Thursday, January 27, 2011

In Praise of Echeverias--First Time Bloomer

I worry a bit about my succulents all winter long. I tend to think of most of them as tender container plants that must spend the winter indoors, rather than as houseplants. (Sansevieria, Crassula ovata, and Euphorbia are the notable exceptions. As long as they aren't in the dark, those plants really do seem just as happy indoors as they do outside.)

Echeveria can be especially problematic. Some of them get quite leggy, even with the best indoor light. So I especially prize those that don't.

Here is my Echeveria chihuahuaensis, in a picture from last September:

Echeveria chihuahuaensis (I believe) nicely colored up from the sun

The same plant, a few days ago. (The excessively blue tint of the photo is the result of the nearby fluorescent lights.)

The tips of the plant aren't as red as they were in the sun, but the plant is staying nice and compact. And it is getting ready to bloom. There are three stalks: The well-developed one on the left, the smaller, reddish one on the right, and a tiny one near the center that can be seen if the picture is opened full-size. (It is in front of the leaf that is near the largest bloom stalk.) I've heard that the more ordinary Echeveria species (as opposed to some of the fancier hybrids and cultivars) are less likely to get leggy in home conditions. I have no idea if this is true across the board, but I've noticed that like E. chihuahuaensis, Echeveria pulidonis, Echeveria purpurea, and Echeveria lilacina seem to stay compact during the winter.

No comments: