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Echeveria “Etna”

by Sofia Lara
Echeveria ‘Etna’

Echeveria “Etna” growing in your outdoor garden might get your guests thinking they’re in an alien planet straight out of Star Trek. This will be the case if Etna is part of a rock garden. While people might start asking you questions that start with “what”, everyone will be unanimous in describing Etna as strikingly beautiful. 

What causes all the discussion? Etna’s leaves are embedded with wart-like things called caruncles. At first glance, the large, waxy, blue-purple colored leaves look damaged because they flatten out and appear weak. But they’re not and there’s a reason for this.

During the summer months, the leaves tend to fold downward and exhibit a spear-like shape. However, when summer turns to winter, the leaves will flatten in order to take in more sunlight. 

These wrinkly-looking leaves form a lovely rosette that measures 12-inches (30.5cm) in diameter. Since the rosette tends to grow out wide, it might not be a good idea to include Etna with types of succulents that are used as ground cover. Etna can grow to a maximum height of 12-inches (30.5cm).

Echeveria Etna is native to Mexico but its name has its origins in Italy. The Echeveria which is a member of the Crassulaceae family was named after Mount Etna, a volcano located in Sicily. 

Etna is a hybrid succulent that was created by Denise Manley. In the summertime, you’ll welcome small, bell-shaped, orange, and yellow-colored flowers.

General Information

Also known as: Etna
Plant Family: Crassulaceae
Origin: Mexico
Height: Grows up to 12-inches (30.5 cm)
Exposure: Full sun to filtered shade
Water Needs: Drought-tolerant; “Soak and dry” watering method
Soil Type: Fast-draining soil; Succulent or cactus soil combined with gritty materials such as pumice, perlite, coarse sand, and gravel
Soil pH: 5.5 – 6.0

How to Grow and Care for Echeveria “Etna”

Succulents are varieties of plant life that are easy to grow and care for. Echeveria Etna is no exception. There is a simple rule to follow when handling Etna.

Give Etna sunlight every day but not water.

Echeverias are durable succulents and Etna will grow better outdoors because of better soil conditions and the availability of the sun’s rays. However, this isn’t a cold-hardy plant.

If your area experiences temperature drops below 30° F (-1.1° C), we recommend growing Etna in a container that you can move indoors before the weather turns frosty.

Other than these 2 things to consider, you won’t have problems growing and caring for Echeveria Etna.


Sunlight helps Etna in 2 ways. One, to produce food, and two, to bring out its vibrant colors.

Etna needs 6 hours of partial to full sunlight every day. Without enough sunlight, the leaves will stretch out, wither, and get weak. This is a condition known as etiolation.

As an outdoor plant, position Etna in a sunspot that gets 6 hours of morning sunlight. Avoid exposing Etna to the harsh rays of the midday sun as the leaves will get burned.

If you prefer to have Etna as an indoor conversation piece, place the pot near a window that brings in 4 to 6 hours of partial sunlight. For example, if you reside in the Northern hemisphere, a southern-facing window will be an ideal location for Etna.

A good option would be to buy a Grow Light and put Etna under it for 6 hours per day.

Remember 50% of the rule: Sunlight every day.


Echeveria etna as a succulent stores plenty of water in its leaves and stems that allow it to survive in Mexico’s dry, arid weather for several weeks without a drink.

Don’t assume your home or garden presents better conditions for Etna so that she can get all the water she wants.

Like love, too much water will kill your succulent.

If you water the soil too frequently, it will become an ideal environment for fungal growth. The roots of Etna will rupture if kept under moist conditions for a long time.

Once the roots have ruptured, rotting will begin. Any fungi living in the soil will have access to your succulent.

When it comes to watering, follow the “Soak and Dry” method whereby you only water the soil once you’ve confirmed it has gone bone dry.

You can test the soil’s level of dryness by inserting your finger or a stick an inch into the soil. If it feels dry, then you can go ahead and drench the soil with water. Don’t water the plant. Only water the soil.

Remember the remaining balance of the rule: Don’t water the soil every day.

Only water the soil if it has completely dried out. In the summer months, the watering schedule might be once every seven to 10 days. In contrast, you might only have to water the soil once every month during winter.

Pot and Soil

Now that you’re aware that it’s not a good idea to keep the soil moist for a long time, drainage should be the basis for choosing the best pot and soil for Echeveria Etna.

