How to propagate, grow Echeveria and its care

Echeveria is a genus of succulents with thick, fleshy, rosette-shaped leaves, often bluish gray or light green in color, with a bloom on the surface. They are low maintenance, form clumps and come in a variety of colors. In this article we will see how to propagate, grow Echeveria and its care.

cultivar echeveria


Basic data

  • Botanical name: Echeveria spp.
  • Common names: Echeverio, Snowball, Rosa del abastro
  • Family: Crassulaceae
  • Type: evergreen succulent
  • Height: max. 30 centimeters (only certain species)
  • Extension: max. 30 centimeters (only certain species)
  • Time to reach final size: 2-5 years
  • Light: full sun
  • Irrigation: A little
  • Temperature: Does not tolerate frost. At least 1ºC
  • Ground: Free-flowing sand or clay

The Echeveria genus includes many impressive cultivars and varieties, including Echeveria elegans, Echeveria lilacina, Echeveria glauca, and Echeveria agavoides. This grow and care guide can be applied to all Echeveria.

How to Propagate Echeverias

propagate by division

propagate echeveria

When ripe, the Echeveria produces a few small clones of itself at the bottom. These little seedlings are commonly called “chicks”.

Take a look at its base to see if it forms chicks. You may need to remove the soil slightly to see this area clearly.

Once you have identified the scroll to propagate, cut it. If it is tightly attached to the stem, use a clean, sharp knife to loosen it.

propagate echeveria

Or, if it has grown a little and has already started to develop its own roots, you can pull it out, but be careful not to damage the small roots too much.

Remove the soil from the chick and leave it in a warm place for a few days so that the area where the cut is located dries out a little.

If you don’t let it dry out before planting, the chick is likely to rot or get sick when planted in the ground.

Fill a pot with suitable potting soil and tamp it down lightly. Moisten the soil before planting, but not too much.

Dig a shallow hole to plant it in and set it in, don’t plant it too deep (the rosette should be just above the soil surface, not buried).

Or, if the chick is just a rosette with no roots or stems, place it on the surface of the soil (making sure it’s facing the right way).

Place the cuttings in a sunny, indirect location while the roots develop. Do not water.

For the next few weeks, you need to water the seedling very lightly. Do not overwater and keep the soil relatively dry to promote the development of roots (which seek water). You can lightly mist the floor once a week and that should be enough.

Once you notice your cutting is firmly rooted (try gently tugging on it to see if there is any resistance) it is ready to be transplanted.

Propagate by leaf cuttings

propagate cultivar echeveria

As Echeveria has nutrient-filled leaves, they lend themselves to this form of propagation, as the leaf can support the development of the new plant.

To make cuttings, select the leaves you want from a mature plant, looking for those at the base, as those at the top, or center, are too young and small.

Gently pull on the chosen sheet, moving it until it comes off. If it doesn’t come off easily, it’s probably not a good candidate, try a taller, lower blade.

It is important to keep the blade intact and not to crush or break it. So throw away the broken ones.

As with all succulent cuttings, leave leaf cuttings in a warm, dry place in bright, indirect light until the wound heals (this takes a few days).

Plant the leaf cutting

propagate cultivar echeveria

Fill a shallow tray or container with a suitable, free-draining growing medium, place the cutting on the surface without burying it, and moisten the soil.

Place them in sunlight, but indirectly (so they don’t burn or wilt before the new plant can begin to grow).

Mist the cuttings lightly over the next few weeks, to keep the soil moist but not too wet; do this every other day and you will start to see roots grow and then rosettes.

As the roots develop, cover them lightly with a little soil and continue to mist them with water. The soil above the roots will help “anchor” the cuttings and encourage them to root in the soil below.

When you see that your leaf cuttings have taken root and are well rooted, water them lightly (after about 2-4 weeks).

When you see significant new growth and the plant has taken root, you can carefully transplant it and move it to an area with more direct light and give it normal care.

The “mother” leaf will shrivel and die naturally, so there is no need to remove it, but if it remains and you wish, you can carefully remove it when transplanting.

How to Care for and Grow Echeveria

grow echeveria

Where to Grow Echeveria

You need lots of bright light; Ideally, it should receive at least five hours of very bright light a day to thrive. If they don’t get the right amount of light, they won’t flower and will become weak and etiolated.

You can grow your Echeveria in pots that are light enough to be easily moved around; This way you can take them under cover in the colder months and outside in the summer.

If you can’t place them outside in the summer, a very sunny windowsill will suffice.

Echeveria likes warm, dry environments. Average house temperature and humidity is fine for them, but it’s not a plant for the bathroom or laundry room, as it’s a bit humid for them.

How much water should I give my Echeveria?

Like many succulents, they thrive on neglect (that’s how they evolved), so they don’t need a lot of watering.

If you’re unsure, it’s best to water them lightly rather than heavily. If you overwater your Echeveria, root rot will almost certainly set in and can lead to the death of your plant.

When the soil is completely dry, water abundantly: too much water rarely is better than too little water frequently.

The easiest way to check soil moisture is to put your finger on it. If it’s dry, give your Echeveria a drink and if it’s still wet, wait a bit for it to dry out.

In the summer they will need more water, especially when it is very hot, and they will need much less water during the colder months.

What soil does Echeveria like?

Like most succulents, they like porous, free-draining soil, which keeps the soil from becoming waterlogged and directs excess water away from the roots.

You can buy specialized compost for cacti and succulents or you can make your own.

In general, I use: 1 part sand, 1.5 parts perlite and 1.5 parts garden soil. The sand aids drainage, the perlite is porous and absorbs excess moisture, and the soil retains an adequate amount of water.

What food do they need?

Echeveria are native to areas where the soil is poor in nutrients, so they have evolved to tolerate this situation and do not need additional fertilizers.

You can feed them with a specific food for cacti or succulents during their period of active growth, in summer, but be careful because if you feed them too much you risk “burning with the fertilizer”.

You can also use a very diluted general and balanced fertilizer. Look: Fertilize Succulents with Organic and Homemade Methods

Should Echeveria be pruned?

Echeverias generally do not need pruning, as they take care of themselves. However, if they have lengthened and stretched (usually due to insufficient light levels), you may want to prune them to keep them looking their best and to make them stronger.

Most succulents are best pruned in the spring, during their active growth phase. Look: Guide to Properly Pruning Succulents

What pests and diseases is Echeveria prone to?

They are generally pest-free when grown indoors, but like many houseplants, they can be at risk of scale insect and vine weevil infestation.

Echeveria are not particularly susceptible to disease, but they are prone to root rot from overwatering.

Articles to supplement this reading

How to make an ideal substrate for succulents and cacti

Guide and advice for the care of succulents and cacti

How and when to water succulents and cacti

How to Grow Succulents and Cacti in the Outdoor Garden

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