Given their familial backgrounds and how similar they look, confusing Echeveria and Pachyphytum is all too common.
However, if you know what you’re looking for, you can easily spot the similarities and differences between the two.
Here’s a handy guide to Echeveria vs Pachyphytum, where we cover the differences and similarities between both, as well as a guide on how to care for both plants.
Echeveria vs Pachyphytum: Differences
Here are the major differences between Echeveria and Pachyphytum.
Pachyphytum is a flowering succulent that belongs to the Crassulaceae family and is indigenous to Mexico. The plant grows in altitudes ranging from 2,000 to 4,900 feet (600 to 1,500 meters) and is named in ancient Greek for the shape of its leaves.
Echeveria is a flowering succulent that also belongs to the Crassulaceae family and is indigenous to the regions of northwestern South America, Mexico, and Central America.
Therefore, though both belong to the same family, both are native to different areas (though they share one common region).
Echeveria is a large genus, with at least 150 known species and hundreds of hybrids, while Pachyphytum has around 20 known species.
3. Physical Appearance
Echeveria plants have short stems which house tight rosettes on their tips, and more often than not, you’ll also see that the center of the rosette has colored leaves that grow out.
A quick way to tell Echeveria plants apart is through the thinner and more pointy leaves.
Pachyphytum, on the other hand, grows in clumps from stemmed rosettes. The leaves are quite juicy and plump and most often, feature farina, a powdery coating.
The leaves can be purple, green, or orange.
Echeveria vs Pachyphytum: Similarities
Here are the similarities between Echeveria and Pachyphytum.
Both plants flower.
Echeveria plants bloom between late spring and early summer, though they may sometimes bloom in autumn as well.
Pachyphytum flowers also make an appearance during spring and summer. These flowers are typically bell-shaped, ranging in color from deep red to greenish-white.
Both plants have colorful leaves and grow in rosettes. Both plants also have quite fat, puffy, fluid-filled leaves (though the Pachyphytum has fatter leaves).
Both plants are popular as ornamental house plants. They are also quite common and quite hardy, which makes them easy to care for and maintain in a garden.
How to Care for Echeveria and Pachyphytum
If you’re thinking of adding either or both varieties to your garden, here’s how to successfully grow and care for both types of succulents.
As mentioned earlier, Echeveria plants are quite hardy and don’t need much attention once planted. Here’s how to care for your Echeveria plant:
Ensure that you plant the sapling in soil that drains well. Cactus potting soil is ideal for Echeverias as well, since they’re designed to drain well (well-drained soil is also a necessity for succulents).
If you need to improve the soil’s draining capability, consider adding coarse sand and perlite to the mix.
Use an unglazed pot to plant your succulent, with sufficient drainage holes to prevent overwatering and root rot, as well as to facilitate the absorption of any excess moisture.
Full, direct sunlight is necessary for Echeveria plants for proper growth and development. Ensure that you put your plant in an area where it can receive a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight each day.
A good way to tell whether your plant is receiving sufficient sunlight is to check its shape. You’ll find leaves stretching toward their closest source of light if they’re receiving insufficient sunlight.
Putting your Echeveria outside during summer is a good idea.
Echeveria plants cannot tolerate overwatering; overwatering can lead to mealybugs and root rot. When you water your Echeveria, make sure you only soak the soil and that the soil is entirely dry before you water the plant again.
Since Echeveria plants thrive in intense heat and desert-like conditions, make sure they have the same environment in your garden as well. This means preventing humidity and an average temperature of at least 70°F (21°C).
If the pot is getting too small for your plant, repot it by gently removing the plant, clearing away any soil from the roots, and then placing it in a fresh potting mix. The ideal time to repot is during spring.
Pachyphytum plants are also quite hardy, requiring minimal attention. Even so, a few tips will go a long way in growing a healthy plant:
Ensure that the plants have the right temperature to flourish in. The plants will perish in temperatures below 20°F (-7°C); and temperatures below 45°F (7°C), especially for extended periods, are unhealthy for Pachyphytum.
Like Echeveria, Pachyphytum plants also need well-draining soil. You can use cactus potting mix for these, too.
Pachyphytum can do just as well in partial sunlight as it can in full sunlight; just ensure that your plant is getting adequate sunlight.
Ensure that the soil is completely dry between watering sessions and avoid wetting the leaves.
These plants actively grow in winter and might need more water at this time. However, ensure that you don’t overwater the rest of the year.
Both Echeveria and Pachyphytum are great plants to add to your garden. This article has hopefully helped you tell the difference between the two, as well as how to successfully grow them in your own garden!