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Echeveria Melaco Care & Propagation

Echeveria Melaco is a beautiful cultivar of unknown parentage. This striking succulents is quite easy to grow and a real standout in the garden or arrangements. Below I will cover all there is to know about Echeveria Melaco including growing tips and propagation.

Description

Echeveria Melaco is a stunning succulent with a rosette type arrangement of leaves. The colour ranges from dark chocolate, pink, purple, orange or green and can change throughout the year.

The centre of the rosette turns pink when the plant is stressed and/or in winter. Melaco always retains at least a bit of the chocolate colour, but can turn in the centre during the warmer months/ if not in enough sun. The overall colour of the plant is shiny, almost polished.

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During the summer months Echeveria Melaco will loose some of its chocolate and pink colour to green, even when in full sun. This is completely normal.

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Echeveria Melaco grown in sun. Photo taken in early Spring.

The leaves are wide, spoon-like and not very thick. They can have lines or veins running through.

Echeveria Melaco grows a bit differently to most other plants in this genus. Rosettes grow on a tall stalk rather than close to the ground and can reach to about 20cm in height. Individual rosettes grow to 15cm in diameter, in ideal conditions.

Echeveria Melaco

Echeveria Melaco grows tall unlike the majority of other Echeveria.

Melaco forms a bunch of rosettes, usually growing from the same stalk. Once a rosette is mature, it will produce offsets at the bottom, but also from other parts of the stalk. Each offset will then go on to produce offsets of their own. If the plant is in a big enough pot and has the right potting mix, a single rosette can produce over 7 offsets each year.

Echeveria Melaco flowers prolifically in winter/spring. The blooms grow on a tall stalk where individual bell-shaped, bright red flowers open. The flower stalks also grow lots of dark chocolate leaves.

Position & Care

Echeveria Melaco is a hardy plant that can be grown outdoors all year round in moderate climates that do not experience any frost. Melaco is not frost hardy and so will need to be brought indoors/ greenhouse during winter if frost or snow is expected.

This succulent will survive outdoors if the temperature does not fall below 1C/33F. Mild frost should not kill the Echeveria Melaco but it is likely to cause burns on the foliage.

The best appearance is achieved when Melaco is grown in as much sun as possible. In summer during heatwaves of over 35C/95F it is likely this plant will get burn marks from strong UV rays and should be moved under cover/in shade/under 30% shade cloth for the afternoon.

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Winter colours of Echeveria Melaco grown in full sun

While Echeveria Melaco will grow in a bright shade, it is likely to be leggy, green and can rot easily.

In pots, succulent potting mix should be used. For best results re-pot to a slightly bigger pot every growing season. This will help Echeveria Melaco grow to its full size and produce offsets.

Echeveria Melaco can also be grow in the garden and is a real standout in rockeries, succulent gardens or between other plants. As this plant grows a bit taller, it can go further back from the edge. Plants in the ground are usually hardier than those grown in pots. Mulch or pebbles can be used as well.

As long as succulent potting mix is used in pots, Echeveria Melaco should not show any adverse signs to overwatering or too much rain. It is important the plant gets enough sun and that the pot has drainage holes so the water does not clog the roots.

If the plant is in a greenhouse or undercover water once the potting mix dries up. In the ground, Melaco will not need to be watered all that often, though during heatwaves/drought it will thank you for a good soak every other day.

Echeveria Melaco is an outdoor plant and not suitable to be grown indoors, other than for over-wintering. The only time this plant will have a chance at surviving inside is if it’s grown under plant growing lights specially designed for succulents or in a very bright sunroom.

Propagation      

Echeveria Melaco can be propagated by offsets, leaves and seeds. While propagating by offsets is the easiest method, leaves also have a good strike rate. As for seeds, while possible it can prove difficult to raise Melaco from seed.

By far the best and easiest way to propagate Echeveria Melaco is by offsets. The offsets can be taken off when they have a few rounds of leaves and a big enough stalk. To read a more in-depth article on how to propagate succulent by offsets, go here.

It is very easy to propagate Echeveria Melaco from leaves as it has a very high strike rate and a single leaf can produce as many as 3 or 4 rosettes. We have a detailed article on succulent leaf propagation here.

Growing Echeveria Melaco from seeds may not be a great idea for a number of reasons. One, it can be hard to find a reliable seed seller that will actually sell you seed that has not been contaminated with other pollen of other succulents/ sell seeds that are viable. Two germination of the seeds can be also be unreliable and three, it can take a long time (years) for a seed to grow to a decent sized plant.

Whichever propagation method you decide to go with, Echeveria Melaco should only be propagated in the growing season. This would be spring and summer, though do be careful young plants do not get burned in strong summer sun.

Pests

Echeveria Melaco is susceptible to mealy bugs and should be regularly checked as these pests can spread fast. Aphids are also not unusual and mainly attack the flowers and newly grown offsets.

To read more about mealy bugs and how to control them, see this article. For Aphids go here.

For a list of animals that like to eat succulents, you can read another one of our articles here.

Toxicity

As most Echeverias, Echeveria Melaco is not toxic to humans, dogs, cats, other pets or livestock, though it is not recommended to consume this plant as food.

Where can I get it?

Echeveria Melaco can be a little hard to track down but specialist succulent nurseries/ online nurseries should stock this plant.

Our nursery Fern Farm Plants sells Echeveria Melaco in Australia.