One of my favourite succulents are the Graptoveria species. Why? Its easy to care for, speed of growth, propagating ease and they look great. Also, they grow well in a pot or in the ground, in a sunny or shade position. There are many different species of Graptoveria, I currently have Fred Ives and the Tri Colour species.
The name Graptoveria is a combination of Echeveria and Graptopetalum. It is a hybrid between the two plants. Like the Echeveria species it comes from the Crassulacae family.
Most Graptoveria are low growing and tend to grow in clumps. Their growing period is in the Summer, they are drought tolerant, can withstand a full sun position and can grow in part shade. They also tolerate wet winters. For those of you who live in colder climates they have a good cold tolerance too. So, does that sound familiar,? Basically, they have the same growing habit as an Echeveria. They only vary with regard to being able to tolerate colder temperatures than Echeveria and the flower that is produced looks slightly different. (see below)
Surviving Hot Summers
Graptoveria can survive very hot summers. Graptoverian species : Tri Colour, David Cumming, Fred Ives and Jules have survived Australian hot temperatures of 40C+ (that is in the shade). Some Graptoveria produce a protective waxy or powdery coating which protects them from the sun. It has a few names such as: farina or epicuticular wax and is thought to be the plant’s natural protection from strong sun – like a sunscreen. This coating will rub off at the slightest touch and will lose its protective coating. The protective coating will not be re-produced.
Graptoveria have their growing period in the summer and can produce a few offsets/pups in this season. They will normally grow in the shade of the parent plant to start off with. So if your succulent is in a pot and it produces an offset/pup do not turn the pot so the offset is facing the sun as this could burn the new growth. Similarly if you decide to transplant the offset do not plant it in full sun to begin with.
Graptoveria have a very distinguishable flower in that it has tiny black dots on its petals. The flower will look like an Echeveria and other succulent’s flowers until closer inspection. If grown outside/in the garden the Graptoveria will flower profusely, however, if it is grown inside it may not produce any/many flowers. Graptoveria’s are NOT monocarpic so they do NOT die after flowering.
Graptoveria Fred Ives and Graptoveria Tri Colour
Fred Ives grow in full sun and/or partial shade. In previous summers they have withstood 40C+ temperatures. The photo below left shows a Graptoveria Fred Ives that has morning shade and full afternoon sun and is grown under the protection of a cherry tree. The next photo from the left shows a Graptoveria Fred Ives that has morning shade and full afternoon sun but is NOT grown under the protection of a tree.
The mottled/blotchy leaves are normal for a succulent that is not protected from the elements such as rain and hail. I put this down to the cold rain or hail sitting on the leaves in the winter. The Graptoveria on the left is growing only 10 metres from the Graptoveria on the right during the same winter this year. This is a bit of a downside to growing succulents in the ground and open to the elements. However, it will only look unsightly until the mottled/blotchy older leaves drop off. Which is not that long at all – possibly a month.
Graptoveria can survive in cold temperatures but they do not tolerate frosts or hail well. As stated above they can also look a bit unsightly if they are grown outside and open to the elements in the winter. (Succulents DO NOT like hail!! ) Like most succulents Graptoveria can be susceptible to mealy bugs. How do I treat pests on succulents & cacti? Other than those minor problems they are a great succulent to grown and love.