Echeveria (lat. Echeveria), or Echeveria, is a genus of succulent herbaceous perennials in the Tolstiaceae family. There are about 170 species in the genus, most of which are distributed in Mexico, but some are found in the USA and South America.
The genus was named after Atanasio Echeverria y Godoy, a Mexican artist who illustrated books on the plant life of Mexico. The natives call the plant “stone flower” or “stone rose.”
Planting and care of echeveria
- Flowering: about 3 weeks in spring or summer.
- Lighting: bright sunlight, bright diffused light, penumbra.
- Temperature: from spring to autumn – normal for a living room, in winter – 9-10 ºC.
- Watering: regular, but rare: only after the substrate is completely dry.
- Air humidity: does not matter.
- Feeding: during active growth – once a month with a solution of complex mineral fertilizer for cacti and succulents. During the rest of the year fertilizer is not made.
- Resting period in winter.
- Repotting: young plants every spring, adults – once in 3-4 years at the beginning of the growing season.
- Propagation: by stem or leaf cuttings, less often by seeds.
- Diseases: fungal infections.
- Pests: the plant is resistant.
Succulent echeveria forms dense rosettes from fleshy, juicy, tough, moisture-filled leaves with a diameter of 3 to 40 cm. Representatives of the genus can be stemless or have long shoots, the leaves of different species of echeveria differ in shape, color and size. Five-membered small yellow, red-brown or red-orange flowers with juicy sepals and petals, compounded in an erect lateral inflorescence, are arranged on a long lateral or upright pedicel.
The intensity of flower color often depends on the quality of light: flowers, which developed in cloudy weather, usually have a yellow color, while those, which were formed in the sun, have a red tint.
Echeveria are good at forming interspecific and intergeneric forms, of which Sediveria, Pachiveria and Graptoveria are the best known. Echeveria are common in room culture.
Care of echeveria in the home
Growing from seed
Propagation of echeveria by seeds is the most difficult way to get a new plant: you need to pollinate the flower with your own hands during flowering, observe the maturation of seeds and collect them in time. The seeds are then placed on the surface of the sandy-peat substrate, lightly pressed without embedding, and kept in a bright place at 20-25˚C in a high-humidity environment, for which cover the seeds with film or glass.
As a container for growing seedlings it is advisable to use a container with drainage holes, through which the excess moisture will flow out.
If you’re attentive and careful, then after 2-3 weeks you will have many sprouts, and when they develop three true leaves, you can plant them in individual pots and place on the brightest window sill in the apartment.
Echeveria plant is not afraid of neither heat, nor dry air, nor direct sunlight, so it grows, develops and flowers well on windowsills oriented to the south. From spring to autumn the house echeveria feels comfortable in the usual for the season room temperature, but in winter you need to find a room for it, where the temperature will not rise above 10 ˚C. If this is not possible, and the plant will winter in a warm room, try at least to give it enough light: some lovers complain that over the winter their echeveria stretched and its stems bare, and the reason for this trouble – poor lighting at high air temperature.
Watering and nutrition
Water the echeveria with distilled or filtered water at room temperature, when the substrate in the pot dries out completely. With more frequent watering there is a risk of rotting of the lower leaves and roots of the echeveria.
Make sure that the water does not stagnate at the stem and that the excess water flows freely out of the pot. If the echeveria at home becomes thirsty, its leaves will become soft and begin to wrinkle.
As for air humidity, the echeveria, like all succulents, is indifferent to this indicator. She does not need and even harmful as spraying, and ablutions under the shower.
With fertilizers echeveria should be careful, because an excess of fertilizers in the substrate stimulates rotting processes in the leaves. Mineral complexes for cacti in the form of solutions are applied to the substrate once a month during active growth. At the beginning of autumn fertilization stop. If you often update the soil in the pot, you can not make fertilizers at all.
Replanting and propagation
Young echeveria need to change the pot and substrate every spring, adult plants enough to change the dishes and soil once every 3-4 years. Pots for echeveria must necessarily have drainage holes. First, in a shallow pot lay a layer of drainage material – pebbles or expanded clay, then transplant the plant from the old pot to the new one and fill the empty space with a soil mixture consisting of loamy soil (3 parts), peat (1 part), expanded clay (1 part) and charcoal (handful).
If you already have an echeveria in your apartment, you can propagate it using vegetative methods that are easier to do and more reliable than growing it from seed. For example, stem cuttings: in mid-March, the apical cuttings with a few leafy rosettes are separated from the mother plant and easily pressed into a soil of sand and a small amount of compost soil. Keep rooting cuttings in bright light and temperature of 22-24 ˚ C, occasionally moistening the soil. Rooted echeveria cuttings in 7-10 days, after which they are transplanted into permanent pots.
Practice in room flowering and propagation of echeveria by leaf, but this method requires experience and skill, because you need to be able to separate the large lower leaves from the plant without damage. The leaves are dried for a few hours, then placed horizontally on the sand and regularly moisten the soil, not allowing it to get too wet. Spines will begin to appear in a month, but the full plant will be formed only in 3-4 months.
Pests and diseases
Diseases and their treatment
In an excessively moist soil, echeveria can fall ill with fungal diseases. To avoid this, try to balance the moisture of the substrate, allowing the echeveria’s ground coma to dry out between waterings.
