Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ – A Beautiful Opalescent Hybrid Succulent


Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ is a beautiful hybrid of Echeveria colorata crossed with Graptopetalum Amethystium with pale blue-green leaves that have a hint of pink tones on the leaf tips and margins and can grow up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall and up to 6 inches (15 cm) diameter.

This hybrid was created in 1988 by succulent breeder Robert Grim in sunny California and became an instant favorite thanks to its undeniable beauty and low maintenance.

Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ is a fast grower and produces clusters of offsets at the base of the mother rosette. In late spring you’ll be able to notice the short, branching inflorescences bearing little yellow flowers with an orange center.

Keep reading this interesting article to find out great tips on how to grow, care for, and propagate Graptoveria ‘Opalina’.

How To Care For Graptoveria ‘Opalina’

If you are a beginner, then Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ is the perfect plant to grow, because it doesn’t require any special care and can survive in many environmental and growing conditions. ‘Opalina’ grows well in pots, container gardens, and hanging baskets.

Light And Watering Requirements

Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ definitely loves the sunlight and with regular sun exposure, you will notice the leaves develop dramatic pink edges, whereas, in the partial sun, the foliage retains a powdery blue-green hue.

If grown outdoors as part of a succulent garden, your ‘Opalina’ should be planted is in an area that gets 6 hours of morning sunlight. During the hot summer months, it’s always a good idea to avoid exposing this succulent to the heat of the afternoon sun as its leaves can get sunburned.

Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ has the same watering needs as most succulents: more often during the summer season and less often during winter when the soil tends to hold on to moisture longer.  Always remember that it is sensitive to overwatering and needs ‘watering with care’, otherwise the roots will rot and the plant will end up suffering from pests and diseases.

The best way to water this succulent is by the ‘soak and dry’ method: you want to water the soil until it is completely soaked and wait until it’s totally dried out before watering again (this may depend on your location and container). It’s also important to keep the succulents in well-draining soil in a pot with a drainage hole to avoid root rot.

Where To Plant Graptoveria ‘Opalina’

Depending on where you live, you can grow your Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ outdoors or indoors.

To grow and stay healthy, this plant needs plenty of light and a temperature of at least 30° F (-1,1 C°), because ‘Opalina’ is not a ‘cold hardy’ and will die in frozen temperatures.

If you live in a very freezing climate, it is best to plant your plant in pots and keep them indoors in a sunny spot such as near a southern-facing window or use grow lights to ensure the right amount of light and warmth, especially during the winter season.

If you want to grow your ‘Powder Puff’ outdoors, plant in an area of your garden that gets 6 hours of sunlight a day.

But remember: although this plant can tolerate high heat and intense sunlight, it’s important to protect it from sunburn to avoid black spots by using an umbrella or a shade cloth during the hottest hours of the day.

Pot And Soil

If you plan to grow your Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ in a pot, it’s important that you choose a terracotta or clay one with drain holes to reduce the risk of overwatering and consequent root rot. Terracotta or clay pots provide a healthy environment for most plants. The porosity of clay allows air and moisture to penetrate the sides of the pot.

That being said, terracotta pots release moisture faster when it’s hot outside, which means you’ll need to water plants more frequently to prevent soil from drying out.

For best-growing results, use well-draining soil for graptoveria ‘Opalina’.  You can use cactus or sandy soil and add gravel at a 1:1 ratio to improve the level of drainage.

If you do need to add some nutrients to the soil, it is best to apply an organic fertilizer at half-strength during the summer season when the plant is actively growing.


When transplanting graptoveria ‘Opalina’ rinse the soil off of the roots and look for any signs of pests or decay. Don’t be afraid to prune roots too – it’s helpful and encourages new growth. Avoid overwatering: during the repotting process, be careful not to soak the plant in water for too long. You should also avoid watering your plant right after you put it in a new pot. Your graptoveria ‘Opalina’ will suffer from root rot if it gets too much water during the repotting process.

Pests And Diseases

Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ tends to be quite a pest and disease-resistant succulent but it can still be harmed occasionally by insects, especially mealybugs and aphids.


Getting rid of mealybugs can be quite challenging since these pests have a wooly protective cover making them resistant to common pesticides. Treat the infestation as early as possible, when only a few insects are observed to keep the plant healthy and avoid contamination of other plants.

