The Mexican hens and chicks plant (Echeveria elegans) is a perennial succulent plant in the Crassulaceae family, native to Mexico. It has been introduced as an ornamental garden plant in other countries. It looks gorgeous when grown in pots or garden planters.
This plant forms tight clumps with a distinct rose-like shape like a flower in full bloom. The actual flowers are tiny. They grow from thin stems that extend out from the core of the leaf clumps. The fleshy leaves are green to bluish-green. In contrast, the flowers range from white to pinkish-red and bloom during spring and winter.
- Echeveria elegans Main Characteristics
- Mexican Hens and Chicks Care
- Propagating Echeveria elegans
- Potting and Repotting Echeveria Elegans
- Common Pests
- Common Problems
- Best tips for keeping your Mexican Hens and Chicks (Echeveria Elegans) plants healthy indoors (Video)
Echeveria elegans Main Characteristics
|Common Name||Mexican Gem, Mexican Hens and Chicks, Mexican Snow Ball, White Mexican Rose|
|Botanical Name||Echeveria elegans|
|Synonyms||Echeveria potosina, Echeveria albicans|
|Native Range||Northeastern Mexico|
|USDA Hardiness Zones||9 to 11|
|Mature Size||Height: 10 cm, Width 50 cm|
|Bloom Time||Spring, Winter|
|Propagation methods||by division, by seeds, by cuttings|
|Sun||Full Sun to Partial Shade|
|Soil||Occasionally dry, Well-drained|
Mexican Hens and Chicks Care
For decades, the White Mexican Rose has been popular among houseplant enthusiasts due to its ability to survive in dry conditions with little maintenance. Like most other succulents, they love to grow in sub-tropical climates but can survive harsher weather. Although caring for these plants is relatively straightforward, they still need to be attended to. These are the key factors:
Light and Location
Proper lighting is essential for this type of plant for satisfactory growth. Place it in direct sunlight for around six hours a day with partial shade the rest of the time.
Rock gardens are the perfect fit for these plants. However, you can also choose to plant them in a shallow pot on a deck or patio if you meet the lighting requirements.
The watering of a Mexican Rose depends on various factors such as the size of the pot, the plant’s health condition, and the time of year. However, here are some general rules you need to stick by.
- It is best to water this plant once a week or every other week in autumn, spring, and summer.
- You may water it once every two weeks in winter as you need less water in winter.
- The pot’s soil should be completely dry before you start watering it again (Check the first inch with your finger).
- Make sure that the pot is well-drained.
- Never over-water the plant because it may cause root rot and kill the plant. And don’t mist the leaves.
White Mexican Roses like to grow in sub-tropical conditions. The optimal temperature range is 10–24ºC (50–75ºF). Any lower, and you start having problems.
This plant will not survive freezing, so if you live in a colder climate with an intense winter, it is best to bring your plant inside during the colder months. Though it can tolerate temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit, prolonged exposure is unhealthy.
While it can tolerate wetter climates, it prefers to grow in dry conditions, like other succulents. And since it doesn’t require high humidity to thrive, it’s drought-resistant.
Fertilizer is not necessary for this plant to grow, but it can help to produce more flowers and lush foliage. If you choose to use fertilizer, make sure to use a standard one diluted to quarter strength. Fertilize your plants every four weeks during the growing season.
Propagating Echeveria elegans
There are two recommended ways to propagate Echeveria elegans. You can either take leaf cuttings from the plant or divide the offsets or “pups” that the plant produces. You can also use seeds but getting to the mature size takes so long that most gardeners do not recommend it.
Division: Echeveria elegans generally produces pups or offsets that can be divided up and replanted. Simply pinch and pull, and they should come right off the mother plant. Once the wound has healed, plant in fresh soil and wait for roots to form.
Leaf Cutting: Cut off a leaf using a sharp knife. Bury the part that was closest to the roots into the potting soil. It should be moist, not wet. Press the soil down to ensure it stays in place. Wait for the cutting to root itself in the new soil, which may take several weeks. Once regrowth begins to show, you’ve successfully obtained a new plant. (Both leaves and other types of cuttings use the same method for propagation.
