Echeverias are fast-growing succulents popular for their unique appearance and low maintenance needs. Their stunning rosette shape, plump leaves, and large variety of colors give them a striking resemblance to flowers. When they flower in the summer, they are stunning. Plant them in the spring at the start of their growing season.
Native to parts of Central America, South America, and Mexico, echeveria are succulents and members of the Crassulaceae family. Their care is similar to sedum and kalanchoe succulents, which means they all have fleshy, thickened leaves and stems that store water.
They are well-suited to bright, dry environments and appreciate periods of neglect, making echeverias ideal houseplants whether or not you have a green thumb. Never let water sit in the rosette, as it can cause rot or fungal diseases that will kill the plant. Also, remove dead leaves from the bottom of the plant as it grows; they provide a haven for pests.
Echeverias require a substantial amount of light to thrive. They need at least four to five hours of bright, direct sunlight daily—ideally six.1 If echeverias do not receive full sun, they will become elongated and leggy, and it is unlikely they will flower. Move your echeveria outdoors during the summer months to help it flourish. If you move your plant outside after overwintering indoors, harden off the plant, giving it a gradual transition. Intense afternoon sunlight can cause sunburn, so place your plant where it receives a bit of shade when the sun is strongest.
Watering is the most critical aspect of proper echeveria care. Echeverias, like most succulents, do not require much water, but they also don't like to be too dry. If the leaves begin to wrinkle, it's an obvious sign the plant needs water. It is better to under-water echeverias than to overwater them, as they can quickly succumb to root rot if overwatered.1
Wait until the soil has dried out completely before watering your echeveria, and then give it a good soaking by letting the water stream through the pot's drainage holes. Depending on the size of the plant, it could be 1/2 cup to 1 cup of water every seven to 10 days during the growing season. If you use a saucer under the pot, make sure to empty any standing water that drains through. Echeveria will need to be watered during the summer months more frequently than in winter. In winter, water just enough to prevent wrinkled leaves, about once a month.
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