How to Grow Echeveria And Crassulas

Drought Resistant Echeveria are Easy to Grow

One of the most popular forms of plants lately is the succulents.  They are easy to grow, tolerate most conditions other than over watering and are so interesting in growth habits and form.    Most of these are part of the family of succulents called Crassulaceae.

How to Grow EcheveriaOne variety of succulents that is particularly popular is the echeveria.  This lovely succulent grows in rosette shapes and has pretty leaves in a variety of colors. And if you can manage to get one to flower, you are in for a true delight.

Breeders are coming up with new varieties of them all the time with interesting new leaf forms and colors.

Echeveria are members of the Crassulacae family and their care is similar to sedum and kalanchoes. Most remain fairly small but there are some exceptions that will grow to a couple of feet.

To grow echeveria and other crassulas, follow these tips:

Light:  Like most succulents, echeveria love full sun outdoors and need a sunny window if you grow them indoors.  In very hot climates, they may need some protection from full midday sun.


Echeveria Domingo

Watering:  The plants need water regularly during the spring and summer and require good drainage.  They hate having wet feet.   Cut back on watering during the winter months.  One of the biggest problems for growing echeveria outdoors here in NC is that they will rot easily from excess water in the winter, so I must bring them inside.


Temperatures: Echeveria prefers temps between 65º – 70ºF and does not like to go much below 50ºF. They are only hardy outside in higher temperature zones. Zone  9b is about as cold as they will stand in the winter.


FertilizingSucculents grow in nature in soil that often has very little nutrients so fertilizing is not really necessary.  If you do fertilize, do so in the growing season and use a weak liquid solution.  A good time to use it is if you see it starting to flower.


Propagation:  Echeveria are very easily propagated from leaf cuttings.  Just place a single leaf in cacti mix and cover the dish until a new plant sprouts.


Hens and Chicks

Re potting:  Spring is a good time to re pot if needed. Let the plant dry out first and then gently remove from the pot.  Take off the old soil and any rotted or damaged leaves, or roots and treat with a fungicide.  Re pot in new soil, taking care to spread out the roots as you add the soil.  Do not water for few weeks until it settles in and then resume watering as before.

Most echeveria will lose their lower leaves in winter. This can mean that, after a few years, the plants will lose their attractive, compact appearance and will need to be re-rooted or propagated.


Smaller Hens and Chicks

Flowers:   Echeveria flowers are not succulent and usually pink with thin, narrow, aster-like petals.

Echeveria flowers

Echeveria in Flower

What has your experience been with Echeverias?  Have you been able to grow them outside in the winter months?  Please leave your comments below.

  7 comments for “How to Grow Echeveria And Crassulas

  1. Sil
    10/11/2013 at 8:41 pm

    My neighbor has a ton of these in her yard and they survive MI winters!

    • admin
      10/11/2013 at 9:39 pm

      It’s not so much the cold, I understand, as it is the rain. They can’t stand being in wet soil, and that is what we have here in NC in the winter.

      Also, the larger and more established they are, the better they do.


  2. Charlotte { Char } Belange
    10/12/2013 at 8:33 pm

    I have succulents that have been growing for over 40 years, every time I see a new kind I pinch a bit off it and bring it home and just put it in the ground with the rest they are so easy to grow.
    I ordered Air Plantes the other day. ‘m hoping the will grow
    as good as the others. Char Belange YELM,WA

  3. 01/31/2014 at 10:05 am

    There is a huge difference between Echeveria and Sempervivum; Echeveria will not survive any cold – most are not hardy where there is even the slightest chance of frost. Sempervivum however, love the cold, and thrive in even Zone 3 or 4 (USDA). Guess which ones I like the best?

    • admin
      01/31/2014 at 10:17 am

      Hmmm sempervivium? LOL. I need to get some. I lost most of my echeveria last year because I did not get them inside soon enough.

  4. 08/27/2016 at 4:31 pm

    Some of the plants that you’ve listed above are Sempervivum, not Echeveria. Sempervivum are hardy and will withstand my Zone 4a winters. Echeveria won’t. Echeveria ‘Black Prince’ looks a lot like Sempervivum!

    • Carol
      08/27/2016 at 4:34 pm

      Thanks Jacki. Appreciate the comment and info.

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