How to care for the Mexican giant (Echeveria colorata)

Echeveria colorata and Graptoveria Opalina

Echeveria colorata is native to Mexico; there are two naturally occurring forms and several cultivated varieties. The rosettes of this echeveria can reach more than 20 centimeters in diameter. It is known as the Mexican giant echeveria.

Echeveria colorata f. brandtii + Echeveria colorata Tapalpa + × Graptoveria Opalina
Echeveria colorata “Tapalpa” (left), Echeveria colorata f. brandtii (right) and × Graptoveria “Opalina” (center).

Lighting

Echeveria colorata grows best in a location that receives at least three hours of sunlight a day. It tolerates the hot afternoon sun of summer, which it can spend in the garden or on the balcony. In spring, however, it needs to be slowly acclimated to sunlight that is no longer filtered through window glass.

Echeveria colorata f. brandtii
Echeveria colorata f. brandtii

Substrate

Standard mixes for cacti and other succulents will work. I use a mix of peat-free herb soil, pumice gravel and bird sand.

Echeveria colorata Tapalpa
Echeveria colorata “Tapalpa”

Watering

The root ball should almost dry out or be allowed to dry out between waterings. Echeveria colorata is very well adapted to survive in dry and hot regions.

During the warm summer weeks, it can be watered thoroughly. Water until the soil is saturated with water. It is allowed to dry out until the next watering.

In winter, the water requirement is significantly lower. Now the substrate should be kept predominantly dry. So that Echeveria colorata also stops growing if it is overwintered at room temperature.

× Graptoveria Opalina
× Graptoveria “Opalina” is a hybrid (cross) of Graptopetalum amethystinum and Echeveria colorata and can be cultivated as described here.

Fertilizing

Liquid fertilizer for cacti and other succulents can be given occasionally from spring to late summer. Fertilizer for flowering or green plants in half concentration is also suitable.

Temperature

It is good for Echeveria colorata to develop flowers if it is overwintered in cool to temperate conditions, at 5 to 15 °C.

If you have to overwinter it in warmer temperatures, you should water it as little as possible so that the Mexican giant stops growing and does not become etiolated.

Mexican Giant Echeveria
Echeveria colorata is popularly known as the Mexican giant echeveria.

Propagation

Echeveria colorata can be propagated by cutting off daughter rosettes; it can also be grown from seeds and leaf cuttings.

Echeveria colorata