What are monocarpic succulents?

An offspring from an Aeonium whose mother bloomed and died.

If you’ve had a perfectly beautiful, healthy, and flowering succulent die, that particular plant may have been monocarpic.

What does “monocarpic” mean?

The word “monocarpic” comes from “mono,” meaning “one” and “caprice” meaning “fruit.” In the world of succulents, “fruit” equates to “flower.” That means that the plant will flower only one time and die after blooming. All might not be lost, though: monocarpic succulents most often produce offspring to carry their legacy before starting the flowering process.

Which succulents are monocarpic?

Luckily, most succulent species are not monocarpic. The short list includes:

  • Most Sempervivum
  • Most Agave
  • Most Aeonium
  • Kalanchoe luciae “Flapjacks”
At what age do monocarpic succulents bloom?

Agaves, commonly called a “century plant,” can take decades to flower, hence the name. Other monocarpic succulents, like Sempervivum and Aeonium, under the right conditions, will take about five years to flower.

How long will the flowering process last, and the flower?

A long time, for both. Monocarpic succulents spend all of their energy in the flowering process, spending months creating a spectacular show of flowers, which typically lasts months.

Sempervivum ‘Cobweb’ blooming from the center.
Is there any way to stop the succulent from blooming?

There really isn’t a way to stop a monocarpic succulent from flowering. Blooms begin at the center of the plant, right where all the new growth forms. When flowers form instead of new leaves, there’s no stopping or reversing the process. But why try? Enjoy the beauty that they want to provide you!

Categories: Succulent Care


1 reply

  1. Is there always a flower?


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