Looking like nature’s very own jellybeans, the Lavender Pebbles are some of the most charming and awe-inspiring succulents out there. The Graptopetalum amethystinum gets its name from the purplish hue of its leaves. The Lavender Pebbles are also known as the Moon Stone or Moon Rock plants – Ground control to Major…Pebbles? – and it is closely related to the earthlier Jewel Leaf plant.
These lovely jellies also produce some of the most intricate succulent flowers out there. Their lovely blooms can sprout by the dozens during the blooming season and create a beautiful contrast between the round, plump aesthetic of the plant’s leaves and their sharp, pointy-red petals.
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About Graptopetalum amethystinum
- Lavender Pebbles are native to Mexico and some parts of Arizona, with specialists noting their abundance in states like Durango, Jalisco, and Sinaloa.
- The Jewel Leaf succulent is part of the Crassulaceae family and adheres to the succulent archetypes, storing their water in their leaves, and managing to survive with disparate watering sessions.
- Alongside 150 other species, the Lavender Pebbles are a part of the Echeveria genus.
- The name Graptopetalum comes from the Greek word “graphos” and the Latin “petalum” which are a direct reference to the specks or markings visible on the plant’s flowers, while “amethystinum” refers to the hues of the leaves.
- The leaves of this plant have a powdery finish which can be gently rubbed off to reveal an even more vibrant color, even though this is not particularly recommended as you might end up damaging the leaves.
- Since they are native to the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains, these pebbles can survive pretty harsh conditions however not for a prolonged time, so avoid leaving them in extreme cold.
- The lavender or pinky finish of the leaves is common for new leaves, while older leaves will, more often than not, mature to a shade of green, so do not be worried if your pebbles lose their vibrancy in time.
Lavender Pebbles Features: An Overview
- Lavender pebbles grow in rosettes, usually bunching up from individual stems.
- The rosettes can grow up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter and up to 18 inches in height.
- This plant’s height usually translates to the plant spilling around the pot. When and if this happens make sure to take extra care as the leaves and stems are notoriously easy to break by accident or from the sheer weight of the leaves and flowers.
- The Graptopetalum amethystinum’s flowers are star-shaped and have a specific coloration and pattern.
- The flowers are usually light-colored near the base, with the color ranging from white, cream, or very light yellow. The tips of the flowers are usually solid red or bright red. The red can also be found at the base of the petals distributed and shaped like specks.
- Lavender Pebbles can grow multiple flowers at a time depending on the number of rosettes in your pot. These numbers can reach dozens as, similarly to the leaves, numerous flowers grow on one stem, forming small clumps. They can reach .6 to .7 inches long (15 – 18 mm).
Growing Lavender Pebbles
Graptopetalum amethystinum succulents are relatively easy to grow, and should not be a hassle even for beginners, as they subscribe to all the general rules of succulents. They will do fine both indoors and outdoors. Depending on where you want to place your Pebbles, make sure they are protected from freezing – so if you live in an area where winters are harsher, and temperatures drop below 20 degrees F, you should consider keeping your succulent indoors to avoid permanent damage.
The Lavender Pebbles adhere to the early spring to early autumn blooming calendar, this also being their growth period, and they prefer full sun exposure. If the temperatures exceed 80 degrees F (31 degrees C) and especially if the plant is placed in direct sunlight, you should check on its health from time to time. The easiest way to ensure your plants are healthy and happy is by looking at the leaves. They will tell you whether you should move your pebbles to a less sunny place by turning yellow.
While this succulent is a delight in any garden, it is known to have a few natural pests and it is especially prone to mealybugs. So, if your plant exhibits signs of way fibers or little droplets like honeydew, you should definitely consider a mealybug infestation. Moreover, if your plant appears to be withering away for no apparent reason, check its roots as mealybugs might have reached its roots.
These Jewels have no quarrels with pets, however, due to their fragile nature – rosettes can break off easily. It might be advisable to place them somewhere where they cannot be accidentally knocked over.
Planting and Repotting Lavender Pebbles
A suggestion for planting is to keep the Lavender Pebbles in taller pots if you want to encourage them to spill over the pot and have plenty of room to grow. However, when you first acquire such a plant it will usually come in a smaller container, which can be replaced as time passes by depending on the preferences of the owner.
Conversely, if you want to keep your Pebbles short, you can go through the process of re-rooting – which is exactly what it sounds like. For re-rooting, you will have to bury the stem of the plant deeper in the ground. Depending on the size of the pot, you might have to cut some of the existing roots.
The soil used for Lavender Pebbles potting can be a regular cactus mix – the most important consideration being the drainage ability. As with other succulents, a well-drained succulent and cacti soil mix will ensure the longevity of your Pebbles. Planting and/or repotting should be done in early spring as the Pebbles prefer this time of the year because it precedes the growing season.
Watering Lavender Pebbles
As with any succulent, the Graptopetalum amethystinum is not fussy when it comes to watering. During the growing time, which happens between early spring and early autumn, it will require a bit more water. Check the dryness of the soil and water only when the soil feels dry to the touch. You can also double-check if you’ve watered the plant enough by feeling the soil after a few hours from the last watering and adjust from there. If you find that your pebbles need it, you can also try adding in some liquid succulent fertilizer in these months.
During the winter months, this plant requires little watering. The process will be the same – only water when the soil feels dry, however, this process should happen less often. Make sure you do not overwater this plant as it is prone to root rotting and withering.
In case you do overwater it – there are a few things you can try. You can drain the existing pot and wait for it to dry out or you repot it in new, dry soil. You can also try re-rooting, by cutting the rotted part and placing the remainder of the plant in new soil.
Propagating Lavender Pebbles
Lavender Pebbles are quite straight-forward to propagate since they easily take roots. You can propagate your Jewel Leaves by seed, offset, or even a fallen leaf. Since they are very fruitful bloomers, seeds can be collected from the flowers and sowed. The easiest way to propagate these succulents is by offsets or leaves.
The offset propagation is done by cutting a rosette and placing it in a pot with dry, well-drained soil, and placing it in a half shade environment. You don’t have to bury it in the soil at this stage, you just have to place it on top. Once the roots start forming, you can then place your succulents in the soil. At this stage you want to ensure regular watering – just a few sprinkles will do.
If you have some fallen leaves, or if something happened to the plant and you just have some remaining healthy leaves left, you’re in luck because this plant is easy to multiply from very little. Similar to rosette propagation, place the leaves in a pot with dry soil and wait for it to produce roots. As such, it might come as no surprise that if a leaf falls off under the parent plant it will most likely transform into a new plant.
Graptopetalum amethystinum is one of the rarer succulents to find but is also one of the most attractive. From their round and chunky leaves to their exquisite flowers, they are sure to brighten up any space.
These little colorful jellybeans that are often compared to moon rocks are a great addition to any garden, home, or office. Their visual appeal alongside their versatility will surely bring excitement to any plant lover. You can use them in mixed pots to add an element of interest, or you can plant them in the garden and grow them as a very living pebble blanket. Just make sure you don’t step on them – they’re nowhere near as sturdy as actual pebbles.
Are you growing Lavender Pebbles? Share your experience in the comments below!