Do you want an adorable, tolerant and mood-enlightening flowering succulent plant? Well, you are in for a treat. Echeveria First Lady is a rare rosette-forming flowering succulent plant. The greyish-green leaves with bright pink frilly edges make this plant one of a kind. The best part is that these plants grow flowers in summer and frilly edges on leaves turn bright pink when given the proper care.
Story Behind Echeveria
Atanasio Echeveria Godoy was a Mexican botanist. In 1828, he discovered a beautiful family of succulents. He was so mesmerized by the beauty of its leaves that he named this plant after himself. Over time, many species of Echeveria got cultivated to produce over a thousand hybrids of this family. Echeveria First Lady is one of those hybrids.
Echeveria First Lady Classification
Common Names of Echeveria First Lady Plant
Based on the unique identifying characteristics of Echeveria, this plant goes by multiple names. These names are
- Echeveria Crinoline Ruffles
- Hens and Chicks
- Ruffled Echeveria
Origin and Distribution
Echeveria plants are native to Mexico and Central America and are widely distributed across the warm and dry mountainous terrain due to the desert-like habitats.
Features of Echeveria First Lady
The leaves have a waxy powdery coating. This layer keeps the leaves shiny and protects the plant from harsh environments such as drought, scorching light, heavy rains, and hail.
These flowering succulents beauties bloom in spring and summer. The blooming of pretty orange flowers is a sight to behold. These flowers bloom for some time until the stalk breaks off and then the plant draws its energy back into growing.
The Echeveria First lady is usually taller than its neighboring species and can grow as big as 12 inches.
These plants are a perfect fit for indoor and outdoor decorative purposes because they are evergreen succulents. Given the advised care, these plants stay lush throughout the year.
You would probably know that all succulents thrive in warm conditions. These plants can not easily be harmed by extremely hot and dry weather as their thick waxy leaves are resilient and well-adapted.
This plant is easily a heart-winner for the low-maintenance gardeners and the people who go out of town a lot. As a successful survivor in hot and arid environments, Echeveria First Lady can tolerate the scarcity of water. The roots, stem, and leaves are its main water-conserving reservoirs. This plant can go without water for weeks.
These plants follow a perennial life cycle that’s why they stay lush throughout the years. Its longevity is one of the reasons why plant enthusiasts choose the Echeveria First Lady plant for decoration purposes.
The First Lady Echeveria is a fast-growing plant as compared to the other families of succulents. They can grow up to 8 inches long over a year. However, the growth rate differs based on the type of propagation and environmental conditions.
Pests and Disease
Unfortunately, these plants are susceptible to disease-causing fungus, spider mites, bugs, and aphids. Among the insects, the mealybugs damage the leaf, and aphids attack the flowering buds. You can use Naeem oil and alcohol as a remedy against pests.
Although the plant is safe, its waxy coating is non-digestible in the gut. It is best to keep the plant out of the reach of kids and pets.
It is a self-pollinating plant and attracts hummingbirds in the spring.
Echeveria First Lady Care
The First Lady plant is an ideal houseplant because it is low-maintainable and easy to care for plant. This plant thrives indirect bright light and warm temperatures. It doesn’t require daily watering, humidity, or continuous fertilizing.
These plants only need a small amount of water as they enjoy dry soil.
- Once the water is in the Echeverias, wait until the soil is dry that may usually take days to even weeks.
- Never overwater the plant.
- Use a small nozzle by making sure water goes into the soil and never wet the leaves.
- Avoid spraying the leaves.
- Don’t let the soil dry for so long as this may rot the roots.
- Use a well-draining pot to avoid soaking in soil.
Poor watering causes: fungal disease, wilting, root rotting, etc.
These plants enjoy bright sunlight but can also grow well in partial shade. In summer, the intensity of sunlight is high, so a few hours of natural light is enough. As for the winter, you may need artificial lights for longer durations.
Well-drained, sandy, and dry soil is best for the plant. PH range should be from mildly acidic to mild alkaline. The best soil mixture contains coarse-grained sand, perlite, and compost. The air circulation prevents root rotting and allows sufficient nutrients uptake. Re-pot the plant every couple of years.
Temperature Requirements for Echeveria First Lady
These plants love warm temperatures as hot and dry climates make the natural habitat of these succulents. However, they are sensitive to cold climates and require frost protection. Temperature below 45 Fahrenheit freezes the leaves and rot the plant. When the season gets chilly, move the plants to a warmer spot.
Echeverias first lady doesn’t need a continual supply of fertilizers as they grow in a desert-like environment where nutrients are scarce. The need for nutrients decreases over time as the plant grows.
- Feed the plant with either extended-release or liquid fertilizer in the early spring.
- Never use the fertilizer in autumn
- Use a fertilizer mix with no more than 5%
Echeverias are ever-adapting plants. They grow flowers in spring and radiate colors in autumn. The leaves go thinner in summer and the plant stays dormant in winter. The old leaves usually die in winter from cold, so it’s better to hold the leaves close to the stem. You can do the grooming of plants in spring by removing the dead leaves.
These plants require a dry and less humid environment. Ventilation not only provides ideal conditions for growth but also keeps the pests away as well.
Propagation of Echeveria First Lady
Here are the ways you can follow to propagate this plant.
From Leaf Cutting
Leaf-cutting is one of the most common procedures, gardeners use to propagate this plant.
- Choose thick and healthy leaves without any spots and cut the leaves along with the base from a mature plant.
- Let the leaves dry for a few days
- You can dip the leaf end in the rioting hormone before placing it in a potting mix (optional)
- Stick the leaf into the soil
- Press the soil around the leaf
- Keep the leaf-cutting in a shaded area
- Mist the soil every few days.
The pink roots grow within four weeks. Soon, the baby plant will grow with leaves that usually take from a few weeks to a few months.
The parent leaves will eventually wither or you can gently remove or let them fall off on their own. From this point on, follow the above care guide and let your plant grow beautifully.
When it turns leggy, trim it down by beheading the stem, place it in the soil and let it grow the small leaflets.
When the flowers bloom, they close up again holding seeds. Collect these seeds and place them in the pot after drying. Follow the care guide and let the seeds sprout.
Some Common FAQs
Does the Echeveria First Lady plant grow indoors?
Yes, this plant can grow indoors as long as the plant remains exposed to warm temperature, good ventilation, direct sunlight from the window, or artificial lights for longer durations. However, it is best to keep the plant outdoors unless the climate is chilly or humid.
My plant is growing quite faster in height, is this normal?
This could be happening because of many reasons such as genetics, lack of light, etc. You can re-pot the plant to a bigger container or behead the stem in spring and use it for propagation.
What kind of potting material do I buy for my plant?
Here are a few expert suggestions for you,
Clay pots: These allow air circulation and fast drainage of water, letting the soil dry quickly
Plastic pots: Not only are these durable and convenient, but they also have enough holes for fast drainage.
If you are looking for beautiful pots, you can use wood or glass pots but clay and plastic pots are ideal for growth.
This plant with ruffled leaves can be used for both indoor or outdoor decorative purposes. It is usually grown amongst a group of other succulent plants.
The Echeveria First Lady is an exquisite succulent that requires low maintenance and is used for decorative purposes. These plants need moderate watering, bright light, warm temperature, and good air circulation. When given the proper care, they can stay lush for decades. All of the unique features make this plant a perfect houseplant.