Mexican Firecrackers (Echeveria setosa) are rosette-forming succulent plants native to Mexico. They share many similarities with other Echeveria; the iconic small rosettes with the grey-green fleshy leaves look the same at first glance. But look closely, and you’ll find fine white threads emerging from all over the plant, giving it a fuzzy appearance. Depending on different cultivation conditions and varieties, the fuzz on the leaves can be so thin that it’s barely visible or be so thick it’s immediately apparent.
In late spring, the long stalks about a foot high emerge from the rosettes bearing buds that bloom into flowers. The flowers usually have deep red petals tipped with shocking yellows and don’t open all the way, even when in full bloom. This is also what earns them their nickname, Mexican Firecrackers.
- Echeveria setosa Main Characteristics
- Echeveria Setosa Care
- Propagating Echeveria setosa
- Potting and Repotting Echeveria setosa
- Common Pests
- Common Problems
- Everything You Need to Know About Mexican Firecracker Plant (Echeveria Setosa) Video
Echeveria setosa Main Characteristics
|Common Name||Mexican Firecracker, Firecracker Plant, Hens and Chicks|
|Botanical Name||Echeveria setosa|
|USDA Hardiness Zones||9 to 11|
|Mature Size||Height: up to 2 inches; Spread: up to 12 inches|
|Bloom Time||Spring, Summer|
|Propagation methods||by cuttings, by offsets|
|Sun||Full sun to Part shade|
Echeveria Setosa Care
The flowers of the Mexican firecracker Plant are very showy and make a bold statement in any garden or landscape. They are also easy to propagate, so it is easy to increase your collection. They are also drought-tolerant and relatively pest-free, making them great for xeriscaping or low-maintenance gardens. With their striking colors and easy care, these succulents are sure to be a favorite addition to any garden!
Light and Location
Mexican firecracker Plants do best in full sun to part shade. They can handle a fair amount of direct sunlight, but too much or too intense can cause the leaves to burn. Partial shade will help keep the colors looking their best.
Watering and Fertilizing
Mexican firecracker Plants don’t need a lot of water and can easily be over-watered. An excellent way to tell if they need water is to check the soil- if it’s completely dry, then they need water. Drainage holes are a must as they facilitate the water leaving the pot as soon as it enters. This makes sure it doesn’t stagnate and stand in the pot.
Mexican firecracker Plants are semi-desert plants and can handle the high temperatures of summer with ease. In fact, they prefer it! However, they may not do as well if the temperatures dip too low in winter. You can keep the pot outdoors but move it inside if your winters are too cold (below 40 degrees Fahrenheit).
Echeveria setosa doesn’t like high humidity and will start to show signs of distress if the humidity is too high. So if you live in a humid area, provide some ventilation or move the pot outdoors.
Fertilize Echeveria setosa during the growing season (spring-fall) with a cactus fertilizer diluted to half strength. Do not fertilize during the winter months. Fertilization is optional; these succulents will thrive without it just as well.
Propagating Echeveria setosa
Propagating Echeveria setosa is easy and can be done with either cuttings or offsets. To propagate by cutting:
- Take a cutting from the parent plant in late spring or early summer. (Both stems and leaves can serve this purpose).
- Use a clean knife and allow the cut end to heal for a few days.
- Then, plant the cutting in a well-drained succulent mix and water sparingly.
- Keep the soil moist but not damp and provide bright, indirect light.
To propagate by offsets:
- Remove an offset from the mother plant in late spring or early summer.
- Use a sharp, sterile knife to make a clean cut right where the offset attaches itself to the mother plant.
- The offset will have to be allowed to callus over for a few days. Then, you can plant it in a well-drained succulent mix.
- Water sparingly and keep the soil moist but not wet. Provide bright, indirect light.
Potting and Repotting Echeveria setosa
Mexican firecrackers can be potted in a variety of pots and containers. They prefer a pot with good drainage, so they don’t sit in water. You can use a soil mix specifically for cacti and succulents or make your own by combining 1 part potting soil, 1 part sand, and 1 part perlite or vermiculite.
Echeveria setosa will grow slowly and may not need to be repotted for a few years. But these plants produce offsets easily, and they can crowd out a pot surprisingly fast if given a chance. If you haven’t been propagating using these offsets, chances are they’ll fill out the empty space in a container and force you to repot. Choose an appropriately sized container, taking into account the spread of the offsets before replanting.
Mexican firecracker Plants are mildly toxic. The fuzz on the leaves is known to cause slight skin irritation if touched. Wear gloves.
Echeveria setosa are generally pest-free. However, they can be attacked by mealybugs and aphids. In rare cases, vine weevils can also become a problem. If you notice any pests, treat them with horticultural oil or insecticidal soap. But if the problem persists, you might have to resort to more drastic measures.
Mexican firecracker Plants can be prone to root rot if they’re overwatered. Keep the soil moist but not wet, and make sure there is good drainage. The only way to check if the plant has root rot or not is to lift up the plant from its container and take a direct look at the roots. If they’re black and mushy, it’s rot. Depending on the severity, you might be able to save the plant. Cut off the affected roots and repot the plant in fresh soil. Don’t water for a week or so to let the plant get adjusted to its pot.
Is the Plant Turning Leggy?
This can be caused by too little sunlight. Move the plant to a brighter spot. Increase how much sun it gets every day. Use grow lights if the natural conditions aren’t enough.
Leaves Turning Brown?
If the leaves begin turning brown, it could signify too much sun. Adjust the exposure of the plant accordingly. Remember, sudden changes in the environment can cause plant stress, so it might worsen before it gets better.
Everything You Need to Know About Mexican Firecracker Plant (Echeveria Setosa) Video
“Mexican Fire Cracker – Echeveria setosa var. ciliata” by Björn S… is marked with CC BY-SA 2.0.