An Echeveria is a succulent plant in the Crassulaceae family and is a close relative of the jade plant. Echeveria plants originated in the desert areas of Texas, Mexico, Central and South America. Many varieties are referred to by the common name “Hen and Chicks.” The plant got this nickname because baby plants (offsets or plantlets) grow in a cluster around the base of the “Mother” plant. Echeveria plants are very popular as outdoor plants because they are drought resistant, and some can survive temperatures below 40°F (4.4°C) for a short period of time. Indoors, an echeveria plant, when placed in very bright light, rewards you with jewel- colored leaves and, in the spring and summer, clusters of flowers. This is an easy-care plant if you have a bright spot in your home and are careful not to over water.
Echeveria Plant Description
The plump, succulentLearn the definition of a succulent plant and why they are called a "fat plant." leaves of an echeveria grow in a rosette and are usually pointed with smooth edges, though there are some varieties with a different leaf shape. A powdery wax called farina covers the leaves and protects them from getting burned when the plant is placed in direct sun. The most common echeveria plants have grayish-green or bluish-gray leaves. When placed in very bright lightVery few houseplants should be placed in direct sun. High light refers only to bright indirect light since direct sun often burns the leaves of indoor houseplants. An area that is too hot and dry encourages Spider Mites and causes blooms to quickly fade. A northern exposure really doesn't provide enough light for high light plants. These plants need to be placed directly in front of an east-facing window, within 1-3 feet of a west-facing window, and within 5 ft. of a south facing window. A high light area has over 300 ft. candles of light., the 1″-3″ long leaves can turn purple, dark purple, lavender, maroon, white with red edges, green with red edges, or pinkish lavender with pink edges. The flowers of an echeveria plant are usually red, yellow, peach, or orange and grow atop a tall stem. They usually last about two weeks. Intense light and proper temperature help an echeveria flower.
There are many different echeveria varieties. Here are a few of my favorites.
E. Agavoides “Lipstick” has green, pointed leaves with a red border -E. Agavoides “Ebony” has purple tipped leaves that are a bit wider and produces red, lantern-shaped flowers with yellow edges.
E. Painted Lady has spoon- shaped, triangular, bluish gray leaves with a red border and produces yellow flowers with red tips
E. Afterglow has a large rosette of lavender-pink leaves with bright pink coloring around the edges and produces orange-red flowers in the summer.
E. Setosa (Firecracker Plant) has red tipped, pointed leaves covered in white hairs and produces clusters of red, urn-shaped flowers with yellow tips
E. Gibbiflora “Metallica” (Metallic Echeveria) is taller (2ft) and has larger leaves (4″- 6″). The plant has metallic bronze-green leaves with pink edges and produces red bell- shaped flowers.
E. Coloratura has rosettes of blue green leaves with pink edges and produces yellow flowers in the spring.
E. Elegans (“Mexican Snowball”) has pale green, rounded, spoon-shaped leaves and produces tall stalks of pinkish red, lantern shaped flowers with yellow tips in late winter and early spring
Quick Care Tips
Be careful not to overwater
Some sunshine is necessary for flowering
Temperature should be 10°-15° cooler at night-this helps the plant to flower
In winter, reduce watering to once every month or two
The leaves of an African Violet plant crack and become brittle when the plant is getting too much plant food. When fertilizing an African Violet plant always dilute the plant food to 1/2 the recommended strength and only feed the plant is actively growing. Keep the leaves of African Violet plant dry and out of direct sun; and use plain non-chlorinated water for better leaf growth.