Echeveria vs Graptoveria: 5 Interesting Key Differences

Succulents come in so many varieties that enthusiasts like to learn the characteristics of the plant in order to identify the type of succulent they are looking at. While some succulents are so distinctive that they are easily identified, other types are so similar that they can be easy to confuse with one another.

While Echeveria and Graptoveria have some similarities, you can tell them apart by looking closely at some key characteristics. So what is the difference between Echeveria vs Graptoveria?

echeveria vs graptoveria

5 Differences Between Echeveria and Graptoveria

You may already be aware that Graptoveria is a hybrid succulent. It comes from a cross between Graptopetalum and Echeveria. There are some nurseries that refer to this plant as ×Graptoveria. An ‘×’ indicates that the succulent is a hybrid.

In case you are unfamiliar with hybrid succulents, know that the process of hybridization is not a simple one. Hybrid plants are created through artificial pollination between two different species. Since blooming seasons vary and sexual reproduction results are unpredictable, this can be quite challenging. The appearance of hybrids cannot always be predicted.

This explains why Graptoveria and Echeveria sometimes resemble each other. Due to their genetic proximity, some cultivars can appear almost identical to their parents. Additionally, most hybrid plants are sterile, making them incompatible with breeding future generations.

The similarities of these plants are not limited only to their appearance. Both plants are native to the same region of the globe. Mexico, Central America, and northwestern South America are the native habitats of Echeveria. Meanwhile, Graptopetalum is primarily found in Mexico and Southwest America. Although their country of origin can’t be used to distinguish the plants, it can give you a sense of what kind of climate they’re used to.

Despite sharing the same habitat, the following key differences will help you distinguish between an Echeveria and a Graptoveria:

Leaf Thickness

The thickness of Graptoveria and Echeveria leaves is one of their most distinguishing features. A typical Graptopetalum leaf is thick, as you might notice. The leaves of Echeveria, on the other hand, tend to be more delicate. While Echeveria leaves aren’t necessarily thin, they are considerably thinner than Graptopetalum leaves.

If you’re unsure if a succulent is Graptoveria or Echeveria, you can determine its identity by the thickness of its leaves. Because Graptoveria inherits its thick leaves from Graptopetalum, plants with considerably thick leaves tend to be Graptoveria.

In general, Echeveria leaves are smooth and pointy. Some varieties, however, have more rounded or curly leaves. Graptoveria leaves may resemble Echeveria or be rounder and bulbous, depending on what variety of Graptopetalum was used to create the plant. While leaf shape may not provide you with the exact definition of the species, it will provide you with a good starting point.

Bloom shape

Despite their similar structure, Echeveria blooms are quite different from Graptopetalum blooms. The flowers of both plants have five petals each along the stem. However, the blooms of Echeveria remain mostly closed. With each blossom hanging downward like a lantern, they are held high above the plant on succulent stems. The blooms of Echeveria are highly attractive to hummingbirds.

On the other hand, a flower of Graptopetalum opens wide, forming bright stars that are attractive to butterflies. With their woody texture and well-branched nature, the flower stems are much shorter, displaying their starry blooms next to the rosette plant.

With this, you may think the flower will provide positive identification of your mystery plant if it is in bloom. While the flowers may vary between a Graptopetalum and an Echeveria, they don’t always help you identify a Graptoveria if it inherits the flowers from its Echeveria parent.

In other words, it is only possible to distinguish a Graptoveria from Echeveria by its blooms if it takes after its Graptopetalum parent.

Stem Length

When grown under ideal conditions, Echeveria rosettes remain close to the ground. It is only when the plant etiolates, or reaches for more light, that the stem lengthens. It is at this moment that you will notice the spacing between the leaves of a rosette widening as the plant exposes every leaf to light.

However, Graptoveria stems grow longer even under ideal lighting conditions. The plants become quite woody as they mature, and they often tumble over the sides of containers as they arch over and down. The plant grows in this way as part of its normal cycle. Despite the long stems, the rosettes maintain a nice, compact shape. At any time, you can cut them back and re-root them.


In addition to growing quickly, Graptopetalum set offsets indiscriminately. The new rosettes of Graptopetalum do not form at the base of the mother plant, as is the case with Echeveria, but branch off the plant’s stems. Graptoveria succulents that inherit this growth pattern from their Graptopetalum parent can easily be distinguished from Echeveria.


Echeveria and Graptopetalum are both considered tender succulents. Unlike Sempervivum or some Sedums, they are not cold-hardy. Even so, they are pretty tough plants. The majority of them will survive temperatures down to 7°C. They do well in full sun, and they aren’t as susceptible to sunburn as most succulents in the heat of the summer. Although they prefer the sun, a Graptopetalum tolerates shade better than an Echeveria.

Echeveria vs Graptoveria

No matter what kind of plant you have, Echeveria or Graptoveria all require the same type of care. Both succulents prefer plenty of sun, well-draining soil, and infrequent watering. As neither of them is particularly frost-hardy, you’ll need to protect them or bring them inside during frigid weather.

Considering both plants have rosette-shaped leaves, it is easy to see why they could be mistaken for each other. Echeveria and Graptoveria can have similar leaves, as already mentioned. Leaf characteristics of the hybrids can resemble Echeveria’s if they take after their parent.

It can also be difficult to identify leaves based on their color. The Echeveria plant comes in almost every color under the sun. There is an Echeveria in almost every color, from pale pink to black. When Graptoveria is created by crossing Graptopetalum and Echeveria, the color options are almost endless.

what is the difference between echeveria and graptoveria

Here are lists of Echeveria and Graptoveria to help you identify your succulent:
200+ Echeveria Types [With Pictures]
20 Unique Graptoveria Types [With Pictures]

Echeveria vs Graptoveria: Conclusion

Echeveria or Graptoveria are not easily distinguishable from each other, as you may have observed. If you are familiar with each species, you can make an educated guess, but even succulent experts make mistakes sometimes. When it comes to identifying plants, some are easy to identify, but others are harder, especially if they are hybrids.

Don’t feel bad if you’re not sure whether your plant is Graptoveria or Echeveria, because identifying hybrids is difficult. There is no need to worry if you can’t identify a mystery succulent since both have the same care needs. You can always ask the staff at your local nursery if you really need to know or ask more experienced gardeners.

Succulent identification is a skill that needs to be developed over time. Try identifying plants without looking at their labels at your local nursery if you’re interested in honing your skills. The more you practice, the more accurate guesses you’ll be able to make, even when dealing with tricky hybrids.