It’s the instantly recognizable silvery-blue and reddish-pink hues of Echeveria Afterglow that really set this succulent apart from others in the Crassulaceae family of plants.
This is one of the larger species of Echeveria with spoon-shaped, waxy leaves that are loosely layered on a short stem to form a glorious solitary rosette.
Each rosette can grow up to 24 inches in diameter provided it receives enough sunlight.
Known only as Echeveria Afterglow or ‘Afterglow’ Succulent and created in the US as a hybrid from Echeveria Shaviana and Echeveria Cante this succulent makes an attractive addition to any indoor collection or outdoor rock garden or container. Enjoy it as a stand-alone beauty, however, as it does not grow in clumps and is therefore not suitable for ground coverage.
This is a fast-growing succulent plant that produces an impressive display of reddish-pink flowers in mid to late summer. The flowers’ vibrancy is a beautiful contrast against the lavender-tinged, waxy leaves. Blooms appear on long stalks from the stem of the plant and are attractive to pollinators.
Position Full sun or partial shade
Watering Water thoroughly but infrequently
Size Up to 24″ in diameter
Climate Not cold hardy Zone 10a (Min 35° F | 1.5° C)
Propagate Leaves, cuttings, and offsets
Seasonality Evergreen, Winter Dormant
Toxicity Non toxic
Flowers Red and pink tubular flowers in summer
Echeveria Afterglow Care
Echeveria Afterglow is native to Mexico where it is accustomed to arid, dry conditions and soil with depleted nutrients. Needless to say, this plant favors well-draining soil and periods of drought in order to thrive.
Here below, are my tips and tricks on everything you need to know for successfully growing and caring for Echeveria Afterglow.
Echeveria Afterglow is an evergreen succulent that enjoys full sun but can tolerate partial shade. It does well in pots and containers or well-draining and shallow sunny borders and rock gardens.
This plant does not appreciate wet or cold conditions or environments that may lead to soggy soil. If you live in an area where temperatures can regularly fall below 35° F, you should grow Echeveria Afterglow in containers that can easily be brought indoors when the temperature drops.
For indoor growing, place them on a draft-free, south-facing windowsill and turn their pot slightly every week or so to ensure that all areas of the plant get maximum exposure to sunlight. Doing this will enhance the vibrant color of the leaves of this plant.
Height And Spread
Each Echeveria Afterglow rosette can grow as large as 24 inches in diameter providing the conditions for growing are right. This is a fast-growing Echeveria and unlike many other succulent species, it is not suitable as ground cover because it does not grow in clumps.
Instead, it forms just one spectacular rosette. You’ll need to take care when planting to give it enough space in which to grow.
Like most Echeveria plants, Echeveria Afterglow is drought-tolerant due to the climate and conditions of their native Mexico so keep watering to a minimum. In fact, you only need to water this plant when the soil is completely dry.
If you are growing this plant indoors, always check the dryness of the soil before watering. If and when the soil is completely dry you can go ahead and give it a thorough soak.
The best way to water indoor plants is by placing the plant in a sink and thoroughly watering the soil. It’s best to use a watering can so that you can aim the water directly into the soil rather than risk getting water on the leaves. Ideally, you want the water to run freely from the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot and drain away before returning it to a decorative pot.
If your plant lives outdoors, you’ll need to adjust how much water it receives depending on the age of the plant. Young plants will need watering from time to time to assist with their root development. Try to avoid getting leaves too wet as this can lead to root rot. The best way to avoid this is by using a long spouted watering can to direct water to the soil and base of the plant rather than in the leaves.
For mature plants in outdoors areas with moderate rainfall, you may not need to water at all.
Overwatering is a big problem for Echeveria Afterglow that can cause leaf or root rot. An indicator of overwatering includes leaves turning yellow or brown and becoming soft and mushy.
One thing is for sure, Echeveria Afterglow will not tolerate damp roots caused by soggy soil. Avoid this at all costs by always using well-draining succulent or cacti soil.
The roots of this plant need time to absorb oxygen and can only do this if soil is well-draining and free from moisture. Excessive time spent in soggy soil can lead to root rot and is detrimental to the health of your plant as it is often spotted and treated too late.
I find using a soil that is peat-free, contains coconut coir and has been mixed with minerals such as grit, sand, or perlite is best.
It can easily be made at home by mixing two-thirds of minerals such as grit, sand, and perlite, and one-third of organic matter, such as a good quality peat-free compost or coconut coir.
If you don’t have time for mixing your own, use a ready-mixed succulent and cacti soil. There are many brands to choose from either by purchasing online or at any decent garden-supply retailer.
An Echeveria Afterglow in bloom really is a sight to behold. Expect to see pretty little reddish-pink flowers that appear on stalks from the main stem of the plant in mid to late summer.
It’s not uncommon for these beautiful flowering displays to last 3 to 4 weeks.
It is worth bearing in mind that a flowering Echeveria Afterglow is channeling much of its energy towards the beautiful and blooming display. This is often at the detriment of the plant itself as often leaves can begin to discolor and drop off.
If you want to retain the beauty of the rosette, then it’s a good idea to dead head the flowers as soon as you notice this happening.
How To Feed Echeveria Afterglow
To encourage those eye-catching blooms and support healthy growth I recommend using a succulent or cactus fertilizer that has been diluted to 25%. You’ll only need to fertilize just once during the summertime growing season and not at all during the winter period of dormancy.
