Last updated on August 25th, 2023 at 11:58 am
Planting echeveria is very easy if you follow some basic steps. There are plenty of beautiful succulents to choose from, but one of the most popular varieties is Echeveria, also known as Hens and Chicks. It’s easy to see why, they’re gorgeous and relatively low-maintenance, which makes them the perfect plants for indoor or outdoor use.
Still, caring for Echeveria requires more than just sticking it in some soil and watering it occasionally.
Echeveria is a beautiful and easy-to-grow succulent plant that can be grown indoors or outdoors, in pots or in the ground, and even in the garden bed with other plants and is frequently used as ornamental houseplants. With proper care, they can be grown year-round and have some of the most stunning blooms you’ll ever see on a houseplant!
8 steps in planting echeveria
1) Select the best spot
Find a place that receives both morning and afternoon sun, but where it will be shaded from direct sunlight for at least three hours per day. As you’re searching for your perfect spot, make sure there’s plenty of room for expansion, although echeverias generally don’t grow very large, some varieties can get quite large if given enough time.
The soil should also be well-drained to prevent root rot or disease. If you’re planting more than one echeveria plant, remember to give them some space!
2) Prep Your Soil
Before you plant anything, it’s important to prep your soil. If you have a specific echeveria that you want to grow, there’s an even more specific type of soil that is necessary for optimal growth.
Many echeverias require porous soil with a lot of peat or perlite added to allow for airflow and drainage, plus help keep water at a good level so they don’t shrivel up. If the container you are planting in has the right kind of soil already mixed in, skip this step.
For pots without pre-mixed soil, add around 3-4 inches (10 cm) of the potting mix before adding the next step: small rocks. Small rocks can provide excellent drainage while also helping maintain air circulation and keeping roots cool as they absorb heat from the sun.
Place them all over the bottom of the pot and cover with potting mix until you reach about 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the top edge of the pot or container, leaving room for when plants will be planted later on.
3) Water Smartly
Water your plant sparingly at first. Overwatering is actually a common cause of echeveria death, as echeverias often let you know when they’re thirsty. Until your plant is established and thriving, water it only when its soil has become dry to touch.
To test this, use your finger to poke the surface of the soil. If no moisture clings to your finger after two seconds, it’s time for a drink! The goal is to keep the potting medium moist, but not wet or soggy.
Try watering more deeply every few days or so; once a week should be sufficient if you live in an area with low humidity and little rainfall. Continue to avoid watering until the top inch of soil is dry.
In addition, never submerge the entire pot in water or allow it to sit in standing water—this will lead to root rot.
You may want to create a small opening on one side of the container for better air circulation by cutting a square on one side from top to bottom (with scissors). Be sure that there are holes around any drainage holes on your container too!
4) Provide Ideal Light Conditions
When you’re setting up your echeveria, be sure to place it in a spot that offers abundant light. While these plants can tolerate some shade, they grow best with at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.
If your home or office doesn’t have such an area, try purchasing a compact fluorescent grow light and placing it nearby. These lights provide high-intensity lighting that mimics sunlight while using far less energy than full-spectrum lamps.
5) Add Organic Matter to Increase the Potency of your Soil
You’ll want to choose a good, organic soil for your echeveria. This will ensure that your plants have everything they need to thrive. You can create your own homemade potting soil with a mixture of sphagnum peat moss, perlite, compost, and granulated (granite) rock.
Add just enough water so the ingredients are moistened but not soggy before you add it to the container. Fill the container three-quarters full with this mix then plant the echeveria according to the instructions on its package.
6) Choose the Right Fertilizer
Before choosing a fertilizer, you’ll want to know what your plant needs. In general, succulents do well with a balanced fertilizer that is high in phosphorous and nitrogen.
Look for a fertilizer labeled 10-10-10 or 8-8-8. That means it contains 10% nitrogen, 10% phosphorous, and 8% potassium; these numbers represent what percent of each element is contained in 100 pounds of dry fertilizer.
For example, if the label says 8-8-8 on the bottle, that means there are 25 pounds of nitrogen (which would be 2/5) and 25 pounds of phosphorous (which would be 2/5) in 100 pounds of fertilizer.
You’ll want to find one which contains at least some amount (even if only 1%) ammonium sulfate, this chemical is essential for helping the echeveria grow properly and keep its leaves from yellowing too quickly.
If you’re not sure how much to use, start with two tablespoons of fertilizer for every foot of pot size.
Once you’ve chosen your fertilizer, gently pour it into the hole created by removing part of the potting soil. Then pack it down so that all roots have access to nutrients.
7) Indoor vs. Outdoor succulents
If you have a bright and sunny window indoors, then you’re all set. For those of us who don’t, though, it might be best to stick with more hardy plants, like herbs or succulents. For example, Echeveria is very easy to care for and looks great indoors (as long as you keep it out of direct sunlight).
There are plenty of other indoor succulents that are equally gorgeous and equally low-maintenance. One really popular one is the mother-in-law’s tongue, which has large green leaves that resemble the tongue of an elderly woman.
It can grow up to 3 feet tall and has pink flowers. Another favorite of mine is the Hens and Chicks plant, with its delicate little petals blooming over time like a bouquet. You can buy these plants at any local garden center for about $5 each!
To give them some extra love, I like to feed them with Miracle Grow every month during their off-season from October through March. I also use cactus soil and spritz them once a week with water.
8) Prevent pests and diseases
Although unlikely, pests and diseases can cause major damage to your plants. Certain methods of prevention will help keep your plants safe from pests and diseases. First, it’s important to select a well-draining soil for your plant, this means choosing a well-drained pot rather than planting directly into the ground.
The soil should also be kept consistently moist without being wet. Mulching helps prevent evaporation while also acting as an insect repellent. Keeping leaves off the ground is one way to discourage pests.
One of the best ways to avoid disease is by spraying your plant with water mixed with hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol every few weeks.
Finally, you should avoid over-watering your plants because this increases their susceptibility to infection by fungus and other pathogens.
Now that you’ve learned all about planting echeveria, you can use these tips to transform your house into a beautiful showcase of succulent gardening. Best of luck with your new succulent garden!
In case you didn’t know, echeverias are good for beginners since they grow well indoors and require minimal maintenance.
If you have more questions about planting an echeveria, just leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to help out! Happy planting!