Echeveria agavoides ‘Ebony’
Ebony Wax Agave
E. ‘Ebony’ is native to Mexico and was discovered for the first time by John Trager and Myron Kimnach, it was released in cultivation in the year 2000.
E. ‘Ebony’ is an uncommon succulent belonging to the Crassulaceae botanical family. The plant has a very short stem and is without spines. The tight rosette of leaves can grow up to 30 cm in diameter and the same size in height. The plant is usually solitary but can cluster at the base, over time. Leaves are fleshy, flat, triangular, pointed at the apex; the color turns from bright green to ruby red and is highlighted by the black margins. The plant changes hue of leaves depending on sun-exposure and temperatures. Blooming occurs in late winter and early spring and blossom are borne by long stalks; flowers are thin, reddish-pink with yellow tips.
E. ‘Ebony’ is a rare plant, easy to cultivate. The best sun-exposure is shade light, and the plant does not like temperatures below 10 °C so it needed to be placed indoors. The soil should be mixed with pumice, clay and loam to allow the drainage and prevent the root rot, the plant is prone to it indeed. Remember to use perforating pot to drain excess water. Watering can be done regularly from March to November: during the vegetative period you can water the plant (every 7 days), checking that the soil is completely dry before watering again; in winter you should stop the watering to allow to the plant to enter dormancy. If you want a faster and lush growth you can fertilize the plant once a month during the growing season with the specifics fertilizers for cacti; stop fertilizing throughout the winter. If the pot starts to be too small for the plant you can repot the plant in a pot 2 cm wider. Repotting should be done early in the growing season with fresh new potting soil. It is important to remove the dead leaves that fall at the base of the stem because otherwise the high humidity level increases the attacks of parasites, Echeverias are susceptible to mealybugs indeed.
Echeverias are one of the easiest succulents to propagate, and cutting is the easiest and fastest way. By cutting you can use leaf cuttings during the spring. Cut the leaves as close as possible to the stem and then let it dry; after a few days the cut surface will dry and a callus will form, then place the cutting in a mixture of sand, soil and pumice. To increase success of propagation you can cut two or more leaves at the same time. For Echeverias, is recommended for cuttings, temperatures around 20 °C.
The name “Echeveria” comes from Atanasio Echeverria, naturalist, botanist and Mexican artist of the late 1700s who painted and cooperated on the discovery and cataloging Mexico’s natural flora. Maybe the name ‘Ebony’ is due to the color of the margin which recalls the veins of ebony.
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