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Echeveria Elegans (Mexican Snowball), is an evergreen succulent up to 1 ft. tall. Recognizable by its ornamental pattern formed with spoon-shaped green leaves, this plant is a perfect garden decoration. Although it’s native to semi-deserts across Mexico, it’s grown in many other subtropical areas.
Characteristic rosettes created with spoonish leaves can be pretty colorful. The main shades are pale green and blue, but this plant can shine with a beautiful bit of pink with a little help from the sun.
It’s good to know that this magnificent Mexican Snowball is the winner of the Award of Garden Marit from the Royal Horticultural Society.
Characteristics of Echeveria Elegans
- Plant Family: Crassulaceae
- Plant Genus: Echeveria
- Common Name: Echeveria Elegans, Mexican Snowball, Pearl Echeveria, Hens, and Chicks
- Native Area: Mexico, North America
- Height: Up to 8 inches tall (20cm)
- Width: Up to 1 foot (30cm)
- Water: Low need
- Soil Type: Loam, sand
- Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
- Seasons: All four (summer, autumn, winter, and spring)
Echeveria Elegans Species
- Echeveria harmsii (dark green leaves with red edges)
- Echeveria agavoides (very dark rosette)
- Echeveria peacockii (pale leaves with a little orange shade)
- Echeveria derenbergii (famous for purple flowers)
- Echeveria nodulusa (leaves decorated with reddish markings)
- Echeveria Perle von Nurnberg (hybrid created with Echeveria Elegans)
Care for Echeveria Elegans
This plant is easy to grow and has no special requirements, but you should still know some dos and don’ts that can help you. It’s ideal for people who don’t have much time or often forget to care for their plants as it’s quite resilient and doesn’t need much attention.
Position and light requirements
Echeveria Elegans is mostly grown outside exposed to full or partial sunlight, so it needs to be planted on a bright spot with at least 6 hours of sunlight per day.
However, those aren’t the best conditions for her healthy development. The most optimal condition for Mexican Snowball is a bright but indirect sun with a bit of shade. Constant exposure to intense sunlight can harm and destroy its leaves.
Even though it contains the word snow in its nickname, Mexican Snowball, Echeveria Elegans prefers warm, summery, and tropical climates. High temperatures aren’t a problem as long there’s a partial shade that protects its rosette.
When it comes to lower temperatures, the maximum that this Mexican gem can handle is 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, this plant is not a fan of cold, so it’s best to bring it indoors during late winter.
Watering and Feeding Echeveria Elegans
Some advice can help prevent overwatering this drought-tolerant succulent. Considering that this is a desert plant, it can spend a certain period without water. However, it needs to be watered once per week when raised in average indoor or garden/outdoor conditions. Before watering, make sure that the soil is completely dry and watch the rosette. It’s always better to pour water over the surface of the soil than over the plant.
Soil for Echeveria Elegans, Mexican Snowball
Echeveria Elegans likes sandy and well-draining soil. Heavy type soils as clay aren’t suitable for its smooth development.
This plant requires excellent drainage, so if you’re planting it in a container, it must have drainage holes so that no water can stay in there.
Advice for pot soil mix:
- use regular potting mix for cacti or succulent
- add sand in the all-purpose soil mix
- make soil at home by mixing perlite and peat moss
Although it can benefit from a quality fertilizer, there is no need to provide food regularly. It’s enough to use your favorite fertilizer on this Mexican gem once during the early to mid-spring period.
Pruning Mexican rose is very rare and often unnecessary because it’s grown chiefly as a groundcover. However, it also can be part of green roofs. In these cases, there’s no need to shorten Mexican Snowball since it doesn’t bother anyone.
The plant planted in a container it can be shorted if it develops high flowers too tall for its location.
The plant can be propagated with leaves or offsets.
