methods.

Aeonium Propagation

Aeonium propagation can be achieved through two main methods:

  1. Cuttings – To propagate aeonium through cuttings, cleanly remove a healthy stem, allow it to callous over for a couple of days, and then plant it in soil that is capable of draining effectively. Place the pot in a warm, bright location, but avoid direct sunlight. Within a couple of weeks, you may notice new leaves or roots growing.
  2. Offsets – Some Aeonium species produce offsets at their base. Gently remove these offsets and plant them in separate pots filled with soil that is capable of draining effectively. Keep the soil moist, but not wet, and ensure the pot is placed in a bright, warm area.

It’s essential to water Aeonium cuttings when the soil becomes almost dry to ensure healthy growth.

Echeveria Propagation

Echeveria can be propagated using three methods:

  1. Leaves – Gently remove a healthy leaf from the parent plant, allow it to callous for a few days, then lay it on soil that is capable of draining effectively. Keep the soil lightly moist, and you will observe tiny roots and new leaves emerging within a few weeks.
  2. Offsets – Like Aeonium, Echeveria plants also produce offsets. Carefully remove them, plant in soil that is capable of draining effectively, and keep the soil moist.
  3. Seeds – Echeveria seeds can be sown in soil that is capable of draining effectively in a shallow container. Keep the soil consistently moist, and the seeds will germinate in a few weeks.

While propagating both plants, it’s crucial to maintain suitable temperatures and monitor the moisture of the soil. Aeonium and Echeveria plants both require bright light and soil that is capable of draining effectively for successful propagation, but they have different propagation techniques. By following the methods mentioned above, you will enjoy growing and spreading these beautiful succulents in your garden.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key differences between Aeonium and Echeveria?

A significant difference between Aeonium and Echeveria is the appearance of their leaves. Aeoniums have flatter leaves with small points like teeth at the edges, while Echeverias have round, upward-pointing leaves without tooth-like points. Another difference is in their native origins: Aeoniums are found mainly in the Canary Islands and Africa, while Echeverias are native to Central and South America.

Additionally, Aeoniums have a different growth pattern, with leaves growing flat, contrasting with Echeverias’ upward-pointing leaves. Aeonium care requirements are generally more intensive than Echeveria, making them harder to grow for some.

Can Aeonium and Echeveria be planted together?

Given their similar light and water requirements, Aeonium and Echeveria can be planted together in the same container or garden bed. Keep in mind, though, that Aeonium might require more attention in terms of care compared to Echeveria.

How can I tell if I have an Aeonium or an Echeveria?

To identify whether your succulent is an Aeonium or an Echeveria, examine the leaves:

  • Aeonium: Flatter leaves, teeth-like points at the edges, and a more branching growth pattern.
  • Echeveria: Rounder, upward-pointing leaves without tooth-like points, and a rosette growth pattern.

What are some popular Aeonium and Echeveria varieties?

Some well-known Aeonium varieties include:

  • Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’ (Black Rose)
  • Aeonium haworthii (Pinwheel)

Popular Echeveria varieties include:

  • Echeveria elegans (Mexican Snowball)
  • Echeveria perle von Nürnberg
  • Echeveria ‘Black Prince’

Remember always to research the specific care requirements of your chosen Aeonium or Echeveria variety.


In comparing Aeoniums and Echeverias, we can observe several intriguing differences that set these two succulent genera apart. One notable distinction is the shape of their leaves: Aeoniums possess flatter leaves, while Echeverias have rounder leaves. Furthermore, Aeonium leaves often exhibit small points on their edges.

Another key difference lies in how these plants grow their leaves. Echeverias feature upward-pointing leaves, while Aeoniums develop leaves that grow flat. This growth pattern contributes to their distinct visual appeal.

Apart from their appearance, they diverge in other aspects such as:

  • Origin: Aeoniums and Echeverias come from different parts of the world.
  • Care requirements: These plants may need unique care routines depending on their individual needs.

It is vital to appreciate the contrasts between Aeoniums and Echeverias as they can influence how you grow and care for these succulents at home. By understanding their inherent differences and knowing how to cater to their specific needs, you can ensure their vibrant beauty and longevity in your garden or indoor space.

Helpful Video