Pachyphytum (pack-ee-FEYE-tuhm) is a group of extra chunky succulents (pachy = thick, phytum = plant). Their super chubby leaves store lots of water, so you can (and should) water them very infrequently. They're great for pretty, powdery pastels and full sun brings out their best colors. Read on for more helpful Pachyphytum care tips.
- Colors: Lots of pastel blues and pinks. A heavy coat of farina tends to lighten the colors and give them an elegant, matte finish.
- Form: They're mostly stemmed rosettes with an alternating arrangement of leaves. The internodes get shorter the farther up a stem you go.
- Foliage: Leaves are very thick and can be either rounded or pointed at their tips. Some leaves are faceted and appear crystalline.
- Flowers: Pachyphytum have chunky looking flowers. The petals are fused to form a tube and they have five petals and ten stamens. The sepals are large and very thick, frequently even longer than the petals.
- Light: These plants prefer strong light, so south facing window sills are ideal. Grow lights can also be used to supplement.
- Soil: Select a gritty, well-draining mix like succulent/cactus soil and combining it with an equal volume of mineral grit, e.g. pumice, perlite, or coarse sand. Or use 100% Bonsai Jack Gritty Mix.
- Water: Over-watering can lead to root rot which can quickly kill Pachyphytum. Water deeply, but infrequently and be sure to water much less frequently in the winter when the plant is partially dormant.
- Hardiness: Pachyphytum are not cold hardy and must be protected from frost.
- Propagation: They can be easily propagated via stem and leaf cuttings. Learn how to do that by following our guide to succulent cuttings!
NOTES FROM THE NURSERY
Pachyphytum take all the things we find adorable about succulents and turns it up to 11. The leaves are even chubbier, the shapes are more fantastic, and the farina on the leaves is even thicker. Because of this, they're very popular as indoor houseplants.
However, they're also very popular with hybridizers as they easily cross with plants from other genera like Sedum and Echeveria. These hybrids are gorgeous and have been successfully sold in ornamental plant markets the world over.