Intro: Echeveria, often called “hens and chicks,” are smaller succulents (less than a foot across), and they are easy container plants to care for in balcony gardens. The leaves grow in rosettes and have different colors and flowers. Some popular Echeveria species that do well in containers are E. glauca and E. laui (called blue Echeveria), E. setosa (firecracker plant), E. derenbergii (painted lady) and E. agavoides.
Scientific Name: Echeveria species, especially E. laui
Plant Type: Succulent
Light: Full sun
Water: Water the Echeveria plant regularly during the summer and spring. Water once a month in the winter. Never let water sit on Echeveria leaves, as it can rot them and kill the container plant. They are drought-resistant, but they do best with regular waterings and well-draining potting soil.
Fertilizer: Fertilize Echeveria monthly with a 20-20-20 fertilizer at a quarter strength on mature plants, and fertilize much less with young Echeveria plants.
Temperature: Keep Echeveria succulents in temperatures between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pests and Diseases: Mealy bugs can be a problem, and if dead leaves are not removed from the plant, it can attract other insect pests or have problems with fungus. Echeveria laui is one species that is less susceptible to mealybugs, thrips and mites, because its heavy coating of powder discourages pests from eating it.
Propagation: Propagate Echeveria with leaf cuttings, but this succulent plant can be grown from seeds, offsets or stem cuttings. Propagation depends on each specific Echeveria species. For example, Echeveria laui does best when grown from seed or with leaf cuttings, as it does not offset often.