Should You Cut Echeveria Flowers?
Here and in my new video, "Should You Cut Echeveria Flowers?" I explain why you should snip echeveria bloom stalks, and how you and your plants both benefit.
You may not think of succulents as a source of cut flowers for floral arrangements, but succulent flowers are actually better than thin-petalled lovelies like roses. Because they're succulent, they hold moisture, and they last a LONG time---sometimes weeks, depending on the variety.
And for us plant people, there's an even better reason to remove succulent flowers: Thick stalks and large blooms can exhaust small rosettes. Popular Echeveria‘Afterglow’, for example, ends up sad and droopy, as though it had a difficult pregnancy.
For nurseries it's a trade-off: Although echeverias in bloom may sell better, it's better in the long run to remove the flowers. That keeps its growth and energy in the plant.
Then there's the light factor: Buds crave sun.They'll lean horizontally to get it, spoiling what we love most about rosette succulents: their symmetry.
Save some stripped-off leaves. They're rarin' to go. Tuck a few plump ones back in the pot under the parent plant, and they'll form roots and new little leaves from their stem ends. Voila: Tiny new plants with no trouble at all.
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Like my advice about echeveria flowers? Or maybe disagree? Have info to add? I want to hear from you! But instead of emailing me, please comment below or on the YouTube video. That way others will see it and learn from it too! -- Thanks, Debra
Echeveria Info, Photos & Varieties
Echeveria Info, Photos & Varieties How to grow echeverias perfectly, plus an extensive gallery, all ID’d See All Succulent Types Aeonium Agaves Aloes Cactus Crassula Echeveria Euphorbias Ice Plants Kalanchoe Portulacaria Senecio About Echeverias Here you’ll find expert advice to help you grow echeverias perfectly, with a gallery of 150+ beautiful, notable species and cultivars.…
I love seeing hummingbirds coming to the various succulent flowers so I don’t cut them.
Yes, good point. Definitely a reason for NOT cutting them. Thanks very much for pointing this out, JoEllen.
For me it looks neat without the blooms so I cut them off .
I cut them to avoid/remove black aphids that are particularly attracted to echeveria blooms.
I hadn’t thought of that. I guess mine get good enough air circulation that pests aren’t a problem. Good suggestion!
Debra, it is OK to put the flower stalk in water with other flowers or do you mean an arrangement of just succulent flower stalks? What will happen to it in water?
Yes, I put them in water. I suspect it helps them stay fresher longer, and it can’t hurt. I haven’t experimented with all succulent flowers, but I do know some don’t need it…they can live off the moisture in their leaves just like cuttings do. Like aeoniums…I have a 3-foot tall glass cylinder vase with a wide base that I fill with 4-foot aeonium flower stalks every spring, no water. They start out in bud and over the next few weeks, the buds open into flowers.
Hi Tess, yes, you can combine them with other flowers. The succulents will far outlast regular flowers, unless maybe alstroemeria.
I’m all about the hummingbirds as well. I have quite a few in my garden. Since it is mostly all succulents, cacti, and natives, I appreciate every blossom. The love the native Dudleyas and the Echeverias.
Hey Debra love the article on cutting the stems but wanted to know if I can plant them after or just put them in a vase like you did. Or throw away?
Hi Mike — The flower stalks won’t grow (although occasionally they form platelets, which can be removed and planted). But the leaves along the stem are supposedly eager to root. Set them under the mother plant, on top of the soil, and some may grow tiny leaves and roots from the stem end.
About “plantlets” on flower stems. I’ve been curious about this for a few years. One of my hybrid echeverias (Hortensia) as well as a neighbors (Mauna Loa?) both produced “plantlets” on the uncut flower spikes after being highly stressed by sun & heat. I wonder if that was their way of trying to “save” themselves if the parent plant died. None of my other echeverias under less extreme conditions have done that. My neighbor was kind enough to let me take a couple of the plantlets off theirs after I had explained to them how they could possibly get the ones they kept to root & grow.
Adding I don’t cut the flowers off my succulents either, as the hummingbirds love them and make regular rounds in the morning.
Hi Mary — Plantlets that form along the flower stalks often will root if their bases touch soil. Set them atop potting soil just enough to anchor them, but don’t bury them lest they rot. Think of what the mother plant is trying to accomplish: The stem acts as an umbilical cord, feeding the tiny plants that form as the flowers fade. The longer “she” can do this, the more strength and vitality the “baby” has…up to a point. The stem starts to wither and droop, ideally setting the offspring down where it can root on its own. Perhaps under the leaves of Mom, so it doesn’t wither in the sun, and the soil is moist and fluffy with leaf duff.
Hurrah! At last I got a blog from where I be able to genuinely take helpful facts regarding my study and knowledge.
Thank you so much, Norma. That’s exactly what I’m aiming at! Really appreciate your comment and encouragement.
Hi Norma — What an amazing compliment! Really appreciate your kindness and encouragement.
Was looking for info on a plant I have and can I put the flower in a vase. Thank you so much for having answered all my questions!!
Although it looks like you posted this in 2019, it’s now Dec 2021 and this was exactly the information I was searching for – whether to put Echeveria bloom stalks in water or not. And of course it was on YOUR website. Hope you feel really good at the long reach of what you share with the wider world of succulent lovers. In my bloom stalks go in a vase with water!
Hi Katy — I’m glad I could be of help! Thanks for a truly lovely comment. Debra
Extremely excited I’ve found this post. I’m torn between leaving them and letting them get pollinated then collect the seeds and experiments from seedling, and then there’s cutting them and putting them in a vase.
Also. Is it true that we need to let the leaves dry and callous over before putting them in the soil to root?
Hi Debra, I love every flowers. Before even the flowers bluish already notice ants around the pots and coming out from the soil, I cut them off to avoid further headaches 😁
That seems wise. Btw, if you want to get rid of ants, here’s what I do.