Echeveria derenbergii is a beautiful and hardy succulent that is native to Mexico and makes a great addition to any garden or home. Growing Echeveria derenbergii outside in the cold winter areas in the United States will expose it to frost. As temperatures fall below the freezing point, the leaves of an Echeveria begin to freeze from the outside in.
When a leaf is completely covered with frost, the freezing expands the cells of the leaves causing them to burst. The protoplasm from inside flows out of the ruptured cells and then freezes into ice crystals. It is these ice crystals that are responsible for killing Echeveria derenbergii during cold weather.
Echeveria derenbergii is a very easy succulent to care for, but there are some limitations to where it can be grown successfully. These requirements include a well-drained soil mix, full sun exposure, and temperatures above freezing. Echeveria derenbergii requires excellent drainage, as it will not tolerate standing water.
It is a succulent plant and therefore has the ability to store water in its leaves and stems. When it freezes the cells burst causing root rot if watering occurs before the soil dries out completely. Over-watering will also cause leaves to fall off of an Echeveria.
Echeveria derenbergii can be propagated in a variety of ways. The most common method is to take one of the offsets that will grow from its stem and separate it from the mother plant.
When removing an offset, use a sharp clean knife or shears to cut as close to the parent plant as possible. Then allow the cut end to dry out for a few hours before planting it in a pot with cactus soil mix.
Echeveria derenbergii can also be propagated by taking cuttings from its stem and placing them in a rooting solution. The rooting hormone should not be used when attempting to propagate an Echeveria, as it usually causes the plant to rot.
Echeveria derenbergii care
Sun exposure and temperature
Echeveria derenbergii does best when grown in full sun. In its native environment, it receives at least twelve hours of direct sunlight each day. Light shade is acceptable but will result in a shorter plant and less colorful leaves. This succulent thrives at temperatures above freezing but does not like the hot afternoon sun.
Exposure to the heat of the sun will cause Echeveria derenbergii to lose its leaves and go into dormancy for a short period of time.
Echeveria derenbergii can be grown in either sand or cactus soil mix with little or no amendments. However, the soil must be well-draining and not allow standing water to remain in its growing area. If a succulent plant is grown in wet soil, it may develop root rot which can kill the plant.
Echeveria derenbergii does best when watered thoroughly but then allowed to almost dry out before being watered again. When the surface of the soil becomes almost dry it can be lightly misted or sprayed with water until the soil is evenly moist. Watering once a week allows an Echeveria derenbergii to grow and flower.
Since this succulent plant does best on minimal care, it does not require regular applications of fertilizer. However, if you choose to fertilize your plant, it should be done in the early spring or early fall months when temperatures are cooler. It is best to apply a complete dry succulent fertilizer that has a ratio between 20-10-20 and water-soluble fertilizer that has a ratio of 10-10-10.
This plant requires soil with a neutral pH. If the soil pH is too acidic or too alkaline, it will cause stress to your plant and can eventually kill it.
Echeveria derenbergii is a very easy succulent to prune. It can be shaped by cutting the tips of its leaves once per year in early spring before growth starts, or new offsets can be removed from the parent plant to start new plants. When an offset is cut away from its mother plant it must be planted immediately or it will dry out and die. There are many methods of propagation, but if it is left to grow on its own, it will eventually form a large clump that can be divided easily by hand.
Echeveria derenbergii can be repotted when its roots have filled the pot. Repotting should be done in early spring or late fall to allow proper growth before hardening off or moving into a larger pot. The best time of year to transplant an Echeveria is in the spring because it allows the plant to establish itself before going into dormancy. This will ensure that your Echeveria derenbergii survives and thrives during its first year in a new pot.
Pests and diseases
Echeveria derenbergii does not have any serious insect or disease problems. The Mexican red-bugs, spider mites, and aphids can infest some Echeveria species but are easily controlled with the use of a strong spray of water on a regular basis.