Echeveria Rubin has a real WOW factor to it. The colour and shape of this succulent are hard to beat and in our experience this plant is not that hard to look after. Let's have a closer look at this popular new hybrid and how to care for it.
Echeveria Rubin is a medium growing Agavoides hybrid that produces gorgeous bright red rosettes up to 15 cm (6inch) in diameter. Agavoid Echeverias resemble Agave’s and have pointy, waxy leaves. Many Agavoid hybrids have been created to enhance colour and shape.
Rubin is mostly bright red, however, just like many other colourful succulents can change colour based on the seasons, weather, sun exposure, pot size etc. In the warmer months it is very likely the part of the leaves closest to the centre will turn green. This can also happen if the plant is grown in too much shade. Echeveria Rubin should have at least 5-6 hours (best in the morning) per day sun exposure to maintain the red colour.
The leaves are shiny, as if they have been waxed. Just like with other Agavoides, Rubin’s leaves are pointy. The tip of the leaf can sometimes burgundy red. This will mainly happen in winter as Rubin responds to cold weather by deeper red colours.
Mature plants will produce offsets or chicks, though not many and not very often either.
Flowers appear on a long stalk at the end of winter/ in spring.
Echeveria Rubin has proven to be a bit more hardy than we originally thought. They have survived extreme temperatures of over 45C (113F) and also one of the heaviest downpours we’ve seen in over 20 years (almost 500mm of rain just in a few days).
Rubin is, however, quite an expensive plant to buy and to be on the safe side we would recommend the ideal conditions for it. It will love you if it gets morning sun and bright afternoon shade during the hot months and full sun when the temperatures do not rise over 30C (86F) If you have a greenhouse or a structure with 30% shade-cloth (over 30% is too much and the plant would start loosing colour) Rubin can permanently live there. The shade cloth will ensure that the plant will not burn when the temperatures start climbing into high 30’s C (86F). Please remember that forecast temperatures are for shade and what you get in full sun is much higher. So if a forecast is for 35C (95F) in full blast of the sun this figure would hover around 40C (104F) or more.
Echeveria Rubin is not frost hardy and will die if exposed to frost. For those of you in cold climates, your Rubin will have to be brought indoors while there’s a danger of frost or snow. Rubin will deal with temperatures as low as 1C (33F) but once they dip below 0C (32F) it is in danger of freezing.
Although it seems that Rubin is not particularly susceptible to the ugly black and brown spots that Agavoid Echeverias can get as a result of too much water and humidity (Rubin’s cousin Romeo, we found, is highly prone to this), it may still get them and so it could be a good idea to move Rubin under cover during rainy spells. If planted in the ground, it should be able to deal with rain as long as the garden bed is on a slope or raised and does not get flooded. If black or brown spots appear re-pot into fresh potting mix, keep dry and treat with a fungicide.
Water when the potting mix has dried up and do not plant in pots without a drainage hole.
In pots, plant in good quality succulent potting mix and re-pot once a year to check on the health of the roots and to provide with fresh potting mix. If you intend to leave the pot exposed at all times adding perlite to the potting mix may be a good idea as the extra draining properties of perlite will help when it rains.
Slow release fertilizer can be added to the potting mix in spring. We sometimes just sprinkle it on top and reapply every other month in spring and summer.
The best way to try and propagate Echeveria Rubin is to wait for the pups to appear and pull gently or cut off when they have a big enough stalk. Once off, they should be left to dry for a day and then planted in a pot with succulent potting mix. In the growing season, roots should appear in approximately 3 weeks.
We are unsure if leaf propagation will work with this plant as some agavoides Echeverias will propagate from leaf and some won’t. We are currently testing.
We have also seen seeds available in online stores. Echeverias can generally be raised from seed but always make sure the seeds come from a reputable seller, best if they are local. Seeds listed on trading sites that come from China usually do not work. To propagate from seed, plant in a tray of seed raising mix in spring. Germination rate is always better once it starts getting warm so mid-late spring may be the best time. Growing Echeverias and especially the slower varieties such as Rubin from seed is only for the patient as it may take a couple of years to raise a decent sized plant.
There are various pests that like to feed on Rubin. Mealy Bugs can attack both leaves and roots and this is why it’s important to re-pot every year.
Aphids can attack the leaves and the flower stalks.
Slugs, snails, caterpillars and grass-hoppers can also take a good chunk.
Rubin has not been reported to be toxic to either pets or humans. We do recommend not to snack on this plant though 🙂
Our nursery sells small sized Rubins in Australia. Rubin should be available from specialist nurseries or online in most countries. If you can’t find it in nurseries try eBay or Amazon.