Echeveria succulents are some of the best succulents for beginners. They are drought-tolerant, look great on windowsills, are easy to care for as long as you don’t over-water. Learn more about echeveria care here!
Echeveria care, including how to care for echeveria indoors!
Today we’re talking echeverias. Since around 2007, succulents have become wildly popular with echeverias at the forefront of that popularity—and understandably so, they’re adorable! They are easily recognized by their rosette shape with blue-green, plump leaves. They are generally small and can be found in the cutest little pots at nurseries or even at the grocery store.
What is an echeveria succulent?
Echeveria is the genus of succulents, meaning there are several lower classifications, including 150 species, the most common being echeveria fimbriata, echeveria elegans, and echeveria peacockii. Echeveria originated in Mexico and Central America. It is named after the Mexican painter, Anastasio Echeverria who was assigned by the king of Spain to paint and document plants in Mexico.
Mexico and Central America have mountainous terrain with elevation ranging from 1,000–4,000 feet. Incredibly, echeverias can grow between rocks, on cliffs, and even on vertical rock walls. They can survive heat and drought because of the thick, round leaves that store plenty of water.
For more on succulents, check out my tips on how to prune and fix leggy succulents, how to grow succulents from seeds, as well as how to care for haworthia succulents, string of pearls, and burro’s tail trailing plants.
Echeveria succulent care, colors, and growth
Echeverias are the perfect plant for succulent novices since they don’t need much attention and are absolutely adorable even with a decent amount of neglect. The leaves grow in a rosette shape, and they can be hairy, smooth, waxy, velvety, powdery, flat, or plump—my personal favorite are when the leaves are a little chubby!
Their colors vary but are perfect for any home’s aesthetic: green-blue, green-grey, grey-blue, lavender, and vibrant green. The tips of the rosette leaves turn red when exposed to sunlight. Echeverias sprout new leaves in the spring, but in the fall they change colors to vibrant hues of red, pink, and lavender. During the winter the plant goes dormant and its leaves angle downward to protect its stem for the cold.
Echeveria is a desert succulent, meaning it does well in average to dry climates, with an ideal range of 65-80°F in the spring and summer. They can’t tolerate cold or wet weather for long without dying.
The more popular variations of echeverias grow only about 2–4 inches in height. There are of course echeveria species that grow much larger than that, like the “Joy’s Giant” that can grow up to 20 inches in diameter.
Light, water, soil needs
Echeverias are relatively easy to care for, which is why they’re so popular! When it comes to light, echeverias love the sunshine, and they need a few hours of direct sunlight every day. However, intense, direct sunlight depending on where you are can burn the leaves, leaving them permanently damaged.
I have even burnt succulent leaves on succulents that have been on windowsills next to sunny windows—but only if I left the leaves touch the window. Our windows can get really hot on a summer day!
It’s best if you gradually introduce them to the sun in the springtime, and then keep them inside by a window during the winter. If you’re keeping your small echeveria on a windowsill indoors, make sure you rotate it every so often to spread the love around.
Echeverias are great at storing water in their leaves, so the soil need not be damp. You should gauge your watering on the soil; if the top 1–2 inches of soil is completely dry, it’s time to water it. Do this by pouring water until it drains out of the bottom of the pot. (See my post about how to plant succulents in pots without drainage.) Over or underwatering your echeveria will cause it to wilt or lose leaves. During the winter, you should rarely water it.
Soil is critical to keeping your echeveria happy. The most important factor in good succulent soil is that it allows for drainage, which means it should be somewhat sandy. You can create a mix of soil and perlite, like I did with my pickle plant succulent, or simple succulent potting soil will work. Without proper soil or drainage, echeveria roots can rot and die.
Propagating echeveria should be done during the spring and summertime. The most effective way is to use leaf cuttings. Pick healthy, plump leaves that do not have discoloration, and gently pluck it from the stem. It’s important to get the entire base of the leaf without damaging it.
Once you’ve taken the leaf, let it dry for a few days. Then plant the leaf with the cut side down into new, moist soil. During this entire process, the leaf cuttings should not be exposed to direct sunlight since they’re so delicate. Mist the leaves with water every other day until small pink roots begin to sprout.
Once new, baby leaves have grown, the mother leaf will wilt and should be removed—the circle of life! Baby echeverias need more water than mature plants until they establish After you’ve done this, the baby echeveria is ready to be transplanted to its own pot!
For more on propagating succulents, check out my detailed post on propagating succulents from leaves and cuttings. I also have a detailed post on how to propagate string of pearls, a gorgeous trailing succulent!
Do echeveria succulents flower?
Yes! These succulents produce bright, colorful flowers from long stalks that shoot out from their stems. They generally flower in summer, occasionally early fall if they still get enough light. Echeveria succulents tend to need strong light to flower. My mom’s echeveria that has acclimated to full sun all day long outdoors shot off some beautiful flowers this summer!
The blooms stick around for a while, too. Unfortunately, I’ve never had any of my indoor echeverias or shaded echeverias indoors flower. Maybe next summer I’ll work on acclimating one to full sun and cross my fingers!