Echeverias are known for their visually appealing features. They grow in a rosette pattern, with fleshy leaves arranged in a flower-like structure. These succulents are easy to propagate and grow, and this makes them a popular choice for many gardeners.
Like hens and chicks plants, echeverias produce many offsets around them. Their size and color vary significantly depending on the cultivator. Most of them remain small and compact and a few grow tall. When echeverias bloom in summer, they produce beautiful flowers on long, slender stalks.
In this guide, ill explain how you can propagate and grow echeveria succulents to get more plants that you can gift or add to your collection.
How to propagate echeveria
Echeverias can be propagated easily through leaf cuttings or offsets (also known as pups). In either method, you’ll need a container with well-draining soil. Some gardeners opt to use rooting hormone for faster rooting of the cuttings but it’s always not necessary.
Propagating through leaf cutting
- Choose a mature, healthy echeveria plant and gently twist a few leaves off the stem. Healthy leaves are usually plump and fleshy. Sometimes they can have a waxy or powdery coating, which helps to protect them against elements.
- Place the leaf cuttings in a dry, warm place for a day or two to allow the cut end to callus over. This helps in preventing them from rotting once planted in the soil.
- Fill a container with well-draining soil, such as a cactus or succulent mix. Moisten the soil slightly, but avoid making it overly wet.
- Pant the leaf cuttings into the soil and gently press the soil around them to create stability. Ensure at least an inch or two of the cut end is in the soil and not the entire leaf cutting.
- Place the container in a location with bright indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight as it can scorch the leaf cutting.
- It may take between 3 and 6 weeks for the leaf cuttings to root fully. So, be patient as you watch over the plant.
- Once the new plants have grown to a reasonable size and have shown some rosette pattern, you can transplant them to their individual pots.
Propagating succulents is best done during the growing season, in spring and early summer. Echeveria becomes dormant during the winter and is not easy to root when propagated.
Propagating through offsets
Echeveria succulents produce offsets or pups commonly at the base of the plant. These baby plants can be propagated as a clone of the original plant. It’s also a straightforward method and you can easily do it as follows.
- If you have a mature echeveria plant, allow the offsets to grow to about 1/3 of the size of the mother plant. At this point, they will have their own root system and it will be easier to establish them in their own potting soil.
- Carefully use your fingers or a clean, sharp knife to separate the echeveria offset from the parent plant. Try to preserve as many roots as possible.
- Place the offset in a dry warm place for a day or two to allow the cut end to callous.
- Plant the offset in a well-draining soil mix, and water lightly without making the soil too wet.
- Place the newly planted offset in a location with a bright, indirect light location. Watch over the plant and water it sparingly until it establishes.
Once the new plant has fully established you’ll see new rosettes forming. At this stage, you can treat it or care for it like other mature echeveria plants.
Echeveria plant care
Echeverias are easy to grow and care for. They can store water in their succulent leaves and stems to survive drought conditions. These plants are pretty resistant to pests and diseases and you won’t have issues maintaining them in any garden be it indoors or outdoors.
Echeverias succulents prefer bright, indirect light. Grow them in a place where they can receive at least 4 hours of direct sunlight. An east-facing window can be a perfect spot for the rich morning sunlight. Too much direct sunlight can lead to sunburn, causing the leaves to turn brown or reddish.
In poor light conditions, the succulent may become leggy and lose their vibrant colors. If your echeveria is growing tall or appears like changing its color, relocate it to a sunny spot but protected from the intense afternoon sunlight.
You may also add artificial grow lights if the location is not receiving enough natural light.
As with other succulents, echeveria is susceptible to root rot when overwatered. Use a well-draining soil mix (cacti or succulent mix) when potting or repotting this plant. The soil pH must be around 6.0 to neutral. Avoid heavy, compacted soils that retain too much water.
Echeverias are drought-tolerant plants and they don’t like to be watered too often. Overwatering them can cause root rot and other fungal problems. Therefore, allow the soil to dry out almost completely between waterings. You may insert your finger in the soil to test for moisture level before watering.
During spring and summer, water the echeveria plant thoroughly but infrequently. Just water once every 2 weeks or when the soil is completely dry. Reduce watering in winter when the plant is dormant. You may just water once every 4 weeks to keep the plant alive.
Echeverias grow best in moderate to warm temperatures. These plants are hardy to USDA zone 9 – 12. Temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit will damage the foliage or kill the plant. So, in winter climates, move your echeveria indoors to protect it from frost.
When indoors, keep echeverias away from cold drafts or any sources of radiant heat. Be sure to keep it in a place with bright light. Avoid keeping it in bathrooms, kitchens, and other areas with excess moisture.
Echeveria succulents prefer low to moderate humidity levels. High humidity can cause rot and other fungal diseases. The average household humidity should be sufficient for these plants. Additionally, encourage proper air circulation around the plants to keep them healthy.
Fertilize echeverias sparingly during the growing season (spring and summer) with a balanced, liquid fertilizer formulated for succulents. Make sure to dilute as directed on the label. Avoid feeding regularly or using too much fertilizer as it can cause weak growth and other complications.
Echeverias don’t require regular pruning but thinning out can help the plant grow healthier. Pruning can be necessary if the succulent is growing too bushy and out of proportion. Just remove the elongated stems or leaves with clean scissors or pruning shears to encourage more compact growth.
Repotting echeveria is only necessary when the succulent has outgrown its pot. When excessively root-bound, the roots may not absorb water and nutrients as needed and this can affect the plant’s health. When repotting, use well-draining fresh soil and a slightly bigger pot that has drainage holes.
Common problems with echeveria plants
Echeverias are pretty resistant to pests and diseases. However, watch out for common succulent pests like mealybugs, scale, and aphids. If you notice any signs of pests, isolate the affected plant and treat it with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
When overwatered echeveria plants may also suffer root rot. This is a condition where roots die and rot due to lack of oxygen in the soil. This condition is very difficult to treat, the only way to save the plant is to remove the damaged parts and repot it in fresh soil.
While echeverias don’t like when the soil is wet, underwatering can lead to shriveled or wilted leaves. Water your echeveria when the soil is dry, and adjust the watering frequency based on the environmental conditions of your region.
Echevrias are highly appreciated in gardens and landscapes due to their unique features and ease of care. The easiest way to propagate echeverias is through leaf cuttings or through offsets. These plants thrive in bright indirect light, well-draining soil, and warm dry conditions.
Overwatering is the main challenge when growing echeveria succulents. Excess water in the soil can cause root rot and other fungal issues. So, watering is only necessary when the soil is dry. If your plant is looking unhealthy, inspect for underlying issues and treat as needed.
My name is Diane M Lewik, and I am the founder of this website. I am a degree holder in plant biology from the University of California – Berkeley. Over years, I have cultivated a vast collection of succulents and I have learned a great deal about how to grow and care for these unique plants.