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Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Echeveria, Plant care

I have a start from a large hen & chicks (Echeveria). I have seen these plants grow up to 6 feet tall like a shrub. My start is over two years old. It takes off and seems to thrive, but never gets tall or hardy. It seems to go a year and then the outer leaves wilt. Once it got big enough to tip over, so I am wondering how to give it the right pot and correct soil to allow it to grow. It is located in our west sun room here in the great northwest. Is it alright outdoors in the summer?


I wonder if you have information about the particular species of Echeveria you are growing. Usually, 'hens and chicks' is the common name for Echeveria glauca. The larger growing Echeveria are the ones with "loose, cabbage-like rosettes which reach a foot or more in diameter on heavy stems" (from The Book of Cacti and Other Succulents by Claude Chidamian, Timber Press, 1984).

I consulted Victor Graham's book, Growing Succulent Plants (Timber Press, 1987) for some general guidelines on the best growing practices for Echeveria. He says that the soil you provide should be gritty and on the poor side (for good drainage), and they should not be overfed. In The Succulent Garden: A Practical Gardening Guide by Yvonne Cave (Timber Press, 1997), the recommendation for areas with wet winters such as ours is to grow them in containers on a covered porch or in any sunny spot with overhead cover. In the warmer, drier months they can be placed or planted in the garden without cover. Your sun room sounds like a fine place to grow them during the winter here, although they may prefer morning sunlight and afternoon shade to bring out the best color in their leaves.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden has a page on growing succulents that may be useful.

Date 2018-08-15
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Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Echeveria, Propagation, Sedum

I am learning how to propagate plants for my yard. I am now into Sedums and other succulents. I am trying to learn how to propagate Echeveria x hybrida "The Rose." This one has me totally baffled. Can you help?


First, here is some general information. The propagation method you choose for Sedum depends on the habit of the plant, according to the American Horticultural Society's Plant Propagation (edited by Alan Toogood; DK Publishing, 1999). Most species will root easily from cuttings in 1 to 6 weeks.

Tender species can be propagated from leaf cuttings. Take leaves off a stem. Place on damp newspaper in bright shade at 61 degrees F. Roots and plantlets should form in 3 to 4 weeks. You can also use stem cuttings by taking 2 to 3 inches from the tip of a stem and allowing the cutting to callus for a day. With hardier forms of Sedum, use 3/4 to 1 1/4 inch stem cuttings.

The book Echeveria Cultivars by Lorraine Schulz and Attila Kapitany (Schulz Publishing, 2005) offers directions on propagating from offsets, cuttings, cuttings from crests, head cuttings, leaf and stalk cuttings, and seed.

Date 2017-05-24
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