All About Echeveria Elegans Succulents – Mexican Snowball

The Echeveria Elegans, also known as the “Mexican Snowball” is a simple but beautiful succulent that can be easily taken care of indoors or out.

We have gathered our most frequently asked questions about the Echeveria Elegans into a nice, detailed list that you can go through down below.

What Are Echeveria Elegans?

The Echeveria Elegans is a species of succulent from the Crassulaceae family that thrives in semi-desert or subtropical domain and is commonly found in Mexico. It is often cultivated as an ornamental plant or a decorative succulent to rock gardens where it tends to do well.

This succulent is named after Atanasio Echeverria y Godoy, a botanical illustrator who contributed to the Flora Mexicana, a book of plants of Mexico. Followed by “Elegans”, meaning ‘graceful’ or ‘elegant’ in Latin.

The succulent can be found in a variety of colors, from vibrant pastels like pink and rainbow to monochrome colors such as black and white. The most common and well-known color that the Echeveria Elegans comes in is a pale green and blue combination that merges into a really nice tone as the two colors blend together.

What Is The Common Name For The Echeveria Elegans?

The most common name used for the Echeveria Elegans is the “Mexican Snowball”, however, other names for the succulent are but not limited to “Hens and Chicks”,” Mexican Gem”, “White Mexican Rose” and “Pearl Echeveria”.

The name “Mexican Snowball” comes from its small, round shape that somewhat resembles of a snowball, with its place of origin being Mexico.

The “Hens and Chicks” common name not only for the Echeveria Elegans, but other succulents too. It refers to its propagating property of just removing a leaf from the stem and planting it to make more, hence the name “Hens and Chicks”.

There is another story as to why it’s called Hens and Chicks. When planted in certain conditions like a rock wall it sends out runners through the rock crevasses and then pops up with a new head. The large center piece surrounded by smaller starts resembles a hen and her chick gathered around her.

Echeveria Elegans

History Of Echeveria Elegans

The Echeveria Elegans was cultivated by Atanasio Echeverria y Godoy in Mexico. The plant flourishes in semi-desert or subtropical climates such as Southern California, Mexico and parts of New Mexico and Texas.

The Echeveria Elegans won the Award of Garden Merit of Royal Horticultural Society, The United Kingdom’s leading gardening charity.

While conducting further research, scientists discovered that the Echeveria Elegans contains traces of phytochemicals and active compounds that are found in other plants, such as glycosides, steroids, tannins, and saponins so that they can also be cultivated and used for modern medicines.


How To Grow Echeveria Elegans?

To grow a Echeveria Elegans, you will need cactus soil or a homemade soil mix of equal parts sand, topsoil, and compost. To start the magic, simply place a leaf from the plant on top of the soaked and drained soil and in a few weeks, a small rosette will grow next to the leaf.

Echeveria Elegans love the sun, so place it on a windowsill or an area that gets plenty of sun. It can also work with bright shade if you don’t have a sunny spot.

The succulent doesn’t need much water and can last a good 2 to 21 weeks without water. The soil needs to be well-drained but can be kept moist, and it is also suggested to be watered when you see that the soil is dry, make sure to reduce watering it (or them) in the winter to just monthly.

The best temperature for the Echeveria Elegans is average summer temperature of 65 to 70 Fahrenheit (18.3 to 21.1 Celsius). In the winter, cool it down to 50 Fahrenheit (10 Celsius).

While for the most part, The Echeveria Elegans is frost tolerant, but it is not “cold hardy”. If it looks like it’s going to freeze it’s best to bring them indoors.

If they adorn a rock wall that cannot be moved then of course they will remain outdoors and you’ll just have to check to see how well they survived the extremes.

How Long Does It Take For The Echeveria Elegans To Grow?

The Echeveria Elegans is a slow growing succulent and may take several years for it to mature. If you plant the succulent from a seed or leaf and then sow it, it will take from 3 week to a year for it to fully germinate.

The plant that is sold commercially take about 2 to 5 years to grow, depending on size and species. Larger varieties of Echeveria Elegans tend to grow up from 30cm to 100cm high in about 10 years.


How Long Do Echeveria Elegans Live For?

The average lifespan for a Echeveria Elegans can span from about 3 years to several decades or more depending on the variety of plant, how well it is taken care of and its growing conditions.

How To Propagate Echeveria Elegans?

To propagate Echeveria Elegans, simply remove a leaf from the plant in a twisting motion and gently, but firmly, pluck it from the stem of the succulent. As stated earlier in the sub-headline above, you can propagate the leaf into a pot of soil and a new rosette will grow in just about a few weeks.

Soak the soil, allow to drain and place the leaf on top of the soil. That’s it, the plant will take care of the rest.

How Tall Do Echeveria Elegans Grow?

The Echeveria Elegans, depending on the variety, can grow from a few inches up to 12 inches tall. If your plant is growing taller and stretching out, then it means that it is not getting enough sunlight. Make sure to keep your Mexican Snowball in an area that gets plenty of sun for the best growth.

What Are Echeveria Elegans Albicans?

The Echeveria Elegans Alba, or the Echeveria Albicans, is one variety of the Echeveria Elegans. Also known as the “Whitening Echeveria”, the clumpy bell-shaped succulent grows up to 3 inches and is known for its greenish-white leaves that ‘whiten’ towards the tips.

Are Echeveria Elegans Safe For Your Cats and Pets?

While there are some succulents that are considered toxic to pets, the Echeveria Elegans is nontoxic to pets and children if ingested. However, it’s not something that you’d enjoy eating, we hear the taste is rather bitter.

dog and cat

What Are The Benefits Of Echeveria Elegans?

