Echeveria is a type of succulent that features fleshy leaves and attractive bell-shaped blossoms in colors ranging from palest white to fire engine red and everything in between.
Echeveria plants come in many different colors of leaves, including:
- Bright green
- Dusty gray
These pretty plants are easily recognized by their compact rosette growth habit and their plump, attractive leaves, which may be tinged with red or pink and may even seem to glow in the right light.
Flowers grow on stalks or stems in a wide variety of shades that always contrast attractively with the background color of the foliage.
Lots Of Succulent Types Of Echeveria Plants To Choose From!
This is a very large genus of succulent plants (from the stonecrop family) with fleshy leaves in a rosette growth pattern.
Echeveria glauca the very hardy “hen and chick” plants that do so well outdoors in many different regions. In fact, Hen and Chicks is a common name often applied to this type of plant.
UC Berkeley has a very complete collection of images!
Echeveria can range in size from a few inches high to three or four feet tall. They may be either stemless or stem forming.
They grow in a rosette pattern with flat triangular or spatulate leaves. The leaves range in color from pale green to a purplish shade and tend to develop a waxy powder coating.
There are some species of Echeveria that are more stout and have very sturdy, woody stems.
These taller versions can grow as high as three or four feet. Their lower stems are bare, and they grow larger, dish-like rosettes.
These plants have traditionally been crossed with other sorts of plants such as Graptopetalum and Sedum.
This cross-breeding produces bigeneric hybrids (X Graptveria and X Sedeveria). These hybrid plants display the best characteristics of both parents.
Where Do Echeveria Come From?
All of these plants come from the Americas. Most are from Mexico; however, there are some species that hail from Central America and South America.
They also grow naturally in Texas and can be found as far south as Argentina. [source]
Where Can You Buy Echeveria?
Many garden centers carry a selection in these hardy plants. They are also frequently offered in terrarium collections and gift plant arrangements. They can also be purchased on collection online at Amazon for example.
Because these plants can live for a very long time and reproduce and spread enthusiastically, the most common place to get one is from a gardening friend.
If you do purchase your plant rather than receiving it as a gift, be sure to examine it carefully.
Give the leaves a little squeeze to be sure they are healthy and firm. Look the plant over for signs of pests or rot. You want a plant that has an overall healthy appearance.
How Do You Propagate Echeveria?
Like most succulents, you can grow Echeveria from seed, but using leaf cuttings or offspring plants is easier and more successful.
These plants develop multiple offspring around their base. Echeveria are easiest to grow from offsets. If this is not possible, try growing the plant from a leaf.
To grow these plants from leaf cuttings, carefully clip off the number of leaves you need for the number of plants you want.
Choose from mature leaves as these take root more easily.
Prepare a mixture of well-drained potting mix. You can either purchase cactus mix or make your own by combining regular houseplant mix and sand, 50/50.
Place the mixture in a shallow pan and lay the leaves flat on the surface. Do not water. Instead, place the tray in a comfortably warm, airy setting with plenty of indirect light.
Leave it alone for a few days and then begin watering or misting very lightly, occasionally. The soil should be just barely damp.
Within a month, the leaves should have begun to send out roots, and new leaves may have started to grow.
Wait until the plants gain a little size and then transplant them to their own small pots.
Before you know it, you will have a nice collection of cute, miniature plants to share with friends or simply enjoy for yourself.
This video, demonstrates a very carefree method of growing Echeveria and other succulents.
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How To Care For Echeveria?
Plant requirements vary somewhat from one species to another, but generally speaking, Echeverias require well-drained, light, airy soil, full sun to partial shade and very little water once mature.
Echeveria likes bright, indirect sunlight and warm temperatures. It thrives when kept between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
In the wintertime, do not let the temperature drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. These plants cannot tolerate freezing temps.
How Much Water And Food Do They Need?
During the growing season, you should water the plant thoroughly periodically. Wait for the soil to dry out completely before watering again.
Provide a balanced succulent/cactus food about once a month. In the winter, water lightly and less often. Do not provide fertilizer at all during this resting period.
As with many cactus, succulents and other plants that tend to develop root rot easily, it is best to water from beneath rather than with overhead watering.
Those with waxy leaves are especially sensitive to the ill effects often associated with overhead watering.
Water carefully, and don’t splash water on the plant’s leaves because this will leave unsightly spotting on the waxy coating.
Does Echeveria Need Grooming And Pruning?
Echeveria is self-pruning. You will not need to do anything more than removing the occasional dead leaf and blossoms.
With plenty of light, warm air and careful watering, you should not encounter many problems with these carefree plants.
If you do have problems, it is likely to be due to improper watering habits or problems with temperature and lighting.
Here are a few problems you may encounter:
Low light may cause the leaves of the plant to become pale and stretched looking. If this happens, move the plants gradually to a brighter light setting.
Mealybugs may attack these plants. If you notice these little invaders, don’t spray the plant with insecticide. Instead, use an insecticidal soil drench which will circulate through the plant systemically.
If you spray insecticide on the plant, it will disturb the leaves’ waxy coating and cause unsightly spotting.
As with all plants, overwatering will cause root rot. Be sure to allow the soil to dry out almost completely between watering. Remember to limit water during the autumn and winter months.
Echeveria Species and Cultivars
- Echeveria elegans
- Echeveria agavoides
- Echeveria ‘Black Prince’
- Echeveria ‘Perle Von Nurnberg’
- Echeveria ‘Afterglow’ – wide leaves, powdery pinkish-purple, bright pink edges!
- Echeveria imbricata
- Echeveria peacockii
- Echeveria lilacina
- Echeveria lola
- Echeveria setosa
- Echeveria pulidonis
- Echeveria nodulosa
- Echeveria laui
- Echeveria pulvinata
- Echeveria subsessilis
- Echeveria prolifica
- Echeveria runyonii
- Echeveria ‘Topsy Turvy’
- Echeveria cante
- Echeveria derenbergii
- Echeveria shaviana
What’s The Best Way To Keep Echeveria?
They can be kept as houseplants in colder climates and do well as bedding plants in areas that do not freeze.
In a small space, one of these plants works well as a specimen plant. They also do very nicely in indoor succulent gardens and terrariums.
Echeveria is fairly drought tolerant and easy to care for.
Outdoors they make an excellent addition to a rock garden or succulent garden. They are also superb container plants.
Whether you keep your succulents indoors or outdoors, it’s important to understand that these plants like to get lots of sunshine and lots of fresh air.
If you can provide that, you can enjoy these cheery companions virtually trouble-free.