Echeveria Black Prince is a succulent plant growing to approximately 15 – 20 cm across in the right conditions. The rosettes are quite low growing (5 – 10 cm in height) and form small clumps.
The leaves are pointy and shiny. Their colour can range from green, light brown to dark chocolate. The centre of the rosette is often green, with the leaves maturing to dark brown. During winter or, if the plant is stressed by lack of water/ being rootbound, the whole rosette, including the centre, can turn dark chocolate/ almost black.
Offsets or chicks appear at the base of the mother plant and will grow on to produce chicks of their own, in time.
Echeveria Black Prince has fantastic blooms every spring-summer. Red flowers will appear on long stalks and last for a couple of weeks.
The dark chocolate colour and chubby leaves arranged just like a flower make Echeveria Black Prince a very desirable succulent. While succulents have a reputation for being easy to look after, and this is usually true, some are a little more difficult and need just that bit of extra TLC to stay beautiful. Echeveria Black Prince is one of these succulents, but fortunately, there is an easy fix.
The most common problems with Echeveria Black Prince:
- Leaves growing warts
- Black spots on leaves
- Leaves turning mushy
- Deformed leaves
- Colour loss from dark chocolate to green
- Stretched leaves
- Leggy growth
Although this seems like rather a long list, just a few changes can address all of these issues.
Leaves Growing Warts, Black or Brown Spots & Leaves Turning Mushy
Echeveria Black Prince is susceptible to these problems, and they all stem from too much water and humidity. Warts tend to appear after days of rain that are accompanied by high humidity. A few rainy days here or there should not affect this plant but more than three or so days of consecutive rain, without a chance for the plant to dry out properly before another rainy spell hits will. When lots of rain is forecast, the Black Prince should be moved under cover where the roots can stay dry
The black or brown spots are usually a result of a fungal disease. Spraying your plants with a fungicide after rain can help curb their appearance.
Mushy leaves can be a result of too much water, but also, sometimes, burns during heatwaves. To prevent mushy leaves, make sure that the potting mix is well-draining and that the plant is protected from too much rain but also from strong sun of over 35°C.
For some weird reason, plants in the ground are much less susceptible to these problems than plants growing in pots.
Deformed leaves on Echeveria Black Prince (or other succulents for that matter) are usually caused by pests. Unfortunately, the Black Prince is very susceptible to mealybugs and aphids. These little pests feed on the leaves and make tiny marks that, as the leaves grow, cause deformities.
Mealybugs can be squashed if there are only a couple present or sprayed with 70% isopropyl alcohol solution if there is an outbreak. Please note that isopropyl alcohol is not likely to kill adult mealybugs or those that are tucked in well. As for aphids, pyrethrum based sprays work best. The plants will need to be checked on a regular basis as these pests are very persistent and can be hard to spot at first.
Colour Loss, Stretched Leaves and Leggy Growth
These problems are also caused by one common factor- lack of direct sun exposure. The great majority of Echeverias will need some 5 hours of direct sun and are not very good indoor plants.
In fact, we would not recommend growing any Echeveria indoors, unless overwintering during snow and frosts or if its in a sunroom or behind an extra-large window getting over 5 hours of sun.
Echeverias also prefer an airy spot, which may prove difficult to find indoors.
The best spot for this slightly sensitive plant would be on a sunny, covered patio or in a greenhouse. Outdoors in the open is fine too, but it should be brought under cover when weeks of rain are forecast.
Colour loss may also happen when the plant is in its growing stage and during the summer months. This is natural and not much can be done about it. Echeveria Black Prince has the best colour in the cooler months, exposed to direct sun.