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Echeverias: The Easiest Succulent to Grow

Echeverias are remarkably easy to grow succulent plants that store water in their thick, uniquely shaped leaves, making them very drought-tolerant plants. They come in a wide array of varieties and boast striking rosettes of dense foliage in colorful hues. They thrive in warm, dry climates, don’t mind some neglect, and can be grown indoors and outdoors with minimal care.

Grow them in-ground, in pots, or tuck them away in unexpected planting spots. Check out our tips for growing echeverias and take the guesswork out of caring for these gorgeous garden companions.

Colorful succulent echeveria

Growing Echeverias Indoors & Outdoors

Growing echeverias can be successfully done both indoors and outdoors. However, they will not survive a hard frost, so they should be brought indoors if there is any risk of freezing temperatures.

Whether you prefer planting succulents indoors or outdoors, echeveria succulent plants can benefit from container planting in unglazed clay pots. Unsealed pots allow airflow through the plant root systems while showcasing the plant’s prominent and unique foliage.

Planting succulents in containers also allows gardeners the ability to relocate plants when growing conditions are not optimal.  Too much heat or too much rain can cause echeveria succulent plants problems, so a container’s mobility provides plants with much-needed protection from the elements.

Planting Echeverias Outside

If you live in a warm climate year-round, you may want to grow your succulents outside and directly plant your echeverias in your garden bed. When planting succulents in-ground, always provide them with well-draining, sandy soil to ward off root rot.

In-ground doesn’t always translate solely to being planted in a garden bed! These low-maintenance plants can be uniquely tucked into cracks and crevices.

  • Add them in unlikely spots like in stone walls
  • Nestled between patio pavers
  • Use them as visual interest accents in rock gardens.

The Best Soil for Growing Echeverias

Growing echeverias in an optimal soil composition will boost the health of the plant and save you from problems later on. Succulents have shallow root systems so the best soil for succulents is one that is well-draining.

Plant in soil that contains larger particles so water can enter quickly and drain away from the roots without compacting the soil. To ensure the best soil for these succulents, use a soil test kit and amend the soil to reach an optimal 7.0 on the pH scale before planting.

  • Potting Mix– Succulent and cactus potting mixes work exceptionally well for growing drought-tolerant Echeveria plants. The soil is formulated to readily absorb water and provides optimal drainage for the plant so that plants’ feet do not remain wet and rot susceptible. The soil comprises recycled forest products, pumice, bark fragments, sand, dehydrated poultry manure, and hydrolyzed feather meal. It provides just the quintessential quantity of essential nutrients to help your succulents grow and develop.
  • Organic Soil Amendments– When planting echeverias, you can also amend your existing soil with well-draining substrates like pumice, perlite, sand, or gravel. Soil amendments can improve the nutrient content, texture, and structure of the soil. This allows plants like succulents to get the proper airflow around their shallow root systems for healthier plants.

How Much Sun Do Echeveria Succulents Need?

How much sun do echeveria succulents need? Generally, succulents grow well in full sun conditions. Sunlight makes for happy echeveria plants that exude health through their plump and colorful leaves. Too little sunlight will cause plants to reach awkwardly for sunlight, resulting in spindly, blanched, and unbalanced plants.

  • If you live in a hot climate, keep the plant in an area that receives partial sunlight. Avoid placing the plant in an area that receives full afternoon sun.
  • In cooler climates, you may need to supply your echeveria with more light. Choose a bright location that receives full sun throughout the morning and afternoon.
Green Succulent echeveria plant in the house garden.

How to Water Echeverias

One of the most significant errors that people make is overwatering their echeveria plants. Use these helpful tidbits to guide you on how often to water succulents plus the best ways to water echeverias.

