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Avatar for PeriwinklePetals
May 5, 2018 12:45 PM CST

I don't know what to do with my echevaria growing long stems like this. Also they just don't look healthy to me, and I'd like all the advice I can get on making my little guys healthy and happy.

Thanks in advance.

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May 5, 2018 1:39 PM CST
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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How are you currently taking care of your plant? What kind of light does it receive? How much and how often do you water?

I'm not sure what you have is an Echeveria, but it is definitely a close member of the family. The different members of that group do vary in how much stem they can/will grow, from essentially stemless Echeverias to long, sprawling, gangly Graptopetalums that hang over the edge of a pot and then grow along the ground next to it. The stem could be totally normal. I suspect that is the case here.

That said, take a look at the gaps between individual leaf scars along the stem. The distance between successive leaves (internode) ia informative about how the stem growth varies over time. For example the tallest stem in the picture seemed to be in much lower light than it is now when it was very young, based on those scars being much further apart at the base than near the curve or further up. As long as the leaves are relatively close together along the stem, you're providing the right kind of care (especially light) that leaves the plant compact, relative to its own stemless or stemmy normal.

Provide very strong light indoors (the most sun you have available, like right next to a sunny window). Water well (and empty the saucer afterwards), then wait until the soil is dry at depth (maybe a couple of inches anyway) to water again.
Last edited by Baja_Costero May 5, 2018 1:57 PM Icon for preview
Avatar for PeriwinklePetals
May 7, 2018 4:18 AM CST

Well, that explains a lot. These were labeled as echevaria at Home Depot, but the way they were growing didn't match up with anything I read about echevaria. I will have to look into graptopetalums. Thank you!

Right now, I'm keeping them on a small table next to the sunniest window in the house. I only water them about once a week or so.
Last edited by PeriwinklePetals May 7, 2018 4:22 AM Icon for preview
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May 7, 2018 8:35 AM CST
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
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The taller stems look like Sedeveria to me. The lighter colored entity does not. The taller stems look normal & healthy, for being inside.
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May 7, 2018 9:40 AM CST
Oxford UK (Zone 8a)
Graptopetalum paraguayense, a cultivar thereof or maybe a Graptoveria hybrid? Whichever, it has proven to be hardy down to -4°c here. I'm just waiting for it to bloom so that I can get a positive id.
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May 7, 2018 11:04 AM CST
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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Hello PeriwinklePetals, it is always hard to truly id the plant if the label is gone. But nevertheless, one thing you can definitely improve on, make your media much grittier than it is. I use cacti mix and then top dress my succulents with a combination of pumice and/or chicken grit.

My growing area is different than yours and with our milder winter conditions, it allows me to leave them outdoors even in winter. It is a dilemma at times since we get the much needed rains in winter, and getting the succulents too cold and wet is a death sentence. So to improve on it, I have to make the media as gritty as possible. During late Spring, there is improved growth as the plant adjusts more to the increasing warmth, but it will not like being in our scorching sun as summer starts to come about, so they are positioned in part sun/ part shade area. Thankfully we have city trees that provide shade too as the long and very dry summers marches on. The top dressing then helps cool down the roots too, so it is helps my succulents as well. Echeverias for the most part has shallow root systems.

Looking at your current container, looks okay, hope it has drainage holes. Always empty excess water if any in that saucer. If you do decide to trim down your plant, you may want to use a shallower and wider container though.

I see roots already on the exposed stem portion of your plant, you can trim with the exposed roots intact, and place it in a more appropriate media mix. It should grow much better now, since it is ready to take in water through the roots. Echeverias like lots of light, morning sun is very good, and later in the day dappled afternoon sun. If you intend to bring that plant outdoors later on, try to position it first in part shade so the leaves will not burn. If you intend to just keep it in its current location, it is okay, but do expect the plant to do similar etiolation again, it is seeking much more light.

Just showing here a sample of how my echeveria media typically looks like. Sorry for the extra debris showing there, it is Spring wake up time for the trees so my garden has currently been littered a lot by catkins and leaf kernels. Smiling

Good luck on your plants! They still have very good growth potential!

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May 13, 2018 10:30 PM CST
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
My goodness guys/gals, that's a lot of chit chat when the answer is LIGHT- light, sunlight, more sun

watering might be iffy iffy- but they don't get tall stringy like that w/o too much shade

I just put mine outside in NY.. in a week I have sprouts at every node that a leaf fell off of this winter

Your location isn't listed on your profile- do you have an outdoor option?
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