Beauty takes on new meaning when it comes to Echeveria lola. This ornate succulent shyly takes the center stage of showy plants. Its gray-blue leaves glow with the faintest hint of pink, or take on a greenish hue. The edge of each leaf has an intricate design resembling a curly bracket. Echeveria lola is a very common household succulent – and for good reason.
Lola is a hardy plant that grows well in containers and landscapes. The farina on its leaves provides a marbled texture, adding interest to any garden. Not only is Echeveria lola alluring and tough, it’s low-maintenance. What else could you ask for in a plant?
In this article, you’ll learn about everything Echeveria lola needs to thrive – plus a little extra!
Useful Products For Growing Echeveria Lola:
Quick Care Guide
|Common Name(s)||Echeveria Lola, Lola Succulent, Mexican|
Hens and Chicks
|Scientific Name||Echeveria ‘Lola’|
|Height & Spread||3-6″ tall, 6″ wide|
|Light||Full sun to partial shade|
|Water||“Soak and dry” method|
|Pests & Diseases||Mealybugs, root rot|
All About Lola
Echeveria lola is a cross between Echeveria lilacina and Echeveria derenbergii. It’s widely debated that either Echeveria deresina or E. ‘Tippy’ is a parent instead of E. derenbergii. The credit for this lovely hybrid goes to Dick Wright, who created it in 1980.
Lola is tough but still vulnerable to frost. Zones 9-11 are perfect for outdoor growing and xeriscaping. For you northerners, E. lola makes a fantastic houseplant. Of course, there’s always the option of planting your succulent in a container and moving it in and out according to the weather.
Peach colored, bell-shaped flowers bloom in the spring and summer. They sit atop tall, spindly stems and attract pollinators. Lola also grows offsets, which are lovingly referred to as “pups”. The most growth occurs in the summer, though at a moderate rate.
Due to its Mexican roots, you may see this succulent referred to as “Mexican Hens and Chicks”. This, however, is a generic name that applies to many Echeverias.
Echeveria Lola Care
The care instructions for lola are similar to the care for most succulents. Because lola is resilient, it’s the perfect plant for gardeners who want to start growing succulents.
Light & Temperature
The general light recommendation for Echeveria lola is full sun to partial shade. However, you must keep your Lola out of direct sun in the afternoon, as the leaves can burn. The best outdoor location is one with bright light in the morning and partial shade in the afternoon.
Indoors, place your Mexican hens and chicks in a south-facing window, which will have the most sun. Lola also thrives under grow lights. Cooler temperatures may exaggerate the rosy coloring. However, your succulent won’t survive in temperatures below 20° F.
Just like the pupils of your eyes have to adjust to light exposure, succulents need to acclimate to the sun. Move your plant into its new location gradually, giving it plenty of time to adapt. This is especially important for young plants, which are more vulnerable.
Water & Humidity
Your Echeveria lola will be perfectly happy with the old “soak and dry” method. Drench the soil water until it runs out the drainage hole. Then, let it dry out completely before watering again. This watering technique mimics the desert habitat Lola is used to.
Keep the rosette dry while watering to avoid moisture-related problems. You should also avoid placing your plant in humid locations, like a closed terrarium. The best container for any succulent is a terra cotta pot (without glaze). The surface of these pots allows water to evaporate through it, minimizing the risk of overwatering.
Watch your succulent for signs that the watering is off. If the leaves are yellow and mushy or fall off easily, the plant is being overwatered. Conversely, underwatering will make the leaves shrivel up, wilt, and turn brown.
Well-draining soil is absolutely essential for all succulents – especially Echeveria lola. Choose one that drains quickly so your plant is never left sitting in water. Pre-made succulent soils are available in practically every garden store. You can also mix your own with one part potting soil and one part perlite or sand.
While designed to be well-draining, succulent soils may still retain too much water – especially if used in the ground. If this is the case, fix it up by adding some extra draining materials.
Echeveria lola doesn’t require fertilizer as it grows. However, if your Lola hits a growth plateau or is looking bleak, you can give it a dose. Use a half-strength, liquid fertilizer that’s balanced or low in nitrogen.
