There are so many types of echeveria that it’s hard to choose one. If you’re looking for elegance though, one type stands out: the echeveria Perle von Nurnberg.
The spoon-shaped leaves of this succulent overlap to create a pristine rosette. However, PVN’s intrigue is in its color. The whole plant is a spectrum of blue-gray and pink with a hint of purple. It’s dusted in pruinose, which is a botanical term for white powder.
Although the Echeveria genus is native to Mexico, this hybrid was born in Germany. It was created by Alfred Gräser in the 1930s. He paired Echeveria gibbiflora ‘Metallica’ with E. elegans to make the charming plant we’re admiring now.
A truly magnificent succulent, Perle von Nurnberg is excellent for all levels of gardeners. It’s easy to care for and fun to propagate. Here’s everything you should know before growing this beauty.
Good Products for Perle von Nurnberg:
- Garden Safe Neem Oil Extract
- Safer Brand Insect Killing Soap Concentrate
- Harris Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
- Triumph Plant Coconut Coir Blocks
Quick Care Guide
|Common Name(s)||Perle von Nurnberg, Pearl of Nurnberg|
|Scientific Name||Echeveria ‘Perle von Nürnberg’|
|Height & Spread||5″ tall and 6″ wide|
|Light||Full to partial sun|
|Water||“Soak and dry” method|
|Pests & Diseases||Mealybugs, aphids, vine weevils, rot|
All About Pearl of Nurnberg
Perle von Nurnberg directly translates to Pearl of Nurnberg. Its leaves have a pearly appearance, so the name definitely suits it. Pearl of Nurnberg adds even more color in the summer when it grows pink and yellow flowers.
You’ll have the best luck with Pearl of Nurnberg in zones 9-11. This succulent needs lots of sunlight year-round. It grows just fine indoors though, as long as it gets enough light.
PVN is a surprisingly short succulent – usually less than half a foot tall. This makes it a great addition to small, eye-level spaces. Perle von Nurnberg is also popular in floral arrangements and wedding bouquets.
Types of Perle von Nurnberg
Other than the basic PVN, there’s one other notable variety that you can find by its common names. Here’s a little information on that variety!
Echeveria ‘Rainbow’, ‘Variegated Perle von Nurnberg’
This bold form has the same colors separated into stripes. It’s less subtle than PVN due to its color saturation and lack of pruinose.
Pearl of Nurnberg Care
Not only is Pearl of Nurnberg gorgeous, it’s easy to grow and maintain. Here are some tips for success.
Light & Temperature
Pearl of Nurnberg needs full to partial sun; 6 hours of light a day is ideal. Consistent exposure to full sun will bring out the deepest colors this succulent has to offer. If your echeveria lives indoors, place it in a south-facing window and use a grow light if needed.
Unfortunately for those north of zone 9, PVN isn’t fond of the cold. It doesn’t tolerate frost well, so try to keep it in temperatures above freezing. Ideally, its environment should always be above 40° F.
Water & Humidity
The “soak and dry” method is a classic for a reason. Succulents, including the Pearl of Nurnberg, store water in the plump leaves to survive drought. Mimic its natural habitat by giving your PVN a deep watering and then let the soil dry out completely. To really imitate a drought, let your succulent sit in dry soil for a few days before watering again.
Echeveria Perle von Nurnberg only needs minimal water during the winter.
Well-draining soil is essential for keeping your Pearl of Nurnberg happy. If this plant is left sitting in water, it’s susceptible to rot and fungal diseases.
The ideal soil for Pearl of Nurnberg is gritty in texture. Choose a premade succulent soil or custom-make your own. Start with regular potting soil and add in something rocky, such as:
- Rice hulls
- Coconut fiber (coir)
- Shredded bark
Use a 1:1 ratio of potting soil and your add-in.
Fertilizer isn’t a priority with this plant. If you want to give it a try though, do so during the summer with succulent or cactus fertilizer. It should be liquid and balanced or low-nitrogen.
Pearl of Nurnberg needs to be repotted every few years to aerate the soil. Schedule the move during the summer and wait for the soil to be dry. You can replant in a new container, or just replace the soil in the old one.
