Succulents have been quite popular over the past few years and for some very good reasons! They are very cute, come in many colours, shapes, and sizes, and don’t need too much attention. If you don’t have a passion for succulents yet, that will change as soon as you meet the superb specimen Echeveria lilacina a.k.a. Ghost Echeveria. This colourful succulent is beloved by gardeners and succulent lovers worldwide due to its easy-going nature unique overall appearance.
Echeveria lilacina is often referred to as Ghost Echeveria or Mexican hens and chick. This lovely species of flowering succulents belongs to the Crassulaceae family and is native to Mexico, being quite common in the Nuevo Leon state. It grows mostly in rocky areas and thrives at pretty high elevations.
Ghost Echeveria is a stunning addition to every succulent collection, but you can grow it even if you are a beginner gardener. Especially if you are a big lover of pastels! Besides its enchanting rosette of leaves, this succulent is a super low-demanding ornamental plant. It can thrive in a wide range of lighting conditions, temperatures that are more on the warmer side, and well-draining soils. Furthermore, like most species of succulents, Ghost Echeveria needs little to no water to grow healthy and happy.
About Echeveria Lilacina
- With its spectacular pastel rosettes and lovely flowers, Echeveria lilacina was the winner of the reputable Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.
- Ghost Echeveria has succulent leaves that can store impressive amounts of water. Thanks to this feature, the plant is fairly tolerant of drought for long periods, making it an excellent start-up for forgetful growers or beginners.
- Echeveria lilacina comes with several other hybrids that look amazing. In cultivation, the most irresistible cultivars are Echeveria ‘Lilac Dream’, Echeveria ‘Lola’, Echeveria ‘Moondust’, and Echeveria ‘Orion’.
- Ghost Echeveria is a wonderful addition to various landscape decorations. This plant will look fabulous in rock gardens, desert gardens, succulent gardens, small beds or borders, and containers.
- Echeveria lilacina can make for eye-catching companion plants to numerous ornamental species. The most gorgeous companions include Blue Chalksticks, Hens and Chicks, Paddle Plant, Sedums, and other Echeverias such as Perle von Nurnberg, Black Prince, Elegans, Runyonii, etc.
- The leaves of Ghost Echeveria contain a wax that can be pretty toxic to both animals and people if touched or consumed. For the safety of your furry friends or curious children, it is best to keep this succulent in a spot where they cannot reach it.
Echeveria Lilacina Features: An Overview
- This plant belongs to the Echeveria genus that contains about 150 species of succulents. Some other attractive species from this genus are E. carnicolor, E. colorata, E. elegans, E. laui, E. minima, E. nodulosa, E. purpusorum, E. setosa, and E. shaviana.
- Echeveria lilacina is an evergreen perennial succulent. It is a slow-growing succulent that produces a rosette that can reach up to 6 inches (15 cm) in height and up to 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter.
- Its flat, perfectly symmetrical rosettes consist of many small, fleshy, succulent, slightly chubby, and spoon-shaped leaves. The rosettes mainly come in silvery-grey to bluish-grey tints adorned with some beautiful lilac to coral-pink notes on each leaf.
- The blooming period of Echeveria lilacina can last from late winter through early spring. During this period, it displays a raceme inflorescence of lantern-shaped, pale pink to coral flowers on up to 6 inches (15 cm), arching, reddish stems.
- In general, Ghost Echeveria remains a solitary specimen. With time, however, once it becomes very mature, the succulent can send some tiny, cute offsets around its base.
Growing Echeveria Lilacina
If you want to win the heart of your beloved Echeveria lilacina, you will have to pay attention to its behaviour and very few demands. Although it is a relatively low-maintenance succulent, this buddy will expect to meet its particular growing and environmental requirements. But do not panic, as Echeveria lilacina is not as fussy as it meets the eye!
Ghost Echeveria, like most species of succulents, does well in those locations where it can receive lots of bright and direct light. Still, depending on the climate, this succulent can tolerate a wide variety of lighting conditions outdoors. While the plant thrives in full sunlight in milder climates, it will need protection from harsh, afternoon sunlight in a region with too hot weather.