For outdoor succulent growing, I’m a big fan of Schulz Cactus Plus Liquid Plant Food. Its N-P-K ratio of 2-7-7 is a great way to provide a boost of nutrients at the start of the growing season.
It will really help to develop bigger, brighter blooms, increase the vibrancy of foliage and enhance the overall health of your Echeveria Afterglow.
This one is a liquid fertilizer which means you can dilute it in water to a quarter strength and water it directly into the soil so it gets to work straight away.
Echeveria Afterglow is a fast-growing succulent but its appeal is the beautifully formed rosettes made up of the waxy, long-lasting leaves.
Pruning isn’t really necessary unless you find any damaged, discolored, or dead leaves, in which case, it’s fine to simply peel them off.
Deadhead any sent blooms and cut back any flower stems once they are past their best. Bear in mind that the energy needed to produce and maintain these flowers can sometimes compromise the health of the plant and you may notice leaves that begin to droop, fall off or discolor.
Consider removing flower stems if this begins to happen. You’ll need a sharp and sterile knife or scissors to do this but try to avoid accidentally snipping other leaves if you are using a tool.
Most Echeveria plants including Echeveria Afterglow can cope with a snug-fitting pot or container so don’t be over-concerned about the prospect of your plant becoming a little pot-bound for a short period.
When you do notice your Echeveria Afterglow is becoming too big for its pot or roots are beginning to appear through drainage holes then clearly, it is time to repot.
It’s best to wait until warmer weather, when your Echeveria Afterglow is out of the winter dormancy period to repot.
Make sure to choose a clean succulent pot or container that is 3-4 inches wider than the root ball and definitely one that has sufficient drainage holes. Remove any old soil from around the root ball and repot in fresh well-draining succulent or cacti soil.
Hold off watering until the following day to give your plant a chance to settle. Position it in full sun and resume a watering schedule that includes only watering your plant when the soil is dry.
How to Propagate Echeveria Afterglow
Echeveria Afterglow is an easy propagator from leaves and can also be propagated from cuttings and offsets. Here’s my step-by-step guide on how to successfully propagate using leaves.
First, select a healthy-looking leaf. Then, hold the leaf between the thumb and forefinger as near to the stem as possible and give it a gentle but confident twist. It’s important that the leaf remains intact because damaged leaves are less likely to be successful in propagation.
Place the leaf on kitchen paper and allow it to callous off for a couple of days. Once dry, lay the leaf on well-draining succulent or cactus soil. Water only when the soil is completely dry. Roots will take 2-3 weeks to develop.
Once roots appear, you can plant the rooted leaf in a small pot that has good-sized drainage holes and is filled with well-draining succulent soil. Place in a bright spot and water when soil is almost completely dry.
Common problems with Echeveria Afterglow
Caring for a Echeveria Afterglow can be relatively trouble-free providing your stick to a modest watering schedule and check your plant over regularly for the occasional pest infestation. Here are my hints and tips on what to look out for.
Similar to most other succulents Echeveria Afterglow can be susceptible to overwatering. If leaves become yellow, brown or black it may be a sign of leaf or root rot, and time to ask yourself these questions:
- Are you watering too often by not allowing the soil to dry sufficiently before watering again?
- Is the soil sufficiently well-draining or does it remain soggy for prolonged periods of time?
- Does the pot or container have good-sized drainage holes?
- Is the plant allowed to sit in water after being watered?
- Does all excess water run off before the plant is returned to its ornamental planter?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you’ll need to take corrective action immediately by holding off watering until the soil is completely dry.
You should also remove any discolored leaves using a sterilized pruning knife or a pair of sharp scissors.
It’s also a good idea to repot your plant and check the condition of the roots. Remove any leaves that are mushy, brown or black by using sterile tools. It’s a good idea to re-sanitize your cutting tools after each cut to reduce the risk or potential fungus spread.
Allow roots to thoroughly dry before repotting in a clean pot with fresh potting soil.
Your Afterglow succulent will also thank you for resuming a less frequent watering schedule from now on!
Mealybugs are those tiny but unsightly pests that are found in crevices of plants especially around leaf nodes and stem junctions.
These creatures are wingless insects that love humidity and they – rather charmingly- will feed on the sap of your plant using their straw-like mouths to puncture into foliage.
It is easy to spot mealybugs because of the distinctive cotton-like mass that they produce on the surface of plants. Whilst not pleasant to look at, if treated quickly they won’t do any lasting damage to your plant.
I find it is best to prune out areas of the leaves that the mealybugs have taken residence. You can also dab them off using a cotton bud that’s been soaked in diluted rubbing alcohol (such as surgical spirit). Once I have pruned away as much as possible without butchering the plant too much, I like to check over the plant daily and dab away any visible traces.
In addition, every 7 days use a household insect spray, detergent, or soapy water to wash the mealybugs away until the infestation ceases. You can also use Neem oil to help discourage future mealybug infestations.
Aphids are a pest that breed at an alarmingly quick rate. They are most commonly green, white, or black and feed on the sap of succulents and other plants.
They breed most aggressively and in massive numbers around new growth but it’s best to check the entire plant for any signs of infestation or damage. As with most pests, they can lurk in the crevices and in between leaves.
Treat with a detergent or any household horticultural bug spray as described above for Mealybugs.