I have a couple of types of echevaria, and they are both looking kind of sad lately. One of them is what I have always been told is a “hen and chicks” and all of the chicks have died and the other type I have looks wrinkly. I am wondering if it is because they have too much sun? because that is the only different factor, but it seems odd to me that they wouldn’t like the sun…
Hi Colleen, wow, here’s where some pictures really would help, but here goes:
If you really are referring to Echeveria, not Sempervivum which also go by the common name of hens and chicks, then there could be something else going on here besides the exposure.
Yes, they should like full sun, that’s where they have evolved. If these are in containers, sometimes the type of container is a factor – the thing that sometimes happens is that the container holds too much heat, and damages the roots – in some cases it’s not really evident until they have chicks, which are more susceptible to damage from this.
Move the container if that is an option to somewhere that gets morning sun, and shade or semi shade in the afternoon. This might make all the difference.
If these are in the garden, one thing that you might check is if there has been lime applied recently. Echeveria don’t like lime in their soil.
If possible, take one out of the soil and see what the roots look like. If they’re pink or white, this indicates that the plant is healthy. Dark, black, shriveled or non-existent roots indicate a major problem. There is a chance that they have root rot or other fungal issues, so you will have to cut them off above the crown, and let them re-grow their roots. You will be amazed at how this rejuvenates them.
Keep in mind that the soil (new, clean, pasteurized soil, no manure or lime in it, with lots of drainage in the form of pumice or perlite) must be dry. It’s so counter intuitive that this is where most succulent plant problems arise.
Hope this helps get your plants back on track,