  • Reduce watering during fall and winter so that succulents can tolerate colder temperatures, but they will not tolerate a hard frost.
    • Damp soil makes succulents more vulnerable to light frost damage during the winter months.
  • During the growing season, water more deeply but less frequently.
  • Saturate the succulent and cactus mix thoroughly, allowing the water to drain through fully. Then let the mixture dry out a bit before the next watering.
  • If using a saucer underneath a pot, empty the saucer thoroughly after the water has drained through. Then let the mixture dry out a bit before the next watering. If you are unsure, err on the side of not watering.
  • Keep your plants on the drier side. If the plant starts to look gangly or the leaves begin to wither, test the soil with your fingertip, and if it is dried, provide water more often.
  • Too much moisture in poorly draining soil can lead to root rot and eventually the entire plant’s demise.

How to Bring an Echeveria Back to Life

Is your echeveria plant in need of a rescue? Perhaps your leaves have wilted and look leathery, the stem is sunburned, or the plant hasn’t received adequate sunlight, and it is gangly and stretched out. You can save your succulent by giving it some extra love and care.

  • Assess its growing conditions and ensure that the soil is adequate for succulents and well-draining, it is receiving enough sunlight, and it is being watered infrequently.
  • Remove any dried-up foliage.
  • Replant the plant in an unglazed clay pot for best airflow to the plant’s roots, shirring up the main stem in the new soil.
  • Nurture the plant with sunshine, or a grow light and water only when the soil has dried out.
Colourful Succulent Echeveria Flowers

Propagating Echeverias

Propagating echeverias is an easy and exciting way to create more plants. Echeverias can be reproduced in water, through the separation of offshoots, and via leaf cuttings in soil.

These are easy ways for planting more and growing echeverias!

Echeveria Water Propagation

  1. Locate a healthy growth or an offshoot on your succulent plant.
  2. With your pruning shears, make a quick, clean cut through the base of the desired stem.
  3. Remove the severed piece from the mother plant. This is your cutting.
  4. Allow cuttings to callous for a couple of days. This is an essential tip because otherwise, the cutting will retain too much water and may rot instead of rooting.
  5. Place the calloused end of the cutting in a glass jar with the end only slightly submerged in a jar of distilled water or rainwater. Do not use treated tap water, as chemical additives can inhibit the rooting process.
  6. If the succulent cutting is very small, you can cover the jar or glass with plastic wrap and poke holes in the surface, and stick the tiny stems through it to hold them in place.
  7. Place the water jar in a spot with lots of indirect sunlight. Use a transparent glass jar so you can watch for rooting, water levels, and water clarity.
  8. Place the container in a bright spot but away from direct sunlight and wait for roots to develop.
  9. Change water every couple of days so that algae don’t grow and water doesn’t get cloudy.
  10. Once roots start to grow after three to four weeks, they should be moved to a spot with more direct sunlight. It can take up to 6 weeks for some roots to emerge when propagating succulents in water.

Growing New Echeveria Plants Through Separation

A healthy Echeveria plant produces small offshoots from the mother plant.  This small offshoot can be carefully extracted from the main stem and planted as its own rooted plant.

Propagating Echeverias With Leaf Cuttings

Echeverias can be propagated by leaf cuttings in soil without the use of water as a medium.  It just takes a little time and patience for the process to unfold, but it’s well worth the wait.

  1. Hold a leaf at the base and wiggle it gently to break it away from the main mother plant.
  2. Allow the leaf to callous for a few days.
  3. Place the calloused side of the leaf into the soil in indirect sunlight.
  4. Do not water the leaf until it starts to grow its own roots.
  5. A small rosette of foliage should emerge from the stem, and the stem should begin to wither. Do not remove the withered foliage, as it is supplying the nutrients for the new growth.
  6. Water only occasionally after several weeks when roots have developed.
  7. Fertilize your Echeveria plant once in the early spring with a low-nitrogen fertilizer formulated explicitly for succulents.

Types of Echeveria Succulents to Grow

Try growing echeverias in your outdoor garden or as houseplants, and be rewarded with gorgeous rosettes in an array of colors!

  • ‘Dusty Rose’
  • ‘Mexican Snowball’
  • ‘Tulip’
  • ‘Moonglow’
  • ‘Ghost’
  • ‘Ghost’
  • ‘Doris Taylor’
  • ‘Barbie Rose Hybrid’
  • ‘Lola’
  • ‘Seaglass’

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