The pink edged Echeveria prolifica [ech-eh-VER-ee-a pro-LIF-ih-kuh] is a fast-growing, quickly reproducing perennial succulent Echeveria plant.
The species does not exist in the wild, and it’s speculated all existing plants are the result of cultivation by vegetative offsets of the original specimen and are, therefore, genetically identical.
The first recorded specimen was discovered by Felipe Otero and Jorge Meyran at a Mexican roadside nursery in 1969.
The first documented description of the plant as a new species appeared in Volume 50 of the Cactus & Succulent Society of America Journal in 1978.
This account was penned by Jorge Meyran and Reid Morgan.
You may also hear of this popular and common member of the family Crassulaceae referred to as Mexican Hen & Chicks or simply Prolific Echeveria.
Echeveria Prolifica Care
Size & Growth
Mexican Hen & Chicks is a low growing groundcover.
The individual plants attain a maximum height of about 6” inches.
Rosettes attain a breadth of approximately 1” inch.
The plants reproduce with abandon and spread thickly and easily over large areas of ground.
Foliage is a dusty, grayish silvery-green in color.
The thick succulent leaves grow in the rosette formation typical of Echeveria.
Ample exposure to sunlight causes the leaves to blush with a pinkish tinge around the edges.
Flowering & Fragrance
Prolific Echeveria blooms throughout the spring and summer months.
The yellow flowers are small and bell-shaped.
They grow in small, tight clusters atop 10” inch stalks.
Flower clusters also produce leafy, thick bracts which fall to the ground and take root with ease.
Light & Temperature
Keep it outdoors in a full sun setting to prevent the plant from stretching to attain ample sunlight.
Bright sunlight is necessary to encourage the foliage to turn pink.
When kept as an indoor plant, choose a setting providing ample amounts of bright indirect sunlight.
These plants cannot tolerate a hard frost, 20° degrees Fahrenheit or below (-7° C).
If you live in an area where the ground freezes in the winter, you’ll need to keep your plant in containers to bring in and out.
Alternately, take a few cuttings to start indoors during the winter and then place them in your garden bed or containers outdoors when warm weather returns.
Mexican Hen & Chicks are winter hardy in USDA hardiness zone 9 and above.
Watering & Feeding
As with all succulents, it’s best to wait until the soil is dry and then water your Prolific Echeveria deeply.
Water from below or water the soil.
Do not water from overhead or allow the plant to stand in water.
Either of these habits will cause root rot.
For houseplants, water very lightly through the winter months.
Because these plants reproduce so prolifically, they need frequent repotting, so fertilizing is not necessary because you should be providing fresh soil on a fairly regular basis.
If you wish, you may feed a weak solution of low nitrogen, slow-release succulent fertilizer at the start of the growing season.
Use a solution half or a quarter as strong as recommended in the directions.
Do not fertilize in the winter.
Soil & Transplanting
Sharp drainage is essential for Echeveria health.
Be sure to use an especially prepared potting mix for succulents, or make your own.
Remember a substrate for succulents should be made up of 50% – 70% gritty material such as perlite, pumice, or coarse sand.
Because Echeveria reproduces so quickly, you may find yourself needing to transplant offsets very often during the growing season.
Use terra-cotta pots with drainage holes to ensure good air circulation to the roots.
Whenever you transplant a succulent, remember to work with dry soil and knock all the loose soil off the roots before placing the plant in its new home.
This helps reduce problems with fungal infection.
Grooming & Maintenance
Trim offsets as needed to help your plants maintain an attractive shape and manageable size.
Cut flower stalks after blooming, and tidy up withered and dead leaves to help prevent infestation by scale pests and problems with fungus.
How To Propagate Pink Edge Prolifica Echeverias
It’s hard not to propagate Mexican Hen & Chicks!
The plants reproduce on their own with little or no assistance from their keepers as the leaves fall off and root.
If you’re very enthusiastic about producing more of these hardy little plants, propagate them from mature leaves or stem cuttings.
Propagation from succulent stem cuttings and leaves is very easy.
Lay the cuttings on top of a tray of cactus or succulent mix.
Mist occasionally if needed, but in most circumstances, the cutting should contain enough water of their own to allow them to send out shoots into the soil.
Within a couple of weeks, your cuttings should start growing new roots and producing new leaves.
When this happens, begin treating them as adult plants and transfer them into their pots or outdoor settings.
Echeveria Pest or Disease Problems
As with most succulents, the main pest and disease problems for Prolific Echeveria are caused by excessive watering and fertilizing.
Too much water or water standing on the leaves will cause fungal infections and rot.
Additionally, plants compromised in this way become very attractive to pests such as mealybugs, aphids, and vine weevils.
For more on pests read these articles:
- A Guide On How To Get Rid of Mealybugs On Succulents
- How To Get Rid Of Aphids on Succulents
- Controlling Vine Weevil Larvae
Is Echeveria Toxic Or Poisonous?
All Echeveria are edible and entirely pet and kid safe.
Is Echeveria Invasive?
This plant does not grow naturally in the wild, so anywhere it takes hold, it could be considered invasive.
It does not have a natural place in the world.
In USDA hardiness zone 9 and above, Prolific Echeveria could certainly be considered invasive.
It rambles about and reproduces enthusiastically and could easily overtake other garden plants.
For this reason, it’s important to keep this plant contained if you live in a setting where it can thrive.
In areas subject to a hard freeze, the plant cannot be invasive.
Suggested Echeveria Uses
This fast-spreading evergreen succulent is an excellent choice as a groundcover where compact clusters form dense low mats.
It also does well when used to fill out space around both container and garden plants.
This cheery, deer resistant succulent can make a fine addition to a rock garden or Mediterranean garden.