Overview and Description:Echevaria are succulents in the family, which includes Aeonium, Crassula, Kalanchoe, Sedum and Sempervivum (Hens and Chicks). These are rosette forming succulents, many with leaves colored with garnet red or red tinged leaves, The rosettes range in size from 1 inch to 20 inches. They can be smooth or fuzzy, rounded, pointed or elongated.
Botanical Name:Echevaria species and hybrids
Common Name(s):None that I’m aware of. They are sometimes referred to as Hens and Chicks, but those are really Sempervivums, another rosette forming succulent.
Hardiness:Most are only hardy to USDA Hardiness Zone 9, although there are a couple of exceptions. Many gardeners grow them in containers and over winter them indoors.
Light Exposure:Full sun brings out their best colors, but most can handle partial shade just fine.
Mature Size:Varies with variety. Rosettes can be a tiny 1 inch in diameter to plate size.
Bloom Period:Most Echevaria are summer bloomers.
Design Tips:If you’ve ever seen giant Echevaria growing in California gardens, you will understand my envy and longing. These are wonderful, easy growing perennials for gardeners in semi-tropical climates. But most people grow them in containers, which allow you to make adjustments as the lower leaves die off the the rosettes lose their perfection.
If you grow them in containers, it can be indoors or outdoors, or even as annuals. Potted Echevaria can be put where they will be noticed. The smaller rosettes make lovely dish gardens, table toppers and hanging baskets. I saw a single rosette in a coffee cup and it was captivating.
Hypertufa troughs are a classic pairing, but I like them in ceramic pots and urns in desert colors, like teal and burnt sienna.
- Echeveria 'Afterglow' – 12 inch rosettes of purple-pink, with rusty red flowers in summer, Hardy to about 20-25° F.
- Echeveria agavoides x 'Black Prince' – 5 inch pointed dark cherry-chocolate leaves. Hard to find.
- Echeveria agavoides 'Frank Reinelt' – Elongated leaves with red tips. Rosettes grow about about 6 inches.
- Echeveria agavoides 'Lipstick' –Large, thick, pointed leaves with bright red edging. Turns more pink in full sun. Pink flowers in summer.