Echeveria cheyenne, also known as Heart Succulent Echeveria or Echeveria echinata, is an excellent plant to grow if you love succulents but don’t have a lot of space to work with. This plant not only requires very little maintenance and can tolerate indirect sunlight, but it also grows in a cute heart shape that’s sure to get your guests’ attention!
Echeveria cheyenne is a succulent that can grow up to 9 inches (23 cm) tall, with variegated grayish-green leaves and bright pink heart-shaped flowers in spring. This fast-growing succulent prefers partial shade, but it does need plenty of sunlight to keep its leaves colorfully variegated.
It was first discovered by Don Osborn in 1958 and named after his wife, Cheyenne Osborn, in the 1960s. This plant is an echeveria and does well indoors when given the right environment and care. Let’s take a look at how to care for your echeveria cheyenne succulent and how to grow succulents from cuttings!
Origin and distribution
A native of Mexico and Central America, echeveria cheyenne is a member of the spurge family. Its common name refers to its resemblance to heart-shaped succulents such as hens and chicks, aka Sempervivum species. The plant has also been dubbed hen’s tooth because of its needle-like leaves. Though it looks like a cactus, it isn’t one; instead, it belongs to an entirely different genus of plants.
As with other types of succulents, echeveria cheyenne stores water in its fleshy leaves during dry periods so that it can continue growing during times when water is scarce. In fact, it can go for months without watering once established in your home. Like many succulents, echeveria cheyenne produces flowers only rarely. When it does flower, its blooms are pink or white with yellow centers.
Echeveria cheyenne propagation
The easiest way to propagate the heart succulent echeveria is by offsetting. Take a mature leaf and remove it from the main rosette, then place it in well-draining soil that gets plenty of sun. Be sure to handle your echeveria gently—they can snap easily, especially when you repot them! Once you’ve potted your offsets, water thoroughly, then don’t touch them for at least three weeks.
During those three weeks, let your new Echeveria cheyenne adjust to their new environment. After three weeks, begin watering regularly and fertilizing with a weak solution of fertilizer every two or three months. If you want to speed up growth, use a stronger solution. If you want slower growth, use less fertilizer. It takes about six months for an offset to fully mature into its own plant, but some varieties will take longer than others.
For example, ‘Super Elfin Red’ offsets will only take about four months before they’re ready to be potted on their own. You can also propagate echeverias by cutting off pieces of leaves and rooting them in water. This method works best if you have a lot of space, because many small leaves will grow out of each piece. However, if you have limited space, try using just one leaf per pot instead of several; many people find success with just one large leaf per pot.
You can also cut off pieces of leaves and root them directly into the dirt if you prefer not to worry about transplanting later on down the road. This method requires more patience, as it can take anywhere from six months to a year for roots to develop. Don’t be discouraged if nothing happens right away—just keep checking back until you see signs of life.
Echeveria cheyenne care information
The best care for your echeveria echinata is to keep it in a well-lit area with slightly moist soil and fertilize it occasionally. If you live in a colder climate, put your echeveria echinata in a warm location where it receives indirect sunlight. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight that may be too hot or dry for your plant. Water when soil is completely dry so that excess water does not collect at its base. Use sterilized potting soil when planting.
The amount of light your succulents need varies depending on their size and type. Most indoor plants will do fine with 10 to 12 hours of sunlight each day. Alternatively, you can supplement natural light with a grow lamp or fluorescent bulbs, especially during winter months when fewer hours of sunlight are available. You’ll also want to make sure that your Echeveria cheyenne gets plenty of bright, indirect light throughout the day. For example, they should be able to sit near a window where they receive both direct and indirect sunlight for at least half of every day.
As succulents prefer well-draining soil, it’s best to use an all-purpose cactus/succulent potting mix. If you don’t have any of these mixes lying around, purchase some at your local nursery or garden center. To ensure good drainage, add grit and small stones to your potting mix prior to planting.
The ideal pH range for Echeveria cheyenne is between 6.0 and 7.5; if you aren’t sure what yours is, take a sample to your local gardening supply store for testing. For every inch of depth in your container, add one tablespoon of coarse sand or perlite to help maintain proper drainage.
Finally, make sure that your pot has plenty of room for roots to grow—at least twice as much space as you expect them to fill up. When adding soil and water to your container, avoid getting any liquid on top of the leaves—this can cause rot.
Echeveria cheyenne is best watered when it’s moderately dry. You can tell that it needs water when its leaves curl or turn a pale green. If you notice these signs, water your echeveria regularly until its soil is fully hydrated. Then allow it to dry out slightly before watering again to prevent root rot.
If you keep your plant in an area with low humidity, misting it daily will help maintain proper moisture levels. In addition to misting, also make sure that your pot has drainage holes and never allow water to sit in its saucer for more than an hour.
Like most succulents, you’ll need to fertilize Echeveria Cheyenne regularly. Use a cactus fertilizer or an all-purpose houseplant fertilizer with low nitrogen in spring and summer, when it’s actively growing. You can also use a balanced liquid fertilizer throughout spring and summer. To encourage blooming, reduce watering from fall through winter, and stop fertilizing altogether. Water only enough to keep your plant from wilting; otherwise, let it dry out between waterings.
