Echeveria Setosa is also known as the firecracker plant. It is not exactly a cold-hardy succulent, even though it thrives as a houseplant during the winter. In the summer, this succulent form spoon-shaped light green leaves and red flowers.
Taking care of the Echeveria setosa is not exactly easy. You have to know the right temperature, light, fertilizer, soil, watering, and grooming requirements. But luckily for you, this article captures everything you need to know about growing, caring, and propagating the Echeveria setosa.
The Echeveria setosa is commonly known as the firecracker plant and is native to Mexico. This evergreen succulent belongs to the Crassulaceae family and blooms in the spring and summer.
The flowers of the firecracker plant are either yellow or red. They stand erect and form flattened cymes from their rosettes that grow as much as 20 cm in diameter. Thanks to the flowers’ hair density, the center of the rosettes is usually white, creating a contrast with the margins of the rosettes.
The green leaves of the Echeveria setosa succulents are small, spoon-shaped, and densely packed.
Echeveria Setosa Care
For your Echeveria setosa succulents to grow up four inches tall, and for the leaves and flowers to flourish, they need to be properly cared for. Here are the care requirements for the firecracker plant:
#1. Light and Temperature Requirements
Echeveria setosa requires lots of sunlight. It needs a minimum temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, while in the winter, a temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit should be enough.
The firecracker succulent thrives in the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 9B — 11B. You can keep it outdoors under partial shade sun or indoors as a houseplant. If you keep this succulent under direct sunlight, it might get burnt. Unfortunately, the leaves of the Echeveria setosa do not recover from sunburn. Also, ensure the succulent is getting enough sunlight so it does not stretch or become leggy.
To prevent the plant from looking stressed and shriveled, do not drastically change its sunlight exposure. When moving the Echeveria setosa outdoors in the spring or summer, do it gradually.
#2. Watering Requirements
Do not overwater the Echeveria setosa. Follow the “wait and dry” watering technique, which involves allowing the succulent to dry out first before watering again. Ensure you water the soil directly instead of the leaves or roots to avoid rot.
You should continue to pour water on the soil until it flushes out from the bottom of the pot. Use well-draining soil so that the succulent does not sit in water.
Add a layer of mulch around the succulents to help retain moisture.
#3. Fertilizer Requirements
The Echeveria setosa is a desert plant, and its native soil is not packed with nutrients. In light of this, you need to feed the succulent with a slow-release fertilizer in its early growth stage. This type of fertilizer releases a small number of nutrients over a period of time.
You can also feed the Echeveria setosa with water-soluble or cactus fertilizer.
#4. Soil Requirements
The best soil for the firecracker plant is a well-draining soil or cactus mix with low acidity. Make your own soil by combining potting mix and perlite in a 1:1 proportion.
Check if the texture of the soil is good by squeezing a small portion in your hand. As you open your hand, the soil should fall apart freely if you mixed it well.
If the soil forms mold, it means the perlite quantity is not enough.
The drainage of the soil can be improved by the use of coarse sand instead of fine sand.
#5. Transplanting Requirements
The best time to transplant the Echeveria setosa is during the summer. To avoid fungi attack, use dry soil for transplanting.
Shake off the old soil stuck to the roots of the plant and trim away any damaged roots. Ensure you apply a well-formulated fungicide on the trimmed parts of the succulent before you repot. Plant it into a new pot with large drainage holes and fill the pot with succulent potting mix or dry cactus. Wait until after the soil is dry before watering. It should take about a week for the soil to dry out completely.
Potting this plant requires a well-draining substrate. You can buy a cactus mix or mix loamy soil with sand in equal measure. Put this pottage in a pot with suitable drainage holes at the bottom. A breathable pot is vital since it allows water to pass through easily through evaporation. An unglazed terracotta pot is the best as it is breathable. However, it should have drainage holes at the bottom to allow excess water flow.
If you are growing the plant in a pot, you will need to repot it from time to time. Repotting is mainly necessitated by the plant outgrowing its pot. It is necessary; thus, you will need to repot the plant every two years or so. It may also be necessary to repot the plant if your pottage loses its porosity, putting your plant in danger of waterlogging and root rot. The best time to repot is at the beginning of spring since that is the season of the plant’s growth, and it will get established faster.
Ensure the substrate is dry before you start repotting and get another bigger pot. The new pot in which you will plant the repotted plant should be four inches wider than the previous one. Move a flat blunt piece of metal or wooden solid spatula between the pottage ad the old pot (from where you are removing the plant). Using the spatula or metal bar this way loosens the root. After removing the roots, you should turn the pot upside down, being careful to get the substrate on your hand and protecting the plant.
Gently remove the soil while taking care of the roots not to injure them. You can carefully trim the leaves to make sure they easily fit in the new pot. Proceed to replant the plant in the new pot, and ensure it has sufficient drainage holes. The next step is to water the plant appropriately and keep it in a cool place away from direct sunlight until the plant is established in the new pot. You can move the plant to its permanent position after the roots are well established.
Foliage is the best part of this plant, so it doesn’t need much pruning. However, there are instances where pruning may be necessary. There are two main types of pruning, soft pruning and hard pruning. Removing dead and withering leaves from your Echeveria setosa is soft pruning. You remove these leaves to keep your plant looking neat and keep pests and diseases from attacking the plant from these leaves. Soft pruning doesn’t take much effort or tools. You only need to twist the leaves at the base and pull them out carefully not to injure the plant.
Hard pruning is when you must cut off tree branches and stems to reduce the plant’s size and growth to fit in the pot or place reserved for its development. You can also hard prune a plant as amputation. If, for example, you find your plant is rotting, you can cut off the rotting parts and allow the remaining part to grow. Hard pruning your Echeveris Setosa requires cutting tools such as pruners or pruning shears. The tools must be disinfected with spirit or alcohol to keep them from infecting the plant you are pruning.
How to Propagate Echeveria Setosa Succulent
The firecracker plant is very easy to propagate. You can propagate from leaf, offsets, or stem cuttings.
To propagate Echeveria setosa, select a whole leaf and cut it off from the plant. Place the leaf on soil with good drainage, and keep the pot in a cool and dry area.
After three or four weeks, a new succulent will sprout from that leaf. To speed up the process, you can cover the pot, so moisture does not escape into the atmosphere.
You can also separate the offsets of the Echeveria setosa as they grow from the roots and repot them in different potting mixes.
The last way to propagate the firecracker succulent is from stem cuttings. Select a short stem and cut it off with a sterilized blade. The branch will take about four to five days to heal before it is ready for repotting.
After repotting the plant, give it an ample amount of sunlight and little water. In about four weeks, roots will start springing up.
How to Prevent Diseases and Pests Attacks on the Echeveria Setosa Plant
If you overwater the firecracker succulent, you risk exposing it to fungal attack and root rot. On the other hand, if you underwater the succulent, the leaves will appear shriveled and wilted.
Echeveria setosa tends to be attacked by pests such as mealybugs, vine weevils, and aphids. If the pests are just a handful, you can pick them up from the plant. However, if they are much, you will need a pesticide to eliminate them.
The Mexican firecracker is easy to maintain, and you can grow it indoors and outdoors as long as the weather allows. Sunlight and well-drained soil are vital for the plant, but it is an excellent plant for a new plant parent. It gives much more than it demands.
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