Blue Echeveria – What Are Blue Echeverias and Why Are They Blue?

The blue echeveria plant most commonly referred to as “blue” is Echeveria glauca also known as Echeveria secunda.

However, there are many different Echeveria species and cultivars of Blue Echeveria belonging to the family Crassulaceae.

Bluish echeveria up close

Some of them these succulent plants include:

Semi-desert areas of Mexico, South America, and Central America are where blue echeverias call home.

The list is long of the many types of Echeveria considered as ‘Blue.” Below is a short list of species and hybrids:

In addition to the many different official names given to the various incarnations of Blue Echeveria.

You may also hear the plants with the blue-green leaves called by several common names:

  • Maroon Chenille Plant
  • Old Hen and Chicks
  • Glauca’s Echeveria
  • Blue Echeveria
  • Hen and Chicks
  • Copper Rose
  • Wax Rosette
  • Painted Lady
  • Plush Plant

Blue Echeveria varieties come in plenty of different sizes and growth habits. There is sure to be a cultivar perfect for your setting.

These plants range in color from a standard greenish blue to deep indigo.

In addition to variations in color, these interesting Echeverias also present fascinating differences in leaf formation, ranging from spiked cactus looking plants to ruffly, lettuce-leaf concoctions.

You can see an interesting photo gallery of these plants here.

Blue Echeveria Care

Generally speaking, Echeveria is a drought tolerant plant and easy to care no matter which variety you choose.

You can count on plants to:

  • Produce attractive flowers during its growing season (spring and summer)
  • Require only occasional deep watering
  • Display a beautiful compact growth habit
  • Do well in partial to full sun
  • Require minimal fertilizer needs
  • Be Kid and pet-friendly

All Echeveria are entirely non-toxic to people and animals.

The leaves are edible and useable in salads, soups and stir-fry dishes.

Flowering & Fragrance

All types of Echeveria species display large flowers when compared with the size of the plant.

Flowers typically appear late in the springtime atop a foot high, arching stem emerging from the plant’s rosette.

When growing outside the flowers attract butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, and other pollinators.

Soil & Transplanting

Echeverias do not require frequent repotting.

It’s always best to repot succulents during warm weather using a good succulent potting mix.

When you do repot, allow the potting soil in the pot to dry thoroughly before repotting.

It’s much easier to knock dry dirt away from the roots than wet soil.

Examine roots carefully and trim away any areas dead or rotted roots.

Apply a fungicidal treatment to the roots to prevent root rot.

Grooming & Maintenance

With all Echeveria plants, take care to remove any dying leaves along the way.

Leaving dead foliage on the plant promotes rot and also encourages pest infestation.

Pests and Disease Problems

Mealy bug can be problematic on overwatered Echeveria.

Overwatering will cause stem and root rot.

Echeverias are not considered invasive.

How To Propagate Blue Echeveria

Echeverias spread gradually by producing offsets or pups.

These succulents also propagate well through the use of stem cuttings or leaf cuttings.

The use of leaf cuttings is the easiest and most successful.

If starting from scratch, follow typical cactus and succulent instructions for growing from seed.

Suggested Blue Echeveria Uses

The range of variety available in this hardy little plant is astonishing.

The basic Echeveria is a simple easy to grow little green rosette shaped green plant able to live in all sorts of challenging settings.

All these Blue Echeveria varieties retain the simple needs of the basic Echeveria but bring a great deal of drama, beauty, and interest to your indoor or outdoor plant collection.

Echeveria of all kinds makes lovely houseplants or container plants for use indoors or out depending on the climate.

In the right outdoor setting (USDA hardiness zones 9 through 11) Blue Echeveria varieties can make beautiful additions to your succulent collection, rock garden or even as an excellent groundcover.

Adding plants with blue foliage to your collection can offset the colors of other, more traditional plants.

Blue Echeveria mixed in with different succulents in shades of deep green, Rose, pink and so forth, created an eye-catching patchwork of color.

They also are attractive, sitting in a bright sunny window or in a succulent garden with artificial lighting.

Why Do These Echeveria Have Blue Leaves?

Blue is not a naturally occurring pigment in plants, but plants containing the waxy, water repellent substance known as cutin in their leaves will display a bluish, silvery hue.

Specialized breeding and hybridization have helped create a vast number of Blue Echeveria in sometimes startling shades of blue, blue-green, indigo, azure, cobalt, cerulean and purple.

One of the most prominent developers of Blue Echeverias is a nurseryman Dick Wright.

He has developed and introduced new hybrids since the 1950s.

You can see some of his most recent offerings at http://www.wrightnursery.com.

Hear him discuss the development of Blue Echeveria in the video below where he explains some of the breeding techniques used to develop these interesting plants.