Pachyveria glauca, otherwise known as the little jewel succulent, makes an excellent choice if you’re looking to fill up your space with color and texture without relying on plant material to do so.
It also makes an excellent potted plant that you can give away to loved ones or display on your counter in your home or office.
The Little Jewel succulent is one of the few succulents that blooms. It has distinctive long, cylindrical leaves with light green tops and silvery-white undersides.
In late summer, it produces flowers that are small and white with lilac stripes and purple spots on the upper petals. It can be grown outdoors in mild climates, but needs to be brought indoors before frost or temperatures drop below freezing point.
This unique little succulent, called Pachyveria glauca, is a great starter plant for succulent enthusiasts just getting into growing their own plants from cuttings.
Origin and distribution
Pachyveria glauca is a small rosette-shaped succulent with thick leaves that are grayish-green to olive green in color and give off a slight blue tinge when backlit, originates from the Eastern Cape in South Africa, but has been widely grown in Southern California as an ornamental landscape plant since its discovery by George Towle in the late 1800s.
It does not tolerate dry conditions well, and so it tends to occur only at higher altitudes (usually between 1 000 and 2 300 m). In regions with drier climates, this species will grow in rock crevices or shallow soil pockets where water can collect.
There are many subspecies of this succulent; some have pointed leaf tips while others have rounded leaf tips. The flowers are showy, white and urn shaped on short stems above the foliage. They bloom throughout spring into summer.
Pachyveria glauca propagation
While most succulents are propagated by cuttings, pachyveria can be grown from seeds. The easiest way to do so is to let them go directly into dormancy for two or three months and then plant them in a cactus mix when conditions warm up again.
Pachyveria should be kept in bright light during their growing season and very little light during their dormant season. Do not water during their dormant period, but you may mist them occasionally if they start to shrivel. Keep an eye on the container as the roots will form and push through the soil.
When this happens, gently separate the new plant with a sharp knife or other instrument that won’t damage it before planting it in its own pot with potting soil that has been amended with sand or perlite to help drain away excess moisture.
Finally, make sure your plant has plenty of room to grow because these plants like lots of space. Don’t forget to place it where it gets plenty of sunlight and always keep the soil moist but never soggy wet.
Pachyveria glauca care information
Pachyveria glauca is an easy succulent to care for. It thrives in environments that mimic its natural habitat: full sun and plenty of water during growing season, and cool temperatures (40-50F) with relatively little water during dormancy.
If you are just starting out growing succulents, you may find Pachyveria useful as it grows quickly, doesn’t need much light, and has few pests or diseases to worry about.
Keep your little jewel succulent near a window with bright, indirect light. Ideally, it will be placed in front of a south-facing window where it can soak up plenty of morning sun while protected from harsh afternoon rays by a sheer curtain or blinds. Alternatively, you can provide it with artificial light through fluorescent or incandescent bulbs.
Pachyveria glauca is a succulent, meaning it needs soil that drains well. Just like cacti, succulents have adapted to environments that lack lots of water. Make sure you’re using a soil-less mix and not straight garden soil; because these plants can be susceptible to root rot, it’s important that they have good drainage and room for their roots to grow.
Mix your potting soil with perlite or pumice to help improve drainage. With this in mind, choose a container that has ample space for the plant’s roots to grow or use a smaller container and take cuttings so the plant doesn’t become root-bound.
Pachyveria glauca succulents love to be watered regularly. In fact, too little water can result in brown tips, so don’t be shy about adding some moisture to your pachycauls!
Water when you first bring your little jewels home and then again every two weeks or so. When watering, give them a light watering until water drips out of their little containers. If there is no runoff after 5 minutes or so, they probably need more water.
Be sure not to overwater your pachycauls; the plant will start rotting if it stays wet for too long. Another way to tell if it needs water is by gently tugging on the leaves: if they are firm, they are well-watered; if they are limp, it needs more water.
A little fertilizer is good for any plant, but if your succulents are looking a little pale and dull, you may need to give them a boost. Fertilizing your succulents at least once a month will help keep them healthy and looking their best. Use diluted fertilizer with every watering.
Remember that too much fertilizer can harm your plants just as much as not enough, if you see white or yellow leaves on your plants, it could be a sign of over-fertilization.
