If you have a knack for growing succulents, then chances are, you’ll find the Echeveria Lola variety to be a perfect plant for your home. This stunning perennial is a mixed-breed of the Echeveria lilacina and Echeveria derenbergii. Same as other succulents, the Echeveria plant belongs to the stonecrop genus that’s otherwise referred to as Crassulaceae. It’s originally from the tropical parts of Mexico and Central America. And thus, you’ll probably hear people referring to this succulent as “Mexican Hens and Chicks”— which is a generic name that’s ostensibly ridden by many Echeverias.
How Unique is The Echeveria Lola Succulent?
This beautiful succulent has leaves that resemble rosettes. The leaves appear to have three color shades; pink, lavender, and light blue. They’re enhanced by a thick and sticky wax coating that’s commonly known as farina, which gives it a rigid and fancy texture.
The edge of each leaf has an intricate design resembling a curly bracket. Another feature that homeowners love about the Echeveria Lola is the stalk, which attracts a wide range of pollinators. During Spring, this plant develops a bloom stalk that grows up to 6’ inches in height.
Caring For The Lola Echeveria
One reason why this little plant is one of the most sought-after succulents is that it’s not fussy. It grows well in containers and different types of landscapes. The only catch is you need to provide it with suitable growing conditions. Not only is Echeveria Lola alluring and sturdy, but it’s also low-maintenance. Read on for tips and hacks on growing the Echeveria Lola both as an outdoor or an indoor plant.
Similar to other Echeveria varieties, the Lola Echeveria does well in well-draining cactus or succulent soil. If you want to grow your Lola plant outdoors, mix the potting soil with coarse sand, pumice, coconut coir, gravel, or organic matter to enhance the pace for nutrients intake and adequate drainage.
Most succulents die due overwatering, so it’s essential to get the soil mixture right from the beginning. This perennial doesn’t need fertilizer so often, but you can choose to use worm castings humus, preferably two to three times a month during its tender stages.
Repotting your Echeveria Lola
Typically, the Lola plant grows to about 3-5 inches in height when exposed to direct sunlight. If your plant overgrows the container, it’s best to transplant it to a more significant growing medium.
Repotting also allows the roots to elongate further and optimize the level of nutrients absorption since new soil tends to be rich in all the essential elements such as nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.
Hence, to ensure that your plant gets all the necessary nutrients, repot it at least once every two years, ideally during spring, to provide fresh soil and nutrients. This season would be the perfect time to inspect the roots for any visible signs of rotting or damage from a pest attack.
Be gentle when repotting your plant to avoid causing blemishes that would ruin the essential receptors which enhance its overall growth and development.
Before watering your plant, you want to give it some grace period for recovery and cell rejuvenation just in case any damage occurs after repotting.
You can skip watering your plant for a week after repotting, then sprinkle lightly when this time lapses, to avoid root rot. Alongside that, use containers with enough drainage holes. And this brings us close to our next essential tip:
Water and Humidity
As is the case with most succulents, the Echeveria Lola plant only needs the bare minimum when it comes to watering and can survive under arid conditions. If you soak the roots in wet soil for longer hours, it will cause irreparable damage, and you’d eventually get frustrated about owning a houseplant.
The most efficient way to water your Echeveria Lola is by using the soak and dry method. Simply drench the soil water until it runs out through the drainage hole, then let it dry completely before watering once again.
While doing so, try to keep the rosette dry since if the water gets stuck between the leaves, it’ll make the whole plant prone to pests and root rot. This soak and dry method will help your Lola Echeveria develop a large and healthy root system. It’ll gradually mutate to staying for more extended periods without water.
No matter how fancy and convenient it feels, you want to avoid using a spray bottle for watering. Constant watering in small amounts of water will make your plant have a weak root system that barely survives without getting thirsty quite often.
Avoid placing your plant in wet locations where the humid levels are high, such as a sealable terrarium. One of the best pots or containers for any succulent, including the Lola Echeveria is the terracotta pot (without glaze). They’re far more effective since the surface of these pots allow water to evaporate quickly and that helps suppress the risk of overwatering.
