We Get Questions
Dear Cactus Jungle,
I have an established echeveria plant outside my yard in long beach, California. Lately, it appears to be losing some of its color and dropping a lot of leaves. It used to be bright green and completely full, you could not stick your finger in the mass of flowers. Now there are holes. It gets plenty of sun and has good drainage. Is this too much water? Too little water? Normal?
Also, we recently had a laundry to landscape gray water irrigation installed near the plant, so maybe stress?
I appreciate any help as it is a favorite and I don’t want to lose it.
It looks to me like this is an Aeonium (possibly A. haworthii or one of the A. decorum hybrids) rather than an Echeveria. Aeoniums are winter growers, so they often look exactly like this in a sunny location in the summer. Also, the plant has crowded out this area and probably has fully used up the nutrients in the soil.
Do not overwater going forward since it is dormant for the summer. Let it look like this for now, and then in the fall I recommend thinning it out by taking cuttings. Fertilize in fall and winter (see our Ultra Soil Cactus Meal).