Pachyveria glauca prefers temps of about 55-65 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to keep these plants away from direct sunlight, as they are sunburn-sensitive. Pachyverias don’t like temperatures below 60 or above 75 degrees. If you can’t maintain a stable temp, it may be best to grow them indoors or in a greenhouse instead of in your garden.
Most of us go to great lengths to keep a home that’s comfortable, with temperature ranges and humidity levels that are conducive to our health. A home can also be a haven for succulents and cacti.
Most succulents prefer average household temperatures between 60–75 degrees Fahrenheit and a humidity level of 40% or less. To determine how much water your succulents need, check their leaves daily.
It’s important to prune pachyveria glauca plants regularly. This ensures you get a full, symmetrical shape and controls growth. Dead-head by cutting off dead blooms but leave buds that haven’t opened.
To encourage branching, use clean pruning shears or scissors and snip just above a bud or shoot on branches that have not yet flowered, removing no more than 1/3 of new growth in any one season. The trick is to cut back the top so that the plant doesn’t become too leggy and wiry looking.
Pachyveria glauca can be propagated by taking cuttings with at least two leaves on them in late spring through summer and potting them up into sandy soil with little water. The lower leaves will eventually fall off and new ones will grow.
When to repot
Keep in mind that any well-draining potting mix can be used to repot a little jewel succulent. But if you really want to succeed, give your Pachyveria glauca a little fertilizer. If you’re using soil, you can use a time-release granular or liquid fertilizer when repotting.
Take care not to overwater pachyverias during repotting as they have shallow roots and will drown easily if left standing in water. When watering, soak the soil thoroughly and then allow it to dry out before watering again.
Pachyveria glauca should be watered less frequently than other succulents but more often than most plants with deeper root systems. Pachyverias need good drainage so their pots should never sit in a tray of water like many plants require for adequate drainage; rather their pots should sit atop cactus/succulent gravel or crushed rocks.
In warmer areas, Pachyveria glauca is considered to be a drought-tolerant succulent. In most of the United States and Canada, it is one of several winter-growing pachycaul succulents that undergoes a dormancy period. It will lose all of its leaves in autumn and then go dormant during winter months.
This allows it to cope with colder temperatures than other succulents. The plant may survive light frosts and even snow, but temperatures below freezing will kill it. The roots are shallow, so care should be taken not to let them freeze when watering.
They need more water in summer because they lose moisture quickly through their leaves. Keep an eye on any new growth for signs of wilting or dehydration. If you see any signs of these things, increase your frequency and amount of watering immediately.
Pachyveria glauca flower & fragrance
Pachyveria glauca has bright yellow flowers that are about 0.4 inches in diameter. These flowers bloom from February to May. The sweet fragrance of these flowers attracts birds and insects that pollinate it.
This plant is propagated through cuttings or by seeds. It takes about 12 to 14 months for a cutting to become rooted in soil and grow into a new plant.
Pachyveria glauca is slow growing and considered a beginner succulent. This makes it great for beginners and those who don’t have much space for their plants.
Pachyveria glauca can grow to a max of 3 inches tall and 4 inches wide, but it usually only grows to be about 2 inches tall. It can take up to 10 years before they start producing their beautiful little blue star shaped flowers, which will be on top of beautiful rosettes that look like stacked coins.
Pachyveria glauca is generally considered to be non-toxic to humans and pets when ingested. They do have thorns which can cause skin irritation. In extremely rare cases, children may have allergic reactions to Sedum species.
USDA hardiness zones
Pachyveria glauca poisonous thrives best in USDA hardiness zones 5-8. It can be used as a groundcover or trailing succulent.
Pests and diseases
While corsican stonecrop is resilient and relatively disease-free, there are a few pests that can be harmful. Make sure to keep an eye out for spider mites and aphids, which feed on sap from plant stems, pesticides should be used only as a last resort.
If you have an infestation issue in the future, make sure to use neem oil or pyrethrin-based products first before moving onto harsher chemicals like organophosphates.
These common garden pests tend to attack during warm and dry weather, so keep a watchful eye if you’re gardening in such conditions.
They can also spread rapidly, so it’s important to treat them quickly before they infest your entire garden. Remove any leaves or plants that have been attacked by these pests and make sure you get rid of all the eggs too!