Potting and Repotting Echeveria Elegans
When potting or repotting White Mexican Roses, you should use a soil mix specifically for cactus and succulents. This type of soil mix is available at most garden centers. Using a soil mix that drains well is essential, as these plants do not like wet soil.
If your Echeveria elegans is growing too large for its current pot, you can repot it into a larger pot. Be sure to use a pot with drainage holes to dry out the plant’s soil between waterings. Repotting is best done in late spring or early summer when the weather is warm. In winter, these plants go dormant, and there is a high chance the roots lost during repotting won’t recover.
The Mexican hens and chicks plant is generally quite safe. It is non-toxic to humans, dogs, cats, and horses.
Aphids and mealybugs are common pests to this plant, often found on the undersides of the leaves. Use insecticidal soaps, neem oil, or rubbing alcohol to get rid of them.
Also, look out for vine weevils; they are tiny little critters that like to dig into the roots, especially the grubs. When they reach adulthood, they start feasting on the leaves, but it’s too late for the roots by that point. So remember to check early!
Dry, crispy leaves at the base?
It’s part of the natural life cycle of the leaves. They’re dying off to make way for new growth. Peel them off gently, and they should come right off.
Bleached or brown patches on leaves?
Too much exposure to the hot sun could have caused the leaves to burn off. Move to a shadier spot if that’s the case. It could also be due to moisture residue on the leaves, either due to being left out during the rain or a defective watering method. Remember! Only water the roots, don’t let the leaves get splashed.
Yellow, translucent, or soggy leaves?
Too much water is the most likely culprit. Reduce the watering frequency and rethink your schedule. It’s better to water less than to water more.
Your plant is suffering from underwatering. Just because it’s a succulent doesn’t mean it can sustain itself without water. So give it a little water every day until the leaves become plump again.
Best tips for keeping your Mexican Hens and Chicks (Echeveria Elegans) plants healthy indoors (Video)
How to grow Echeveria elegans from seed?
To propagate Echeveria elegans by seed:
1) Fill your container or tray with potting soil and scatter the seeds on top.
2) Water the seeds lightly, and then place the container in a sunny location.
3) Keep the soil moist until the seeds germinate.
Seed propagation should be done in the early spring after all danger of frost has passed. For seeds to germinate successfully, they need three key factors: water, sunlight, and warmth.
How to cut Echeveria elegans?
Cutting an Echeveria elegans is essential to propagate by division, which is the recommended method to grow new plants. Use a sharp, sterile knife and make a quick, clean cut across the leaf. Make sure to bury the cutting wound-first into the soil. Then wait for the roots to grow.
How to plant Hens and chicks in a pot?
When potting your Echeveria elegans, you will want to use a soil mix that drains well. You can buy or make your own loam-based compost with extra grit to serve as the potting mix. You will want to pot your succulent in a pot with a drainage hole so that water can escape and the roots will not get wet. A clay pot is ideal because it helps to keep the soil moist.
How often to water Hen and chicks plant?
You want to water this plant lightly when it is growing season (spring, summer, autumn) and not at all in winter. Before watering, make sure that the top layer of the soil is dried out, as overwatering is a major concern.
“Echeveria elegans” by Mauricio Mercadante is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
“絕大多數時候看到的星影都是綴化，八月中旬在日光特別挑了一顆看起來沒綴化（沒那麼嚴重）的，發現葉子被我養的好肥，跟厚葉月影可以拼一下，畢竟她們是親戚。這盆是底下一圈寶寶，但是盆子還有空間就不想換了，看到她這樣就覺得是貴婦人。Echeveria elegans ‘Potosina’ #星影 #月影系列 #多肉 #多肉植物 #多肉ちゃん #景天 #園藝 #succulent #succulents #plant #garden #cactus #cactaceae #taiwan #taichung #ec” by clowkero is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0