Dudleya (pronounced dude-leya) are beautiful succulents that you can keep around your home as an ornamental plant or they can also brighten up any outdoor space, be it your patio, porch, etc. Commonly mistaken for Echeveria, Dudleya is also known as “Liveforever.”
Dudleya is native to North America, right from Oregon to Baja and around 45 accepted species of these perennial succulents exist. Dudleya is characterized by their fleshy leaves, which look like rosettes and usually come in colors like gray, blue and green. These robust and long-lived plants typically grow on cliff faces, rocky outcrops and bluffs along the coast.
How Do You Care for a Dudleya Plant?
If the Dudleya is growing in the coastal area, they thrive in sunny or bright areas; however, when grown inland, they prefer the shade. So, it is best to grow the plant in an area with partial shade because direct sunlight can damage the plant. Dudleya plants do well in cool areas; however, they cannot withstand frost and too little light causes the leaves to become soft and stretchy.
Dudleya plants do not require a lot of water and can thrive with minimal watering. In the summer months, these plants are dormant and so do not require any watering at all. You can begin watering the plant during fall when the plants grow and begin to bloom.
Always make sure to water the roots of the plant and not the leaves, as this can damage the plant. If the leaves of the Dudleya are dull and not shiny or they are puckering or shrinking, it means they need watering. However, overwatering the plant can lead to root rot.
How Often to Water Succulents
Dudleya grows best in well-draining, sandy soil, because just like other succulents, Dudleya has shallow roots and waterlogging in the soil can cause root rot. The plant is resistant to salt and so it can tolerate soil with high salt content. Choose a high-quality pre-bagged cactus soil or sandy soil mix specially made for succulents.
Dudleya plants thrive in sunny but cool conditions. The plant grows well in USDA zones 5 to 11 and they don’t do very well in too hot and/or dry areas. Dudleya commonly grows in coastal areas in the US, which offer the most suitable growing climate.
The plant does best in temperatures between 65ºF and 77ºF. If you live in an area that does not get a lot of cool breeze, then make sure to plant the Dudleya in partial shade, away from the direct sunlight.
You should not apply any fertilizer to the Dudleya in summer and winter. You can use an all-purpose liquid fertilizer or water-soluble fertilizer to fertilize the plant in the growing season, i.e., autumn or spring.
Once you apply the fertilizer, then you should water it so that the fertilizer is absorbed better by the plant. Avoid splashing the fertilizer on the leaves of the Dudleya as this can hamper the plant’s growth.
Dudleya are quite easy to transplant because they are quite hardy and durable plants and can tolerate a little manhandling. However, when you pick a new pot or if you’re moving the plant from a pot to somewhere outside, you must ensure that there is plenty of space for the roots of the Dudleya to spread out.
How to Repot Succulents
How Do You Propagate Dudleya Succulents?
Dudleya propagates very easily from cuttings and develop roots very quickly. To propagate the Dudleya, first, gather the Dudleya for propagation in spring when the temperature during the daytime is around 70°F and choose an offshoot or cutting that has healthy foliage but doesn’t have any flower buds from the parent plant. Remove the soil from the base of the plant’s stem and using a sharp knife, cut off the stalk.
Place the Dudleya cutting in a warm and dry place, which is away from the direct sunlight and allow it to dry for 5-10 days or until the cut end becomes dry and hard and develops a whitish color.
Then, combine 1 part of cactus potting soil and 2 parts of perlite in a container and mix them well. In a 4” container, pack the mixture. Fill 2” of the mixture with water and press it down so that the moisture is distributed.
Poke a hole, which can fit the Dudleya stalk easily and push the cutting into the hole. Then, push the potting mixture against the stem and spread a layer of sand around the cutting’s base.
This will help to control the moisture content and temperature. Place the pot in a warm and bright area away from the direct sun. When the plant begins to root, shield it from direct light and heat because they will cause the leaves to get dehydrated.
All through the rooting process, drizzle water on the potting mix, avoiding any splashing on the stem or leaves and also avoid overwatering. After two weeks, gently tug the base of the Dudleya’s stem. If the cutting does not move, it means that it has taken root. You can then transplant the plant into a permanent pot or your garden using cactus potting soil in 4-6 weeks.