Ditch the glass or plastic container Echeveria Etna came with. Buy a pot that’s made of either terracotta or unglazed ceramic which both supports proper soil aeration and allow moisture to escape along its sides.

Make sure that the pot is slightly larger than the base of Etna to enable the roots to grow without getting tangled up. Finally, the pot must have a drain hole at the bottom to release excess water from the soil.

Etna thrives in well-draining soil. You can use any commercially available succulent soil mix or create your own by combining potting soil with 50% gritty materials such as coarse sand, pumice, or perlite to filter out more water.

How to Propagate Echeveria Etna

Are you having a good time watching how your friends react when they see Echeveria Etna? You can increase the shock value by adding more Echeveria Etnas to your collection. Propagation can be done with 2 methods: Stem cuttings and offsets.

Stem Cuttings Method

Step 1: Choose a healthy stem and cut a small section with a sterilized and sharpened knife or garden shears.

Step 2: Allow the stems to rest and dry out for 2 to 4 days. During this time, the stems should grow hard calluses.

Step 3: Place the callused stem cuttings on top of well-draining soil.

Step 4: Water the soil lightly and place it near a window that gets 4 to 6 hours of indirect sunlight.

Step 5: When the roots have formed from the stem cuttings, water the soil using the “Soak and Dry” method.

Offsets Method

Step 1: Use a sterilized knife or garden shears to free up the offsets growing near the base of the plant.

Step 2: Gently pull out the offsets.

Step 3: Let the offsets develop calluses over 2 to 4 days.

Step 4: Plant the callused offsets in well-draining soil. Lightly moisten the soil with water and place it near a window that receives 4 to 6 hours of partial sunlight every day.

Step 5: Once the roots have formed, back off on the watering schedule and only water the soil when it’s dry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Echeveria “Etna” Toxic to Cats and Dogs?

Echeveria Etna is not listed as toxic to cats and dogs on the website of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

Why is My Echeveria “Etna”  Dying?

When your adorable Etna starts to look unwell, the reason could either be overwatering, underwatering, or pest infestation.  You need to address the health issue immediately, so your plant will be able to recover fast.


When the leaves of your Echeveria Etna turn yellow and fall off easily, it means your plant has been overwatered.  Lay off the watering for a week or until the soil becomes crumbly dry.

If the leaves are starting to turn black already, it means the roots are already rotting due to fungal infection.  You need to re-pot your Etna to allow it to heal and fully recover.

Gently remove your plant from the pot.  Brush off all the soil from the roots.  Use a sterile sharp knife or razor blade to cut all the black and mushy roots.  Leave the plant in a dry shaded area for three to four days or until the cut ends have been calloused.

Once calloused, plant your Etna in a terracotta pot filled with succulent soil mix combined with perlite, pumice, and sand.  Wait four to five days before you water the soil to allow your plant to acclimatize to its new home.

Make sure to keep track of your watering schedule to prevent underwatering or overwatering your plant.  You can also get a moisture meter to help you determine the right time to drench the soil with water.

Pest Infestation

Echeveria Etna attracts sap-sucking mealybugs.  These minute fuzzy bugs multiply rapidly and spread quickly, so you need to get rid of them as soon as you spot them.  If your plant is left untreated, it will wither and die.

The first thing to do is to isolate the infected plant.  Inspect your plant thoroughly to see the extent of the infestation.  If there are only a few mealybugs, you can remove them with a Q-tip dipped in 70% isopropyl alcohol.  

If the mealybugs have already invaded the crevices of your plant and laid eggs in the soil, you will need to re-pot your Etna.  Remove your plant from the pot and rinse it under a strong stream of water.  Throw away the infested soil, wash the pot with disinfectant, and air dry the pot.  

Fill the clean pot with fresh succulent soil combined with gritty materials.  Replant your Echeveria Etna.  Spray your plant with 70% rubbing alcohol or diluted Neem oil.  Repeat the treatment once a week until you get rid of all the pests.  

Place the pot in a shaded area during treatment to protect the leaves from getting sunburnt.  To keep these pests from returning, release lady beetles in your garden.  These natural plant protectors love to feed on mealybugs, mites, and aphids.

Does Echeveria “Etna” Produce Flowers?

Yes. During Summer, Echeveria Etna blooms bell-shaped deep orange or yellow flowers encased in large purplish sepals.  

Last Updated on June 9, 2022 by Sofia Lara

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