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"My Name is Perle"

This past summer I came across an Echeveria in the garden section of the Home Depot. It had a fantastic pinkish purple hue to it and I fell head over heals for it. I bought it that day and took it home. Some times I would sit and hold the plant in my hands and study the complete perfection of the plant. The symmetry of the leaves was perfect and my eyes would wander around the lines the leaves made.

It was like a baby and I was like a father. I doted on this Echeveria and would move it around the yard so that it would get as much sun as possible during the day. It really seemed to like all the sun it was getting because it colored up in dramatic fashion, almost as if it blushed at all the attention I was bestowing on it.

Can you love a plant? I know it sounds crazy-but sometimes when I was away from my little Echeveria I would wonder if it was doing ok and if it needed anything. One day while admiring my Echeveria it dawned on me that perhaps my little Echeveria was lonely. So I went out and bought it a companion; I came home with a little pot of Hen&Chicks. I sat it next to my Echeveria and hoped that they would be the best of friends. Being that I was now the parent of two succulents I decided to see if I could give my Echeveria a proper name. The helpful folks at the GardenWeb thought that my Echeveria might be a Perle Von Nurenberg. There was some debate but I decided that it looked like the closest ID. So now Perle had a name.

One day this summer Perle started to look a little down. At first I blamed it on the Hen and all of her Chicks that had sprouted in the pot next to Perle. Maybe they were making too much of a fuss or keeping her up at night, I thought to myself. I decided to move Perle to another area one day where maybe she would not be bothered by the Hen&Chicks. While doing so I decided to take a few leafs from Perle and propagate them to see if she liked being aroud her own kind better. When I removed some of the leaves I spotted them. The most hated of all houseplant bugs, mealy bugs.

They were crawling all over just below the surface of the soil at Perle's base. I quickly searched the internet and found various remedies. I decided a full out attack would the best approach. Night and day I worked at getting rid of those little bastards. In the end I lost the fight, but Perle left me with four little starts. Three of which can be seen in the picture attached to this entry.

If you find your Perle some day in a Home Depot, make sure to take some leafs from her and let the cuts callous over and then insert them into some clean soil. In a short time you'll have more plants that you can manage.


  1. Anonymous7:18 AM

    bravo for such a highly personal and quirky account of plant mania,and informative to boot! Thanks for the info.

  2. Wonderful information.

    I have a pot of echeveria at home and underneath the big hen rosette, there are about 5-7 little ones coming out. I just don't know how to deal with them. It seems they grow slowly and I started to worry about my pot is going to be too small accommodate them all once they become bigger.

    Can I split these chicks up from the hen and make a lots of new pots?

    I have never known that I can propagate echeveria from a single leave, which is amazing. I can't wait to try it.

    Thanks again!!!

  3. Annie,

    You can leave them there and let them grow. Eventually the "mother" dies off and is replaced by one of the babies. Or if you want in the spring split them up and pot them up individually. It really is up to you, but I like a full pot of Echeverias.

  4. I too "adopt" plants into my family and feel as if they're some of my closest "friends". I think you share so many of your thoughts (in your head and possibly out loud) with them, that it seems to feel like our old I always feel bad when I accidentally kill one off and feel sadness when an old "friend" dies off.

    Great story about Perle, so sorry she's gone, but she's left you with fond memories and some little Perle's. They're too cute!

    Also thanks for the information on starting succulents from their leaves!


  5. Hi ~M~

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Glad that someone else out there understands.

  6. Hello Mr. Thumb,
    I have been reading your blog quite a bit lately as I have become the proud parent of a few echeverias myself. I am very excited (yet apprehensive) about the prospect of propagating them. I don't want to hurt them so I will try with only one of the plants first.
    Thank you for your information.
    I have a blog myself. Mine is about making things. Once I have got down to the business of working with the echeverias I will post my outcome. Come visit if you have the time.
    Thanks again;

  7. Hi Chaz,

    Good luck with your plant! Echeverias are great.

  8. Anonymous7:42 PM

    I absolutely love your writing style and the personal voice which you put in to your blog. I came across this article while searching for information about how to better care for my aloe vera plant. I also have a tiny cutting of a kalanchoe plant (in a clear shot glass in my kitchen window)which I salvaged from the mother plant, and because I forgot to water the mother plant it is now a semi orphan. Any way, thank you for all of the interesting and useful information on your website here, I am reading many pages about other plants too. Thank you! <3 I will continue to read your blog here. :)

  9. @Anonymous, Thanks for the feedback!



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