Succulent tree with green flower like clusters.
The leaves of this succulent look like echeveria, but may not be. The green florette whorls are atop woody, scaly stems. This plant has lost most of its leaves over the past year or so. For a long time it had little white specks all over the leaves, but those are mostly gone. There were teeny ants crawling on it, but those mostly went away after I put ant powder on the floor near it. Can you tell me what the name of this succulent is, and give me any recommendations for reviving it?
Hi Heidi, this looks like one of my favorite plants, Aeonium. They are extremely drought tolerant, and are similar to Echeveria, but with a whole set of their own specific requirements.
They originate in the Canary Islands and Tenerife, which is on the west coast of Africa - you can guess at their preferred conditions - bright and hot temperatures in the summer, and they also have the need for a summer dormancy, just to make it more complicated. They will go dormant when the nights reach a certain temperature, which is what you should watch for, and hold back on the watering. In the fall, as weather cools off, they'll resume growing again.
It sounds as though your plant had aphids. The small dried up cases are the cast off skins of the growing aphids - they are most likely farmed by the ants for the honeydew. Getting rid of the ants is the first step, I would also keep a close eye on the plant for aphids as well. Keep in mind that they are so tiny and get deep into the growing heart of the plant, so you'll have to get some kind of spray (I use insecticidal soap, as this doesn't harm anything else) but keep in mind that their life cycle is to reproduce every 23 hours - this means that if you spray at the same time every day, you'll be constantly missing their most vulnerable stage, as the nymphs are just hatching out.
Hope this helps,