The Blooming Queen: Echeveria Perle von Nurnberg

Standing out like a member of the royal family, the Blooming Queen is a magnificent succulent that holds court wherever she reigns. Her leaves form as a beautiful wide rosette meaning she looks like a pretty purple flower, all year long. She has recently been the center of attention in bridal bouquets and has gained a great reputation in floral arrangements. Best of all, she is not fussy about her needs. She is the Echeveria Perle von Nurnberg.

The regal Blooming Queen is from the Crassulaceae family and her name translates to the Pearl of Nurnberg. Although she is a part of the echeveria species that hail from Mexico, Perle von Nurnberg was actually created in the Perleburg city of Germany by an avid succulent plant grower called Richard Graessner during the 1930s. He created a hybrid between Echeveria gibbiflora ‘Metalica’ and Echeveria potosina (now E. elegans) and named it after the pearly effect given off by her glowing leaves.

Nobility at its best

Perle von Nurnberg is impressively gorgeous in form and color. She displays pearlescent lilac, pink and purple tones during the summer and gives off a blue-green shade when she is not in the sun. The Blooming Queen has dense rosettes growing on a slender stem with pointed, chubby leaves that grow up to 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter. Depending on the amount of light, she gives off a grayish lavender pruinose that looks like it was dusted on by a professional artist.

As if her stunning appearance was not enough, during the summertime, Perle von Nurnberg has one more surprise for you. 1 foot (30 cm) long reddish inflorescences pop out, five or six at a time, and proudly flaunt coral pink, bell-shaped flowers with yellow interiors. She is not a big succulent. It takes 5-10 years for her to reach her full adult height of 10 inches (25 cm.) tall and she tends to spread out to 8 inches (20 cm.) wide.

The Perle von Nurnberg likes to sunbathe

The Blooming Queen is not very picky about her surroundings. She enjoys basking in a sunny spot and will thrive with at least 6 hours of sunshine a day. Full or partial sun exposure brings out this succulent’s amazing hues. For her to have a healthy life indoors, she needs to by a south-facing window and may require a grow light.

The Pearl of Nurnberg will prosper in climatic conditions defined by the USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b. This means that she can handle temperatures ranging between 25°F (-1.39°C) and 50°F (+10°C). Her ideal temperatures are anything above 40°F.

The one thing that this succulent will not stand for is frost and cold temperatures. When the weather gets cold, it is advisable to bring her indoors. This evergreen plant dislikes chilly weather so much that she goes dormant in the winter.

The Pearl of Nurnberg’s watering needs

Like most echeveria, the Perle von Nurnberg is not a thirsty succulent. She will require frequent watering cycles when she is in her growing stages. Once she is well established, her mildly drought-tolerant characteristics appear and she can go without a drink for a long period of time. The Blooming Queen revels in the ‘soak and dry’ watering method. It is better to wait until the soil in this echeveria’s pot is completely dry before giving her a bath. If you leave her waterlogged for a long time, you will be signing her death warrant. This no-mess-no-fuss succulent can comfortably go all winter without water if she is kept indoors.

Happy home means a happy succulent

The Pearl of Nurnberg is a little particular about what type of soil she gets to grow in. She prefers soil that is well-draining, loose, and gritty in texture. A premade succulent or cactus soil mix makes the perfect surroundings for this succulent. To improve the draining capacity, you can add pumice stones or lava rocks to the soil.

If tracking down succulent soil is an issue, you can custom make your own fast-draining soil. Regular potting soil retains water. However, if you combine it with something rocky like sand, perlite, shredded bark, rice hulls, or coconut fiber, it increases the drainage which is what she fancies.

The Blooming Queen is not a big fan of fertilizer and can comfortably blossom without it. If you would like to give her an extra boost, you can use a liquid, low-nitrogen succulent or cactus fertilizer, but only during the summer.

Propagation of the Pearl of Nurnberg

It may take years before you see an offset from the Blooming Queen. These can be separated in the spring and replanted. Fortunately, this succulent can grow from leaf and stem cuttings as well as beheading.

Leaf Cuttings

One mistake people make when propagating echeverias is to cut off the leaf. You should instead, gently twist and pull the leaf away from the stem of the plant. This method greatly increases the chances of successful propagation. Ensure that you get the entire leaf without leaving any parts behind. The sweet spot between the leaf and the stem is what helps the cuttings to grow roots.

To propagate, keep the leaf cuttings out in the sun for a few days until they dry out and begin to callous all over. Once dry, place the cuttings on top of well-draining soil and mist with water. Ensure that the soil remains damp (not wet) until new roots have grown in. When the plant shows some resistance if you try to pull on it, that means the roots have settled and you can return to a regular watering schedule.

Stem Cuttings

There is a trick to propagating the stem cuttings of the Pearl of Nurnberg. Instead of twisting, get a clean, sterile knife or scissors and slice off the stem, about 2 inches below the rosette. Let the stem dry and stick it upright in misted soil. Follow the watering regime for leaf cuttings and voila, the succulent will start to grow.

Beheading

In true royal style, the Blooming Queen can be propagated when someone shouts “Off with the head”! Just kidding. But you do have to cut off the top of the plant with a sharp knife or scissors, leaving a few inches at the base. Once the head of the succulent has dried and calloused over, stick it in misty soil, water it, and watch it bloom.

Grooming the Blooming Queen

For the Pearl of Nurnberg to remain pretty as a picture, she needs a little TLC. She is not a water baby so she must never be left in water or soggy soil for long periods. She does not like water sitting in her rosette because this leads to root rot or fungal disease.

The Blooming Queen will let you know if she is thirsty. Her leaves will start to shrivel up and the succulent will wilt. She just needs a good drink to perk up again. She will also notify you if she is not getting enough sunshine. Her leaves will start to etiolate (weaken and drain of color) as she stretches towards the sun.

As she grows, the dead leaves found at the bottom of this succulent need to be removed. Dead leaves are a haven for pests such as mealybugs. These are nasty critters that drink the sap out of plants, create cottony nests, and attract ants.

Every three to four years, these succulents like to move to a new home during the summer to aerate the soil. The soil has to be completely dry before removing the plant from the pot. Gently brush the soil off the roots and check for dead or rotting roots. These need to be taken off before repotting. If she has any cuts, they can be treated with a fungicide.

Fun facts about Perle von Nurnberg

  • This pristine beauty is the winner of the prominent Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society in the United Kingdom.
  • The Blooming Queen is not toxic to humans or animals, and she can tolerate deer.
  • Echeveria Perle von Nurnberg is known to effectively improve the air quality by producing oxygen at night, making her the ideal bedroom companion.

There you have it. A full rundown of the imperial succulent, Perle von Nurnberg. As a superstar in her own right, it’s no wonder you will find her brightening up rock gardens, xeriscapes, and desert-themed landscapes. She also makes quite the statement in a cheeky pot.

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