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With over 150 species to choose from native to parts of Central America, South America, and Mexico, Echeveria or often called Hen and Chicks, is one of the most popular succulents, thanks to their delightful rosettes that can reach up to 2 to 6-inches across on short stems with striking water-storing leaves.
They offer a comprehensive variety of colors, sizes, and leaf shapes, and most can produce astonishing bell-shaped flowers that will look splendidly beautiful in just any living space.
Furthermore, Echeveria is the perfect houseplant whether you have a green thumb or not, especially if you are a busy office worker or a novice gardener, as they have low maintenance needs and can still thrive under periods of neglect. Just make sure to handle them with care, as they have leaves that easily break off.
These astounding plants are easily recognized due to their compact rosette and plump, charming leaves, which may be flushed with red or pink color and may even seem to glow under the right lighting condition. So if you want to have a beautiful Echeveria all-year-round, provide them with plenty of bright, indirect light.
If grown indoors, place your Echeveria where it can receive a lot of sunlight. Ideally, the best spot to display them is near a south or west-facing window, as these 2 spots often offer more light than north or east-facing windows. But if this isn’t an option, just put them near a window that gets the most light. You can also consider placing them under a desk or table lamp that is on throughout the day. Doing this should prevent the plant from opening up their rosette and stretch out of form due to lack of light.
Echeverias can be grown outdoors as well, especially during the summer. Just make sure to avoid sudden changes in light exposure and as well as the intense afternoon sun, as these can be too harsh for them, resulting in their leaves to get sunburned.
In general, Echeverias should get a minimum of 6 hours of bright light during Winter and at least 8 to 12 hours a day during Spring and Summer. This should help them keep their rosette compact, and at the same time, show their true leaf color.
Succulents tend to grow toward the light source. So to keep your Echeveria symmetrical, it is recommended to turn the pot at least once or twice a week. In case your Echeveria begins to stretch, just continue growing it, then start fresh in the Spring by simply cutting the top and rooting it as a new rosette.
Watering Echeveria varies on the temperature and conditions of the plant's surroundings. To give you a rough guide, from Spring to Summer, keep the potting mix of your Echeveria slightly moist, which can be achieved by giving them a deep and regular watering, allowing the soil to get almost dry in between.
From late Fall to Winter, on the other hand, Echeverias shouldn't be kept soaking wet for too long, so water them less sparingly and let their soil dry out completely before giving them another drink.
Ideally, Echeverias can be watered once every week to ten days. However, this still depends on the size of your plant and pot, so it's advisable to always check the soil first before watering to make sure. You can always use a moisture meter or your finger to feel the level of dryness of the plant's soil.
Keep in mind that poor watering habits are the top reason you'll encounter problems with this plant, so make sure to keep an eye on them and make adjustments whenever it's necessary.
Most Echeverias are non-hardy succulents and can’t survive cold temperatures. They prefer temperatures between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit and doesn't like it when it drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
For that reason, these tender succulent can be grown worry-free outdoors in USDA zone 9 and zone 10. In other zones, we highly recommend growing your Echeveria as a houseplant, especially during the cold months, and just gradually move them outdoors once the threat of frost has passed.
Just like with all other succulents, Echeverias also need well-drained soil that dries out quickly to help prevent moisture from rotting the roots. You can either use a quality potting mix intended for Cactus and Succulents or create your own blend of soil and perlite.
Echeveria rarely needs to be fertilized. But if you want to give them some occasional feeding, do this at the beginning of spring by using a slow-release fertilizer or a water-soluble mixed about half strength and used less often than recommended.
Getting the right pot for your Echeveria is also a crucial part of taking care of them. Remember, the bigger pots contain greater soil volume. Meaning, it would hold more moisture compared to smaller ones, risking your Echeveria plant of root rot.
Ideally, the size of your pot should be 5 to 10% bigger than the size of your Echeveria at the surface. So if you have an Echeveria that's 4-inches wide, the best pot for it will be the one that's around 4.5-inches in diameter or just a bit bigger than your plant's rosette.
For the type of pot, the most recommended for Echeveria is Terracotta ones with ample drainage. They have porous walls that will allow excess moisture to escape, preventing the plant to sit in wet soil for too long. Furthermore, the unglazed interior of Terracotta pots will give the roots of your Echeveria something to cling to.
There are many ways to propagate Echeveria, but the simplest one is through leaf propagation. To do this, you will either need to collect leaves that have just fallen from your plant or snip a leaf off its rosette by gently moving it from side to side until it detaches.
Once you have the leaves to propagate, lay them on a tray away from direct sunlight. After a few weeks, a plantlet with roots will appear at the end of the leaves. At this point, you can stick their roots in the soil and give them a mist every few days. Eventually, the original leaves should dry up, leaving the newly formed ones behind.
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