Echeveria agavoides ‘Celestia’
E. agavoides is native to the rocky regions in Mexico Northeast and in Mexico Southwest. ‘Celestia’ is a ‘Romeo’ selection with pointed and thinner leaves.
E. ‘Celestia’ is a dwarf succulent belonging to the Crassulaceae botanical family. The plant has a sessile rosette of leaves arranged in spirals and can reach 12 cm in height and 20 cm in diameter. The plant usually grows lonely but sometimes it produces offsets. Leaves are fleshy, oblong-ovate, slightly pointed at the apex, wonderfully colored: leaves are burgundy red, wine red but new leaves at the center can be green; its color is due to high level of light and cold but dry temperatures. Leave at the apex usually are more erect and close, leaves at the bottom are more horizontal and open. Blooming occurs in spring and small red flowers with yellow tip are borne by long stalks.
E. ‘Celestia’ is a rare hybrid, easy to cultivate. The best sun-exposure is full sunlight, 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. Because Echeveria ‘Celestia’ is a hybrid, in order not to lose the characteristics of the plant, propagation can only be done by cutting. 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. The name ‘Agavoides’ means resembling Agave, this plant has a shape similar to the plants of the genus Agave indeed.
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