How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Echeveria Black Prince

Looking for a regal or dramatic addition to your succulent collection? Echeveria Black Prince is the answer. Gardening expert Rachel Garcia explains how best to grow and care for this succulent.

Caring for echeveria ‘black prince’

Contents

Echeveria ‘Black Prince’ is a dark succulent that will instantly add drama to your garden. It may be small, but the imitation black leaves easily stand out in a sea of green. They are perfect plants for trendy goth gardens indoors and out.

Black Prince’s rosettes have spirals of wide and pointed leaves. The leaves turn dark purple as they mature, so dark that they appear black. The coloring depends on how much sunlight this succulent receives.

The Echeveria genus comes from Mexico and has many hybrids. ‘Black Prince’ is a hybrid of Echeveria affinis and shaviana. It’s reasonably easy to grow indoors and out, following these steps.

Plant Overview

Echeveria ‘Black Prince’ plant overview
Plant Type Succulent
Family Crassulaceae
Genus Echeveria
Species Echeveria ‘Black Prince’
Exposure Full sun to partial shade
Height 5-10″
Watering Requirements Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Succulent Mix

What is Echeveria ‘Black Prince’?

Close up of a deep reddish-black, succulent plant, with thick, plump leaves that have pointed tips.
Echeveria ‘Black Prince’ succulents attract hummingbirds with their red flowers in the fall.

Once mature, Echeveria ‘Black Prince’ grows vivid red flowers in late fall. These flowers are supported by tall, leafed stems that rise from the center of the rosette. They may also invite hummingbirds to visit your garden.

USDA Zones 9-11 are perfect for growing these succulents outdoors. In all other zones, it will be happiest on a windowsill during the cold months. This black succulent grows from spring to fall, although slowly.

If you’re growing Black Prince in a rock garden, consider using light-colored rocks to ensure the dark leaves stand out. If you’re growing in a container, fill the soil to the top so the low-growing succulent will be visible.

Planting

Close up of a three, deep reddish-black, succulent plants, with thick, plump leaves that have pointed tips. The plants are in a terra-cotta pot.
Black Prince is best planted in a container so that it can be moved around during harsh weather conditions.

These plants are typically grown in containers, easy to move to a protected area in winter. Begin by selecting a well-draining succulent mix specifically, or create your own mix using equal parts of potting soil and coarse sand or perlite.

Choose a pot with drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. Fill the pot with the soil mixture and dig a small hole in the center to accommodate the root ball. Carefully place the plant in the hole, ensuring that the base of the plant is level with the top of the soil to avoid burying the leaves.

After planting, gently firm the soil around the base to secure the plant. Wait a few days for the plant to adjust before watering. Place the pot in a location that receives bright sunlight for most of the day. Too much direct sun can scorch the leaves, while too little light can cause the plant to lose its compact rosette shape.

How to Grow

Like most Echeveria, Black Prince is low-maintenance. Once you understand its needs, you should have no problem taking care of it.

Light

Close up of a deep reddish-black, succulent plant, with thick, plump leaves that have pointed tips.
Echeveria ‘Black Prince’ needs about 6 hours of sunlight each day.

Echeveria ‘Black Prince’ needs six hours of sunlight a day. However, it can get burned in high heat. Choose a spot that gets plenty of sun in the morning and some shade or indirect light in the afternoon.

If your Black Prince lives inside, it will need as much sunlight as possible. South-facing windows are preferred if you live in the Northern Hemisphere.

Water

Close up of a deep reddish-black, succulent plant, with thick, plump leaves that have pointed tips and drops of water on the leaves.
Let the their soil dry out completely in between watering.

Because this is a desert plant, only water when the soil is completely dry.

Black Prince needs the most water in spring to summer and less during the winter. When in doubt, pay attention to the leaves. If they’re mushy, you’re watering too often and need to cut back. If the leaves are withered or wrinkly, your plant needs a drink.

When watering, water at the base of the plant. If the leaves are constantly wet, they may start to rot.

Soil

Small plant in a white planter with deep reddish-black, succulent plant, with thick, plump leaves that have pointed tips. Plant is being filled with soil with a small shovel.
Be sure to add perlite or sand to your soil for proper drainage.

When it comes to succulents, you can’t go wrong with a gritty, well-draining soil. Specialty succulent soils usually have the perfect sandy ratio for Black Prince.

If you’d rather mix your own, add one part soil to one part perlite or sand.

Temperature & Humidity

Close up of a deep reddish-black, succulent plant, with thick, plump leaves that have pointed tips and water droplets covering the leaves.
Move your Echeveria ‘Black Prince’ indoors if temps drop below 20°F (-7°C).

Black Prince can tolerate light frost, but should be kept at a minimum temperature of 20°F (-7°C). Avoid prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, as this can stunt growth. Those in cooler zones should bring their plants indoors for the winter months.

Fertilizing

Close up of a white, gloved, woman's hand holding a small, green, plastic cap, filled with dark liquid, pouring into a green watering can.
If you choose to add a fertilizer, it’s best to do so in spring and summer months.

Echeveria ‘Black Prince’ doesn’t require fertilizer. However, if you feel your succulent needs a boost, try a liquid fertilizer. It should be diluted to half or a quarter strength and low in nitrogen.

