Echeverias are popular rose-shaped soft succulents native to semi-desert areas of Mexico and Central America. The leaves are fleshy and have a waxy cuticle on the exterior forming rosettes in gorgeous pastel colors that can grow in a variety of sizes and shapes. Their unique appearance and low maintenance needs make them perfect for succulent gardens, floral arrangements, and terrariums.
Due to their popularity, growers and succulent enthusiasts have crossed the spices and created over a thousand stunning hybridized varieties. Not only Echeverias are beautiful, but also completely pet-safe succulents, and can be propagated from seeds, offsets, or individual leaves. Keep reading this informative article on how to grow echeveria from seeds and you’ll find the whole process very easy: all it takes is time, patience, and the right tools!
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How To Successfully Grow Echeveria From Seeds In 3 Easy Steps
One of the best ways to add new succulents to your existing collection is by propagating them from seeds, especially if are looking to save money. Buying or harvesting seeds is definitely much cheaper than buying mature or rare plants. Growing Echeveria from seeds allows you also to add several succulents at the same time.
Whether you are an experienced gardener or a beginner in the succulent world, you can easily propagate your echeveria from seeds in a few steps.
How do you get Echeveria seeds?
To propagate your Echeveria you can either buy seeds or collecting them from the flowers when the plant is blooming. After it blooms the flowers close up again. At this very moment, they hold tiny seeds in their pods that can be harvested when dry and planted. After the seeds sprout, new plants will develop. Echeveria seeds are black and tiny, so make sure to collect them on a white surface where you easily spot them. Echeverias are polycarpic, meaning that they may flower and set seeds many times over the course of their lifetimes.
Check out this informative video below on how to collect seeds from succulent flowers.
Keep in mind that it will take several weeks for your seedlings to become little rosettes, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results after a few days. Let’s now dive into the super easy 3 step-by-step process on how to grow echeveria from seeds!
Step 1 – Preparing Seeds
To successfully grow Echeveria from seeds, you need to make sure to use fresh seeds. The quality of the seeds is crucial in this process: the fresher they are the more likely they are to germinate. Discard old seeds because they rarely germinate and don’t grow well. Once you have your seeds, it’s time to prepare the soil you are going to use as a substrate. I like to use a mix of soil (60%), grit (30%) and perlite: this mixture gives your seedlings a healthy environment to start rooting in and, at the same time, allows air to flow, preventing possible root rot.
Now, let’s make sure to use the right container for the job. I recommend you to use a 4 inches (10 cm) diameter and 1.5 inches (4 cm) deep terracotta pot with drainage holes. Once you have your pot filled with the substrate soil, it’s very important to sterilize it before germinating to prevent bacteria or other pests from infecting your little seedlings. On the other hand, some growers and succulent enthusiasts prefer to use plastic pots or trays since plastic retains moisture better.
Damp your soil in the water and place the pot in the microwave for 3 minutes or bake in a traditional oven for 45 minutes at 350°F. Pour the substrate into containers, but not all way to the top. Leave at least 0.4 inches (1 cm) of empty space at the top of the container, so that the seedlings that germinated have enough space to grow.
Step 2 – Germinating Seeds
Now you can spread the seeds over the substrate making sure to leave some space between each one. Given the tinyness of the seeds, you can use a dry paintbrush to help spread them apart. Keep the soil moist by covering the pot with plastic wrap or place it into a zipper plastic bag. Place your container out of direct sunlight in a room around 70°F. Remember to keep the container open every day for an hour to allow proper ventilation.
After about three weeks, you should see most of the seeds start germinating. Once the seeds have sprouted and tiny rosettes of leaves are forming, start opening the container gradually so they can get used to the room’s conditions. Keep the soil slightly moist (never let it dry) and provide ample light (but not direct sun)
Once your seedlings start looking like mini Echeverias, water them every 3-4 days, depending on when the soil dries up.
Step 3 – Repotting Baby Echeverias
It’s time to repot your baby Echeverias only when you notice that they are too crammed in. When repotting them, the seedlings should be taken out with a part of the substrate around the roots in order to keep them intact.
How To Care For Echeveria
Now that you have learned how to grow Echeveria from seeds, you might be interested in how to care for it.
Echeveria is an excellent choice for beginners. It doesn’t require any special care and can survive in many environmental and growing conditions. It can be grown both indoors and outdoors. In any case, keep in mind that you will need to provide your plant with proper growing conditions to make it thrive well.
- Light: Echeverias struggle in low light conditions and need to receive bright sunlight for at least 4-5 hours every day to stay healthy, but make sure not to overexpose them to constant direct intense sunlight, otherwise the leaves will develop unattractive sunburn spots.
- Soil: Echeverias require a well-draining, porous growing medium to help keep excess moisture away from the roots. Standard cactus potting mixes are sufficient for Echeverias. Alternatively, you can create your own cactus soil by mixing three parts regular potting soil, two parts coarse sand, and one part perlite.
- Water: Echeverias, like most succulents, do not require much water. You’ll know when it’s time for watering when soil is dry to the touch. I always recommend the ‘soak and dry‘ method: water the soil until it is completely soaked letting the water stream through the drainage holes of the pot. Wait until the soil is fully dried out before watering again (this may depend on your location and type of container). Avoid overwatering because it quickly leads to root rot and the plant will end up suffering from pests and diseases.
Is Echeveria Toxic Cats and Dogs?
Echeveria does not appear in the list of plants that are toxic cats and dogs that appear on the website of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
Hope you enjoyed reading this article on How To Grow Echeveria From Seeds 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.
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