The lipstick echeveria (Echeveria agavoides) is a rosette-forming succulent characterized by its green and red coloring. Native to the mountainous regions in Mexico, this succulent prefers warm, dry climates, and rocky soils. Lipstick echeveria grows best outdoors but in colder regions can be cultivated as a houseplant.
The leaves are ovate-triangular and pale to bright green with red margins. The pink or peach bell-shaped flowers grow on long stalks in late spring to early summer.
|Scientific Name||Echeveria agavoides|
|Common Names||Lipstick Echeveria, Molded Wax Agave|
|Plant Type||Succulent, perennial|
|Size||Up to 4-8” tall, 4-8” wide|
|USDA Hardiness Zones||9-11|
|Propagation Methods||Offsets, stem cutting/beheading, leaf cutting, seed|
|Climate||Subtropical to semi-arid|
|Soil Type||Well-draining, rocky|
|Sun Exposure||Full sun to partial shade|
Echeveria Agavoides Care
Echeveria agavoides requires bright light for several hours a day. Exposure to sunlight creates more vivid coloring and a compact, upright growth habit. In temperatures above 90 °F, protect from intense sun by bringing containers into the shade or creating a shelter using shade cloth.
If growing indoors, place next to a south-facing window and move outside for the summer. Consider using a grow light during darker months.
Note: Outdoor shade in southern climates provides brighter light than many indoor locations. Monitor indoor plants for signs of insufficient light such as faded coloring, flat or splayed growth habit, elongated leaves, or leggy rosettes.
The lipstick echeveria is adapted to grow in well-draining, rocky soils. For container planting, mix two parts succulent potting mix with one part perlite and one part coarse sand. Avoid planting in heavy clay outdoors. Echeveria agavoides does well on sloped ground, in raised beds, and in rock gardens.
Let the soil dry out completely between waterings. Water well and allow excess to drain away. Avoid waterlogged conditions that can cause root rot. Water directly into the soil to prevent wetting the foliage. Water less frequently during winter.
Tip: Slight water stress can contribute to vibrant coloring. Create dry conditions but take care to avoid prolonged periods of dehydration.
Echeveria agavoides prefers low to moderate humidity. Most indoor environments provide adequate humidity levels. Avoid placing in a humid location such as a bathroom.
Feed container plants with a balanced, diluted fertilizer every 4 to 6 weeks during the growing season in spring and summer.
The lipstick echeveria doesn’t require frequent pruning. Remove any dead leaves to prevent issues with rot and propagate offsets to reduce crowding.
Echeveria agavoides will flower in the spring and summer once it reaches maturity. Flowers can last from three weeks to a couple of months.
- Provide adequate sunlight.
- Avoid using a high-nitrogen fertilizer that will encourage foliage growth rather than flowering. Use a diluted, balanced fertilizer.
- Reduce watering in the weeks leading up to spring to trigger drought-induced flowering.
- Remove any spent flower stalks to encourage new flower production.
There are numerous Echeveria agavoides varieties and cultivars, with differences in size, color, leaf shape, and growth habit.
- Echeveria agavoides ‘Aquamarine’: Light, blue-green leaves.
- Echeveria agavoides ‘Bronze Beauty’: Bronze, orange, or reddish-brown leaves.
- Echeveria agavoides ‘Corderoyi’: Neon green to yellow leaves with red tips.
- Echeveria agavoides ‘Ebony’: Light, ash-green leaves with deep burgundy margins.
- Echeveria agavoides ‘Lipstick’: Lime green leaves with bright red margins, appearing painted.
- Echeveria agavoides ‘Oculus’: Entire plant is burgundy to red.
Echeveria Agavoides Propagation
Lipstick echeveria is most successfully propagated by offsets and cuttings (beheading/topping). The plant can be propagated from leaves but the success rate is low. Propagation by seed is possible but less common. Propagate in the spring or summer when the plant is actively growing.
A healthy, mature Echeveria agavoides will produce offsets (pups) at the base of the plant. Offset production will be higher in spring and summer.
- Choose offsets that are developed and have their own stem.
- Hold the offset by the stem and gently pull to separate from the parent plant. If there is resistance, use a sharp, sterilized knife.
- Let the offset dry for a few days.
- Plant in a well-draining substrate and water lightly.
- Place in bright light but avoid intense sunlight. Offsets can take several weeks to root. Pups with their own root system will establish more quickly.
Cutting off the rosette head is a good option for plants that are not producing offsets. The separated rosette regrows as a new plant and the severed stump will develop new pups.
Tip: For compact, low-growing succulents like Echeveria agavoides, use a fine string, such as dental floss, to cut and separate the rosette from the base. Using a knife or scissors may cause damage to the leaves or to the whole rosette.
- Wrap dental floss below the rosette head, close to the base of the plant. Pull tightly to make the cut.
- Let the rosette head dry for a few days.
- Plant in a well-draining substrate and water lightly. The rosette head can take a few weeks or months to root.
- Pups should develop on the severed stump within several weeks.
Lipstick echeveria is not as receptive to leaf propagation as other Echeveria species.
- Select a large, healthy leaf.
- Gently pull the leaf away from the main plant.
- Let the leaf dry for a few days.
- Lay on a well-draining substrate and moisten lightly.
- Place in bright indirect light.
- Roots may develop in 1 to 2 weeks followed by a small rosette in 3 to 8 weeks.
Repot Echeveria agavoides when it is rootbound or overcrowded. This may only be once every two years. Repot in the spring when the plant is actively growing. Choose a slightly larger pot with good drainage and fill with fresh substrate. Avoid watering for a few days after repotting to allow the plant to settle.
In USDA zones 9-11 it is possible to grow Echeveria agavoides outside all year round. In colder climates, plant in containers and bring them inside for the winter. Ensure the plant receives several hours of bright light a day. Reduce watering frequency during winter dormancy – the plant can be kept almost dry during these months.
- Yellow or translucent leaves: Caused by overwatering. Allow the soil to dry out completely. In severe cases, replant in fresh substrate.
- Shriveled, dry leaves: Caused by underwatering. Check soil moisture to ensure it is dry before watering thoroughly. Remove damaged leaves.
- Faded coloring and flat growth habit: Caused by inadequate light. Place in a location that receives several hours of sunlight a day. Place outdoors during warm summers.
- Mealy bugs: Found in leaf crevices and at the base of the leaf. Remove with a Q-tip soaked in rubbing alcohol. Spray with a mild insecticidal soap. Control with neem oil.
- Aphids: Cluster on the underside of leaves. Spray with a mild insecticidal soap.
- Scale Insects: Appear as small bumps on the leaves and stems. Remove with a soft brush or cloth soaked in water. Control with neem oil.
Like many succulents, careless watering and excessive moisture can cause fungal problems such as root rot. Plant in a well-draining substrate, allow soil to dry in between watering, and avoid wetting the foliage.