Echeveria cheyenne prefers moderate to high temperature (57°F to 70°F / 14°C to 21°C). Ensure your succulents aren’t exposed to temperatures lower than 57°F / 14°C at night. You can set your thermostat up a few degrees during colder months for added protection. Protect from freezing or below.
If you live in an area that gets extremely cold, consider bringing your echeverias inside during these times. If you do choose to bring them inside, make sure they are placed in bright light and kept on a windowsill where they will receive plenty of fresh air and sunlight.
As far as succulents go, echeverias are pretty low maintenance, but there is one environmental condition that can cause them some trouble: excessive dryness. These drought-tolerant succulents prefer bright indirect light and average household temperatures. If you’re keeping your succulents on a windowsill or in a room with poor air circulation, they may need a little more humidity than they’re getting.
The ideal humidity range is 40-50% RH. If your succulents are getting too dry, you can increase their humidity by placing them on a tray of wet pebbles or putting them in a room with a humidifier. You can also try misting your echeverias regularly with water from a spray bottle. Be sure to use room temperature water so as not to shock them with cold water and be careful not to overwater, which can cause root rot.
After flowering, your succulents need to be pruned. As a general rule, remove any leaves and flowers after they die back. If there are branches that cross over one another or seem out of balance, thin them out by cutting them off at their base with a sharp pair of scissors. Check on your plants regularly so you can do some light pruning when necessary.
When to repot
You’ll want to repot your Echeveria cheyenne when they’re growing too large for their containers. (The most common reason people repot their succulents is that they have rooted too many new offsets, which have crowded out their original plant).
Repotting is also a good idea if you notice that water isn’t being absorbed by your plant as efficiently as it once was. If you’ve been noticing either of these signs, it might be time to repot! But remember: Don’t overpot your plants. If in doubt, use a smaller pot than what you think is necessary—you can always transplant later on down the road if need be.
Echeveria cheyenne will go through a period of dormancy. In order to prevent it from occurring, be sure to provide your plant with plenty of light and warmth throughout most of the year. If you can provide that and your echeveria still goes dormant, don’t worry—you can always revive it by moving it back to a sunny location and allowing it to drink plenty of water for at least two weeks.
Just keep an eye on it during that time; if new growth appears before two weeks have passed, move it back into its original spot. And if no new growth appears after two weeks, try again in another month or so.
Flowers & Fragrance
Echeveria cheyenne plant’s flowers are vibrant pink, red, or white that last for several weeks. Each flower emerges from between a rosette of dark green leaves. The flowers are not as colorful as many other varieties of echeverias, but they make up for it in longevity and hardiness.
Cheyenne is one of the more drought-tolerant varieties, making it well-suited to growing outdoors in warmer regions where there is little rainfall.
Echeveria cheyenne is slow-growing. Heart succulents thrive on neglect, but you can help your plant grow by providing bright light and avoiding overwatering. Overwatering causes root rot; if you suspect that your plant is suffering from root rot, cut back on watering and be sure to provide a drainage layer in your planter so excess water has somewhere to go. If possible, move plants outdoors in summer—they need plenty of sunlight and warmer temperatures to thrive.
All parts of Echeveria cheyenne are poisonous if ingested. Avoid contact with eyes and skin. Wash thoroughly after handling. Take care to protect from pets and children. Also, don’t try to eat it, even if it looks delicious; that’s not a joke, people have done just that without realizing it was toxic!
USDA Hardiness Zones
Echeveria cheyenne thrives in USDA hardiness zones 9b through 11. If you live outside of these areas, it is best to grow echeveria cheyenne as a houseplant. It can survive temperatures as low as -5 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 degrees Celsius). However, it should be brought indoors when cold weather approaches.
In the winter months, water echeveria cheyenne only when soil is dry to prevent root rot. In warmer months, water whenever the soil feels dry and fertilize every two weeks with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half.
Pests and diseases
A number of pests and diseases can affect succulents and cacti. Aphids, mealybugs, scale insects, spider mites, and whiteflies are common Echeveria cheyenne plant pests. Diseases caused by soil-borne fungi include root rot and leaf spot. A fungal disease known as Candidatus Phytophthora ramorum causes sudden oak death on many species of plants including echeverias that are native to California, like heart-leaved agave (Agave parviflora).
The fungus spreads through water, infected pruning tools, or infected nursery stock. If you have an infection in your garden, it’s best to remove and destroy all affected plants immediately. You may also want to sanitize or dispose any of the tools used for pruning or transplanting infected plants so they don’t spread it further in your garden. The fungus is not a threat indoors unless you grow susceptible houseplants outside during warm weather or bring them into your home from an infected area outdoors.
So if you have a love for cacti or succulents in general, then do not hesitate to add Echeveria cheyenne heart succulent to your garden. The growth rate is excellent and because it is hardy, you can be sure it will survive year after year in your garden with minimum care. You can plant them indoors as well and they will thrive as long as they are not placed near a heating system or furnace.