Native to Mexico , Echeveria is a small succulent plant from the Crassulaceae family. Appreciated for its ease of cultivation and low maintenance, it is also appreciated for its beautiful rosettes of fleshy leaves.
What there is to know :
Botanical name : Echeveria
Common name : echeveria, écheveria
Family : Crassulaceae
Foliage: The compact, symmetrical rosettes of fleshy leaves have an artichoke shape. The thick, smooth-edged leaves are usually an attractive pale green to glaucous color.
Flowers : From June to October, the leaf rosettes are topped with small bell-shaped flowers carried by a thick bare stem. Depending on the variety, they are yellow, orange or red, always very bright.
Exposure : In partial shade in summer. Full sun should be avoided when echeveria is grown in a container, especially if the plant has not been used to this exposure before.
Soil : Well drained but with a little good soil providing consistency.
Hardiness : Sensitive to cold, most species of this succulent plant cannot withstand temperatures below -2 ° C, sometimes a little more if the soil is very dry.
Pot culture of Echeveria
This succulent plant is very easy to grow in a pot. Under these conditions, it tolerates drought perfectly but fears the cold more than in the ground.
Over the years, the rosettes of leaves reject a lot forming large pots. The Echeverias thus tolerate very well to be cultivated in cramped cushions.
For a container culture, the ideal mixture is of good garden soil, of cacti potting soil and of river sand.
Finish on the surface by spreading a layer of gravel.
Consider repotting your succulents only every 3 to 4 years, when the rosettes start to come out of the pot.
Echeveria: Limited maintenance
How to water this succulent plant ?
Water supplies depend on the season.
During the growing season, between March and the end of September, very regular watering is necessary: once or twice a week. But care should be taken not to wet the leaves, otherwise they will quickly rot.
The ideal is to use a watering can with a long spout that you slide between the rosettes to pour the water slowly directly to the surface of the growing medium.
During the fall , gradually reduce watering.
During the period of vegetative rest , from December to March, only one watering per month is sufficient. But the way of watering changes because at this time of year, it is imperative to avoid wetting the crown of the plant to limit the risk of rot.
The water can therefore be poured directly into the saucer. It will thus go up by capillary action to the roots. Use rainwater brought to room temperature.
Which fertilizer to use?
Echeverias are relatively sober plants . They are satisfied with a single contribution per month of special cacti fertilizer, to be given only from mid-March to the end of September.
It is recommended to dose this fertilizer at half dose compared to the recommendations of the packaging.
About ten minutes before pouring the fertilizer diluted in water, water to moisten the growing medium. This will limit the risk of burning the roots.
Protection of Echeveria in winter
Like Crassula , a shrubby succulent from the same family, most Echeverias are not hardy. From October, it is therefore necessary to shelter the pots from frost in a bright and bright room, but remaining cool (between 6 and 10 ° C): veranda, cold greenhouse, behind a garage window, etc.
In regions with a mild climate (along the Atlantic coast, South-West, Mediterranean coast), the pots can stay outside all winter. But to prevent them from being overwatered or to protect them more easily from frost (under a one-off wintering veil for example), group them together on the ledge of a very sunny window (ideally facing due south or to the south). ‘Where is).
The genus Echeveria has 150 species of succulents , all native to semi-desert regions of Mexico and South America. Some are highly sought after by collectors.
Echeveria elegans , with pink flowers, is the most common. Unfortunately, it is also a very hardy species.
Stemless, it develops rosettes of thick, rounded, gray-blue leaves covered with bloom and with an elegant red margin. In the long run, they form a magnificent spread cushion. Height: 5cm
- Echeveria agavoides , with rosettes of triangular leaves with a reddish point. Its dark pink flowers bloom from spring to late summer. This species is one of the hardiest because it tolerates both frost and drought. Height: 15cm
- With its loose rosettes of gray-green leaves growing atop short, downy stems, Echeveria pulvinata has a more bushy habit. The fleshy leaves are covered with white hairs . From the end of winter, until the beginning of summer, the red or orange flowers are borne by stems 30 cm high.
- Echeveria setosa , with spoon-shaped leaves covered with numerous white hairs forming a down. Its yellow or red trumpet flowers bloom in spring. Height: 5cm
- Echeveria secunda , with rounded pointed leaves grouped in slightly flattened rosettes. This species behaves very well indoors. As it ages, its glaucous leaves are adorned with a red margin. Its small flowers in yellow or red bells bloom in spring.
- Echeveria tolimensis : with pretty bluish green leaves ending in a red tip. It has orange and yellow flowers on short stems. This Echeveria forms a 5 cm high carpet to be planted in a rockery .
Diseases affecting Echeveria
Most of the time, the cultivation problems encountered are due to overwatering or water additions made directly to the leaves. Keep in mind that Echeverias are very susceptible to rot. The way to water them is a key point for the success of their culture.
In winter, a second common mistake is to bring this plant in the house or in the apartment. But when grown indoors , in an atmosphere too hot for its wintering, white mealybugs appear in the rosettes. Once installed, they are then very difficult to remove, even by repeating the treatments with black soap or white oil.
How to cut the Echeveria?
As with many succulents , Echeveria cuttings are very easy to do from March to October from the leaves.
To do this, you have to choose healthy leaves located in the middle of the rosette.
- Gently tear off the leaves one by one. Then let them dry for a week to 10 days on a shelf or on a window sill in the shade for their base to heal.
- At the end of this time, fill a shallow pot with a draining growing medium (⅓ potting soil and ⅔ sand). Finish by sprinkling with a layer of sand.
- Prick in the base of the leaves without forcing. They should stand straight and be aligned a few centimeters between them.
- Do not water right away. Wait a few days. A light but regular moistening of the soil is then sufficient. Leave your cuttings quietly to take root in partial shade.
- After 15-20 days, small roots have appeared. Wait another fortnight before repotting each cutting in an individual pot.
Did you know ?
This succulent plant is named after Atanasio Etcheverria y godoy, an 18th century Mexican naturalist painter.