Despite its size, this little succulent has a lot of benefits to its owner. Like most plants, if not all, the Echeveria Elegans helps purify the air, improve humidity, and add fresh oxygen to your home.

Some surprising benefits from growing the plant are improving focus, pain tolerance and even enhancing your memory! Along with enhancing your senses, the succulent also makes you feel happier, it has been proven by scientists that people who take time and grow plants are happier and calmer.

Who knows? Maybe your succulent could be a good friend or even a therapist in disguise!

What Are Echeveria Elegans Black Prince?

The Echeveria Elegans Black Prince is one variation of the Echeveria Elegans succulent. The plant grows only about 3 inches tall and has black, plump leaves that shift from red to green as they get to the center stem. During the fall and winter, the plant grows out leafy stems ornate with bright red flowers.

Like the Echeveria Elegans, the Black Prince has the same requirement to be taken care of such as watering it from one week to 10 days, letting it flourish in the sun and keeping it in temperatures of 65 to 70 Fahrenheit (18.3 to 21.1 Celsius).

This plant is native in Mexico, perfect for rock gardens or indoors and is virtually disease free, however you should keep an eye on mealybugs, vine weevils and aphids.

What Is The Echeveria Elegans Berry?

The Echeveria Elegans Berry is another variation of the succulent whose colors represent that of a strawberry. This succulent tends to grow in clusters and are easy to propagate, just like the origin plant of the species.

As with any other variation of the Echeveria Elegans, the Berry succulent has the same tending requirements such as soil, watering, temperature, sunlight, humidity and so on.

How Do You Care For Echeveria Elegans In Winter?

During the winter, expect that you won’t have to take care of your Echeveria Elegans as much as you had to during the spring and summer. You can keep your succulent outside during the winter if you do not have snow, ice or freezing temperatures where you live.

The Echeveria Elegans loves a lot of sun and partial shade. If you are keeping it indoors, place your succulent near the window that gets the most light.

Succulents are dormant during the winter; they stop their growing process and require very little care. For watering, water your plant once or twice during the entire winter season.

If you find the soil bone dry then by all means water it again, but this should not happen often.

Because no one likes to be cold during to the winter, humans and plants alike, keep your Echeveria Elegans in a temperature of 65 to 70 Fahrenheit so that you won’t have to put plastic sheeting on it to keep it warm and free of frost.


Why Is My Echeveria Elegans Dying?

Your Echeveria Elegans is most likely dying from under or over watering. Although your plant does not need as much water as other plants, you still need to water it occasionally, and I do not mean drowning it either.

 If your succulent’s leaves are turning yellow, feel mushy and soggy, you are most likely over watering them.

Most succulents prefer moist soil. Make sure you have your succulent in pot and soil designed to drain well so that the succulent doesn’t find itself in standing water where it can develop root rot.

What Are The Top Echeveria Elegans Diseases?

Most Echeveria Elegans diseases are caused by too much humidity, over watering, or not enough sunlight.

Stem rot: This disease is caused by a fungal infection which can be brought on by too much humidity. To avoid this, give your plant water occasionally with deep watering, never pour it over the succulent or mist it. Keep your plant in a ventilated area and avoid overcrowding.

If you happen to have your plant in a greenhouse or terrarium then move it to a dryer location.

Over watering:

This is not a disease per say, but it is a killer for the Echeveria Elegans. As discussed earlier, drowning your plant in water will cause it to get mushy and brown, leading it to its untimely death.

To avoid this, make sure that your succulent containers have adequate drainage holes. Be sure to use sand or perlite mixed with topsoil atop a bed of rocks or gravel so that it can drain quickly and not allow standing water.

Not enough sunlight:

These succulents like plenty of light and if you see your Echeveria Elegans growing outward to a source of light like a window, then it is not getting enough sunlight. To avoid this, keep your succulent in a bright area or near artificial light.


Too much heat and your succulent will look dry and discolored with soft leaves. To avoid this, keep your plant in a place that gets a moderate amount of heat and sun. Make sure to water it as needed, but not too much to avoid over watering.

Under watering:

The opposite of over watering is just as bad as drowning your succulent. Not having enough water for you plant will have it look limp, shriveled, and wilted. To avoid this, water your Echeveria Elegans every 5 days so, until it looks like it’s regained its color and shine.

Fungal Infection:

If your Echeveria Elegans looks dry and does not seem to be rejuvenated after you have been watering it, your succulent is most likely experiencing a fungal infection.

To avoid this: water your plant as needed and don’t let it dry up or over water it.

To treat your succulent’s fungal infection, you will need to remove the succulent from its pot and wash the roots, taking away the dead ones at the same time. Let the succulent breathe for about 24 hours before re-potting it in a new pot with fresh soil.

You may also use a fungicidal soil drench to clear the potting soil of fungus before you replant in it. The directions for these products will generally be on the packaging.

Why Are My Echeveria Elegans Dropping Leaves?

Your Echeveria Elegans is most likely dropping its leaves from watering issues. Giving your succulent too much water will have its leaves become mushy, soft, and over time, fall off. You don’t have to water your succulent as often as many other plants, so tone it down on the water jug.

Watering your plant every week to 10 days is just fine to let it thrive.

Are Echeveria Elegans Edible?

While they are non-toxic to humans and pets, it is advised that you shouldn’t eat the succulent. Although they are perfectly fine as decorations on top of food, they don’t have a reputation for exactly being tasty.

We highly suggested that you should get organically grown succulents if you intend to eat them.