Fertilize during the spring and summer, but less often than the bottle recommends, as overfertilizing can burn the leaves.

Maintenance

Close up of a small deep reddish-black, succulent plant, with thick, plump leaves that have pointed tips surrounded by other varieties of other succulents.
‘Black Prince’ Echeveria will stay relatively small but may need a large container over time.

The Black Prince succulent is small, so it probably won’t outgrow its container. If you have your heart set on a new pot though, transplanting is easy. Repot when the soil is dry so you can easily dust off the roots.

After replanting, keep the soil dry for a few days. This will allow the roots to settle in and heal from any damage. It will also lessen the likeliness of rot.

Black Prince Echeveria naturally drops its old, lower leaves. If these leaves look clearly dead but are still hanging on, gently pull them off to maintain a clean look. Throw away the dead leaves as they can attract pests if left in the pot.

Dying leaves caused by overwatering or rot should also be removed.

Propagation

Close up of a deep reddish-black, succulent plant, with thick, plump leaves that have pointed tips in a large, cement pot.
There are several ways to easily propagate these succulents.

Black hens and chicks easily propagate from offsets without any help. These ‘chicks’ shoot out from the bottom of the plant and root themselves. You can move them to a different container by cutting them off the ‘hen’. After letting the cut dry out, plant them in their new home. Mist the soil until new roots are established.

You can also take stem cuttings, which are ideal for etiolated succulents. After clipping them off an inch below the rosette, follow the same process for offsets.

Finally, leaf cuttings are a common and easy way to propagate Echeveria. Gently twist a healthy leaf off the stem without leaving any pieces behind. Let your new cutting dry out for a few days and then place it on well-draining soil.

Instead of watering, consistently mist the soil. In time, your cutting will grow roots and a baby rosette. As the rosette grows, the cutting will die and eventually fall off the new plant.

Common Problems

Pests and diseases are rare in Black Prince succulents. However, this plant isn’t invincible. Be on the lookout for any warning signs that the following problems are occurring.

Dropping Leaves

Close up of a small succulent plant that has several dropped leaves in its container.
Some leaf drop is normal to help stimulate and make room for new growth.

One of the last things you want is for the leaves to fall off your Black Prince. While this is normal for succulents’ old leaves, new ones should not be dropping. This is usually a sign of overwatering. Prevent this by watering sparingly and always repotting with dry soil.

Etiolation

Succulent plant with a long, overgrown, stem, hanging over a pot with thick, plump leaves growing on the end of the stem.
Stretched stems, Etiolation, is a sign your succulent needs more sun.

Etiolation is another problem you may come across. The stem of your Black Prince will stretch out if it isn’t getting enough sunlight. Once stretched, the stem won’t shrink back down. Behead the rosette and propagate from it to fix the shape.

Pests

Close up of small, green, bugs crawling around on a thick, reddish stem.
Aphids, and other pests, love to feed on the sweet sap that succulents provide.

A succulent harboring pests may wilt, yellow, and eventually die. This can be prevented by keeping your Black Prince dry and free of dead leaves. In the case of infestation, here are the most common pests and how to remove them.

Mealybugs are small, white insects that love to dine on succulent sap. They lay their eggs in pouches that look like bunches of cotton. The honeydew they secrete attracts ants, which will need to be removed as well.

Remove mealybugs with:

  • A cotton bud soaked in rubbing alcohol
  • Insecticidal soap
  • Mycoinsecticide
  • Neem Oil
  • Ladybugs and lacewings

Aphids, a common menace, feed on sap like mealybugs. Their honeydew looks like a sooty mold and invites ants as well. Large groups of aphids usually live on the underside of leaves.

Remove aphids with:

  • Insecticidal soap
  • Orange Guard Spray
  • Ladybugs and lacewings
  • Diatomaceous Earth
  • Neem Oil

Diseases

Close up of a woman's hand holding a small plant that has rotted in its small, black, container.
Too much moisture can lead to root rot.

Rot and fungal diseases are a possibility in Echeveria ‘Black Prince’. Rot occurs when the succulent is constantly wet. Sections of the roots, stem, and leaves turn black or brown and mushy.

Once you notice your plant is rotting, take immediate action. Remove your Black Prince from the soil and cut off all the rotted parts. Then, let the plant dry out for a few days.

Replant it in new, dry soil and don’t water for a few more days. From then on, be more careful with your watering so this won’t happen again.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between ‘Black Prince’ and ‘Black Knight’?

Black Knight has long and slender leaves, while Black Prince has wide, almost circular leaves. The Black Prince rosette is usually more open than Black Knight. When it comes to color, Black Knight is the darkest.

Why are there black spots on my Echeveria ‘Black Prince’?

This is probably just a sunburn. It won’t do any damage to the plant as long as you move it out of direct sun and heat. If the black spots are mushy, they may be patches of rot.

Is Echeveria ‘Black Prince’ toxic?

No, this succulent is safe for pets and humans.

Final Thoughts

To add a touch of drama to your garden, you can’t go wrong with Echeveria ‘Black Prince’. Not only is it dark and moody, but it’s also wonderfully low-maintenance.

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