What is Echeveria Elegans?
Echeveria Elegans is one of the most show-stopping of all other succulents.
Also known as “Mexican Snowballs” or “hens and chicks”, or “Mexican gem”, The Echeveria contains over 150 species and belongs to the family of thick-leaved plants (Crassulaceae family).
It has very beautiful leaves arranged in a pretty rosette and does not need much care, which makes it ideal for succulents lovers who are rarely at home or who don’t have much time.
If you’re ready to have healthy Echeveria Elegans growing on your window sill, this post will help you make that happen.
How to Grow Echeveria Elegans
Echeveria Elegans can be propagated from both offsets and leaves. We highly recommend propagation by leaf cuttings, as this is very easy.
The leaves should be cut cleanly in spring or summer.
After cutting, the cut surfaces must dry for 1-3 days before you can plant them.
After they are dried out, simply place them on the mixed soil and press gently. Make sure you have soaked the soil before.
Use pre-made succulent soil, if this is not an option for you, then you can use sand or any other substrate that you have prepared yourself.
Now, keep the cuttings moist and warm. After only a few weeks you will see small roots on the cutting surface, and a small Echeveria plant growing on these surfaces.
Echeveria Elegans produces small offsets that grow around its base. These offsets can be used to propagate new plants.
To do this, simply remove the offsets plants from the soil and put them apart to dry for a day or two.
Fill a pot that has a drainage hole with well-drained soil. Use pre-made succulent soil as mentioned above.
Soak the soil and dig a shallow hole, then plant the offset.
The roots should be covered, but not too deep in the soil.
When the soil appears to be completely dry, or when you notice that the offset’s leaves appear to be shriveled, then it’s time to water your succulent.
Repotting Echeveria Elegans
To avoid blocking the growth of your beloved succulents, you should repot them from time to time.
Young Echeveria should be repotted every spring in a slightly larger pot to enhance root growth and give the plant a new life. Older plants can be left in the same pot for 2-3 years.
Of course, you can also repot your plant in autumn or winter, for example when you notice that the pot has been cracked or the potting soil is exhausted.
How to Care for Echeveria Elegans
Like The Mother of Thousands, Echeveria Elegans requires minimal maintenance.
But we’re still gonna show you some tips on how to keep this wonderful succulent healthy and happy.
How often should Echeveria be watered?
As with all succulents, a correct watering is very important for Echeveria. You should water them only moderately – just wet the substrate – and let dry completely before watering them again. The dryness of the echeveria improves the coloring of the leaves and the growth form.
Too much moisture/water, on the other hand, leads to quite unharmonious growth and possibly to root rot.
We recommend the “soak and dry” method, which seems to be the most effective way of watering. (Water only when the soil is fully dry and the leaves have a shriveled look)
Do not spray Echeveria with water, because water on the leaves can lead to unattractive or even rotten spots.
Also, avoid water your succulent directly on the rosettes. It is best to always water from below and remove the excess water from the pot after about one hour.
Any kind of water is suitable for watering, but rainwater is perfect.
For both indoor and outdoor plantings, water is required only once a month during the winter, and once every one or two weeks during the warmer weather.
Fertilizing Echeveria Elegans
Not only watering is important for Echeveria Elegans care, but also fertilizing.
You don’t need to fertilize it if you have just planted it for the first time. However, during the growing season from April to September, or if it has been in a pot for more than 2 years, you should boost it every 4 weeks with high-quality cactus fertilizer.
How do you prune Echeveria?
You don’t have to trim this succulent as it is self-pruning.
Dry leaves and blossoms are easy to pull out, while dead ones should be cut off with a knife.
The echeveria sap (juice) is toxic, so consider wearing gloves to prevent skin contact.
Troubleshooting Common Echeveria Problems
Pests attacking Echeveria and other succulents are relatively rare, but you may occasionally have trouble with spider mites, fungus gnats, or mealybugs.
These small reddish to blackish or greenish bugs can be recognized mainly by the honeydew, which they secrete by sucking the sap from the Echeveria.
The best way to control pests on Echeveria is to prevent them from taking hold.
Opt for a good Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system to keep them away from your succulent and treat them quickly once they appear.
Here’s how to do it:
- Small Mealy Bug Infestation
For a small mealy bug infestation, wipe them off with a cotton ball or cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol.
Mix three parts water to one part alcohol, then spray the entire Succulent.
- Catch Fungus Gnats
Use yellow sticky traps to catch Fungus Gnats. Don’t forget that their presence is proof that you are keeping the soil too wet.
Consider increasing ventilation and reducing the frequency of watering.
- Use Natural Pest Solutions
Neem oil is a good solution used against all Echeveria pests.
Ensure a direct spray stream on pests you are targeting, and use it in the early morning or after dusk because it can harm bees.
- Separate New Plants
When buying new Echeveria Keep them aside until you are sure they are healthy.
- Take Care of Your Echeveria!
A healthy Succulent prevents pests and diseases and recovers faster if exposed to these problems.
Make sure that your Echeveria gets enough sunlight, well-drained soil, and the right amount of water.
Excessive watering, too much moisture, or lack of sunlight are the cause of most Echeveria Elegans diseases, as they cause fungal diseases and bacterial infections.
Never water your Echeveria too often and avoid keeping it in a pot without good drainage, otherwise, you will cause rotting of the stem, foliage, and roots.
If you notice yellowing or bleaching of the leaves, and occasionally leaf fall, proceed as follows:
- remove your succulent from its pot and examine its roots.
If the roots look white and without any problems, remove the moist soil and let them have a good aeration for one day.
Repot the plant with dry and fresh soil. Clean the pot well or ideally replace it with a new one. (Choose a pot made of a breathable material such as terra-cotta.)
If the roots are brown and mushy, examine them closely to see if there are any healthy ones left.
If so, remove the diseased roots and allow the healthy to breathe for a day, then repot as described above.
After repotting, do not water them for at least a week.
- If the Echeveria’s roots are completely brown and mushy they are dead.
In this case, look for healthy leaves on the succulent to propagate new plants.
Examine the plant closely. If you find that the soil is dry and hard, the problem is most likely related to a lack of water.
To fix this problem, water your plant abundantly, by pouring water into the pot until it drains out through the drainage holes, or by placing it (the pot not the plant) in a larger container so that it can soak up water until the surface of the soil is wet.
Be careful not to leave your Echeveria submerged for more than half an hour.
Too Little Light
If your plant is looking stretched or misshapen and its leaves are not well developed, you are probably not providing enough light to it.
Consider moving it to a sunny area or adding artificial light.
Too Much Heat
If your Echeveria is kept in a place where it continually receives too much heat, you may detect dry, discolored, and soft foliage that appears from its base upwards.
It can also tend to become stretched out and leggy, drop a large number of older leaves.
Move it away from the heat source, making sure it receives enough sunlight.
NOTE: Sometimes, even with sufficient light and heat, your Echeveria is unable to recover on its own, you may need to do a small pruning to correct this problem:
Cut off the top of the succulent with a knife, remove the leaves along the leggy stem and then plant it as a stem cutting.
This will give you two new plants, one from the roots and the other from the cut stem.