All other troubles that can occur are also the result of improper maintenance or poor care. For example, brittle stems that have begun to turn gray or even black – a sign of excessive moisture in the soil on the background of low indoor temperature, elongated loose rosette – a symptom of poor light.
If the leaves of echeveria have become shallow, it may be from a lack of moisture and a lack of nutrients in the soil.
Wrinkled leaves and rosettes – a sign that the plant was not watered in extreme heat.
Species and varieties
We offer you an introduction to the most commonly grown species and varieties of echeveria. Popular in room culture are the following species:
Echeveria agavoides (Echeveria agavoides)
A herbaceous Mexican perennial up to 15 cm tall with oblong silvery-light green leaves up to 9 cm wide, gathered in a dense rosette. The tips of the leaves are red.
Echeveria white-haired (Echeveria leucotricha).
Also a Mexican succulent shrub, reaching a height of 15-20 cm. It forms a loose rosette of inversely lanceolate, thickly tufted white leaves with reddish brown tips. The leaves are 6 to 10 cm long and up to 2.5 cm wide. The stem of the plant is covered with felted pubescence of a reddish hue.
Echeveria pulvinata (Echeveria pulvinata)
A plant with velvety, succulent-green leaves and orange-yellow flowers arranged on powerful flower stalks. By the lowering of the leaves and the coloring of the stem this species resembles echeveria whitelike, but differs from it in the obovate shape of the leaves, which can reach a length of 6.5 cm and a width of 4 cm.
A plant with a bare stem and tenderly tufted leaves.
Echeveria crimson (Echeveria coccinea)
Reaches up to 70 cm in height. Its softly tufted leaves run the length of the stem. Their underside and edges turn purple in the sun.
A weakly branched succulent shrub native to Mexico that forms aerial roots on the stem in the leaf rumen area. The rosellate leaves are 2 to 4 cm long and up to 1.5 cm wide, elongate-rhombic in shape and covered with soft pubescence. The edges of the upper part of the leaves are fringed in red. Red flowers with yellow edges of the petals reach 3 cm in length.
Forms a rosette of bluish leaves. As it ages, its long stem becomes ampelike. In midsummer, yellow-orange flowers appear on the lateral petioles of the plant. This species has relative shade tolerance and the ability to withstand regular overwatering.
A Mexican herbaceous perennial with lateral daughter rosettes. Its stem reaches a height of 5 cm, the leaves are oblong, up to 6 cm long and 1 cm wide, pale green with a bluish waxy patina. Flowers are red-yellow.
Discovered in Mexico in 1976. It is a slow growing stemless species, forming a rosette up to 20 cm in diameter of beautiful and succulent leaves of bluish-white because of the thick waxy coating of color. The leaves reach 6 cm long and 3 cm wide. Large orange flowers are also covered with a waxy patina.
Echeveria multistemmed (Echeveria multicaulis).
Mexican strong-branched shrub up to 20 cm tall with a sparse rosette of obovate dark green, reddening leaves at the edges, up to 2.5 cm long and up to 1.5 cm wide. The flowers of this plant are 10 to 13 cm long and are red on the outside and yellow on the inside.
A succulent up to half a meter tall with a loose rosette of bright green leaves on top and pink on the underside of obovate leaves up to 8 cm long and 5 cm wide. There are red stripes along the top and edges of the leaves. Yellow on top and red on the inside, the flowers can reach a length of 17 cm.
Echeveria shaw (Echeveria shaviana)
A plant with flat and less fleshy leaves with a wavy edge. The stem of this species is shortened, the leaves are tightly pressed together: the flower resembles a cabbage cabbage cabbage. In mid-summer, up to several dozen flowers open on 2-3 peduncles in turn.
Echeveria bristly (Echeveria setosa)
Herbaceous perennial with a stem up to 10 cm in height and a rosette up to 15 cm in diameter. It has frond-shaped, bright green leaves which are up to 5 cm long and 2 cm wide. The leaves are covered with long, sparse white hairs. The flowers of this species are yellow-red.
Echeveria linguaefolia (Echeveria linguaefolia).
A semi-shrub 20-25 cm tall, usually forming two fleshy trunks. It has a flowering stem which is drooping, sometimes branched at the bottom and bears straw-colored flowers.
Varieties and hybrid varieties of echeveria are also grown at home:
Echeveria tiled (Echeveria × imbricata).
A hybrid variety with aerial roots formed in the area of the leaf scars and a large loose cup-shaped rosette of broad obovate leaves.
Echeveria Black Prince
A light-demanding hybrid variety with red-brown leaves.
Echeveria hump-shaped pearl Nuremberg (Echeveria × gibbiflora Perle von Nurnberg).
A plant with pink-gray leaves that over time forms an erect stem. This plant unfortunately does not flower at home.
Echeveria × gibbiflora Metallica (Echeveria × gibbiflora Metallica)
A succulent shrub of hybrid origin, 30 to 70 cm tall with aerial roots and a sparse rosette of gray-pink broadly scalloped leaves up to 15 cm wide and 30 cm long. The flowers are light red on the outside and yellow on the inside.
A spectacular and very popular succulent of hybrid origin with small, as if lying on the ground rosettes, shaped like a lotus. There are varieties with different shades of leaves: bluish, purple, pink, scarlet, yellowish and silver.
- Read about the subject on Wikipedia
- Features and other plants of the Thistle family
- All Species List at The Plant List
- More information at World Flora Online