Lola Succulent or Mexican Hens and Chicks
Echeveria Lola is a firm favorite for indoor succulent growers. Its beautiful lilac leaves that can become edged in pink are a fabulous contrast to the greens, silvers, and blues of other succulents, making it a great talking point and the perfect addition to any succulent display or arrangement.
Position Sunny, with partial shade in extreme heat
Watering Water thoroughly but infrequently
Size Height: Up to 6 inches / Diameter: Up to 4 inches
Climate Not cold hardy Zone 9 (Minimum 20° F | -6.7° C)
Propagate Leaves, cuttings, and offsets
Seasonality Evergreen, Winter Dormant
Toxicity Non toxic
Flowers Bell-shaped blooms, yellow and pink late spring
Its oval-shaped leaves grow from the center to form what appears to be a perfectly symmetrical rosette. The leaves are coated with a layer of epicuticular wax that not only adds to its pretty aesthetics, it also protects the leaves from excess moisture and pests.
Similar to most other Echeveria, ‘Lola’ flowers in spring to early summer with an impressive display of bell-shaped flowers of vibrant yellow and pink that appear on stalks and are attractive to pollinators.
Echeveria lola Succulent Care
This evergreen succulent is native to Central America and does well in pot and containers or rock gardens. This plant really does not tolerate cold weather and so for climates with temperatures any lower than 20° F, it’s best to grow Echeveria Lola in containers that can be brought indoors.
Place mature plants in a bright position with lots of sunlight. Echeveria Lola will thrive in good sunlight however, its leaves can be prone to sunburn and scorching in hotter temperatures. Move to partial shade during the afternoon when the sun is at its hottest.
Young plants will need to be moved gradually (over a course of 1-2 weeks) from a bright spot to any position with full sun.
A good indoor position is a bright, draft-free windowsill and it’s best to move them indoors before a sizable dip in temperature. They don’t tolerate extreme changes in temperature well and so will need to acclimatize from their outdoor to indoor position.
Expect the rosettes of a looked-after Echeveria Lola to grow up to 4 inches in diameter and 6 inches tall. Offsets are common and will grow around the main rosette to fill up a display or rock garden area.
Like most other succulents, Echeveria Lola plants prefer dry roots and do not like to be kept in damp soil. The key to watering success is to give your plant a good soak using a long-spouted watering can. Use enough so that it runs freely through the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot or container. Then allow the soil to dry completely before watering again.
You can buy a fancy gadget to test the dryness of the soil or simply press your finger deeply into the soil. Alternatively, prod the soil around the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. If the soil feels completely dry, it’s time to water your plant.
An indicator of over-watering a succulent plant includes soggy, mushy and brown or yellow-colored leaves. The soil is also likely to feel damp or wet. The best thing to do to preserve your over watered succulent is to remove it from its pot and allow it to dry out for a few days. Trim away and dead leaves and check the condition of the roots for any brown or black areas. These too should be trimmed away.
Once dry, replant your succulent in a clean container with fresh, well-draining succulent or cacti soil.
In contrast, the leaves of under-watered succulents will look deflated and may also turn brown or drop off. You may also start to notice a decline in growth or even no growth at all. The pot may also feel lighter than usual and the soil will be hard. Give your plant a good soak to allow it time to recover.
Using a spray bottle or mister should be avoided when watering Echeveria Lola or indeed, any other succulent plant. This is because any prolonged periods of wetness on the leaves can lead to leaf rot, disease and may also encourage pests. In addition, the roots of your succulent will not get the required amount of water they need to hydrate.
The roots of Echeveria Lola need to be free from excess moisture to prevent root rot and remain healthy so always use a well-draining succulent or cacti soil when planting. The best type is one that is peat-free soil or contains coconut coir and is mixed with minerals such as grit, sand or perlite.
You can easily make your own well-draining soil at home. Simply, mix two-thirds minerals such as grit, sand, and perlite, and one-third organic matter, such as a good quality peat-free compost or coconut coir.
Alternatively, ready mixed succulent and cacti soils are readily available to purchase online or at any decent garden-supply retailer.
