HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR OUR PLANTS
L'Echeveria, this delicious succulent plant is native to Central America, especially Mexico and North-West America, in particular the areas characterized by strong temperature variations between day and night.
Species: see the paragraph on "Main species"
The kind Echeveria top belongs to the family of Crassulaceae, vast group of succulent plants originating from Central America (especially Mexico) and North-West America in areas characterized by strong temperature variations between day and night.
The particularity ofEcheveria it's leaves fleshy, mostly ovoid in shape and arranged in a rosette, very compact. The color varies from intense green, to greyish, to blue-gray, to pinkish green.
THE flowers they develop on a long stem that grows from the center of the rosette.Generally they are very showy, bell-shaped, red or pink in color and with yellow margins.Florescea starting from spring and throughout the summer.
The genre Echeveria includes many species among which we remember
Other species are:
Echeveria affinis; Echeveria amoena; Echeveria cuspidata; Echeveria carnicolor; Echeveria chiclensis; Echeveria elegans; Echeveriasubrigida; Echeveria pulchella; Echeveria racemosa; Echeveria nodulosa; Echeveria gracilis; Echeveria fulgens; Pale Echeveria; Echeveria stolonifera; Echeveria strictiflora.
A widespread belief is that fat plants or succulent plants grow well even if they are neglected. This is not true at all because like all living beings, they need attention and care. They can survive if we neglect them but certainly not live to the best of their abilities. Considering that the care they require is not that many, we dedicate a few minutes a week to these incredible plants and they will pay off with a stupendous growth.
In consideration of the fact that on the market there are mostly cultivars, therefore plants that have been obtained to offer a greater aesthetic spectacle, their climatic adaptation at home requires a lot of light in all seasons of the year and also in direct sun but not at most hot summer days from which it is preferable to protect them.
The temperatures optimal summer cultivation ranges between 15-21 ° C but also tolerate higher temperatures. Winter temperatures are preferable not to fall below 7 ° C. If temperatures drop around these values, move it to a warmer, brighter place.
They are plants that loveair so give them fresh air especially in summer by placing them near an open window.
The leaves of many species of Echeveria they are covered with a dusty substance and care must be taken not to remove it or wash the leaves.
An important aspect to keep in mind in the case ofEcheveria is that absolutely not wet the leaves or better leave stagnant water between the leaves. The plant grows very compact and if it has occupied all the space of the pot and it is not possible to avoid wetting them, it is better that you water them by immersion, i.e. leave the pot for a few minutes immersed in water so that the earth absorbs the necessary humidity.
Anyhow watering must be carried out when the topsoil surface is dry. A good practice is to wet the soil well, then drain all excess water and then wait until the soil is dry before proceeding with the next irrigation.
During the autumn-winter period, irrigations must be significantly reduced and if the temperatures drop, decrease them more and more.
It is necessary to carefully avoid leaving stagnant water in the sub-pot as water stagnation is not tolerated in any way and would lead to root rot.
TYPE OF SOIL - REPOT
The plant of Echeveria like all plants, it needs to be repotted periodically, in spring, if the roots have occupied all the space available to them.
Repotting is also an excellent time to check the state of the roots: if you notice blackened or greyish roots (the roots must be creamy-white) they must be eliminated. Then take some washed and sterilized scissors (possibly at the flame) and proceed with the cut. Then sprinkle broad spectrum fungicide powder into the cut wounds and then repot. In this case, however, wait at least a week before watering to allow the wounds to heal.
For repotting, use a specific compost for Cactaceae to which you add coarse sand or perlite in the measure of 2: 1 (2 parts of compost for 1 part of sand or perlite).
Take care to place pieces of crock in the drainage hole so that the earth or roots do not obstruct the drainage hole as waterlogging is lethal for this plant.
Personally, I always recommend using clay pots and not plastic ones as they allow the earth to breathe and if the drainage hole has been arranged in such a way as to ensure a good drainage of the water, well, I would say that it is perfect. Furthermore, the vessels must be wider than deep as the root system tends to develop in width rather than in depth.
The first watering after repotting, do it by immersion. Remember that if you have pruned the roots you need to wait at least a week before watering to give the wounds time to heal.
From spring and throughout the summer fertilize every 3-4 weeks by administering a liquid fertilizer to be diluted in the irrigation water by decreasing the doses compared to what is reported in the package.
Starting in autumn and throughout the winter, suspend fertilization because theEcheveria it goes into vegetative rest so you must not give fertilizers that would accumulate in the soil, creating a harmful environment for the roots of the plant.
To insure yours Echeveria excellent growth, give an equally balanced fertilizer in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (for example 30:30:30) .In addition to nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (macroelements), however, make sure that the fertilizer you use always also contains microelements , i.e. those compounds that the plant needs in minimal quantities (but still needs it) such as magnesium (Mg), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc ( Zn), boron (B), molybdenum (Mo), all important for a correct and balanced growth of the plant.
