The genus, Echeveria DC., was named and described by Augustin Pyramus de Candolle in Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis in 1828.
Plants of the World Online lists 192 species in the Echeveria (as of 1-21-21 when I am updating this page. It is a member of the plant family Crassulaceae with 36 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made.
The Echeveria genus, to me, is a very diverse group which has brought me some confusion… Some are very easy to grow and others can be tricky and just simply WEIRD! I have grown several species and hybrids and keep coming back for more. Truly, this is one genus that is worth getting to know. Choosing which ones to grow is almost like finding your niche… You have to try several to find the ones that do best for you and the area you live. Growing them during the summer months is not the problem… It is during the winter where they will get under your skin. Echeveria are winter dormant succulents which means they are most active somewhere between March-May and maybe August-September. They are dormant between November and February. ALSO, supposedly, they take a little break during the hotter weeks during the summer.
SOOOOO…. During the winter, they need a period to rest. This is the frustrating part for me and where I usually fail. In Mississippi, I had sunrooms for the plants during the winter which was OK. I just had to lay off the water. Here in Missouri, I have no sunrooms and not much good light during the winter. The first winter I was here I had most of my plants in the basement. Oddly enough, they did OK with hardly any light as long as I didn’t give them water. They rested peacefully. BUT, when I put them in my bedroom two winters in a row, the warmth and more sunlight caused them to want to stretch. One even flowered over the winter and then konked out.
SO, I guess what I need to say is that I LOVE Echeveria but they take some patience. Get to know them and what they need to survive. Some species and hybrids do this weird thing of sending out a new plant… It is hard to explain, but you have to re-root that new plant, take the leaves off the old one and let them root, too. Then you just get rid of the old stem (or not). I have photos on the following pages that explain the ordeal.
SO, try as many Echeveria species and hybrids as you can. They will take you on a journey into a new world of excitement and frustration, kind of like life itself. Sometimes you will look at them and think, “What is this plant doing now?”
If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you.FOR