This old fashioned plant is making a real comeback in the modern garden. It's durability, versatility and drought tolerance, coupled with year round good looks, make it an ideal plant for lending the finishing touches to any garden.
Originating from Mexico, Echeveria elegans is a short stemmed, clump-forming succulent with rosettes of fleshy, spoon-shaped leaves. The leaves are described as silver-blue in colour, often with a pink to rose-red margin. They are coated with a white powder, which can rub off on the hands when touched. At certain times the whole leaf may change colour to shades of grey and pink. This is especially so in winter when plants are dry and temperatures are cooler. In spring wiry flower spikes up to 30 cm long produce up to 10 rose pink flowers with yellow tips. The flowers are attractive enough, though very definitely a secondary feature of the plant. It is the leaves, arranged in such perfect symmetry, that make the charming little plant so highly desirable.
Pots, containers, window boxes and hanging baskets – no matter how large or small – all benefit from the addition of Echeverias. They can either be used on their own or as mixed plantings, especially with other little succulent plants. An interesting and very effective method of planting up a hanging basket is to cover the entire outside of the wire basket with rosettes of similar size. Simply insert stems from the outside of the basket, through the basket liner into the soil, leaving the leaves on the outside. Once the stems root you end up with an attractive, living ball.