What Is Echeveria
Echeveria is a succulent and one of the most popular ones, to be frank. They grow in Central and South America. Echeverias are fun, easy to grow, and they will reward you with flowers if you treat them with love. Echeverias are premium full sun succulents, and this article was made to help you enter the beautiful world of succulents.
Benefits of Echeveria
- Echeverias are hard to kill. This perk makes them a great gift choice, even for inexperienced gardeners. Beginner echeverias and beginner cacti don’t require as much care as more sensitive plants sometimes do.
- They are affordable. So, you can make an echeveria collection for just a few dollars. Similar to best Hawortiia succulents. Or any succulent, for that matter. Only very rare or unique succulents are expensive.
- Echeverias are slow growers. Meaning, you only need to re-pot them every two to three years.
Short History of Echeveria
Echeverias were named by a Spanish painter somewhere in the 18th century. Anastasio Echeverria was one of the explorers sent by the Spanish king to map the Mexican flora. Anastasio gathered a decent collection of the echeveria plant paintings, and the king was happy. It’s always good to make the king happy.
Pros and Cons of Echeveria
- Having a rose succulent creates a relaxing environment for your mind. Our brain needs nature to relax. Echeverias, especially rose echeverias are a comfort for our tired mind.
- All the colors from the rainbow. You will enjoy a plethora of colors among the flowering succulents. All echeverias bloom, did you know that?
- With over a hundred echeveria species, we are sure you will find the perfect one for your home.
- Echeverias are not poisonous, so you won’t have to worry about children or pets. However, we don’t recommend eating echeveria.
- You won’t stop. Once you get your first small echeveria, you will fall in love with it. Then you’ll want some company. And, before you know it, you have a garden full of plants.
- Hens and chicks. A lot of echeverias are called Hens and Chicks. Sempervivums are also called that way, so it’s easy to get confused.
Types of Echeveria
Also known as Mexican Snowball, Hens, and Chicks, or White Mexican Rose. This elegant echeveria forms rosettas and is a perfect choice for a succulent carpet. Usually green, but can get pink color if exposed to direct sunlight. This echeveria blooms from early spring to mid-summer.
Very similar to a close cousin, Echeveria Derenceana. Lola blooms in spring, with bell-shaped flowers on a small stem. Flowers are usually yellow or pink, while the leaves are gray with violet nuance. This particular plant is a hybrid between Echeveria ‘Tippy’ and Echeveria Lilacina.
This little beauty has green leaves with pink edges. The beauty of leaves is only matched by the yellow flowers that appear to hover over the plant. As other echeverias, Deranosa also forms rosettas.
Echeveria Agavoides (Molded Wax Agave)
This echeveria has no stems. Thick triangular leaves form a small, dense rosette. When exposed to direct sunlight, leaves turn red. Orange flowers appear in mid-summer. Agavoides got its unusual name by undisputable similarity to agave plant.
Also known as Mexican Giant. It looks like something from fairy tales. Its stemless rosette is formed by thick, large pinky leaves. All the leaves are covered with a layer of waxy substance. Flowers are yellow inside and orange outside.
Echeveria Galaxy Blue
The stunning beauty of this echeveria is hard to describe. Blue leaves in open form make the broad rosetta. In spring, this echeveria becomes even more attractive, with the bloom of bell-shaped yellow flowers.
Also known as Ghost Echeveria, or Mexican Hens and Chicks. Grey leaves form a perfectly symmetrical rosette. In early spring, pink flowers will appear on the top of the long stems.
This dense little echeveria has beautiful green leaves. Red and brown spots on the leaves make Purposum a sight for a sorrow eye. In late spring, you will be amazed by bloody red flowers on long stems.
Blue and green flowers form a wide rosette. When stressed, the leaves get bright red edges. It blooms in spring, and the lantern-shaped flowers are pink coral.
