Echeveria shaviana is a tender, soft, evergreen succulent native to the mountain areas of Nuevo Leon in northern Mexico.
The plant belongs to the genus Echeveria a member of the Crassula family (Crassulaceae).
It has received the Royal Horticultural Society prestigious Award of Garden Merit.
Shaviana has short stems with rosettes filled with smooth, fleshy pale powder blue-gray leaves radiating from the stem.
The edges of the leaves are very ruffled, crinkled, frilly and wavy often with a pink tinge on the edges.
“Mexican Hens” is the common name for Echeveria shaviana and pronounced [ech-e-ver’-i-a] [shaf-ee-AH-nuh].
NOTE: Some claim [ek-e-ve’-ri-a] is the correct way to pronounce the genus, however, in the United States most pronounce it as [ech-e-ver’-i-a].
Echeveria Shaviana Care
Size & Growth
The “growing season” for Echeveria shaviana is during the summer months where it gets plenty of light in USDA hardiness zones 9-11.
This decorative species is a slow grower but over time plants can reach about 8” inches across.
The thin, delicate leaves make shaviana unique in the Echeveria genus as the leaves and foliage on most other varieties have a somewhat “chubby” look.
Flowering and Fragrance
Plants flower in midsummer sending up 12” inch bloom spikes. The stems of pink flowers with yellow inside are all arranged on one side of the flower stalk.
Light & Temperature
Plants prefer bright light but can handle some light shade. They do best with 6 hours of full sun per day.
In general, full sun during the winter and partial shade but bright light in summer.
When plants get more light, the leaves display a wider range of colors and shapes.
When moving plants into the full sun from lower lighting conditions – move them gradually to prevent the sun from scorching them.
When moving plants to brighter locations:
- Water them well before moving
- Move them on a cloudy day
The foliage is beautiful during the summer when plants are actively growing. However, the cooler temperatures of fall help intensify the foliage colors with a pinkish tint.
Provide good air movement to minimize disease and pest risk. During winter reduce and avoid excessive humidity.
Watering Needs and Fertilizing
This succulent plant is drought tolerant and able to survive extended dry periods without watering.
However, providing adequate watering during the growing season will produce a strong more beautiful plant.
Echeveria shaviana is very sensitive to root rot fungus disease. When watering follow these guidelines:
- Never allow plants to sit in water
- Never let the soil to become waterlogged
- Do not water during dormant periods (winter)
Too much fertilizer can produce excessive growth. Overall the best practice is to fertilize sparingly.
A slow-release granular fertilizer can be applied during the spring and summer growing season.
The fertilizer should be a low nitrogen fertilizer to again not encourage excessive growth.
Soil & Transplanting
The soil plays a vital role in the plant’s health due to shaviana’s sensitivity to root rot.
Tips for repotting:
- Repot in spring using a very porous well-draining soil designed for cactus and succulents
- Repot every other year or when roots begin to cramp
- Promote extra drainage by placing gravel or broken crocks in the bottom of the pot
- Use Terracotta clay pots with drainage holes over plastic pots
- After potting hold off on watering for a week to 10 days
NOTE: Repotting does not always mean the plant needs a large container, only fresh soil.
The only “grooming” needed is to remove old dead leaves.
How To Propagate
In spring or early summer propagate using offsets, leaf or stem cuttings.
Remove small offsets from the stem with a razor blade. Handle offsets carefully so the tiny leaves do not fall off.
Place offsets or leaves on dry sand or a sand/soil mix for rooting.
TIP: When repotting, collect some of the old bottom leaves for propagation. Don’t get upset if the leaf cuttings do not root. They often dry out before rooting.
What Pest, Disease or Problems Does The Plant Encounter?
Other than root rot (which is serious) the plant encounters few diseases.
Mealybugs can get in the rosettes or attack roots. Aphids also like any Echeveria.
What Are The Most Popular Varieties?
- Echeveria shaviana ‘Pink Frills’ – Frilly edges, leaves with bright pink edges
- The hybrid Echeveria ‘Afterglow’ from Don Worth used Echeveria shaviana as the pollen parent
Best Uses in Design – Indoors or Outdoors
Perfect when grown potted as a single specimen or planted in a group with other Echeverias.
Makes a nice addition to a rock garden but watch out for drainage issues.