With over 150 species to choose from, the Echeveria plant still reigns as one of the most popular succulents to grow. Hailing from the Crassulaceae family, Echeveria plants are native to semi-arid desert regions in Mexico, Central America, and South America. They are even found growing naturally in Texas.
This succulent variety forms beautiful clusters of compact rosettes, which grow 2 to 6 inches on short stems with plump, water-storing leaves.
Echeveria comes in many different colors, shapes, and sizes. The succulent can be bright green, blue-green, pink, purple, dusty gray, purple, black, and red depending on the variety. The outer edges of the succulent leaves can even be tinged red or pink. In addition, every spring and summer, Echeverias produce beautiful bell-shaped blooms, ranging from white to bright red and anything in-between. The Echeveria plants’ blossoms are polycarpic, meaning they will come back annually! These colorful flowers provide beautiful contrast to the succulent foliage.
Echeveria plants are well-loved for their attractive appearance and their general low-maintenance. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or new to the succulent scene, Echeveria is the perfect plant for you! Let’s look at how to best grow and care for your Echeveria plant:
Echeveria loves bright, indirect sunlight and warm, afternoon temperatures. This succulent will require approximately 6 hours of bright, indirect sunlight during the fall and winter months. In spring and summer, the succulent will need at least 8 to 12 hours of bright, indirect sunlight. If the succulent is indoors, place it near south or west-facing windows, or any window that gets the most light in your house. If grown outdoors, your Echeveria may need some shade during scorching summer temperatures, so they do not burn.
Since succulents grow toward the light, they may start leaning and stretching if your pot or planter isn’t turned once or twice a week. Adequate sun exposure ensures your Echeveria remains symmetrical and compact. It also helps the succulent show its true leaf color, too!
Though it seems counterintuitive, Echeveria plants actually thrive on brief periods of neglect, which means low levels of watering. Overwatering is one of the biggest problems with succulent care since it can result in root rot.
Echeveria will need to be watered according to the seasonal temperature in your region. It will need more water during sunny spring and summer months and less water during cold, cloudy winter months. As a general guide, we suggest giving your Echeveria a regular drenching every 7 to 10 days during hot temperatures, allowing the plant’s soil to almost dry out between watering. In fall and winter, water your Echeveria sparingly and allow the soil to completely dry out before watering the plant again.
For a homemade moisture meter, we suggest simply using a toothpick. Place the toothpick in your planter’s soil before watering and check back regularly to see when the toothpick is dry. When the toothpick is dry, your succulent soil is ready for more water.
Like all other succulents, Echeveria plants require well-draining soil to prevent moisture from rotting the roots. Drainage is key when it comes to succulents. Their ability to tolerate droughts makes them more likely to rot if they are left in wet soil. Since Echeveria plants naturally grow and thrive in desert regions, it makes sense that they enjoy low-water conditions. In order for succulents to dry out quickly, they need a gritty, textured soil that provides good airflow. Consider purchasing a succulent or cactus potting mix or making your own. But keep in mind: even the best succulent soil will not save your plant if you overwater it.
Most Echeveria varieties are not hardy and usually cannot survive in temperatures colder than 50 degrees Fahrenheit. They prefer warm, dry temperatures from 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but they can survive hotter summer temperatures. If you live in a region where you have cold winter temperatures, consider using your Echeveria as a houseplant only or bringing your Echeveria indoors during the winter. Once the threats of snow or frost have passed, you can gradually move your Echeveria outdoors again.
Some echeveria plants are known for self-propagating. It is easy to separate and grow these offsets and adjust your garden layout as needed.
If you want to try your hand at propagating, the Echeveria is an easy succulent to start with. Simply collect your leaf cuttings—ones that have fallen off the plant or ones you have snipped— lay them flat on the surface of the succulent soil, and wait a few weeks for the leaf to take root. Soon, a small rosette will grow next to the rooted leaf. The initial leaf cutting will eventually dry up and disappear, leaving you a beautiful baby Echeveria! Check out our article “How to Propagate Succulents in 5 Easy Steps” for more details and tips!
Extra Maintenance Tips
Echeveria plants are extremely low-maintenance. They do not need to be overly groomed or pruned. Other than removing occasional dead leaves or blossoms, your Echeveria will be pretty self-reliant!
Whether you want to design a show-stopping succulent terrarium or add some groundcover in your garden, Echeveria plants are a great, versatile choice!
Got any succulent questions? Drop Tampa Succulents a comment below!