Also known as Blue Echeveria, and of course, Hens and Chicks. Rosettes are wide and tight, with adorable oval-shaped green leaves. Edges and tips are reddish-brown, especially in winter. In late spring, large red flowers with yellow petals will beautify the Secunda.
Echeveria Setosa (Mexican Firecracker)
Setosa has short stems and rosettas full of juicy green leaves. Fine white hair covers the leaves, giving this echeveria an attractive look. Setosa blooms in late spring and summer, and the flowers are orange and red.
Echeveria Runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’
One of our favorites. Topsy Turvy has long, narrow leaves that curl back to the center of the stemless rosette. In fall, yellow and orange star-shaped flowers will appear. When planted outdoors, it makes a lovely ground cover.
Echeveria Cubic Frost
This is one of the most beautiful shapes in the world of echeverias. Fleshy pink leaves are upturned, with tips pointing to the center of the rosette. In spring, expect orange bell-shaped flowers. Cubic Frost is a patented hybrid created by Altman Plants.
Echeveria ‘Joy’s Giant’
This gentle giant is a hybrid from New Zealand. Large lilac leaves form an asymmetrical, wide rosette. During winter, the leaves will change color. Orange flowers bloom in long inflorescences.
Some succulents change color over time, and this bumpy-leaved echeveria is one of them. Wavy leaves change color depending on the time of the year. Bell-shaped red flowers will bloom on long stems. Bumps is also a hybrid, created by Dick Wright in 2011.
Echeveria ‘Gorgon’s Grotto’
Large wavy leaves give this echeveria a surreal look. Leaves color vary between burgundy, green, and gray, with rose edges. Gorgon’s Grotto is a hybrid created by Renee O’Connell.
Also known as ‘Red Edge,’ this echeveria forms a solitary rosette. Apple green leaves are edged with bright red color, giving the impression they are colored with lipstick. Echeveria ‘Lipstick’ is a cultivated variety of Echeveria agavoides.
And now, a rarity, black echeveria. Well, black succulents are actually deep purple. So, more like green leaves with dark brown edges and tips. In summer, star-shaped red flowers appear, making it a nice contrast of colors.
Dondo forms wide rosettes of fleshy green leaves with soft tips. In early spring, stalks will appear from the center of the plant, full of yellow and orange bell-shaped flowers. Several different hybrids carry this name, so don’t get confused.
This type is commonly known as the Plush Plant. The name is realistic, as the hard green leaves are covered with white hairs. The Plush Plant blooms in late winter, and the flowers are yellow and orange, in the shape of the bell.
Echeveria ‘Baron Bold’
This fascinating echeveria changes colors, depending on the season. On big leaves, you can usually find rose bumps that make this echeveria so interesting. As most of the unusual echeverias, this is also a hybrid. It was created in 1970 by Dick Wright.
Echeveria ‘Fun Queen’
Fun Queen is a small, gentle echeveria. Its leaves are green with smooth blush pink shades. Fun Queen is also a hybrid and originates from Korea. Its charming appearance and small size make it an ideal office plant. Pink succulents can adapt to dry environments, so they are a great choice.
Encantada forms large rosettas from tear-shaped leaves. Leaves are greenish with white tones. Long stalks are home to bell-shaped flowers in nuances of orange and pink. Encantada is a hybride between Echeveria cante and Echeveria runyonii.
Aspects of Echeveria Care
You need to secure good air circulation for your echeveria. This way, your plant will grow better and be safe from pests.
Echeverias are tropical plants, so they need a bit warmer temperature. Anywhere between 65 and 80 F is great for indoor growing. In winter, 60F will suffice. For outdoor growing, you need to live in a climate where summers are at least 70F.
Echeverias need a couple of hours of direct sunlight every day. But beware, because too much sun can hurt your plant. Remember that tall succulent stretch out when they don’t have enough sun.
Like all succulents, echeverias will benefit from sandy soil with proper drainage. So, drainage holes in containers are a must. As for the ingredients, any cacti soil will do great. Or, you can buy some pumice/perlite, mix with fresh potting soil, and make your own batch.
