Echeveria agavoides ‘Mira’ f. variegata
E. agavoides is native to the rocky regions in Mexico Northeast and in Mexico Southwest. The cultivar ‘Mira’ is a hybrid of Echeveria agavoides x Echeveria ‘Mexicano’ bred in the US. The variegated form is a plant that has the stem or leaves with patches or stripes with two or more different colours, even distinct shades of green.
E. ‘Mira’ is a dwarf succulent belonging to the Crassulaceae botanical family. The plant has a sessile rosette of leaves arranged in spirals and can reach 10 cm in height. Leaves are fleshy, oblong-ovate, slightly pointed at the apex, glossy in color: in the center of the leaf there is a bright green stripe but on the side and along the edge it is creamy yellow, it looks like someone painted a green brushstroke on the yellow leaves. Leave at the apex are more erect and close, leaves at the bottom are more horizontal and open. Its color variations are mainly due to greater exposure to light and dry cold which is why the plant takes on more intense colors along the edges of the leaves. This succulent for its rarity and beauty cannot be missing from your collection.
This 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 ‘Mira’ 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. The variegation is due to the loss of the ability to produce chlorophyll in some tissues of the plant, so that this tissue is no longer green. Chlorophyll-free tissues are usually white or pale yellow coloured (due to carotenoid pigments) in contrast to the normal green tissue.
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