The name perfectly suits this succulent which is petite and beautiful. Echeveria Lola is very popular among succulent enthusiast and worthwhile addition to any succulent collection. It, however, does have a few quirks and may not be suitable for a succulent newbie due to a few special needs. But when it comes to propagating, Lola is surprisingly easy.
In this article, we will have a look at all you need to know about Echeveria Lola, including care and leaf & other propagation methods.
Echeveria Lola is a small growing hybrid succulent with a rosette leaf arrangement. Individual rosettes grow to approximately 10cm (4inch) in diameter and 5cm (2inch) in height. The plant has a clumping habit with offsets or chicks growing from the base of the mother rosette. Echeveria Lola is not exactly generous with its chicks and usually produces 3 or so per year.
The leaves are slightly wider at the ends and finish with a pointy tip. They are lightly coated in a dusty substance called the farina which protects the plant from the harsh sun.
The colour of the leaves changes throughout the year and can range from silvery blue, light green to pinky purple. The seasons, weather, sun exposure, water and size of the pot can all affect the colour.
Echeveria Lola flowers once a year, usually around springtime. The blooms arch over the rosettes on a long stalk, and there can be as many as 10 individual flowers per one stalk. The petals are pink-orange on the outside and yellow-orange on the inside.
Echeveria Lola may be a little bit needy, especially if you live in a cold climate or part of the world that gets quite a bit of rain. This plant dislikes humidity and regular rain. It can be particularly prone to dark spots and rot caused by too much water. Fungal diseases are not unusual.
At our small nursery, we like to grow the majority of plants in the elements, and surprisingly, many succulents can happily deal with heavy downpours as well as droughts and some very harsh sun. Unfortunately, Lola is not one of these.
To keep it happy and pretty, Lola will need a sheltered spot that gets enough sun (5+ hours). Without direct sunlight, Lola will lose its compactness and will also grow leggy. We keep our Lolas in a plastic greenhouse. The cover on the greenhouse stops damaging UV rays that can burn the foliage and keeps the rain out. If you do not have a greenhouse, a patio with clear sheets should do the trick. Alternatively, Lola can be brought under cover when heavy, and prolonged rain is forecast.
There is no need to panic if Lola gets rained on every now and then. The plant is only in danger of rotting/ fungal disease if it rains regularly (every few days or non-stop for over a week), the potting mix is constantly saturated and the air humid. During periods of little rain and droughts, the Lolas in our nursery are moved outdoors as the colours are almost always better.
For Lola to be happy, the potting mix needs to dry between waterings. It also needs to be well-draining and airy, preferably a succulent potting mix with extra draining agents like perlite. You can also add perlite to any good quality potting mix to make it just that extra bit breathable.
In summer during heatwaves or when temperatures start climbing over 35C (95F) Echeveria Lola should be protected from harsh UV rays. If the plant is kept in a greenhouse that has a cover with a shade factor, no additional measures should be needed. If it’s outside in the open a 30% shade cloth should do the trick. Alternatively, Lola can be moved to shade for the duration of the heatwave. The heat itself should not kill Lola, but exposure to direct sun when hot can.
Echeveria Lola is not frost hardy and is likely to die if exposed to temperatures below 0C (32F). Lola will, however, deal with very low temperatures down to 0.5C (32.9F). If you live in a climate with only a few frosty days, Lolas can be protected by a frost cloth. In cold climates, it will need to be brought inside during snow and frost.
Echeveria Lola can be propagated by leaf, cuttings or from seed. The most reliable methods are leaf and cuttings propagation.
To propagate Lola by leaf gently pull a bottom leaf to the side. Taking leaves off this plant should not be hard, and they mostly come away clean. For leaf propagation to be successful, the leaf has to come off the plant intact. Broken leaves will not produce new plants, even if it's just a little tiny bit that has come off and stayed on the stalk. The leaves come off easier if there is a bit of room to manoeuvre and so a leaf or two may need to be sacrificed in order to be able to make this viable. Once you have a whole leaf, it will need to placed in a nice and bright spot that is not exposed to direct sun. Sun can burn the leaves. A plastic tray or a napkin on a windowsill will do the trick. New plants should start emerging after about 3-4 weeks. Do not pull these off the leaf. After the new growth starts resembling a rosette, place on top of some potting mix in a pot. At this stage, you can wet the mix but still leave to dry before the next watering. The plant will start sending roots down, and in time the leaf will either rot or dry out on its own.
Cuttings are the easiest way to propagate Echeveria Lola. There are two methods. One is to wait for the pups and cut them off when the stalk is long enough. The other is to ‘behead’ the Lola in order to force it to grow new pups from the wounded area. With both methods, you will need to let the cuttings dry for a day and then plant in succulent potting mix. Place the pots in a bright spot with morning sun and afternoon shade or under shade-cloth.
Echeveria Lola can also be propagated by seed, though this method is quite unreliable and seedlings can prove hard to raise. Even if seeds germinate, it may take a couple of years before Lola reaches its full size. The seeds will also need to be sourced from a reputable grower as there are many cowboys out there selling unviable seeds. If you’re hoping to raise seedlings from your own seed you will need to make sure that the flowers are actually pollinated from another Lola plant and so may need to play bee pollinating with your finger. This may be hard to achieve as insects can bring pollen from other succulents that are in flower at the same time as Lola and ‘contaminate’ the flowers. We would not recommend this method, though if you like a challenge and are very patient, by all means, give it a go.
The best time to do any propagation is mid-late spring when it's nice and warm and the plants are racing ahead with new growth.
Echeveria Lola is prone to the usual suspects- the mealybugs and aphids, but thankfully is not one of their favourites. Check out our mealybug article to find out how to manage them.
Slugs, snails, grasshoppers and caterpillars may also take a bite. If larger chunks are missing, it is likely one of these is the culprit.
While there is not much information from reputable sources about Echeveria Lola’s toxicity, the majority of Echeverias are non-toxic to humans, cats, dogs and other pets.
As with most succulents, it is not advisable to snack on Lolas.
Echeveria Lola may prove a bit tricky to find but is becoming quite mainstream. Garden centres and nurseries may stock them. If you’re having trouble finding one, online nurseries, Amazon or eBay are very likely to have them.
Our nursery also sells Echeveria Lola in Australia.