Echeveria Runyonii Guide: How to Grow & Care for Echeveria “Topsy Turvy”

Read our guide to Echeveria Runyonii for everything you will ever need to know! Tips for planting & caring for "Topsy Turvy" succulent
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Of all the different types of succulents, Echeveria Runyonii has one of the most noticeable presences. Also known as Silver Spoons or Topsy Turvy Echeveria, this succulent is a charming and resilient plant that has gratified gardeners for many years. Without a doubt, Echeveria succulents make perfect houseplants, displaying an impressive range of different colors throughout the year.

These succulent plants thrive in rock gardens, Mediterranean gardens, as ground covers, green roofs, borders, and garden beds. Echeverias are also perfect succulents to add to a terrarium.

Echeveria runyonii is one of the 170 Echeveria genera in the Crassulaceae family. It is also known as Topsy Turvy, Mexican ‘Hens and Chicks’, Silver Spoons Echeveria, and Upside-Down Echeveria.

The common name ‘Hens and Chicks’ make sense if you examine the way that the new offsets develop around the mother plant in a tight group. Like most succulents, Echeveria Runyonii plants are very easy to care for, not very picky, and they can easily survive environmental fluctuations.

If you’re interested in learning more about growing and caring for Silver Spoons Echeveria, read on!

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About Echeveria Runyonii

  • This succulent is native to Mexico and it is now one of the numerous Echeveria plant types cultivated around the world. Also known as ‘Topsy Turvy’, Silver Spoons Echeveria is considered one of the most popular and beautiful succulent plants.
  • Silver Spoon Echeverias look brilliant in small containers and dish gardens as well and combined with other succulent plants.
  • When in bloom, echeverias attract hummingbirds, filling your garden with color and life.
  • The American botanist Joseph Nelson Rose described Echeveria Runyonii in 1935 and named it in honor of Texas photographer and botanist Robert Runyon. Runyon had collected the type specimen from a Matamoros garden, Tamaulipas in Mexico, in 1922.
  • Echeveria runyonii was the winner of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society from the UK and the “Plant of the Month” in October 2010, designated by The Garden Path magazine.
  • This succulent is now sold in many retail nurseries and most succulent enthusiasts have at least one Echeveria Silver Spoons in their collection.
  • Echeveria runyonii is an evergreen species of flowering plants, that maintains its green leaves even in the harshest growing environments. Growers rarely have problems with this succulent, except when it is accidentally overwatered or when it has insufficient light. Luckily, these problems can easily be solved and avoided.
  • Silver Spoons Echeverias are not very attractive to deer and rabbits, so you don’t have to worry that your plants will get nibbled on.
  • Even if it is mostly trouble-free, you should always keep an eye out for aphids, mealybugs, and vine weevil, as they might attack your succulents every now and then.
Echeveria Runyonii
Echeveria Runyonii

Echeveria Runyonii Features: An Overview

  • Echeveria Silver Spoons is an evergreen succulent with powdery grey-blue leaves on quite large stemless rosettes that grow up to between 20 and 30 cm (8 and 12 inches) in height and width.
  • The leaves are spoon-shaped, rolled downwards along their length, and curled up slightly to give a bowl effect.
  • This succulent produces remarkable rich-colored flowers in a graceful double shepherd’s crook flower stem.
  • This type of Echeveria succulents produces yellow and orange flowers on top of an arching, long inflorescence. The blossom time of this plant is during the spring season and late summer season.
  • Silver Spoons Echeveria is quite similar to ‘Hens and Chicks’ as they have almost the same growing habits. A central rosette that will end up setting baby plants around it by short stolons.
  • Echeverias share the same common name as sempervivums “Hen and Chicks”, which can be quite confusing, especially if you’re not familiar with these varieties of succulents.
  • To sum up, Echeveria Silver Spoons isn’t Sempervivum but has similar growth habits. It is a fast-growing ‘Hen and Chicks’-like perennial with thick silver foliage that is curled at the tips. A good choice for mixed containers.
  • Silver Spoons Echeveria is non-toxic to humans and animals.

Growing Echeveria Runyonii

Even though Echeveria Runyonii is robust and easy to grow, it is not a fan of dark and soggy environments, so make sure to place it in a dry and sunny location.

This ‘Topsy Turvy’ succulent plant is native to Mexico, and as a result, it does best in warm and loves sunlight. It needs bright light to maintain its rosette color and shape. The good news is that this versatile succulent will also tolerate partial shade.

Echeveria runyonii can grow in full sun on windowsills facing north. But when placed on south-facing windowsills, it might get a bit too much harsh sunlight. So make sure it has some light shade in summer when the sun shines brightly. In general, these succulents will grow healthy and happy near a sunny window.

 Echeveria runyonii Topsy Turvy
Echeveria runyonii “Topsy Turvy”

Whether you’re growing your Echeveria succulents indoors or outdoors, choose a location that gets sunlight in the morning and late afternoon. Succulents don’t like to receive direct sunlight in the early and mid-afternoon, particularly during the summer. Excessive heat can damage their delicate leaves, so it is best to provide shade during heatwaves.

