Most of us buy and grow succulents because of their delightful chubby leaves, and interesting textures. Echeveria are some of the most beautiful of all - and then they bloom.
The flowers of Echeveria are produced on a tall arching stalk, generally in a bell or urn shape. Depending on the species, this can be in the summer or through the early fall.
They are triggered into blooming by the intensity of the light they receive, not so much by the day length as many other plants. Temperature also plays a role in it.
In their native habitat (Mexico and South America) they don't respond to a change in the hours of daylight because it's close to twelve hours of day and twelve hours of night so close to the equator.
There are many blooms opening in sequence, taking several weeks to complete the cycle. They start from the end closest to the plant, over about two weeks to give a long lasting display for you to enjoy.
There will be buds at one end of the stalk, waiting to open, while the older ones are drying out.
Generally, Echeveria flowers are pink, peach or orange, but occasionally they are white or off white to yellow tones. Some species also are red. This is one way to identify two very close types; by the color of the flowers.
In addition, the arrangement of the sepals and also any bracts that are in the backs of the flowers can be the determining characteristic.
The insects will enjoy the flowers too - and if you want seeds, welcome them.
Otherwise, you will have to play the role of pollinator, using a paintbrush to transfer pollen from one plant to the other - many plants are self sterile, meaning you will need to have several different plants flowering at the same time for the seeds to be viable.
The flowers of Echeveria will produce seeds in the right conditions. Don't discard the flower stalk once it's done flowering; put it into a paper bag to collect the tiny seeds from it. They are just like dust.
Your propagation career could be waiting.
Once the flowers are done, if you don't want to save seeds from your succulent, cut the stalk off carefully at the base so you don't damage the delicate foliage.
Next year, around the same time, your plant will flower again.
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