by Julia

Bought from someone at a crafts fair. Was told to water it once a week and give it lots of sun, so I kept it inside on the window sill.

It has smooth green leaves with red tips. Stems are growing out from the plant. Reddish buds are blooming from the stems. The red buds have five leaves that resembles a starfish when it’s not open.

Thinks it might be an Echeveria or aeonium.

  1. Do I need to prune it? The stems too?
  2. How can propagate them if it’s possible?
  3. If it dies after flowering, can I just cut off the flowering stem to prolong life?
  4. Does it need a bigger pot for growth?

Hi Julia – good news! What you have appears to be an Echeveria, which are one of my favorite succulents of all time.

I can’t tell you exactly which kind you have, there are thousands, and all equally gorgeous.

So to answer your questions:

1: You won’t need to prune it unless it gets a long lanky stem with the rosette of leaves on the top of it; I recommend learning about how to behead them (it’s not as hard as it sounds – see below!)

2: They are easy to propagate from a single leaf; you can learn how to do this easily, even if you’re not an experienced grower. See below!

3: These plants are ‘polycarpic’ which means that they live on after flowering, and don’t die like some others in the same family (Sempervivum are monocarpic, and will die after blooming). You can safely enjoy the flowers until they start to fade, and then cut off the stem at the base.

4: Once it finishes blooming, you can repot it into a bit larger pot; make sure you use some really fast draining soil mix; you can see more about what I recommend here: succulent soil.

Learn more about how to grow Echeveria here.

Hope that helps,

PS: buy the book for all you need to know about growing more Echeveria:

Wanting to learn more about Succulent Plant Propagation?