By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden
Echeveria ‘Black Prince’ is a favorite succulent plant, especially of those who like the dark purple look of the leaves, which are so deep they appear black. Those looking to add something a little different to the landscape or container gardens will certainly enjoy this easy-care plant.
Leaves will first be green and darken as they mature. The center of the plant is usually green. A low grower, the Black Prince plant has a rosette that can reach 3 inches (8 cm.) across. It is attractive in mixed containers or planted together with a few of the same type.
Black Prince succulent produces offsets, what we often call babies, that can fill your container and sometimes even spill over the sides. Offsets of the growing Black Prince echeveria grow from the bottom, growing upward against the mother plant. You may remove these babies to grow in other containers if you’d like.
Plant the Black Prince plant on a mound of soil or in a container filled to the top for the best view of emerging offsets. The mature, happily growing plant blooms dark red flowers in late autumn to winter.
Black Prince echeveria care includes potting in proper soil, finding the right location, and limiting water. Never let water remain in the rosette of this plant. It can cause rot or fungal disease. Actually, with this echeveria and other succulents, it is best to water at the soil level, keeping the leaves fairly dry.
Water sparingly, but provide more water in spring and summer. Let soil dry out between waterings. Cut back to less water in winter, sometimes once a month is appropriate. Black Prince echeveria care includes growing the specimen in a fast-draining succulent mixture, amended with coarse sand, pumice, or other additions normally used in a succulent soil mix.
Locate your plant in a sunny spot. Full morning sun is best, but some afternoon sun fills the plant’s needs. Limit afternoon sun in summer, as it may harm leaves and roots in the hottest locations. This is easier when the plant is in a container. If growing in the ground, plant in an area that gets afternoon shade.
As the plant grows, bottom leaves will occasionally shrivel. This is normal and they should be removed. Keep all containers free of leaves and debris that encourage pests. Keep an eye on Black Prince for signs of mealybugs, the waxy white patches that may appear on leaf axils or other parts of the plant. If you see ants around your plants, take precautions. These are sometimes a sign of other pests, like aphids, and have the potential for creating honeydew.
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Read more about Echeveria
October 20, 2017 at 5:00 pm
The small, dark, and handsome echeveria known as ‘Black Prince’ has to make any list of Halloween-appropriate succulents. It’s unusual for an echeveria in that its rosettes often appear to be nearly black. Combine that with its glowing green center and striking red flowers, and this dark hens-and-chicks succulent just might startle an unsuspecting trick-or-treater. (Of course, it helps to have some well-placed, oversized spiders and bloodshot monster eyes nearby.)
With a royalty-inspired name like ‘Black Prince’, it’s no shock that, upon closer inspection, the fleshy leaves betray a deep shade of purple. Hues vary, though. Your specimen may seem more like ‘Thoroughly Brown Prince’. Seasonal and environmental factors play a role. More sun exposure should promote darker foliage, although the plant appreciates bright shade in the toastiest climates.
‘Black Prince’ traces its parentage to Echeveria shaviana and Echeveria affinis. In this Altman Plants video, our succulent guru Tom Jesch says that a sunny windowsill serves as an excellent perch for the clumping hybrid. It also excels in rock gardens and dish gardens, the rosettes typically staying to four, five inches tall and wide, though some report double that size. Keep it nice and cozy(ish) during winter chills.
As there are always a certain number of undesirables dwelling in any given kingdom, so too can ‘Black Prince’ attract living things that we gardeners would rather it carry on without, namely mealybugs. After mathing for a bit, we determined that there are about a million different recipes for eradicating such pests. We favor a gentle approach, spraying infected areas with a 50/50 solution of isopropyl alcohol and water. Should your ‘Prince’ become a haven for those tiny rascals, check for signs of overwatering (such as leaf rot) and make sure it’s receiving good air circulation and enough light.
Like dirt on a black car, water spots on the leaves can be hard to miss or disregard. Just spray or gently wipe with mineral-free water. It’s royal treatment, sure, but this one deserves to be spoiled a little. Enduring some drama will be worth it when you see the dramatic effect Echeveria ‘Black Prince’ adds to just about any planter arrangement. Because, you know, black goes with everything. It’s going to earn that crown on contrast powers alone.
Echeveria ‘Black Prince’ is available at our retail shop and wholesale shop.