Echeveria

How to grow echeveria

Find out everything you need to know about growing echeveria, including planting and care tips, in this practical Grow Guide.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Plant
Plant

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do Plant in June

Do Plant in July

Do Plant in August

Do Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does not flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Echeverias are succulent, rosette-forming evergreen plants. They’re native to Mexico and central and southern America, making them ideal for a hot, sunny spot. These plants thrive on neglect and cope well in drought. They’re ideal for containers both inside and out and the smaller varieties are often used as part of carpet bedding schemes.

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Yellow-tipped flowers held on flower stalks appear in summer. These tender, perennial plants are grown primarily for their fleshy, evergreen leaves and are popular as a low maintenance house plant.

Get the best from echeverias with the help of our useful guide.

These plants thrive on neglect and cope well in drought. 

Echeveria in a wooden container
Echeveria in a wooden container

Where to plant echeverias

Echeverias thrive in a well-drained soil. Although described as tender, they are pretty tough. They can tolerate cold but can’t cope with wet and cold, so plants should be moved to a frost-free place over winter.

A south-facing, sandy, slightly acidic soil is ideal. Echeverias don’t need that much room for their roots and can cope in small pots and even small cracks in paving.

Adding grit to compost
Adding grit to compost

How to plant echeverias

If planting in a rich, water-retentive soil, improve the drainage by digging in plenty of horticultural grit. It might be easier to plant echeverias in a pot in a compost that has plenty of grit added. Choose an unglazed pot with generous drainage holes in the bottom. Only water in newly planted echeverias if the soil is very dry.

Echeveria leaf cuttings
Echeveria leaf cuttings

Propagating echeveria

Echeverias produce offsets that can carefully be removed and planted on. New plants can also be produced by taking leaf cuttings in spring or summer. Simply break off a leaf and place the wounded part of the leaf in a pot of cutting compost. Leave cuttings to take in a greenhouse or on a sunny windowsill and wait for a new plant to form at the base.

Echeveria: problem solving

Plants are trouble free if kept on the dry side. However, mealy bug can cause a problem if plants are grown as house plants. These plant sucking pests appear as small white spots on the leaves. They look a little like cotton wool.

If you spot mealy bugs, isolate the plant from other house plants. Wipe the foliage to remove the mealy bug and in extreme cases, dispose of the plant or turn to an insecticide.

Echeveria in a pot
Echeveria in a pot

How to look after echeverias

It’s essential that plants are not overwatered. If they are left to grow in wet soil, the roots will quickly rot. After watering, allow the soil to dry out before watering again.

 Plants don’t require any pruning. Remove damaged and faded foliage by simply peeling them off. Faded flower stems can be cut back.

Move plants to a light, frost-free place for the winter.

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Echeveria 'Blue Frills'
Echeveria ‘Blue Frills’

Echeveria varieties to grow

  • Echeveria agavoides – pale-green leaves with red tip. In May and June red, lantern-shaped flowers with yellow tips on tall stems. Height 12cm
  • Echeveria elegans – Large silver leaves that look they are covered in soft down. Yellow tipped pink flowers in summer. Height 50cm
  • Echeveria ‘Blue Frills’ – frilled, blue, green foliage with a pink edge. No sharp point to this foliage. Height 15cm
  • Echeveria secunda var. glauca ‘Compton Carousel’ – red and yellow flowers in summer over rosettes of two-toned foliage. Height 15cm
  • Echeveria ‘Violet Queen’ – Silver green leaves, flushed with pink on the undersides. Height 15cm