How I grew echeveria from seed

I've been growing succulents for almost three years now and I think this has to be, hands down, the most rewarding and exciting way I have grown succulents yet. Growing from seed has two main advantages, you can get plants that may be rare and hard to source where you live and it is very cost effective.

echeveria laui from seed
4 month old echeveria laui seedlings
When growing from seed the most important thing is the seed quality, the fresher they are the more likely they are to germinate. Bearing this in mind you have to source your seed carefully, I can't count the number of people that I have seen posting across succulent groups who have been scammed and sent fake seeds. For this grow I bought my seeds from rareplant and was very impressed by the germination rate I achieved. Take care and read reviews before you buy your seeds from anywhere.

For this grow I used echeveria laui seeds and echeveria mexican giant seeds.

First things first, you are going to need something to grow your seeds in. I like to use plastic seed trays. I find that them being shallower than pots works well, there is loads of room for your seeds to grow and they have lots of drainage. You can get these seed trays with clear plastic lids, these are ideal because when growing from seed humidity is important. If like me you are too eager to get growing to actually go out and buy a tray with a lid you can do what I did and use cling film/saran wrap over the top of your tray. Just make sure that you don't fill your tray up too high with soil or the wrap may end up resting on your seedlings and you don't want that.

Once you have your seed tray the next thing to think about is your soil. I have seen lots of people talk about using sand but again I didn't have any and didn't want to wait until I could find some to plant so I used a mix of soil, grit and perlite. I probably used a ratio of about 60:30:10. Because, as I mentioned before,
you will be growing your seeds in a humid environment it is a good idea to sterilise your soil before making up the mix, you can do this by putting the soil on an oven proof tray and baking it on a low heat for an hour or so. Sterilising your soil will help prevent fungus or parasites from infecting your delicate little seedlings.
Echeveria seedling
Tiny little seedling

Now you have to sow your seeds. If you have bought seed already you may notice that echeveria seeds are tiny, sowing them is not easy. You may notice from my clumps of babies that I didn't quite manage to spread them out as well as I had hoped! To help prevent the seeds from washing away, because they are so tiny, it is a good idea to dampen your soil before you sow your seeds, you can do this with a spray bottle. Then you can scatter your seeds and hopefully do a better job of it than me. Echeveria seeds don't have to be covered with soil once you have scattered them so once that is done you can place either your clear plastic lid if you have one or some wrap over the top of your seed tray.

The best time for growing seeds if you don't have a growlight is Spring or Summer. You want to put your seed tray in a warm bright spot, a South facing window sill will work well. I put mine under an LED growlight, this is probably not recommended but I left mine on 24/7, I don't have a timer and being forgetful I never remember to turn it on or off so 24/7 it was and my seedlings don't seem to be complaining.

While you are waiting for your seeds to sprout you have to make sure the humidity remains high, because you have them covered and you watered before covering they should be ok but do keep an eye on them just in case they dry out and water if needed. It could take a week for your seeds to sprout or it could take months, the germination times of succulent seeds vary widely so if you see no green poking through immediately don't panic, these things take time. Mine took about 7-10 days until I saw signs of life.
How to grow echeveria laui from seed
Echeveria Laui with true leaves

Once my seeds has sprouted I kept them covered for about two more weeks, again, I'm not sure this is the recommended thing to do but it worked for me. At the end of this 2 weeks though I saw some moss beginning to grow so I decided it was time to take the cover off. After taking the cover off I still kept the soil moist for the most part, watering whenever the soil dried out which was every two days. I kept doing this until the seedlings grew to about 5mm and had some true leaves(true leaves are leaves that actually look like the plants normal leaves).  Once they started looking like mini echeveria I watered less frequently but still more than I would an adult plant, about once every 4 days. Do let your plants guide you though, if you feel they need watering more or less than this than do that, watering will vary depending on the environment in which you are growing them.
How to grow mexican giant from seed.
4 month old Echeveria Mexican Giant

My seedlings are about 4 months old now and looking extremely cute, I am going to wait until they are bigger to pot them up by themselves. The longer you can wait the better, little succulents are very delicate and you don't want to risk damaging them after all your hard work.

I hope you have found this guide to growing echeverias from seed helpful, if you have any questions please feel free to comment. If you liked this post please share.

Comments

  1. I can't wait to try!! roll on spring and hopefully I'll have greenhouse built by then 😁 I managed to grow semps from seed but I don't feel its much of an achievement as they're hardies but I just put some cactus seeds in yesterday and wrapped them up for humidity and to stop me meddling. Fingers crossed! I agree so much more rewarding.

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    1. Growing semps from seed is still an achievement in my eyes! I've grow cacti a few times from seed and they are so cute when they are tiny, enjoy!

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  2. Thank you for your experience. What germination rate did you get for E.laui?

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  3. Thank you for sharing www.rareplant.me

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  4. Please help. I've researched so much. Had 1 batch of echeveria lauii All failed. 40 seeds total of different echeveria. I used a regular cactus /succulent soil and I've been told that was my mistake It was miracle grow brand and was told it probably burned them. When you say seed tray do you mean just the basic pre-made ones at the big box stores? I'm struggling w the soil part of it. I have perlite as well. Please help. The seller graciously is replacing all my seeds for free but I want to make this work.

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  5. I'm also in the U.S. not sure what to buy

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  6. thanks for the info! can you link me any good grow lights for seeds? I am limited on space to a corner of my spare bedroom.

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    1. Hi , I have been using these https://www.ikea.com/ie/en/products/indoor-gardening/indoor-growing-cultivators/v%C3%A4xer-led-cultivation-light-silver-colour-art-90323109/ from IKEA. I have the little 2 tier unit too, it keep them all nice and neat.

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