Echeveria Lola produces an impressive display of brightly colored, bell-shaped blooms of yellow and pink in late spring to early summer.
These flowers appear on stalks that stand proud of the rosette and are attractive to pollinators.
For outdoor grown Echeveria Lola use a ready-mixed succulent or cactus fertilizer that has been diluted to 25%. Fertilize just once during the summertime growing season to encourage a good, strong root system and healthy growth.
Echeveria Lola is a slow growing succulent and leaves tend to remain on it for a long time. Pruning is really only necessary for aesthetic reasons periodically, should you wish to tidy up any damaged, discolored or dead leaves.
It’s best to pick off the affected leaves although you can use a sharp and sterile knife or scissors. Try to avoid accidentally snipping other leaves if you are using a tool.
This succulent will need repotting once every year to ensure it is receiving the nutrients it needs to survive.
It’s best to re-pot in early spring before the start of the growing season and before flowering. Choose a suitably sized pot and always use fresh soil. Hold off watering your newly potted succulent for 3-5 days then give it a good soak and resume its usual watering schedule.
Whilst you have the plant out of its pot check the condition of the roots for any signs of rot. If you do notice any wet and slimy, dark brown or black areas on the roots, gently trim them off with a sharp sterile knife or scissors. Allow the cuts to dry before repotting.
How To Propagate Echeveria Lola
Echeveria Lola can be propagated from cuttings, leaves and offsets. Even a rosette that has dropped off has the potential to take root and produce a new plant quickly given the right environment.
See below for a step-by-step guide on how to propagate.
Echeveria Lola Cuttings
To take a cutting from Echeveria Lola use a sharp, sterile knife or pair of scissors to remove a leaf from the main plant. Make sure the cut is as clean as possible and as close to the main plant as you can.
Place on a dry tray for the next few days or so to allow it to form a protective barrier or to ‘callous off’. Then place the cutting on top of a thin layer of succulent or cactus soil and wait for the roots to start to grow. This will take a few weeks. Water the soil only when it has completely dried out.
When roots appear, plant in a pot or container using succulent or cactus soil. It’s best to mound the soil up around the newly rooted cutting so that it sits slightly proud of the pot. Press down to secure and cover with a layer of grit. Do not water until the following day.
After watering press the soil down around the cutting once more. Position in in a bright spot and move into shade to avoid full sun.
Echeveria Lola Cuttings from Leaves
Select a healthy leaf and take care to remove the entire leaf from the stem. Do this by holding the leaf between thumb and forefinger as near to the stem as possible. Give it a gentle but confident twist to ensure the leaf remains intact. 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. Rooting is likely to take several weeks and certainly longer than with other methods.
Echeveria Lola Offsets
Since Echeveria Lola freely produces offsets, it may not be necessary to intervene with the propagation process. However, to propagate offsets, do so in the same way as above for cuttings by removing the offset from the base of the plant with a sharp, sterile knife. Allow the cut to callous off for a day or so.
Place the offset on well-draining soil and water only when soil is completely dry.
Common problems with Echeveria lola
Root Rot is a common problem for Echeveria Lola which typically occurs from over-watering your plant, or more to the point letting the soil stay wet over a prolonged period of time. It usually takes effect from the inside and roots of the plant so unless you are removing your Echeveria Lola succulent from its pot regularly, it may be difficult to spot. One indicator is rotting leaves.
At first signs of root rot remove your plant from the pot and carefully brush off any remaining soil. Roots that are brown or black and soft and mushy are rotten and need trimming off. Allow the cut to dry before repot ting with fresh soil in a clean pot. Water thoroughly, but less frequently.
Another common problem for Lola succulent plants are Mealybugs. These tiny wingless insects are often a result of humid or damp conditions. They hide out in crevices and leaf junctions where water can collect.
Mealybugs produce a distinctive cotton-like mass on the plant’s surface. They feed on the plant’s sap by piecing their straw-like mouth into the foliage.
Remove excess water and any visible Mealybugs from your plant using a cotton bud. Then use household insect spray, neem oil, detergent or soapy water to wash them away. Repeat regularly until the infestation subsides.