A week ago, I received a query from one of my readers. She got an Echeveria succulent but as a newbie, she does not know the characteristics of the plant. So she asked how to take care of Echeveria in her garden.
Well, Echeveria is a type of succulent that is native to desert areas like Central America and Mexico. This means that Echeveria is a drought-resistant succulent. It can also thrive in a low-temperature environment. But obviously, it loves to be placed in a spot where sunlight is accessible.
So, how can you take care of Echeveria? Because this plant is originated from desert areas, you need to provide it with a consistent source of sunlight, fast-draining soil mix, and an ample amount of water.
The care must be consistent because Echeveria is a slow-growing succulent. It takes time to produce vibrant colored leaves.
When taken good care, this cute succulent plant will produce offsets that you can grow separately. As the baby Echeveria grows and capable of surviving on its own, plant it in a perfect soil mixture.
Like cactus, Echeveria succulents love a soil mix that is composed of sand, topsoil, and compost. You can make your own soil mix. But if you are a busy person who doesn’t want to spend time making soil for your plant, you can order it online. Check my favorite succulent soil mix on Amazon.
Apart from offsets, you can also propagate Echeveria using leaf cuttings. To do this, just lay the cuttings on the soil. Give them enough amount of water using a spray bottle. Then, let the roots grow for a few weeks.
One of the important things you need to remember when propagating succulents is safety. Make sure that the cuttings will not be disturbed. Once the roots grow, the cuttings are ready to be planted.
Tips to take care of Echeveria successfully
Taking care of Echeveria is pretty much like any succulent plant. You must provide nutrients, water, sunlight, and a good soil mix. Each of these needs varies in accordance with the environment you placed your plant in.
Outdoor succulents have a different need for water and sunlight and so indoor succulents. That said, the tips that I want to share with you in this post depends on where you place your Echeveria plants.
Care instructions for outdoor Echeveria
There are a couple of things you need to remember when you’re growing Echeveria:
- Watering schedule
Because Echeveria is native to semi-desert areas, many would think that this type of succulent can simply thrive without water. That is not true.
The truth is all plants need water. But the amount of water they need may vary. Echeveria needs ample of water to allow it to grow healthy.
The frequency or the schedule of watering depends on the weather or climate. For the summer season, because the air is hot, there will be no enough moisture making the soil dries fast.
In contrast, during the rainy or winter season, the watering schedule is less frequent. As we all know, during winter, the air is full of moisture thus the soil’s drying process takes longer than the summer season.
But how much water do Echeveria plants need? This is a subjective question. The rule of thumb though is water succulent as soon as the soil dries completely.
The best technique you can use to avoid overwatering is the soak and dry method. This watering procedure is best for succulent plants. This means that when watering Echeveria, make sure that the soil in the pot is completely wet. Then water the plant again when the soil is completely dry.
- The use of pots with drainage holes
As mentioned, Echeveria needs water but does not want too much of it. Too much moisture can actually kill the plant.
The best solution to keep your plant from being overwatered is using pots with drainage holes. Drainage holes provide exit points in the pot allowing excess water to just get through.
This is the best way to avoid overwatering. I use pots with drainage holes even for my indoor succulents. You can check my favorite succulent pots on Amazon.
- Fast-draining soil
The perfect soil for succulents is the fast-draining mix. During watering, the excess water will just flow through the drainage holes leaving nothing but moist.
As mentioned, you can make your own soil mix. But if you want to save time and effort, you can buy it from online sellers. Check my recommended succulent soil mix on Amazon.
- Sufficient amount of sunlight
Although Echeveria can thrive in direct sunlight, too much heat can negatively affect its growth. Having said that, succulents do need shade to protect them from scourging sunlight.
You can expose succulent under direct sunlight for 4-6 hours a day. Beyond that, they will develop problems. So it is very important to give them some protection.
- Protection from freezing temperature
Echeveria can survive in winter. But remember that this plant is accustomed to a warm environment. When the freezing winter is coming, try to find ways to keep it safe.
If you planted Echeveria outdoor, the best remedy is to bring it inside during winter. Always monitor the progress and give necessary treatment whenever it is necessary.
Care instructions for indoor Echeveria
Aside from growing succulent outdoors, you can enjoy placing them indoors. They will add to the ambiance and beauty of the home.
Echeveria is one of the perfect types of succulents you can grow inside. The indoor environment can keep the plant healthy especially during winter. The freezing temperature outside can kill the plant.
Like growing it outdoor, there are a few things you need to remember when growing Echeveria indoor.
Not because you brought your plants indoor they are automatically safe. You need to understand that plants need not only sunlight but also air.
When bringing your succulents inside, make sure that they are getting enough supply of air. You can place them near the window or balcony to make sure they get fresh air.
As soon as the winter season ceases, bring back the Echeveria outside. At this point, they miss sunlight and fresh air. But do it gradually. Do not expose your succulents under the sun as soon as you transfer them.
To avoid sunburn, just give your succulents a slow and incremental length of sunlight exposure. At first, you can expose them 2-3 hours. Then 3-4 hours the next day. This way allows your plant to adapt to new temperatures outside.
During winter, sunlight is very limited if there is any. It is a long time of cloudy sky. So it is difficult to give them a sufficient amount of sunlight.
The best way you provide light to the plants is by using the lighting instruments designed for indoor plants. These lightings can temporarily provide the heat necessary for healthy succulent growth. Check my recommended lighting on Amazon.
You can expose succulents under an artificial source of light for about 12-14 hours a day. Beyond that, the plants may manifest several growth problems.
For a quick remedy, however, place your plants near the window where light is accessible. Only use lighting when natural light is totally inaccessible.
- Right amount of water
The watering frequency and the amount of water that indoor succulents need are way different from the outdoor ones. This is because the indoor environment is not as hot as the outdoors.
During winter, the soil takes even longer to dry. Thus, the watering interval may also be longer. To avoid overwatering, always consider the first rule. Only give water when the soil is dried completely.
How do you know when your Echeveria is overwatered? There are some indicators such as wilting, dropping leaves and shriveling. If you notice these with your plants, try to minimize the amount of water you give to your succulents.
- Right soil
Succulents want fast-draining soil. I mentioned this above. But I want to reiterate this because indoor succulents need fast-draining soil more than the outdoor ones. The reason being is that because the indoor environment delays drying, using a compact soil that stores water will detriment the health of the plant. It will cause rotting.
For me, it is a requirement for indoor Echeveria succulents to have a fast-draining soil mix. You also need to plant your succulent in a pot with drain holes.
Echeveria is a versatile type of succulent that can grow in the semi-desert area. But that does not mean that it grows without an ample supply of nutrients. Giving your plant a little amount of fertilizer will help the plant grow healthier.
The healthier succulents the more they produce wonderful vibrant colors. You don’t have to apply fertilizer consistently for your Echeveria succulent. A little number of extra nutrients will do.
Taking care of Echeveria is like caring for any type of succulent. You just need to consider the moisture, climate, water, soil, and nutrient for your plants.
Once you know the factors that could potentially harm your plants, it will be easy for you to design strategies for the benefits of your succulents. I hope that you get something from reading this post. If you are interested in how to grow succulents successfully, feel free to read my complete guide.