Echeverias don’t need fertilizers and can prosper without them. But, if you want to encourage their growth, use a fertilizer with low nitrogen levels. Fertilize your plant every few weeks during the summer.
Mealybugs can cause issues to echeverias. If you notice these pests, spray some insecticide not just on the plant but also on the soil. This way, you will also destroy the mealybugs’ eggs.
Like all succulents, you should water your echeveria only when the soil on the top is completely dry. Don’t spray the plant with water, just the soil. In winter, echeverias need little to no watering.
Echeverias will prosper in a 40%-50% humidity. So, the hygrometer is your friend when growing echeverias indoors.
The container needs to be just a bit larger than the roots. This rule goes for all succulents. Proper container size will allow the soil to be the right structure, not too dense or too loose.
How to Grow Echeveria
You can propagate echeverias in four different ways:
- by seeds
- stem cuttings
- leaf cuttings
- offset separating
All these methods are simple and effective, but growing a new echeveria from a leaf is special. Here is what you need to do:
Step 1 – Pick a juicy leaf from the base
Make sure the leaf has no parasites, scars, or any form of damage. To be extra sure, take few leaves. So, if one fails to propagate, others will succeed.
Step 2 – Leave the leaves in a warm, dry and sunny place
After few days, the wounds from picking will heal, and your leaves are ready for the next step.
Step 3 – Fill a small dish with a succulent soil
Wet the soil just a little bit, and put the leaves on the top. Put the dish in a warm location, but not in direct sunlight.
Step 4 – Mist your leaves so they don’t dehydrate
In the next few weeks, you will notice small roots appearing from the leaves. After the roots grow a bit stronger, cover them with a thin layer of soil. You will notice new echeveria plants growing, taking the form of a rosette, and consuming the base’s leaves. Nature is beautiful.
Do’s and Don’ts With Echeveria
- Re-pot your echeveria every couple of years. Echeverias are slow growers, but they still need bigger containers from time to time.
- Propagate your echeverias so that you can trade specimens with other gardeners. Propagating succulents is easy and fun.
- Get yourself a black echeveria. They are simply beautiful.
- Don’t neglect your echeveria. If you can’t take proper care of it, get a replica one. Replica succulents are simple to clean, won’t get sick or rot. A win-win situation if you don’t have a green thumb.
- Don’t let your echeveria freeze in the winter. Remember, they originate from Central and South America.
FAQ About Echeveria
How do you identify Echeveria?
Echeverias have fleshy leaves, sometimes covered with waxy substances or white hairs. The leaves usually have a pointy tip and always form a rosetta. Also, when it’s time to bloom, you will notice long stalks growing from the base of the plant.
Do Echeverias like the full sun?
Yes, and they benefit greatly from it. After all, echeverias come from a warm and dry climate. However, they will become stressed if you suddenly expose them to too much sun. Moving them gradually is a much better solution. Also, echeverias can burn from too much sun, especially the summer sun.
What is the largest Echeveria?
The title goes to Echeveria gibbiflora. This lovely plant can grow pretty high for a succulent. Rosettes can grow to 12 inches in height and up to 16 inches in diameter. Leaves can be up to 8 inches long, and flower stems can grow up to 32 inches.
How big do Echeverias get?
Usually, echeverias grow up to 12 inches in height. Although, some echeverias are just a few inches tall. Bear in mind that older echeveria plants can grow even bigger, especially if the conditions are good.
Does Echeveria need grooming and pruning?
Echeverias don’t need any grooming or pruning. Your only job is to remove dry leaves or flowers. Also, you should remove any dust from the plant using a wet cotton cloth.
Among all succulents, echeverias are perhaps the most fascinating type. Their perfect shapes, rich colors, and different form of flowers surely put echeverias on the pedestal of the succulent world. Still don’t have one? What are you waiting for?
Photos from: r