Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: Black knight echeveria problems

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Name: Diane Mckee
Florida (Zone 10a)
RedSonja
Sep 21, 2016 12:48 PM CST
I'm having major problems with my Black knight echeveria. It doesn't like being outdoors in varying light conditions. It doesn'tlike being indoors in varying light conditions. It hasn't been over watered or under watered and yet it still isn't doing well. Echeverias are not my forte but I love the color and shape of this guy. No stretching but all the lower leaves just kept dying. I've recently beheaded him. He's calloused over and is sending out roots. Also the leaves are propagating. Does anyone have any advice. This plant has literally done a 360 degree roundabout of my house inside and out. Oh and the stem is shooting off plants too. So no root rot. Any advice?
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Sep 21, 2016 1:23 PM CST
My plants have been growing in about half a day of sun without any particular issues (in our mild climate). They seem tolerant of direct overhead sun as long as they get some protection for half the day. The colors are definitely better in the sun.

I do restart mine every couple years maybe as the rosette gets smaller atop the stem. When I root cuttings I leave them outdoors in bright shade, a little morning sun maybe, until there is a visible sign that they are growing again. At that point more morning sun or 50% shade maybe, with gradual adjustments over the course of weeks to months until the young plant can handle a full daily dose of direct sun. You have to baby them when they are little (esp. leaf propagations) but always try to give strong light, never leave them in deep shade. To some extent the plant tells you how it is dealing with the exposure. When it loses the black color it needs more light.

You can grow one of these as an indoor plant but that requires hours of daily sun (an unobstructed south-facing window is great for overwintering). Reflected light indoors is no good on its own. Given these plants can be a little sensitive to too much sun, they are even more sensitive to too little sun. The happy middle ground is where I try to put them.

Is there something about how you are watering or feeding maybe? Or some other aspect of their care?
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Sep 21, 2016 1:27 PM (+)]
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Name: Steve Claggett
Portland Orygun (Zone 8a)
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madcratebuilder
Sep 21, 2016 1:32 PM CST
Full sun has worked best for me. I beheaded this guy about 2 months ago.

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These have gotten a lot of rain, I was concerned about root rot but the soil drys fast and I've been lucky.
Spectamur agendo
[Last edited by madcratebuilder - Sep 22, 2016 7:52 AM (+)]
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Name: Diane Mckee
Florida (Zone 10a)
RedSonja
Sep 22, 2016 9:17 AM CST
I'm pretty sure watering isn't the issue. All of my other echeveria are doing fine outdoors. They are in the front yard where they get morning sun. Eastern facing but there's a huge copperpod tree that filters the light so it's not too strong. Maybe the heat? We've had a brutal spring and summer down here. Over ninety since May. I got this guy in May and I kept him indoors for awhile. He started to lose his color so I figured he needed more light. I slowly acclimated him and he regained his dark color but that's when problems started. Right now the cutting is indoors in a west facing window that gets dappled sun. The stem is outside under the carport and seems to be doing well. unfortunately my south and north sides are in full shade.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Sep 22, 2016 9:18 AM CST
That window sounds like a good location. You could be right about the heat. I have no experience with such things, but have heard horror stories about what happens to Echeverias when they get uncomfortably hot. Smiling

Steve, that is an Aeonium, not an Echeveria... note the fine hairs along the edges of the leaves. The long stems are also a hint. The plant looks like it's really thriving, though.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Sep 22, 2016 9:21 AM (+)]
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Name: Diane Mckee
Florida (Zone 10a)
RedSonja
Sep 22, 2016 12:44 PM CST
Thanks Baja. The little guy is hanging with some haworthia pups and my leaf propagation tray. Everything does well in that location. I guess he is one of those plants that I'll have to over summer. I already keep the semperveviums inside during summer. I know they can't stand the heat. I hope he does well in the winter. I'm really excited because it's only 78 degrees outside. Okay so it's overcast and thundering, but hey. Maybe fall is around the corner.

Steve I love your aeonium. That's the one succulent that I haven't tried yet. I was warned away from them. Supposedly they don't grow well in SoFla. I'm gonna try anyway. Thanks.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Sep 22, 2016 8:24 PM CST
Hey, if you don't mind oversummering, that sounds like an excellent solution to try. I think your main issues with Aeoniums in sunny FL would be the heat but especially the summer rainfall. Another plant you might consider for oversummering? Or maybe one to put under the porch out of the rain? I'm sure there's a way to make it possible. Green Grin!

The black(ish) Echeverias seem to be a bit seasonal in their growth pattern here, where temps are mild. More active in summer and fall, around the time they flower. So you might see a slowdown in coming months, nothing to be alarmed about. Be vigilant for mealy bugs on small plants... they are easy enough to spot because of the contrast.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Sep 23, 2016 12:24 PM CST
Hi Diane, with some of my echeverias, I notice they do a summer rest, and then resume growth when our cooler Fall temps resume or as soon as temps go favorably better than our super hot high 90's to 100's. Just got to take the cue from the way the leaves grow at times. It is not necessarily dying, just at rest. In my area it really helps to put them in part shade. But now it is Fall, so cool temps are back, lots of succulents will be upbeat again.
Name: Diane Mckee
Florida (Zone 10a)
RedSonja
Sep 30, 2016 3:41 PM CST
Thanks guys. The cutting is doing very well. In fact, in the slightly cooler weather, the other echeverias have started taking off. Lots of new crown growth. Fall doesn't really roll around until November down here, but even a couple of degrees seems to help. Unfortunately everyone may have to come in next week. Really bad hurricane heading in our general direction.

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