Echeveria is a large genus of succulents in the Crassulaceae family. They are native from Mexico to northwestern South America. The genus Echeveria is named after the 18th century Spanich botanist Atanasio Echeverria Codoy. Several of these species are outstanding garden plants. A large number offsets heavily and are given the common name of 'Hen and Chicks'.
Most species grow in the shade and can take some frost. Hybrids tend to be less accomodating about their growing conditions. All the species are drought resistant, but they grow better with regular deep watering and fertilizing.
They can be propagated with offsets, leaf cuttings, and if they are not hybrids, by seeds. Offsets is the easier way.
Most species lose their lower leaves in winter. Depending on your level of humidity, these leaves are fertile ground for fungus that can then attack the plant. It is better to remove them regularly. Another consequence is that after a couple of years the plants look untidy. It is better then to re-root the main rosette(s) and keep the rest of the plant for propagation.
© 2004 Philippe Faucon, All Rights Reserved.