When it comes to Echeveria succulents, many gardeners envision a range of descriptions: rosette-like, adorable, plump, and succulent. However, there's a category of Echeveria with thin, broad leaves that exude an elegant and graceful aura. Can you guess who I'm referring to?
When I mention this succulent's name, you're likely already familiar with it—Echeveria Cante. Compared to real blooms, many succulents may pale in comparison, but not Echeveria Cante.
There are numerous species of thin-leaved Echeveria, each with distinct care requirements compared to most Echeveria varieties. Today, let's delve into the care of thin-leaved Echeveria succulents.
Echeverias With Thin Leaves
Before we dive in, let's take a moment to get acquainted with the thin-leaved Echeverias and appreciate their stunning aesthetic appeal.
1. Echeveria Cante
3. Echeveria 'Blue light'
5. Echeveria 'Pinky'
6. Echeveria 'Morning Light'
Care Tips on Echeverias Wirh Thin Leaves
More Frequent Watering for Thin-Leaved Echeverias
Indeed, thin-leaved Echeverias, as the name implies, boasts delicate foliage. This characteristic means they're less adept at retaining water than other succulent plants. Consequently, they require more regular watering.
Seasoned gardeners often rely on cues such as the pot's weight and the visual appearance of the leaves to determine when it's time to water. Unlike the widely used "Soak and Dry" approach for succulents, it's recommended to water when the soil is approximately 80% dry.
For beginners, a moisture meter can provide an accurate gauge of soil moisture levels (Watering is advised when the humidity meter reads 3). Remember, during the summer months, when ventilation is good, a weekly watering routine may be in order.
The more sunlight, the thicker the Farina
To adapt to their environment, most thin-leaved Echeverias are covered in a dense white powdery substance known as "Farina". This layer serves as a natural sunscreen, protecting them from sunburn. When grown outdoors in ample sunlight, thin-leaved Echeverias display vibrant colors alongside their distinctive white Farina, akin to a beautifully made-up lady. It's safe to say this is where much of their allure lies.
In regions with milder climates, they can be kept outdoors year-round. However, during cold winters, when temperatures drop below 40℉ (5°C), these less cold-hardy succulents may risk frost damage. It's recommended to move them indoors and, if necessary, provide extra protection from direct sunlight. Likewise, extreme heat above 95°F (35°C) can lead to sunburn, so consider giving shade in such conditions.
Be Mindful of Rainfall
For potted, thin-leaved Echeverias, it's advised to keep them in a semi-shaded area where they can receive at least 6 hours of sunlight while being protected from direct rain exposure. This precaution is essential because rain can wash away the protective Farina layer on the surface of the leaves. Although this layer is regenerative, it still affects the visual appeal of the succulent. Additionally, excess moisture from rainfall, if accumulated in the potting soil, may lead to root rot issues in thin-leaved Echeverias.
Moreover, allowing rainwater to linger on the leaves, especially in poorly ventilated conditions, can create a breeding ground for fungal infections. To prevent the leaves from getting wet, consider using the bottom watering method.
You may wonder: How to Bottom Water Succulents.
The Importance of Soil Composition
You may have noticed that many thin-leaved Echeverias, such as the Echeveria Cante, are often directly planted in the ground for landscaping purposes. This shows they can thrive in garden soil and grow to impressive sizes. Considering that these thin-leaved succulents store less water, it's advisable to use suitable garden soil to enhance moisture retention.
The recommended soil mixture for potted succulents is 50% garden soil, 35% peat moss, and 15% gritty soil. It's important to note that if the soil composition has an excessive proportion of larger particles, you might observe the lower leaves of thin-leaved Echeverias deteriorating quickly while root growth slows down.
Regular Repotting and Fertilizing
Thin-leaved Echeverias experience rapid growth during the summer. If you aim for a larger Echeveria succulent, seize this opportune moment. The size of its pot somewhat restrains the growth of your succulent. In spring, consider repotting into a container approximately 1.5 to 2 times larger than the current succulent size. You'll be amazed at how quickly they can fill out a pot throughout the summer.
Supplementing with appropriate fertilizer can further enhance root health and development. It's recommended to administer a liquid succulent fertilizer once a year, ideally after repotting in the spring. This ensures your succulent receives the necessary nutrients for robust growth.
You may wonder: How do you fertilize succulents scientifically?
1. What Are the Spots on My Thin-Leaved Succulent?
As mentioned earlier, thin-leaved succulents are prone to diseases like Powdery Mildew or Rust Disease when exposed to poor ventilation or after being subjected to rain. These conditions arise from different fungal infections. Fortunately, there are specific methods to address these issues. For guidance on identifying and treating these diseases, please refer to A FULL GUIDE ON MOLDS/SPOTS ON SUCCULENTS: ID & CAUSE & SOLUTION.
2. Why Are the Leaves of My Thin-Leaved Echeverias Falling Off?
In thin-leaved Echeverias, it's natural for the lower leaves to wither and eventually fall off due to their delicate nature. This is a normal process, and once the withered leaves are removed, the woody stem is revealed, adding another aesthetic dimension to the plant's appearance.
However, if you notice abnormal leaf drop, particularly from the upper layers, with signs of wilting and blackening at the leaf center, it might indicate root rot. In such cases, a timely beheading might offer a chance at salvation.
You May Wonder: How to Propagate Succulents by Beheading.