After taking your succulent out of the ground, gently brush the soil off the roots. Take the opportunity to check for rot or other problems that are usually underground. After settling your PVN in fresh soil, don’t water for a few days. This will allow the roots to get comfortable and heal from any damage.
Echeverias are easy to propagate by leaf and stem cuttings. Once you have the process down, you can grow as many Pearl of Nurnbergs as you want!
Leaf cuttings are taken by simply twisting the leaf off the stem. Ensure that you remove the entire leaf and don’t leave any parts behind. That section in between the leaf and stem is what enables the cutting to grow roots.
After removing the leaf, let it dry out for a few days. Once it’s dry, set it on top of well-draining soil and mist it with water. Keep the soil damp until new roots have grown in. Return to a regular watering schedule once the plant is settled.
Stem cuttings follow almost the exact same process as leaf cuttings. Instead of twisting, take your cutting by slicing off the stem an inch below the rosette. After it’s dried, stick it upright in the soil and mist. You can test if it has roots by gently pulling on it. If there’s resistance, it’s established.
Pearl of Nurnberg grows offsets, but slowly. If your succulent has one, feel free to propagate it just like a stem cutting. Alternatively, let the offset grow roots and then propagate by division.
Perle von Nurnberg only requires pruning when it has dead leaves. These usually fall off on their own, but can be pulled off by hand. Don’t discard the leaves at the bottom of the pot, as mealybugs like to hide there.
When it comes to gardening issues, prevention is key. Always be on the lookout for symptoms so your succulent will continue to thrive.
Be wary of overwatering your Echeveria, which is the top cause of death in succulents. This will kill it much faster than underwatering will. Symptoms of overwatering include yellow, mushy leaves that easily fall off. To remedy this, repot your Perle von Nurnberg in new, dry soil. Let it sit for a few days before beginning a revised watering schedule.
Underwatering is harmful to PVN as well, but easier to fix. Just give your plant a good drink and it will usually perk up. When underwatered, the leaves will shrivel up and the plant will wilt.
Always be on the lookout for etiolation. This is a common, but easily prevented, problem with succulents. When the plant isn’t getting enough sun, it stretches up looking for more. If you don’t keep your Pearl of Nurnberg in a bright location, it will go from squat to scrawny.
Succulents that are already etiolated cannot be shrunk back down. Instead, cut off the top and propagate by stem cutting. This will give you a second chance at growing Pearl of Nurnberg correctly.
Mealybugs are the most likely pest to bother your Echeveria. These small white scale insects drink the sap out of plants. They make cottony nests and secrete honeydew that attracts ants. Prevent mealybugs by keeping your succulent dry and spraying it with neem oil every week.
Infestations of mealybugs can be removed by insecticidal soap. Use it to gently wash the leaves. If there are only a small number of insects, dab them with a q-tip soaked in rubbing alcohol.
Aphids are less common but potential predators of succulents. Like mealybugs, they suck out the juices. If left alone, they will eventually kill your plant. Protect your PVN by applying diatomaceous earth to the soil and neem oil to the succulent. Use insecticidal soap to control existing infestations.
Not just limited to vines, vine weevil is a flightless black beetle. It chews through leaves, causing them to turn yellow and wilt. Diatomaceous earth will prevent them. Unfortunately, vine weevils are resistant to most sprays. The most effective remedy for infestations is to remove them manually. Since vine weevils are nocturnal, you’ll be able to find them easily at night.
Root rot is the ever-looming danger for succulents. It’s caused by consistent moisture and can lead to bacterial infections. Luckily, it’s easy to prevent: don’t overwater and use porous soil.
Since it’s best caught early, routinely check for rot on your Perle von Nurnberg. Rotted sections will be brown or black and mushy. It usually starts in the roots and spreads up the stem. If you find an infected part, you’ll have to amputate. After cutting away the bad parts, leave your succulent out of the soil for a few days so it can dry out. Repot in new, dry soil.
If removing the rotted sections means you’ll be cutting off half the plant, it’s better to just propagate. Remove any healthy leaves or rosettes and discard the rotted remains. Remember to use new soil for propagating the cuttings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is Perle von Nurnberg toxic?
A. No, this succulent is pet and person friendly!
Q. Why are there brown spots on my Pearl of Nurnberg?
A. This is most likely sunburn. Move your plant out of direct heat to prevent further damage.
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