How Big Do Dudleyas Get?
Dudleya plants come in two varieties, branching and non-branching. On average, the Dudleya plant grows up to two feet in height and spreads to around 12-18 inches. In late winter to spring, the plant grows pinkish-red stems up to one to two feet tall, which bear pale yellow-colored urn-shaped flowers.
How Big do Succulents Grow?
Types of Dudleya Succulents
Dudleya abramsii ssp. abramsii
Dudleya abramsii ssp. affinis
Dudleya abramsii ssp. bettinae
Dudleya abramsii ssp. calcicola
Dudleya abramsii ssp. murina
Dudleya abramsii ssp. setchellii
Dudleya blochmaniae ssp. blochmaniae
Dudleya blochmaniae ssp. insularis
The ‘silver dollar plant’ (Dudleya brittonii) is a solitary, succulent plant in which the stem terminates in a rosette of slender leaves densely covered with a white, waxy coating (farina). However plants may sometimes be found without their grey, waxy coating (farina), but these plants are not as popular. It makes neat, compact plants with juicy, spatulate leaves of a watery sea-green color, covered by waxy bloom.
Flower stems are bright red and very showy combined with the starry, pink-bracted yellow or orange flowers above. As the plants mature, the old dead leaves hang on and form a rough “tutu” on the main stem. It is the most common in cultivation, resembles a chalky gray echeveria (Dudleya pulverulenta), but Dudleya brittonii grows larger, eventually forming a solitary rosette 50 cm in diameter.
Dudleya cymosa ssp. agourensis
Dudleya cymosa ssp. crebrifolia
Dudleya cymosa ssp. cymosa
Dudleya cymosa ssp. marcescens
Dudleya cymosa ssp. ovatifolia
Dudleya cymosa ssp. pumila
Dudleya gnoma is a rare species of succulent plant in the stonecrop family known by the common names ‘munchkin liveforever’ and ‘munchkin dudleya’. The plant was not described to science until 1997. Though rare in the wild, this dudleya is kept in cultivation by gardeners and enthusiasts of succulents
It is an extremely variable species that produce over time a short, simple or few-branched, caudex (trunk) up to 30 cm high (or more) and 2-4 cm thick; The upper part of the caudex is densely clothed with the bases of old persistent leaves. Plants may develop shrubby stems with age.
Dudleya pulverulenta, also known as the Chalk Dudleya, belongs to a large group of succulents in the stonecrop family (Crassulaceae). It is a perennial plant forming a rosette of succulent leaves from a thick caudex, it gets its silvery-white colour from a coating of fine white mealy powder. The dense, white, mealy powder or chalky wax also occur on sepals, stems, leaves, and underside of flowers.
Rosettes send up long, arching flower spikes in late spring. Dudleya pulverulenta is one of the largest and most distinctive species of the genus, easily recognized from a distance, even without flowers.
Dudleya saxosa ssp. aloides
Dudleya saxosa subs. collomiae
Dudleya saxosa subs. collomiae (firstly described as Dudleya collomiae by Rose in 1934) is a succulent perennial herb with a short caudex 1.5-3.0 cm thick, cespitosely branched to bear 5-10 rosettes. It is a well-isolated polyploid subspecies, similar in shape to the diploid subsp. aloides, differing mainly in its larger flowers.
The flowers of Dudleya collomiae are yellow including petals and anthers; flower parts have a light pink tinge when immature. Dudleya saxosa ssp. aloides (panamint liveforever) has lavender to pink flowers.
Dudleya saxosa ssp. saxosa
Dudleya virens is a species of perennial, succulent plant in the Stonecrop family (Crassulaceae) branched and forming cushions of densely clustered rosettes to at least 40 cm in diameter. The leaves are fleshy strap-shaped, flattened and non-viscid and, 8–20 cm long and 1.5–3 cm broad, tapering from the base (or from near middle) and are green or greyish with reddish tips.
Thick leafy red flower stems rise from the center of the plant to support candelabras of fragrant white or rosy flowers, with five petals that spread from near the middle.