Echeveria is one of the most popular succulent genera out there. The rosette shape and variety of colours has made it a go to plant to beautify gardens and pots.
The Origins of Echeveria
This large genus of flowering, succulent plants originates from Central America, South America and Mexico. They are mostly found in semi-deserts and with their fleshy leaves are equipped for long periods without rain.
Nowadays, there are many hybrids created by enthusiast and botanists by cross pollinating Echeverias with succulents of another genus, such as Agave or with other Echeveria species.
Echeverias typically grow in a rosette shape. They range in size, with some only growing to 8 cms in diameter, while others can grow to over 30 cms.New plants or pups/chicks appear at the bottom of the plant and if left attached will slowly spread over large areas, creating a carpet of beautiful permanent florets.
Some Echeverias can change colour over the course of the year. The pinks and reds will become most prominent in winter and in full sun.
The majority of Echeverias flower during winter or in early spring. Flowers appear at the top of a tall stalk and are usually bell shaped in shades of red, pink, orange or yellow.
Caring for Echeveria is quite easy. Plant outside in a sunny spot in free-draining potting mix and watch the magic happen.
Echeverias in the ground pretty much take care of themselves and only need to be watered if it hasn't rained for a few weeks.
Echeverias in pots, however, need a little more attention as their root system is confined to a pot and cannot spread deep into the soil. When the temperatures rise above 30 degrees Celsius, it is best that plants in smaller pots (10 cm - 20 cm) are moved in the shade, in the afternoon. Echeverias in pots should also be watered at least once a week in summer. Large growing Echeverias should be re-potted once every year or two into a bigger pot.
Echeverias are not suitable for indoors unless they get at least half a day of sun, but even then they might struggle. To retain their colours and compact shape, Echeverias need the sun and good airflow.
These plants also attract various pests such as aphids, mealy bugs and slugs. If you spot any of these on your plants, treat accordingly with pesticide as they can weaken and kill your beautiful succulents.
The Best Echeverias
It is quite impossible to pick the best Echeveria out of hundreds of stunning plants. There are old favourites such as Black Prince or Echeveria Glauca that can be found in many gardens spilling over the edges of garden beds or forming a dense carpet. Large growing plants such as the two mentioned above grow best outdoors in sun or in bigger sized pots.
New hybrids can add a special feel to the garden or a large garden pot. Our current favourite is Echeveria Serrana with its beautiful chocolate leaves and pink centre.
For unusual shape try Frilly Echeverias with ruffled leaves or Echeveria Topsy Turvy.
If you have anything to add to this article or have an exciting new Echeveria to show off, please feel free to post a comment below :)