More commonly referred to as lavender pebbles, Graptopetalum Amethystium is one of the prettiest species of succulents you’ll find. At first glance, you’ll be forgiven for mistaking these succulents for rocks. The plant has smooth rounded leaves that give it the appearance of a group of pebbles stacked on top of one another.
Its unusual shape isn’t the only thing that makes this succulent so sought after. The plant comes in a beautiful blend of colors which include soft shades of pink, purple and green. Lavender pebbles are small plants, forming rosettes that grow up to 6 inches in diameter. This means that they can easily be grown in small containers, making them perfect for small rooms and office spaces.
Caring for lavender pebbles
Caring for these plants is no different than caring for any other succulent. Once you’ve gotten to know their temperature and light requirements, you’ll be able to grow a dozen of these little succulents without breaking a sweat.
Lavender pebbles can be grown outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 9a-11. more specifically, these plants are best suited for temperatures ranging between 20 F.- 50 F.
While lavender pebbles are known to withstand temperatures as low as 20 F., they are not considered cold hardy. Exposure to sub-freezing temperatures for an extended period will do them harm.
If you live in a region with cold harsh winters, grow these plants in containers and bring them indoors as temperatures begin to fall.
Lavender pebbles thrive in full sun but will also do fine in partial shade. The lighter these plants are exposed to the more intense their coloration.
For outdoor growing, locate these plants to the sunniest spot in the garden. If grown indoors, choose a spot that receives a decent amount of direct sunlight throughout the day. Near a south-facing window (if you live in the northern hemisphere) would be ideal.
If your home is dimly lit you may want to consider purchasing a grow light to supplement your Sempervivums needs. There a wide variety available online, just do your research and find one that’s energy-efficient and works well with your plant.
As a succulent, these plants have leaves specially designed to store water. This unique adaption is what helps them get through dry spells without dehydrating. Their roots, on the other hand, are not the best at handling excessively wet soil. Overwatering your lavender pebbles will cause its roots to rot and will end up killing the plant.
The best watering technique for these plants is the “soak and dry method”. This involves letting the soil completely dry between watering sessions. This can range anywhere between 2 weeks to a month, depending on the climate your growing them in as well as the time of year. Water less frequently during the winter especially if your growing the plant outdoors.
Using the right kind of soil and watering in moderation go hand in hand when growing a succulent successfully.
Lavender pebbles require a well-draining succulent mix with good aeration. There are loads of different cactus/ succulent mixes available to purchase online so finding the right kind shouldn’t be difficult. Without a succulent potting mix, excess water will store up near the plant’s roots and result in rot.
You can also make your succulent mix using coarse sand and regular potting soil as well as a good drainage material such as perlite
When feeding your lavender pebbles use a well-balanced liquid fertilizer specifically formulated for succulents.
Only feed the plant during its active growing period in the summer.
Disease and Pests
Besides root rot as a result of overwatering, Graptopetalum amethystinum is a plant resistant to most diseases. As for pests, the two most commonly known to bother these succulents are Mealybugs and aphids.
Mealybugs are hard to spot on a succulent because they love hiding in any small crevice they can find. Left untreated they can eat away at your plant and eventually kill it. A sign that your plant is infected can include misshaped new growth and a white cotton substance between the leaves and stem which the bugs are known to produce. Fortunately, you can easily rid your succulent off these pests through some simple organic methods.
The first method involves spraying the plant with 70% isopropyl alcohol. You don’t have to worry about this causing har to your plant. alcohol evaporates fast and isn’t going to stay long enough to burn any leaves.
The second method you can opt for is using diluted neem oil. Neem oil messes with the bugs’ hormones, preventing them from reproducing and causing further damage to your plant.
How to Propagate lavender pebbles
These plants can be easily propagated using cuttings. To do this just follow either one of the two methods given below.
1. Propagation through leaf cuttings
Start by gently twisting a leaf from your succulents’ stem. The pull should be clean as a damaged leaf may not propagate successfully.
Leave the leaf out to dry. This should only take a 2-3 days.
Place the dried leaf in a pot of well-draining succulent soil mix. Mist the leaf with water and let it take root. After a few weeks you should observe new growth.
2. Propagation through stem cuttings
Cut off a piece of the succulent’s stem, using a sharp, sterilized blade
Leave the cutting out to dry for2-3 days.
Place the dried stem into a pot of well-draining succulent mix, and mist using water at least once a week.
Once new growth has emerged and the plant has grown a little in size. You can switch to a regular watering schedule
Lavender pebbles are non-toxic to humans and pets and are safe to leave unsupervised around the house.
Signs to watch out for
Your lavender pebbles are in poor health if you notice any one of the following signs
1. Soft leaves
Lavender pebbles have leaves that are firm and plump. If you notice the leaves going soft it may be a sign of overwatering.to fix this, repot the plant to a bed of fresh dry succulent
If you notice the rosettes spacing out more than usual, your plant is probably not getting enough sun. move it to a sunnier spot.
3. Faded colors
Lavender pebbles get their pink coloration from light exposure. If the leaves are becoming green, the plant probably isn’t getting enough light.