There are sixty different families of succulents known to us, with a wide range of varieties categorized within each family. Many people believe that cactus is a different plant group, but it’s actually among the divisions of succulents.
The differences in shape and size between succulents is incredible. But you can still tell them apart from any other plant groups. The fleshy leaves and spikes are the biggest identifiers, but apart from that, succulents are simply unique.
The Echeveria First Lady is among the best looking succulents that you can add to your house or garden. If you want to know how to take good care of it, read-on. You’ll find here everything you need to know!
Echeveria First Lady Description
In 1828, the Botanical Scientist Atanasio Echeveria Godoy discovered a peculiar family of succulents. He was taken by their beauty, and in the customs of that time, he named them after himself.
The Echeverias are eye catching, pretty, and tolerant. Which makes them perfect for new gardeners, as well as seasoned ones. They do like to live in a habitat similar to the desert they came from, so it’s best to recreate that atmosphere as you plant them.
This plant goes by a few more names, like Hen and Chicks, Echeveria Crinoline Ruffles, and Ruffled Echeveria. You may have noticed that they all describe an identifying feature in that plant: its ruffles.
They have rich foliage that has a deep green color at its core. As you reach the outer side of the plump leaves, you’d be able to notice a grey hue. And if you’re taking good care of your succulent, this grey soon gives way to bright pink rim.
The Echeveria First Lady is an evergreen, that could reach a height of about 12 inches. So if you were thinking about planning on planting it in a terrarium, you might want to reconsider. This succulent also gains a bit more height in summer, as its rare flowers blooms on extra tall stalks.
Echeveria First Lady Care Guide
To be able to give your succulent proper care, you should first identify its hardiness zone. Then, you can move on to the specific requirements of its care.
The Echeveria First Lady is a Zone 9 plant, which is natural for a plant that originated in the desert. There are 15 states with this temperature profile including Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Washington, and Texas.
The minimum average temperature range for hardiness zone 9 plants is 20°F to 30°F. Which basically means, keep your plant warm. If it gets too chilly or rainy, succulents should be moved indoors.
This climatic zone is a gardener’s good fortune, as it’s good for growing plants all year-round. That’s why there’s a huge variety of other zone 9 plants you can grow beside your Echeveria.
Echeveria First Lady prefers warm surroundings, and it’s not too bothered by the heat waves that make us swealter. It’s quite sensitive to cold weather though.
That’s why it’s best to move a potted Echeveria First Lady indoors when the air turns chilly. If you have it in the garden, you could use plastic covers, like the ones used to protect germinating seedlings.
This succulent thrives in bright light. However, it wouldn’t be too happy under direct sunlight. A little reprieve from the sun rays makes your plant more comfortable.
Interestingly, Echeverias could also tolerate spaces with lower light. They’ve been known to live in half shade or even full shade. Since we like our plants to thrive, and not just to survive, it’s best to use grow lights in these dim rooms.
Succulents in general aren’t big to water. They like a light dry soil most of the time, so infrequent watering is key to having healthy Echeverias. Water it well, then leave it for about a week to dry out completely before watering again. Baby Echeverias could need a bit more water than that.
Use a nozzle, rather than a sprinkler, to water your succulents. Unlike Jasmine and roses, they don’t like it too much when water touches them, and that’s for a very good reason. If the Echeveria’s leaves become wet, this would attract a host of parasites and bugs to the plant.
It’s recommended to plant Echeverias in breathable clay pots. Also, you’d need to make sure that it has sufficient drainage. Some folks like to put rocks on the bottom of the pot, but that might trap humidity and give opposite results.
Adult succulents have little appetite for fertilizers. If you’re used to feeding your other plants regularly with NPK and micronutrients, you could forego that habit with the Echeveria First Lady. successive application wouldn’t show much change in your plant’s appearance or growth rate.
Young succulents could use occasional fertilizing though. The best form is diluted liquid fertilizers, or organic fertilizers.
Succulents have a special soil mix that you can buy ready-made under the name of cactus mix, or you could prepare a suitable home-made blend.
The best blent should contain garden soil, sand, and perlite. This airy soil would keep the humidity retention at bay, and hence keep your plant safe from root rot. A well ventilated soil is important for the following reasons:
- It would give the roots sufficient room to breathe.
- It helps the plants to absorb nutrients more effectively.
- It creates a sustainable ecosystem for the microorganisms in the soil
Maintenance and Pest Control
In general, the Echeveria First Lady succulent is a low maintenance plant. It’s not needy in its watering, lighting, or fertilizing requirements. The correct soil is probably the only finicky preference this plant has.
As for the pests, they are the same suspects that attack most indoor plants. Namely, mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites. In addition to that, there’s always fungal growth and outright insect swarming.
Keep in mind that succulents don’t like spraying with water, so you could wait for a couple of heartbeats before taking action. Neem oil and alcohol are often treated as effective pest repellants.
Still you’d sometimes need to spray a bit of insecticide or pesticide around to keep your plants healthy.
A Few More Things
The Echeveria First Lady is a pretty succulent that you can plant in a garden or in a pot. It’s versatile and not at all needy, so you could place it out on a balcony, or indoors on a desk. Just keep in mind that it’s origins are in the desert.
This translates to bright light, a little water, and protection from the chilly weather. You could easily propagate your succulent by taking a cutting and repotting it. It would take a bit of time to grow though, it’s not lentils or parsley.
Patience is an integral skill in gardening. And if you give your plant the kind of care it needs, your plants would always reward you by their beauty and vivacity.
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