The ideal temperatures for Echeveria Silver Spoon succulents are between 18°C and 21°C (65°F and 70°F). These plants are not cold-resilient and don’t usually survive a hard frost. However, they can survive small amounts of frost without suffering too much damage. Temperature fluctuations will not damage Echeveria runyonii succulents permanently, but they will put a pause on the plants’ growth process.

Planting Echeveria Runyonii

Echeveria Silver Spoons succulents require quick-draining soil since they are adapted to growing in tiny crevices in rocky lands. It is best to select a sandy soil, like a succulents or cacti potting mix with good drainage.

These succulents can grow in any type of pH, from acidic to neutral or alkaline if the environment and growth conditions are appropriate.

Since Echeveria Silver Spoons do not grow very big, repotting isn’t needed very often. However, if you decide to move your succulent to a new pot or to transplant it outdoors, allow the soil to fully dry and then gently pull off the plant. Shake off the excess soil, cut off any root damage, and transplant the succulent to the new spot.

The active seasons for Echeveria Runyonii are spring and summer and it’s best to repot or transplant them in spring.

Echeveria runyonii, From Amazon

Watering Echeveria Runyonii

Echeveria runyonii is not very picky, and like most succulents, it does not take offense if you forget to water it sometimes. It is water sensitive, therefore it is recommended to utilize the ‘soak and dry’ technique. This means that you should make sure the soil dries out between waterings.

When you water your Silver Spoons Echeveria, give it a good soak, until the water passes through the soil and comes out the drainage holes. Allow the plant a few minutes to absorb more water from the draining tray and then throw away the excess water.

You should be careful because overwatering may result in rotting or fungal disease.

Water regularly in spring and summer when the temperatures are rising and when the Silver Spoons succulents are growing. Don’t water the plants that grow outdoors plants in winter, as they need to rest. Never let water linger in the rosette because this might lead to fungal diseases or rot that will easily destroy the plant.

Being an easy-to-care-for succulent, Echeverias are self-pruning. The only care they need is to occasionally wipe the dust off with a damp cloth and to remove any dead leaves or flowers from around the bottom of the plant, which will otherwise, attract pests.

Feed your Echeveria Silver Spoons during the spring using a diluted succulent plant fertilizer. For the younger plants, use a fertilizer with a reduced quantity of nitrogen.

Propagating Echeveria Runyonii

There are three main propagation methods for Echeveria Silver Spoons: using stem cuttings, leaf cuttings, or through offsets.

First and foremost, make sure you’re carrying out the propagation process during the spring, which is the beginning of the growth season.

If the plant is overgrown and mature, the thicker rosettes should be cut off using a sharp knife. The cuttings must be dried off by placing them in a shady spot for several days. After that, place the cuttings in well-draining, moist soil.

Propagating Echeveria succulent from offsets is very simple.  Echeverias abundantly produce offsets that quickly surround the mother-rosette. It is easy to gently pull them away and replant them in individual pots. Position the pots with the newly planted offsets in a location where they get direct sunlight for at least 6 hours every day. It is very important that you separate and propagate the offsets in spring.

Echeveria Runyonii also known as Topsy Turvy or Blue Prince
Echeveria Runyonii also known as Topsy Turvy or Blue Prince

For indoor-grown Echeverias, place the new plants in a spot where get plenty of sunlight, ideally near or on the windowsill.

Like with most succulents, it is best to allow the soil to dry completely before division and to let the new plants recover from the separation shock for a few days before watering them. You can use a rooting hormone to give the new plants a boost of nutrients. This will help them handle the separation from the mother plant and encourage growth.

Echeveria runyonii can also be propagated from seeds, but this method is more difficult than the ones mentioned above.

In Conclusion

Whether you call them Topsy Turvy, Mexican Hens and chicks, Silver Spoons, or by their scientific name, Echeveria runyonii, these succulents will make a beautiful addition to your outdoor garden. They will also thrive when planted in containers and kept indoors, so they are perfect for tiny apartments as well.

The Silver Spoons cultivar from the Echeveria species has silvery spoon-shaped leaves forming beautiful rosettes. The leaves bend down along their length but point upwards at their top making runyonii one of the showiest succulents you can grow.

Echeverias are perfect gifts for friends and family, even if they are not yet familiar with growing succulent plants. They are almost impossible to kill, so they are very easy to care for. Once you adjust their environment, your Silver Spoons Echeverias will thrive, rewarding you with offsets and flowers.

Are you growing Echeveria Silver Spoons? Share your experience with us in the comments!

Miruna Secuianu

Miruna is an experienced content writer with a passion for gardening. She is the proud owner of an outdoor rose garden and an indoor collection of tiny succulents. She bought her first succulent 10 years ago - an adorable Echeveria Setosa. Now she owns more than 100 succulents and cacti of different colors, shapes, and sizes. Miruna is a versatile writer and, as you might have guessed, her favorite topic is gardening. Contact

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