Leaf propagation process:
- select healthy and good looking leaf
- remove it with slow twisting motion or use a sharp tool to cut it
- make sure that the whole leaf is removed (if you remove a bit of a stem, it won’t bother)
- the removed leaf has to sit until callous develop
- prepare the soil (well-drained)
- after a couple of days of waiting, place the leaf on the soil
- when the roots are into the soil and the original leaf withered away, the new plant is ready for replanting
There’s another even simpler method that involves using small offsets. Echeveria Elegans produces them around the plant’s base. To propagate a new plant, you only need to remove one offset and let it dry out for two days.
Then, as in the first method, prepare a well-draining pot with appropriate soil and then place dry offset. Again, it’s not advisable to place it too deep in the soil, although the roots must be covered.
Problems With Echeveria Elegans
There are two parasite types that attack this succulent:
This succulent is very resistant to diseases, but these two cases are an exception. Luckily there’s a treatment that can help when this problem occurs.
In most cases, you can just wash it with water to remove the parasite. There are store-bought options as well, although some of them are somewhat expensive.
Regular care and inspection are enough to prevent this from happening.
When is a suitable period for propagation?
The best season for the propagation of this succulent is spring regardless of the method you’ll use. Choosing between offset propagation and leaves propagation is up to you.
Is Echeveria Elegans a needy plant?
Mexican Snowball requires a bit of your time, but it’s generally easy to care for. It doesn’t need regular watering or fertilization.
All you have to do is inspect it regularly to see any change in its flower, leaf, stem, and other parts. This can help prevent diseases.
How many times per month should Echeveria be watered?
As we said, you can water it once or twice per week, sometimes even less, depending on the conditions in which the plant is grown.
Use your best judgment based on the temperature outside. If it’s summer and the succulent is exposed to full sun, it needs more frequent watering.
Where Should I Plant my Mexican Snowball?
These succulents love gardens and rock gardens, so you can leave them outside for the best results. They like hot weather, the sun, and won’t mind the dry soil even if planted in a container.
Still, watch the plants to see if they like the spot or not. As we said, saggy leaves can indicate you’re exposing them to too much sun, in which case you have to move the containers.
Are All Species as Easy to Care for?
Sadly, no. Some of these succulents are more complicated to take care for, but still generally simple to maintain. It usually depends on how good you are with plants and whether you have some experience with succulents.
Of course, it also depends on the conditions, fertilization, the soil in your garden, and the containers you choose if you’re planting them.
Is Echeveria Elegans (Mexican Snowball) toxic for people or animals?
Echeveria Elegans (Mexican Snowball) is a non-toxic and entirely harmless succulent. People and pets are safe around it.
One thing to keep in mind is that it’s not eatable, but no need to worry if your pet chews on it by accident.
Does Echeveria Elegans bloom?
Echeveria Elegans, otherwise known as white Mexican rose, blooms during spring and summer. It develops beautiful pink or yellow flowers on the tip of a stem.
It stays in bloom for quite some time, so you have enough to enjoy and take pictures of the flower.
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Can you notice if you’re overwatering this plant?
It’s essential to check up on your plant for any signs that there might be something wrong with it. There are rules to follow when it comes to watering.
If we overdo it, the first sign is yellow or transparent leaves. You can also tell by the leaves’ texture. If your leaves are too soggy, it usually means you gave it too much water.
Echeveria Elegans, the choice of many because of its beauty and simplicity, is one of the most popular plants from the Echeveria family. It’s recognizable by its unusual pattern and densely arranged leaves.
It shines the most in the spring when it blooms and shows those yellow or pink flowers. Since it’s easy to maintain, it’s part of many beautiful gardens. It also adorns many indoor spaces with its bright flowers.
Although the warm climate suits this succulent, it can thrive in winter when it’s indoors.
There are tips and tricks in the text above that can help you develop beautiful and healthy Echeveria. You will see that it’s not too complicated to care for Echeveria Elegans, and if you succeed, you’ll have a beautiful succulent gracing your house and garden.