With a large infestation, it’s necessary to spray the plants with a 70% rubbing alcohol or isopropyl solution with multiple applications. To completely get rid of these tiny pests it’s necessary to kill and wash off every single one.


Aphids reproduce very quickly. That means you have to act fast to save your succulent from being devoured by these tiny pests.

It’s good to know that you can easily get rid of aphids by using pyrethrum-based sprays. You can spot them by looking at their color: they are usually green, black, brown, and sometimes orange.

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If you are dealing with a small colony, it’s easy to kill them with a toothpick and wash off the plant. It’s a good practice to keep the infected plants separate from the others, to prevent your whole garden to get infected.

On the other hand, when dealing with a larger infestation, it’s essential to use pesticides. However, keep in mind that pesticides can kill lots of beneficial insects and pollinators too, so it’s better to use them as a last resort.

That’s why it’s best to use the pesticide at night when the good insects aren’t flying.

How To Propagate Graptoveria ‘Opalina’

Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ can be easily propagated from offsets and cuttings and leaves.


Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ will produce small offsets, sprouting up around the base of the plant and each one has the potential to root and start a new plant.

This succulent can take over a year to produce pups, and once you spot them, make sure are big enough and have a stalk before you cut them off from the mother plant.

To start this process, use a clean sharp knife and remove an offset from the main plant. Allow the offsets to dry out and callous for a few days. Once they are nice and dry place them on well-draining soil. Once the soil has dried out completely, you can water again, but make sure to not overwater your baby plant.


Alternatively, you can choose to propagate your succulent by using stem cuttings. To do so it’s essential that you cut healthy and young stems from the mother plant, using a sterile, sharp knife or pair of scissors.

Make sure you’re using plant cuttings that you’ve trimmed at an angle of 45 degrees. The cuttings should also be at least six inches, up to 12 inches at most.

Once you have removed the stem, allow it to dry for a few days before placing it on well-draining soil. Once the soil has dried out completely, you can water again, but make sure you avoid overwatering your baby succulents.


Propagating Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ from leaves is quite easy. Make sure to choose healthy leaves from the mother plant for a higher chance of success. Look for full and plump leaves, not dehydrated and flat leaves. Choose leaves that are uniformly colored without any discolorations, spots, or marks. Do not use leaves that are damaged, ripped, torn, or misshapen. Gently remove the leaves from the stem.

Using your fingers, carefully twist off the leaves from the stem with your thumb and forefinger. You’ll notice that some leaves come off quite easily,  whereas others are firmly attached to the stem.

Using a gentle motion, twist the leaf back and forth until it comes off. Make sure to remove the whole leaf, including the base that attaches to the stem otherwise your newly propagated plant will not survive. Before replanting the leaves in the new soil, allow the leaf to dry out for several days to callous over.

When the leaves are nice and dry, dip the ends into the rooting hormone (optional) sticking them cut-side down into a well-draining succulent potting mix. While waiting for the leaf cuttings to root, keep them in a shaded place, away from direct sunlight.

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After almost a month, you’ll notice little pink roots growing from the cut and a new rosette will grow from the base of the leaf. When enough rosettes are grown, it’s time to gently remove the original leaf cuttings from the rosettes and re-pot these last ones in a new container with well-draining soil.

Why Is Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ Growing Leggy And How To Fix It

Graptoveria Opalina can grow leggy or tall if is not receiving enough sunlight throughout the day (at least 4-6 hours): it’s the plant’s way of reaching out in search of more light. You can notice the soft and bendy stem and the foliage color is less vivid than normal. First of all, move the plant to a sunnier spot. Once you increase the amount of light, the plant will slowly recover and will correct its growth, although the stretched-out look won’t disappear right away.

If your Opalina is already over-stretched and leggy, the best solution is to cut the top off and re-plant it as a cutting. Let the part you cut off callus on the end for a couple of days. Then it can be planted in a well-draining potting mix and gradually increase the exposure to the sunlight (the first couple of weeks only weak morning sun, then add a few more hours).

Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ Toxicity

Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ does not appear in the list of plants that are toxic to cats and dogs that appear on the website of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

Final Thoughts

Hope you enjoyed reading this article on Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ and found it comprehensive and enlightening! If you like, feel free to leave a comment or share your knowledge on this topic in the section below.