Echeveria comes in all shapes and sizes, and these fast-growing succulents take easy care to a new level. They are a common sight tucked into a flower arrangement or clustered in a small pot on a sunny windowsill. Native to Mexico, Central America, and South America, Echeveria are succulents. Their ability to thrive in desert conditions makes them easy to grow as houseplants. They have similar care requirements as Kalanchoe. Neglect is a big part of Echeveria care. All these easy care houseplants need is well-draining soil and plenty of sunlight. Once you’ve dialed in the right conditions, Echeverias are entirely content to be left alone.
Types of Echeveria
Thick fleshy leaves typically come to a point and grow in a rosette formation. The exotic-looking plants can be in shades of green, blue, pink, or purple. The entire plant sort of resembles a flower, that is, until these beauties bloom. Echeveria can be tiny, with most plants reaching 1 foot wide, although some cultivars can grow larger. Some of the more common Echeverias include:
- Echeveria agavoides
- Echeveria elegans
- Echeveria gibbiflora
- Echeveria harmsii
- Echeveria laui
- Echeveria lilacina
- Echeveria minima
- Echeveria peacockii
- Echeveria pulvinata
- Echeveria setosa
Echeveria Light Requirements
Echeverias thrive in lots of light, and these beauties can even handle some direct sunlight. Place your plant directly in a south-facing window. Up to 6 hours of bright direct sunlight helps these plants look their best and provides optimal Echeveria care. Plants not receiving enough light can become leggy and will not bloom.
Move your Echeveria outdoors for the summer if you want to treat it right. While this plant loves direct sunlight, gradually transition the plant from life indoors to outside. An outside spot that receives morning light and afternoon shade is a good fit for Escheverias accustomed to indoor living.
How Often to Water Echeveria
Allow the soil to dry out completely before watering Echeveria. If you’re unsure whether the soil is dry enough, wait. These plants can quickly succumb to root rot, so it’s better to underwater than overwater. As succulents, these plants store water in their thick foliage and roots, allowing them to easily go for an extended time without more water. The leaves will wither or shrivel when the plant is too dry. Water right away if you see the foliage puckering, but try to water before this happens to reduce stress on the plant.
Water the soil around the plant and try to keep the plant dry when possible. Water can accumulate in the rosette, and this standing water can cause the foliage to rot. Occasionally, a little water isn’t a problem, especially for plants in warm sunny areas where the moisture will quickly evaporate.
Best Soil for Echeveria
Like most succulents, Echeverias grow well in poor-quality soil. Rich soil can make the plants leggy, but low-quality, slightly acidic soil promotes healthy growth. Drainage is critical for Echeveria care. These plants naturally grow in sandy soil and rock crevices, so they cannot handle continuously damp conditions. Excess water must be allowed to drain to prevent root rot. Cactus potting mix or soil mixed with sand and perlite work well for Echeverias.
Temperature for Echeveria
As natural desert-dwellers, Echeveria thrives in hot conditions. Temperatures below 50° F are deadly for Echeveria. Most homes are at a comfortable temperature for this plant. Keep the plant clear of vents, drafty areas, and exterior doors, especially during the cold winter.
Humidity in the 40% to 50% range provides good Echeveria care. These succulents like dry conditions, but very low humidity can be too much. Increased humidity is not ideal, but it’s also not a deal-breaker. Adjust your watering routine for plants in high humidity since it will take longer for the soil to dry out.
Like most succulents, Echeverias are not heavy feeders. These plants are used to living in sparse desert conditions where the soil is not very rich. However, you can provide excellent Echeveria care by fertilizing your plants. A little goes a long way when fertilizing Echeverias. Feed these plants using a balanced fertilizer or a mix intended for cacti and succulents. Young plants benefit from a fertilizer low in nitrogen, while established plants need a balanced plant food.
Echeverias are susceptible to fertilizer burn, so follow the instructions on the packaging when using a succulent-specific fertilizer or further dilute the plant food if using a general product.
Do Echeveria Bloom?
Yes, Echeveria plants bloom. Happy and healthy plants bloom in the spring or summer. Plants send up a stalk that will feature bell-shaped flowers. Depending on the cultivar, the blooms can be pink, orange, yellow, red, or white. The flowers typically bloom sequentially, starting at the bottom and moving up the flower stalk. Proper Echeveria care is necessary to get your plant to bloom.
Trim the flower stalk when the blooms fade and get a leggy plant under control and looking better by pruning. Pruning is not a big part of Echeveria care, but it can rejuvenate growth and prevent rot. Lower leaves naturally die, so gently remove these leaves to clean up the plant and encourage new growth. Time pruning for the spring when possible, but these plants can be trimmed whenever needed.
When to Repot Echeveria
Repot Echeveria when the plants have outgrown their container. Plants crammed without space to grow or for new plants to develop need a new pot. Echeveria should be repotted at the start of the growing season in the spring. Wait until the soil is completely dry, remove the plant, and remove any dead leaves from the Echeveria before placing the plant in a new container with fresh soil. Give the plants several days to settle into their new container before watering.
Containers should have drainage to allow water to run through. Clay or unglazed ceramic are good container materials because they allow the soil to dry throughout.
There are two methods to propagate Echeveria, and both are easy. Plants can propagated via division or cuttings.
Echeverias send out pups or overshoots. These baby plants grow side-by-side with the parent plant. Separate the offshoots when the plants appear crowded. Gently lift the pup and move it to a new location with more space. Try to separate plants in the spring and summer when the plants are actively growing.
Echeveria can also be propagated via cuttings. Remove a leaf from a plant and place the leaf on top of soil. Allow the cut end to callous over, then mist the cutting to keep the soil damp. You can tent the container with plastic to create a greenhouse effect. A new plant will emerge from the cut end, and the cutting will wilt and die. Leaves do not always produce new plants, so don’t be discouraged if your cutting is unsuccessful.
Is Echeveria Pet Friendly?
Yes, Echeverias are pet friendly. These plants are non-toxic, so they are safe around cats and dogs. The compact, rosette growth habit is unlikely to entice curious pets, so Echeverias are a great way to add greenery to a home with animals.
Echeveria Styling Tips
Group several Echeverias in a container for a lovely cluster of greenery. Leave some space so there is room for offshoots. A broad, shallow container is a good choice because these plants do not need a lot of room for roots. Repurpose an old tin, glass, or ceramic container to create a curated and one-of-a-kind look. Add drainage holes when repurposing non-traditional items into containers.
Echeveria Care Tips
Water and light are the most critical parts of Echeveria care, and once you have those two aspects under control, these plants are incredibly easy to maintain. These charming succulents add color and effortless good looks to a space. Be careful because once you have one, you may find you want to collect Echeverias.