Light and Temperature
The Echeveria Lola, unlike a few other perennials, isn’t prone to direct light exposure. But if you’re looking to have the best foliage yield, it’s more suitable to put the growing medium indoors and, if possible, you could use one of these cut-rate grow lights, especially if there’s poor lighting in your home.
And I pretty much think that’s what every homeowner is desperately looking to have. To practically make your cheerful Lola reach such pinnacles, you want to do every bit of maintenance routine with utmost care.
You need to filter any bright light and grow your plant somewhere with ample airflow, say, on the windowsill. Placing the pot on a window that slightly blocks the sunlight streams would go a long way to produce the best results. Your Lola plant can equally thrive under partial shade or full sunlight outdoors, preferably the morning sun.
Try as much to avoid afternoon sun exposure, especially during summer, since leaves may be prone to sunburns or scalded spots. The most suitable outdoor location is one with bright light in the morning and partial shade in the afternoon.
Most succulents naturally need to adjust to the sun, so you’ll need to move your Lola Echeveria into its new location gradually, giving it plenty of time to adapt. This tip is vital for young plants, which happen to be more brittle during their early stage.
As a succulent plant, this Echeveria variety thrives in cool to average temperatures. Cooler temperatures make the color of the leaves a bit more radiant. With a USDA hardiness zone map of 9-11, the Lola plant can grow outdoors under low humidity and temperature levels. Echeverias, unlike Sempevirvum flowers, aren’t tolerant to cold temperatures below 20° ℉.
So if you live in a cold place, remember to always move your succulent plant outside in the sunny months and place it in a window where it receives good lighting. But since the Lola plant isn’t frost resistant, move your plant inside your home if the temperature starts to fall below 45º F (7º C).
How to Propagate the Echeveria Lola
You have a wide array of options when it comes to propagation. You can do it with leaf or stem cuttings, offsets, and division. Both stem cuttings and offsets tend to, more or less, yield the same results.
Offsets, to be precise, appear at the base level of your Echeveria Lola, and most homeowners use them to multiply their succulents. After a couple of years, your plant will overgrow, and you’ll need to maintain the visual appeal without hurting the growth cells, so you want to handle it with great care during the whole propagation process.
To get started, you’ll need to follow these simple steps:
- Use a sharp knife to cut the stem —about an inch below the top of the rosette id just fine.
- Remove any lower leaves and leave it to dry for about five days. Once you scrab the base of the cut stems, stick your cutting upright using potting soil suitable for succulents, and mist it with water. Leaf cuttings, on the other hand, usually take the longest to grow but have an exponential yield rate.
- To propagate your plant using leaf cuttings, gently twist a leaf from the stem of the primary plant. Set it out to dry for a few days and then place it on top of well-draining soil. Mist the cutting with water, and in no time, a rosette will begin to sprout.
If your Echeveria Lola has some healthy pups, you can opt to separate them through division. Carefully divide the pups from the parent plant by slicing the attached stems or roots. Let the wounds of both plants dry for a few days and then stick them back in the ground.
How to care for the Echeveria Lola
Taking care of Echeverias only needs a few routine steps, such as keeping your rosettes far from contact with water, and removing dead leaves from the bottom parts of the plant. If water accidentally gets into the rosette, use a paper towel or cotton ball to dry it before any slight damage begins to occur. It’s normal to have a few withered leaves on the bottom side of your plant. Remove them and keep the soil free from debris to avoid pests and diseases.
Pests and Diseases that hit the Echeveria Lola
Succulents are highly prone to mealybugs attacks, especially if there’s too much water trapped between the leaves of your plant. They drain the leaf’s juice and cause the whole plant to wither or have discolored foliage.
To prevent this from happening, you can keep your rosette dry and soil free from debris. You can get rid of such bugs by spraying neem oil on your plant once a week. You can clean the leaves using alcohol-infused swabs if the infestation isn’t grievous, or better still, spray an insecticide soap.
Another common problem with succulents is Etiolation. If you don’t give the Lola enough light, it tends to stretch out in search of the sun. It would eventually take up your whole space.
Try and keep your Lola compact by giving it plenty of light, as soon as you transplant it. If it’s already etiolated, you can cut up the rosette and propagate it.