Echeveria ‘Black Prince’
Black Hens and Chicks
E. ‘Black Prince’ is a hybrid created in California in nursery probably by crossing Echeveria Shaviana with Echeveria Affinis. Nowadays we are not sure of this parentage because many different hybrids have been marketed under this name.
E. ‘Black Prince’ is a hybrid belonging to the Crassulaceae botanical family. The plant has a rosette of leaves and can grow up to 15 cm in diameter. Leaves are fleshy, flat, triangular when young and ovate when older, slightly pointed at the apex. Leaves are dark brown to purple wine with the lighter tips. Blooming occurs in late spring and the green buds are borne by long stalks covered of green leaves. When ripe the green flower bud opens and emits numerous flowers, first pink and then dark red. This hybrid is very rare and appreciated by collectors, for its particular color it is perfect for adding color to your centerpieces and bouquets.
E. ‘Black Prince’ is a rare hybrid, 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. Because Echeveria ‘Black Prince’ 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.
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