Flowering Succulents – Echeveria

Flowering Succulents – Echeveria

buy succulents onlineWe are learning that the best way to accurately identify a succulent is by looking at its flower. One of our favorite flowering succulents right now is the flowers given off by the popular succulent, the echeveria.

The echeveria is a rosette style succulent with firm, fleshy, linear, spoon-shaped, colorful leaves. This plant can be an evergreen perennial or can be a sub-shrub which contains several bunches of rosettes.

Flowering Succulents
Echeveria ‘blue waves’

The  racemes of an echeveria have several umbrella shaped flowers in many beautiful colors which bloom in mid-summer, however the leaves of this fat plant are what makes it so popular. The are truly chubby succulents.

Echeveria are part of the Crassulaceae plant family and are commonly referred to as stonecrops. It was named after the Spanish botanist Atanasio Echeverria Codoy. This succulent is native to Mexico but can also be traced to Texas and South America. Most of the echeveria’s grow in higher elevations with low humidity where temperatures never get too hot. Some species only live on cliff faces where all excess water drains off of them.

echeveria blue curlsThere are over 180 different echeveria species and they are very hard to correctly identify. Some are referred to as “Hens and Chicks” which can be confusing because sempervivums are also referred to as “Hens and Chicks”, which is another rosette shaped genus. This is one of the reasons we find so much misidentification with this plant.

Most echeverias are green, gray or bluish colored leaves. Some of them will change color based on their environment, such as temperature or sunlight. As bright and gorgeous as these succulents are, they are not tropical plants.

Echeverias are winter hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture planting zones 9 through 12. They are very easy to care for and propagate. Echeverias are a water-wise plant. Some of our echeverias have gone months without water. This succulent grows best in nutrient-rich soil in full sun. Make sure your echeverias are planted in well-drained containers or areas of ground.

We have several success stories of echeveria surviving happily indoors in a sun room in North Dakota for years. Several cuttings were placed in a pot roughly 2 years ago. They have definitely not grown as they do in California, but they have become strong plants. Just recently they started to shoot off their first flowers!

Buy some echeveria today!

Shipping Succulents

Shipping Succulents

We LOVE early summer in Southern California. Most of our succulents and cacti do most of their growing and flowering in the summer months. We are please to have devised an awesome shipping method to make sure that your plants and succulent kits arrive in perfect condition.

We are in the process of building a succulent store for our site. Take a look at what we have so far! SHOP FAT PLANTS

Building a Succulent Website

Building a Succulent Website

Building a Succulent Website

If I could go back in time and start college over again I would’ve taken as many computer classes as possible.  I remember thinking such classes were a waste of time and do not apply to me and what I wanted to major in.  Plus, they were not required to graduate. My future successes would never depend on building a website, I had convinced myself.

My grandmother’s crystal ball was always a bit hazy and Al Gore had only recently given us the World Wide Web, I had no idea that everything would depend on the Internet in the future. Now here we are twenty years later and 5th graders know more about the Internet than I do.  Several months ago I made the choice to enroll at YouTube University and basically learn step by step as I built my site. Step by step as in mistake by mistake.

I am a pretty smart person and a fast learner but let me tell you, building a succulent website has not been an easy task for me.

Fat Plants Favorie Succulent Photos55 My ADHD probably plays a huge role in the amount of time it has taken me to get a basic blog started but I think what has made it most difficult is that there is just way too much information out there.  The reason I decided to build a website about my passion, Fat Plants aka Succulents, is that I depended on the Internet to learn about my hobby. Yes, there are some fabulous websites and blogs about succulents out there but there is also a bunch of crap. Like weeds in the garden.

After years of researching the web I still can only accurately identify half of the species of succulent plants in my yard and although my initial goal was to help other fat plant lovers identify their succulent plants, my goal in building a website for succulents now is to share all of the fascinating things I have learned by testing many theories/practices from other internet gardeners on my own, living succulent plants.

To make this long story short, Please be patient with my ever-changing website. I have years of notes and photos I am trying to organize all while trying to write it in a language that is very new to me.  My computer literacy is better than my Spanish, but only by an inch. Thank you for your patience and any input, advice, criticism, comments are welcome!

Succulent Definition and Identification

Succulent Definition and Identification

Succulent Definition and IdentificationHave you ever noticed how vague the definition is for the word succulent? What exactly is a succulent? Why are they called Fat Plants?  Here is the short answer. A succulent is a plant that has the ability to survive long periods of time in areas without precipitation because they have a water-storing organ in their leaves, stems or roots. They are also called fat plants because of their swollen leaves and stems. Juicy is one word that seems to be quite repetitive in defining what a succulent is. Juicy as in water filled as in plump.

There are several plants that are not typically classified as succulents that have the “succulent” characteristic of storing water for future use.  A bromeliad, for example is a plant that most botanists don’t consider a succulent. It holds water between it’s tight leaves in its center. A cactus is most always a succulent but most succulents are not cacti. Most of our plants are succulents here at Fat Plants. You will hear cactus mentioned every now and then however.

Roughly 60 plant families have succulents in them and there are more than 300 genera. I feel confident that I have almost all of my plants classified into the right genera, however getting the correct species/cultivar of many of my succulents has proven difficult.

Identifying Succulents

 Before I figured I was wasting valuable time trying to identify each and every succulent in my yard unless it has flowered (and even then I struggled)

Succulent Definition and Identification I could have given you three or more different names for some of the same plants in my garden, just doing a general google image search. What I mean is that I saw 4 pictures identical to an Aeonium in my yard with 4 different names. At least they were all Aeoniums.

My succulent mentor Tina told me that one of her best practices has been to refer to scientific books rather than what other collectors, growers, businesses etc. say on their blogs or websites.  She makes me earn my knowledge and gave me a list of books to use instead of answering my question directly.  I will share that list with you here as well as my favorites when I get through reading them (probably sometime in 2050)

Tell us how you define what a succulent is. How do you identify your fat plants? We will be posting some of our favorite places that help us identify plants soon. As always, we appreciate any knowledge you can share with us.


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