It’s hard to resist Echeveria, with their jewel-tone leaves and, if you’re lucky, brilliant flower spikes. They make interesting additions to container plantings and rock gardens, but these frost-tender succulents must be tended as houseplants in cold-winter regions. Here’s how to keep them looking their best indoors.
Indoor Echeveria Care
Light: Place indoor echeveria where they will get a lot of sunlight; without high light, they will likely begin to stretch out of their tight rosette form. In winter, a south-facing or west-facing window will probably supply the brightest and longest period of light each day. Place your echeveria right on the windowsill or on a piece of furniture pulled up next to it.
Soil: Echeveria require excellent drainage, so choose or make a potting mix that provides it. A store-bought potting mix labeled for cacti and succulents will work well, or you can use an all-purpose potting mix and add coarse sand and/or aquarium gravel to lighten it and enhance drainage.
Watering: Let the soil dry completely, then thoroughly wet it. Let it dry completely before you water again. Be careful to aim the water at the soil surface rather than pouring it over the echeveria leaves; if water becomes trapped in the rosette, problems could ensue. This can also be avoided by watering from below: that is, standing the pot in a shallow container of water until the surface of the soil is wet. (The water will soak into the soil via the pot’s drainage holes or through the sides of the pot if it is made of porous clay).
Feeding: Echeveria do not require fertilizer.
Other maintenance: Plants grow toward their light source, so to keep your echeveria symmetrical, turn the pot once or twice a week. If lower leaves shrivel, you can pull them off. If the plant does begin to stretch, you can continue to grow it and then start fresh in the spring by simply cutting the top off and rooting it as a new rosette.
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