Every other year, repot your plant so it can get some fresh soil. Take this opportunity to examine the roots for rot or other signs of damage. After replanting, don’t water your succulent for a few days. This will give it time to settle in and heal from any injuries.
Before repotting, check that the new container has drainage holes. Without them, water will quickly build up in the soil, causing decay in the roots. Echeveria lola cannot survive sitting in a puddle.
Propagation is easy and fun with this plant. It can be done with leaf or stem cuttings, offsets, and division. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to efficiently turn one plant into many.
Leaf cuttings take the longest to grow but are usually successful. Gently twist a leaf from the stem, ensuring that the entire leaf is removed. Set it out to dry for a few days and then place it on top of well-draining soil. Mist the cutting with water until it settles roots into the ground. It’s a slow process, but worth it when you finally see a tiny rosette rising from the leaf.
Stem cuttings and offsets are practically the same when it comes to propagation. Using a sharp knife, cut through the stem about an inch below the top of the rosette. Remove any lower leaves and leave it to dry. Once the cut is scabbed over, stick your cutting upright in succulent soil and mist it with water.
If you took a stem cutting, there’s a chance that the stub of a stem left behind will grow new rosettes. Continue its normal care to encourage this growth.
If your Echeveria lola has pups, you can leave them be or give them their own space through division. Divide them from the parent plant by severing any connected stems or roots. Let the wounds of both plants dry for a few days and then stick them back in the ground.
The old, lower leaves of Echeveria lola naturally fall off. If your succulent has some dead leaves that are still clinging to the stem, you can gently remove them by hand. Clean up any fallen leaves sitting in the pot. If left there to decay, they can invite pests and diseases.
If your succulent is sending out offsets and you don’t care for the look, cut them off! Snip them with sharp clippers and keep the area dry while it scabs over. Instead of throwing away the offsets, try your hand at propagating them!
Echeveria lola only has a few potential issues. Thankfully though, they are easily prevented and treated – especially if caught early on.
Etiolation is a frequent problem with succulents. When not given enough light, the plant stretches out in search of the sun. The result is a tall and sparse succulent. Keep your echeveria compact by giving it plenty of light to begin with. If it’s already etiolated, you can behead the rosette and propagate it.
Too much water can cause yellowing of leaves and create a risk of root rot. Avoid overwatering.
Mealybugs are a pesky and common threat to succulents. Once settled on a plump leaf, they drain the plant’s juice. The victim becomes discolored and wilted before its eventual death. No gardener wants to see these insects near their precious succulents.
Luckily, there are simple measures you can take to protect your lola. The most important is to keep the plant dry and the soil clear of debris. Spraying your succulent with neem oil weekly will deter and kill mealybugs (and other pests).
If your Echeveria lola is already infested with mealybugs, simply spray the leaves with insecticidal soap. For a small pest population, dab each insect with a q-tip dipped in 70% rubbing alcohol.
Do you know the top cause of death for succulents? It’s not pests, location, or even negligence. The majority of succulent deaths are caused by overwatering. The damage done by this isn’t immediately noticeable, but certainly fatal.
Root rot occurs when constantly wet roots begin to decay and invite disease – a result of overwatering. It usually starts in the roots and spreads to the stem and leaves. Affected sections will turn black or brown and mushy. Unfortunately, these pieces cannot be healed.
To remove root rot, you’ll have to cut off the bad parts of the plant. Afterward, keep the succulent dry and out of the soil for a few days so it can heal. Replant it in new, dry soil. If the majority of the stem and roots are rotted, you’ll have more success with taking cuttings from the healthy parts and propagating them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is Echeveria lola poisonous?
A. Nope! Lola is pet and home-friendly.
Q. Can Echeveria lola grow in the shade?
A. It can, but only in partial shade. If it doesn’t get enough sunlight, this succulent will etiolate.
Q. How do I fix sunburn on Echeveria lola?
A. Unfortunately, the damage is permanent. What you can do is move your succulent to a better location so it won’t continue to burn. Eventually, the damaged leaves will grow out and fall off.