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by Jennifer Piarowski
(Albuquerque, NM)


I got this plant from a local nursery. It was classified as a tropical plant. It was doing very well when I purchased it. The nursery tech repotted the plant in a cactus blend soil in a larger pot. That was about a month ago. The plant is now situated in my office where we have full spectrum light. I have been keeping the plant watered as it was suggested to me to do; water when the soil is bone-dry. I’d like to know what it is so I can take care of it better.

The plant has a light purple elongated stem, pink flowers, smaller stems leading to smokey green leaves;

Elongated stem stands about 17 inches from soil to tip. Flower stems extend from main stem top. Stems are light purple to more rose in some areas. Stacks like a palm tree at base. Flowers are light pink from 5 sepal leaves. Shorter stems have bushy succulent leaf poofs.


Drought Smart Plants reply:

Hi Jen, it looks as though your plant is some type of Echeveria, which has bloomed. That’s what the long stem is, and now that it’s finished its bloom cycle, you can cut that part off at the base. Next year, it will again put out the long arching stem, and flower.

I’m concerned that your plant doesn’t seem to be getting enough light. Succulents mostly need bright light, brighter than what they get in a curtained window, so if you have a window that gets full sun all day, that’s the place to put this guy. As you’re in New Mexico, you can pretty well count on the daylight hours being long enough. As these plants originate close to the equator they’ve adapted to 12 hours of daylight, and 12 hours of night. If you can copy this with the light they get from a window that’s great. If not, I suggest a grow light to help get the hours long enough.

Now, on to the size of the pot. It looks as though this plant is in a pot that’s too big for it. This leads to a problem, where the amount of water you give it stays in the soil too long. The good thing about this pot is that it’s shallow, so doesn’t have a excessive soil depth. Succulents especially Echeveria like a shallow pot so the soil can dry out almost completely.

Eventually, the ‘leaf poofs’ as you call them, or rosettes, tend to get too long, and I recommend beheading them. Sorry, it does sound cruel, but it’s the best thing for the health of your plant. The added bonus is that you get more plants! See the page on Succulent Plant Propagation or buy the Succulent Plant Propagation E-Book.

Happy Succulent Growing!


These pages might be useful to look at too:

How to Grow Echeveria

Succulent Care

Succulent House Plants

Comments for Tropical Plant?

Oct 18, 2011

by: Jen

Thanks so much for your insight, Jacki! I am probably gonna take this little guy home today and put him in a window!