Echeveria is perhaps the most sought after plant by a large number of succulent connoisseurs and the most widespread in the world, so today we will talk a little about this species, its many variants and some of the main care to be taken with them.
The echeveria was initially cartographed in 1828 by the Swiss A.P. de Candolle and was named after the 18th-century Mexican botanical artist Atanasio Echeverría y Godoy in honor of his work in the discovery of numerous variants throughout Mexico.
In June 2018 more than 150 different forms of echeverias are known and the number keeps growing.
Echeverias are drought resistant, although they are better due to regular watering and fertilization. Most tolerate shade and some frost, although hybrids tend to be less tolerant and generally require a little more care.
Most echeverias lose the lower leaves in winter, as a result, after a few years, plants lose their compact appearance and need to be re-rooted or propagated. In addition, if not removed, the leaves can deteriorate, giving rise to the appearance of fungi that can infect the plant.
Propagation is usually quite easy and can be done by collecting new shoots, through cuttings of leaves or through seeds.
You can keep your echeverias healthy during the cold months by moving them indoors. After the months of frost have passed, gradually move them back out in the spring.
Although in their native growing areas they are accustomed to the sun, it is advisable to avoid two things: drastic changes in sunlight, and the warm and intense sun of summer afternoons.
Dramatic changes in luminosity can cause stress in plants. If you are changing the plants out in the spring, do it gradually. A few hours in the sun in the morning, then a few more, until the plant adapts.
The intense afternoon sun can, in some regions, be very strong and the leaves burn. The burned leaves do not heal and, as the echeverias keep them for a long time they will seem burned for long periods. If the damage is severe, it is better to cut off the head of the plant and let it grow back from the stem.
As with any juicy plant the soil should drain the water well. Some Echeverias don’t like too much water or their roots will start to rot. We recommend that you choose a commercial mixture of cacti and succulents and put some extras for faster drainage (perlite, pumice stone, volcanic stone, etc). A very fine or compacted mixture should be avoided as this type of substrate stores water for longer.
Use a slow-release fertilizer in early spring or a diluted liquid fertilizer two to four times more than normal and used less frequently than recommended. Preferably use a low nitrogen mixture or a cactus fertilizer.
In our production of succulents, (in this case echeverias) the main care is the irrigation and optimal drainage of the substrate as well as some care with exposure to intense summer sun. As a general rule it is a resistant plant that develops well, may however appear some fungi and pests in some types of echeverias that should be fought, something that we will address in the future in another article 🙂