I don’t own many Echeveria, mainly because I find the range available to UK collectors somewhat limited. The Echeveria I do own I pay particular attention to, especially as they stretch so easily when they aren’t getting enough light. I’m currently debating whether or not to give my Echeveria a little summer sun and pop them outside in the garden for the season, as they are in active growth now and will likely really enjoy the extra rays.
One in particular really likes the sun, and that is Echeveria lauii. I hear this one is quite rare – I don’t know if that is true. I bought mine from Southfield Nurseries in Borne, Lincolnshire. Its definitely a pretty Echeveria – a very delicate light blue colour. It hasn’t given me much trouble so far, but even so I may buy a back up when I can. It is native to a particular part of Mexico, Oaxaca (incidently all Echeveria are native to Mexico and central America where they get sun a-plenty)
Name: Echeveria lauii
Common name: Hen and chicks (common name for Echeverias)
Distinctive features: Rosette forming succulent with rounded tips, a distinctive light blue colour and orange flowers
Why I love it: I particuarly like the colour and the shape of the petals, the overall effect is so soft and pretty, it reminds me of the soft natural colours you find on beaches.
Things to watch out for: This Echeveria needs high light levels to do well, which in the UK isn’t easy, because you can’t just plant it out in the garden all year round, in fact this Echeveria is particuarly intolerant to low temperatures, meaning there is a very short time frame you could feasibly let it bask outdoors. I have learnt this the hard way. Below are two pictures of my Echeveria lauii, the one on the left is when I first bought it and the one on the right is how it looks currently only two months on. Given that this plant has been placed directly below a sky light where it gets direct natural sunlight for most of the day, it is interesting to note that it is smaller than when I first got it, because it hasn’t put on the growth you would expect. It also has lost its vibrancy. It hasn’t stetched so clearly the light levels aren’t so bad, but I think if I want this Echeveria to put on some significant growth this season and restore its colour, I need to get it outdoors pronto!
It also shouldn’t be touched as the leaves have powdery coating which is easily marked. You might notice on the picture below that there are a few bruises on the tips of the leaves where the white coating (essentially the plant’s sunscreen) has come off. As with all Echeveria, you also need to make sure there isn’t water lurking within the leaf crevices. When I water, if droplets of water fall in the crevices I immediately blow them off. Try it, its great fun – water droplets can literally bounce off succulents if you blow them off. It’s very satisfying!
So that is Echeveria lauii in a nutshell. Not one for casual fans as it takes quite a lot to keep this one growing well and looking great. I am definitley going to put mine outside for the summer. However if you can persevere and meet its demands, it is a very beautiful succulent to own.
Please do give this post a shout on social media to any other budding succulent fans out there: