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How to Grow and Care for a Mexican Snowball (Echeveria elegans)


Echeveria elegans, commonly known as Mexican Snowball, is a popular evergreen succulent from Mexico that mounds or spreads slowly in tight colonies. Edges of leaves are slightly pink, producing equally pretty, small, pink flowers with a yellow tinge.

Mexican Snowball is perfect as groundcover, part of a wedding bouquet, for rock gardens, green roofs or containers. Anciently, it was believed to drive away evil spirits.

It is a winner of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.

Growing Conditions an General Care

Find a spot with full sun or partial sun. It may handle some shade, but shouldn't be kept completely in the shade. If you choose to grow it as a houseplant, keep it near a window that gets direct sunlight during a good portion of the day.

While the plant can tolerate a range of temperatures, it is recommended for USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b. Mexican Snowball can tolerate the cold better than most Echeverias. However, you should take your Mexican Snowball indoors if you expect a harsh winter.

Watering isn't a major requirement with this drought-tolerant succulent. During the summer, you may need to water it once per week. During the winter, you may barely need to sprinkle the pot or ground with water. Provide just enough water to keep leaves from shriveling. However, you don't want the plant to frequently get completely dried out. Keep an eye on the soil and the leaves. If the leaves start to develop spots or appear thinner, you may not be giving the plant enough water.

You can add a balanced fertilizer about 2 or 3 times during the spring and summer months. Try to space these feedings about one month apart.

Mexican Snowball grows easily in a succulent soil mix. It should have good drainage and medium to dry moisture. However, almost any soil with decent drainage should provide a suitable environment for this succulent.


Mexican Snowball can be propagated is a prolific propagator, producing offsets in spring. These offsets can be removed and separately grown to propagate the plant. You can also propagate it by taking stem or leaf cuttings. Take these cuttings in the spring, allow them to dry for several days and then plant them in a well-draining soil.

This succulent is usually propagated from offsets and stem or leaf cuttings, but it can also be raised from seed sown as soon as ripe.



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