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Echeveria elegans (Mexican Snowball)

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Scientific Name

Echeveria elegans Rose

Common Names

Hens and Chicks, Mexican Gem, Mexican Snowball, Mexican Snow Ball, Pearl Echeveria, White Mexican Rose

Synonyms

Echeveria albicans, Echeveria elegans var. hernandonis, Echeveria elegans var. kesselringiana, Echeveria elegans var. tuxpanensis, Echeveria perelegans, Echeveria potosina

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Sedoideae
Tribe: Sedeae
Subtribe: Sedinae
Genus: Echeveria

Origin

Native to the semi-desert regions of Mexico.

Description

Echeveria elegans is a popular succulent that forms compact rosettes of fleshy, spoon-shaped, and pale bluish-green leaves. It is a variable species with several forms that have only minor differences in size and shape of leaves and color of flowers. Plants grown in bright sunlight can take on a lovely pink blush. Leaves are up to 2.6 inches (6 cm) long and up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) wide. It offsets freely and forms a dense carpet of rosettes over time. From late winter to mid-summer, it sends up slender, pinkish stems, up to 1 foot (30 cm) tall, which bear pinkish-red flowers tipped with yellow.

The specific epithet "elegans" derives from a Latin word meaning "elegant" and refers to its elegant appearance.

How to Grow and Care for Echeveria elegans

Soil: Echeverias need potting soil mix that drains quickly. Many growers will create their own mix. However, commercial cactus and succulent potting soil will work fine.

Light: These succulents prefer full sun to partial shade. However, try to avoid drastic sunlight changes and full afternoon sun, especially in summer. During the winter, when your succulents are inside, put them near the brightest window in your home.

Hardiness: Echeveria elegans can withstand temperatures as low as 20 to 50 °F (-6.7 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b.

Watering: When and how to water is a crucial part of Echeveria care. They do not like to be kept too wet, but they also do not like to be kept too dry. The "soak and dry" method is the preferred schedule for watering Echeverias.

Fertilizing: Echeverias grow well without fertilizer but may benefit from the extra nutrients.

Repotting: Repot when needed in the spring or early summer.

Propagation: Echeverias are one of the easiest succulents to propagate. They are usually propagated from offsets or leaves, but they can also be grown from stem cuttings and seed.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Echeveria.

Toxicity of Echeveria elegans

Echeverias are safe around pets and humans, although it is not advisable to eat them.

Forms, Cultivars, and Hybrids of Echeveria elegans

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