If you insure yours Echeveria the right amount of light, water and fertilizer, as indicated in the respective paragraphs, you will have beautiful blooms.
The plant usually begins to bloom from March and continues throughout the summer, until September.
L'Echeveria it cannot be pruned. The leaves that gradually dry up or become damaged must simply be eliminated to prevent them from becoming a vehicle for parasitic diseases.
Make sure that the tool you use for cutting is clean and disinfected (preferably with a flame) to avoid infecting the tissues.
The plant it multiplies by leaf cutting, by seed, by suckers.
In choosing the technique to be adopted, it must be borne in mind that the multiplication by seed has the disadvantage that, taking over the genetic variability, it is not certain that there will be plants equal to the mother plants, in which case if you want to obtain a plant of Echeveria very precise or you are not sure of the quality of the seed you are using, it is good to do the multiplication by cuttings.
MULTIPLICATION FOR POLLONS
In March, a basal sucker is taken (these are the small plants that grow at the base of the mother plant) using a well-sharpened, clean and disinfected knife (possibly with a flame).
The cut surface is allowed to dry for 1-2 days to heal the wound.
The sucker is planted in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts and keeps warm, in good light but not in direct sun and fertilizes once a month.
Once you see the new shoots appear, it means the Echeveria has taken root. At that point you can treat it as an adult plant.
MULTIPLICATION FOR THESE FOLIARS
The leaf cuttings are taken by gently detaching a leaf from the stem.
The basal part of the leaf is planted in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts and kept in a bright place at a temperature between 15-18 ° C and watered as necessary as not to make the soil dry out.
Gradually the leaf will wither but at the same time new shoots will form.When these are large enough to be handled, repot them in the final pot as indicated for adult plants and treat them as such.MULTIPLICATION BY SEEDS
The multiplication of Echeveria by seeds takes place between January and March by distributing the seeds as evenly as possible on a soil formed by 2 parts of thin sand and one of soil per seed.
You can use pots that are not too tall or multiply trays leaving a space of at least 2 cm between the edge of the pot and the ground. Then immerse the pot in water until the soil is well wet. At that point, let the excess water drain and arrange the seeds on the surface of the wet soil evenly and do not bury them but simply sprinkle a little water so that they adhere better to the soil.The tray should be covered with a transparent plastic sheet or a glass plate that will guarantee a good temperature and avoid too rapid drying of the soil. The plastic sheet must be removed every day to check the humidity level of the soil and to remove the condensation that forms on the plastic or in the glass.
The tray or pot containing the seeds should be kept in the shade, at a temperature around 13-18 ° C and slightly damp (use a sprayer to completely moisten the soil) until the moment of germination.
Once the seeds have germinated, the plastic sheet or glass is removed.
Once the Echeveria seedlings are large enough to be handled, they are transplanted into the final pot as indicated for the adult plants and treated as such.
PARASITES AND DISEASES
L'Echeveria, like all succulent plants, they are not particularly disease-prone plants. In their case, perhaps it is more correct to speak of physiopathies, that is to say diseases due not to pathogens but to bad cultivation techniques.
The stem of the plant rots
This is the classic symptom of too much watering.
Remedies: unfortunately if the whole plant looks like this, there is nothing more to be done. If, on the other hand, some stems are not yet affected, you can try to save the plant. Remove the plant with all the earthen bread from the pot and leave it in the air so that the soil dries quickly. Check the roots and remove any rotten ones by cutting them for at least 1 cm above the rotten area with a sharp and disinfected scissors (possibly with a flame), as well as the now dead stems. Sprinkle the cutting surface with a broad spectrum fungicidal powder and then repot. Wait at least two weeks before watering again and, above all, take greater care in the amount of water you administer for the future.
The plant withers and sheds its leaves
Mostly this symptom is due to too low temperatures or cold drafts.
Remedies: place the plant in the most suitable position.
The green parts of the plant discolour and appear as "hollowed out":
This symptom is usually due to too little irrigation. If we stay several months without watering the plant, especially in summer, the plant runs out of all the water contained in the tissues and therefore appears as "emptied".
Remedies: not always if you reach this stage it is possible to recover the plant, in any case, it is worth giving a try by giving a little more attention to our plant with the right irrigations.
Brown spots on the underside of the leaves
Brown spots on the underside of the leaves could mean that you are in the presence of cochineal: brown cochineal or mealy cochineal. To be sure, it is recommended to use a magnifying glass and observe them. Compare them with the photo shown: they are characteristics, you can't go wrong. Also if you try to remove them with a fingernail, they come off easily.
Remedies: remove them with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol or if the plant is large and potted, you can wash it with water and neutral soap rubbing very gently with a sponge to remove the parasites, after which the plant must be rinsed very well to eliminate all soap. For larger plants planted outdoors, you can use specific pesticides available from a good nurseryman.
L'Echeveria it owes its name to the Mexican naturalist painter Atanasio Echeverria (1771-1803) very famous for his paintings on nature.