Small and beautiful, echeveria are succulents that look like faux plants or something that’s shaped into a rose.
But, make no mistake these are real plants. And, you can easily grow them at home.
They don’t need a lot of water and tolerate quite a bit of neglect, which makes them perfect for busy homeowners.
Here’s how to care for them.
About Echeveria Plants
Echeveria plants are among the most popular succulents around. This is in large part because of their beautiful appearance.
They feature a lovely rosette of leaves that come in different colors depending on the variety you get. But, being succulents, they have thick foliage which makes it look stunning.
This is why they’re often used as wedding decorations, flower arrangements, in succulent gardens, terrariums, and even cakes.
As you would expect, their beauty has also caused many growers to hybridize them. So, you’ll see over 150 varieties available.
In addition to their looks, they are likewise easy to care for. They can take quite a bit of neglect. And, they adapt very well to normal household conditions.
Echeverias are native to Central and South America as well as Mexico. They’re fairly small growing up to 12 inches in size. Although, some species get as big as 2 feet.
All in all, these features make them easy to add to your living room or other parts of your home.
Echeveria Plant Care
Echeveria plants require a lot of light. Ideally, you should put them in a spot where they’re able to get full sun. Or, at least 4-5 hours of bright direct light each day.
This makes a south-facing window the perfect location. And, make sure there are no objects, trees, or curtains blocking the sun’s rays. These succulents thrive when they’re in the direct path of the sun.
If they don’t get it, they become leggy and tall, turning towards and seek out wherever the light is coming from. When this happens, it ruins the tight rosette look that your echeveria has.
Similarly, lack of light also prevents from them blooming.
if you want, in addition to keeping them in a sunny location, you can also bring them outside during the summer to soak in as much sun as they desire.
Temperature & Humidity
Echeverias are perfect for homes because they do well in normal home temperature and humidity. Unlike most plants, they don’t need a lot of humidity to thrive. This makes it easier for most homeowners since you don’t need to make special accommodations for them.
As such, it’s not a good idea to keep these succulents in high humidity areas of your home like the kitchen and bathroom. Doing so increases their risk of root rot. Also, the latter is probably the worst place you can put this plant because it doesn’t have much light as well.
That said, echeveria plants thrive when the temperature stays between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. When winter comes around, it’s a good idea to limit the temperature to a minimum of 55 or 60 degrees.
Because it’s used to hot, dry conditions, anything colder will cause it to struggle. Similarly, you want to keep it away from areas that can experience cold drafts like open windows or near an air conditioner.
As with other succulents, echeveria don’t need much water. In fact, it is better to let them go dry than to overwater them. That’s because the latter puts them at risk of root rot and fungal problems. Both of which can kill your plant.
Thus, one good way to ensure that it doesn’t sit in water is to have ample drainage holes in your pot. Similarly, water during the spring and summertime. Then, scale back during the winter.
It is likewise best to allow the soil the dry out completely before watering. And, when you do water thoroughly until the moisture seeps out from the drainage holes below.
Just as importantly, you don’t want to water the plant or its leaves. The shape of the rosette makes it easy for moisture to get trapped between the foliage. Thus, allowing water to sit within the plant. That’s a no-no.
Instead, pour the liquid directly on the soil. You can likewise water from below placing the pot in a shallow container with water. Although this method is more thorough, it takes much longer for the soil to gradually soak up moisture from below.
From above, you already know that the echeveria plant needs well-draining soil. The easiest way to give them this is to use potting soil for cacti and succulents, which is readily available in garden centers and local nurseries.
You can likewise use an all-purpose potting mix and amend it so that it drains water faster. You can do so by adding coarse sand, gravel, or perlite to make it lighter and promote better drainage.
Since they’re used to nutrient-poor soil, these lovely succulents don’t require much feeding. But, giving them plant food during their growing season in the spring and summertime helps with growth.
However, it is essential to avoid overfertilizing. Applying too much can cause fertilizer burn.
A couple of good choices include cacti or succulent fertilizer or a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half or quarter strength.
Echeveria plants don’t need much pruning. But, you may need to do so to get rid of dead leaves and/or leggy growth. The former is a good idea because leaving dead leaves can encourage pests.
Besides these instanced, the only other reason to trim back your echeveria is for cosmetic purposes.
Echeveria plants have an average lifespan of around 3 years. That said, you can likewise propagate them so that you can keep this beautiful plant around indefinitely.
Separation and leaf cuttings are the most efficient ways to propagate these succulents.
When healthy, they will produce offsets that you can simply separate from the main plant and grow separately.
Alternatively, you can do leaf cuttings. Here’s how.
- Gently take off a leaf from the main stem. Don’t jar or forcefully do so. Instead, wiggle it from side to side in a gentle manner until it pops out.
- Then, put the leaf on a pot with soil.
- Keep it away from sunlight and avoid watering it until it begins to grow roots. This will take about 2-3 weeks.
- Once that happens, water occasionally. Within a month or so, you should start seeing small rosettes begin to develop.
You will need to repot your echeveria plant once it outgrows its current container. Spring is the best tie to do so. Although, you can do so any time when the weather is warm.
This is pretty much in line with most of its other features which make it quite low maintenance.
Here’s how to repot your echeveria plant.
- Let the soil dry before taking it out of the pot
- Gently coax the plant out of the container
- Then, pat away any excess soil from the roots
- Place the plant into its new container
- Fill the remaining space with soil to keep the plant stable
- Wait a week for the plant to dry before watering
Echeveria are non-toxic to humans and pets. This is why they can be used to decorate wedding cakes. That said, it’s still never a good idea for kids and pets to consume them.