For the best performance in indoor settings, place your succulent in the brightest area you can find inside your house. In general, south, west, or north-facing windows should easily provide at least six hours of full sunlight daily. In case you do not have this certain exposure, you will need to keep your Ghost Echeveria under an artificial grow light.
Temperature-wise, Echeveria lilacina is hardy only in the USDA zones 9b through 11b. This desert-native succulent prefers hot, dry climates overall and cannot handle frost at all. If you do not live in the hardiness areas of Echeveria lilacina, it would be wise to grow yours in a pot and bring it inside in autumn. We also recommend you avoid keeping this plant in an overly humid location.
Ghost Echeveria has no major problems regarding pest infestations and diseases. However, some intruders like aphids or mealybugs may still bother your plant from time to time. If you notice any sign of infestation, you can get rid of the pests by applying insecticidal soap or neem oil regularly until they become past tense.
Planting Echeveria Lilacina
Since Echeveria lilacina is sensitive to over-watering and susceptible to root rot, you should plant it in a substrate that comes along with very sharp drainage. This succulent grows at its best in sandy soil that is low in organic matter but can also withstand rocky soil types. The perfect growing medium for Echeveria lilacina is the well-known commercial mix designed for cacti and succulents.
Ghost Echeveria is a relatively light-feeder that does just fine without regular applications of fertilizers. In fact, rich soil or too much fertilizer can affect the overall health of your adorable succulent. Because of this, you must feed your Ghost Echeveria with a balanced, low-strength fertilizer only once every year in early spring after a nice touch of water. Likewise, you can use a fertilizer created specifically for succulents and cacti.
Echeveria lilacina tends to grow at a fairly slow pace and enjoys the feeling of being rootbound in its container. The only time when you will need to repot your succulent is when it begins to outgrow its pot, usually once every two to three years in autumn. Look for a pot that is one size larger than the current one and fill it with fresh soil. Transplant your Echeveria lilacina carefully, then water thoroughly to help it settle faster in its new home.
Watering Echeveria Lilacina
Excellent news, gardener! Once established, Echeveria lilacina becomes very tolerant of drought for prolonged periods. If you are new to the succulent world, you should know that it is always much better to under-water your Echeveria than spoiling it with drinks too often. Likewise, in case you live in a zone where you can grow your succulent outdoors, you can just forget about watering it for good. It will typically get all the needed moisture from rainfalls.
Since the watering needs of Ghost Echeveria can vary depending on the region and weather, you will have to adopt a certain watering routine. The most popular approach is generally the soak and dry method. Make sure you water your succulent only when its growing medium has dried out completely. If the substrate is dry but you are not sure if you should provide your plant with another drink, you can wait a few more days before watering it.
Propagating Echeveria Lilacina
We know, Echeveria lilacina is so cute and easy-going that it is absolutely normal to want more specimens around to keep you company! Luckily, this succulent responds nicely to various propagation techniques, such as leaf cuttings or offsets. While the first method requires more time to show some results than the second one, both are super simple to go through.
Mature Ghost Echeverias will generally send offsets from their base, gifting you a great opportunity to use them as propagation material. For optimal results, you must separate the offsets from the mother plant in spring with a clean knife. After this step, you can transplant the offsets wherever you feel like it and treat them as individual Ghost Echeveria.
If you want to propagate your Echeveria lilacina using leaf cuttings, we suggest you do it in either spring or early summer. Look for healthy succulent leaves and carefully remove them from the plant with bare hands or a sharp, sterilized knife. Once you have the tiny leaves, place them on a paper towel in a shaded area for a few days until the cut ends harden off a bit.
After this period, all you have to do is place the leaves just above fresh soil and provide with water every couple of weeks, but only when you notice some tiny pink roots showing up. In general, the leaves should show some signs of root developing after several months or so. If you do not see any sign of growth, do not discourage yourself! Even the most experience succulent growers can fail to propagate it sometimes!
When you are a big fan of succulents as we are, it is absolutely impossible to resist the innate charm of Echeveria lilacina a.k.a. Ghost Echeveria. And if you want to spice things up this year, believe us, this succulent is a must-have in your collection!