Mystery Succulent (to me, at least)

by Mike
(Boston, MA)

I am trying to figure out what kind of plant this is, so I can properly care for it. I got it as a gift and it didn't come with a name. Clearly, from the pictures, it is not thriving.

When I purchased it, it had 3-4 long red/purple tentacle-like arms coming out of it with small flowers. They dried and fell off.

I hope you can help me resurrect this poor plant!


Comments for Mystery Succulent (to me, at least)

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Jan 26, 2011
Echeveria hybrid
by: Jacki

Hi Mike, not to worry, you got here just in time! Your plant is some type of Echeveria - there are many that look similar in the trade, and hard to pin down exactly which one you have. Echeveria are a strange plant - depending on the conditions it grows in, it will change it's appearance.

Yours seems to be suffering from too little light. As they originate in warm climates with lots of sun, such as Mexico, they need a good 12 hours of light - either a really bright window, or supplemented with grow lights.

My suggestion to you - which will probably make you cringe - is to behead this guy. Cut off the top part which has the nicest shape, and simply leave it on the top of some really well draining soil - find some bagged cactus mix, or mix regular houseplant mix with 50% by volume of pumice, or even lava rock. I've also used a product called 'floor dry' which is pellets of baked clay - also known as turface - the same way. Many brands of cat litter are made of this, but without investigating the ingredients on the particular brands I can't advise you on that.

Don't discard the bottom part of the stem, as it may shoot out some more small rosettes which can be cut off and rooted in the same way.

Have a look at these pages for more information:

How to Grow Echeveria

Succulent Plants

Succulent Plant Propagation

Feb 07, 2011
by: Mike

Thanks so much! I'll let you know how things go!


May 06, 2011
Mystery Succulent (to me, at least)
by: jacquie

Echeveria "Perle von Nurnberg" with hopelessly too little light stretching instead of rosette-ing.
Snap it in several places, allow to dry for 3 days before planting in a dry well-draining medium for about a week before watering a little. Each leaf will also grow very easily if treated the same way. Must have at least full morning sun to thrive and show off its pink colours.

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