The Violet Queen Succulent, Echeveria ‘Violet Queen’, is a beautiful, compact rosette succulent with grey-green fleshy leaves that have violet tips in the right conditions.
In our experience, it is a relatively easy plant to care provided it has plenty of bright light. It does not need much water and can tolerate a little bit of neglect from a busy plant parent. We think it’s a perfect accent plant for any home decor, succulent arrangement or outdoor garden space.
Echeverias are a family of around 150 succulents, mostly native to Mexico. Echeveria Violet Queen is a hybrid species that gets its name from the attractive violet hue of the leaf tips.
Violet Queen succulent has rosettes of grey-green leaves with a dusty, powdery coating that are tipped with violet edges. The rosette is quite open, with the leaves tilting more upward the closer they are to the center of the rosette. The rosette shape resembles a lotus flower.
They are a low-growing plant typically only reaching around 3 – 5 inches tall (7 – 12 cm) and 5 – 6 inches (12 – 15 cm) in diameter. The leaves are thick, fleshy and smooth with a spoon shape ending in a point.
Echeveria Violet Queen blooms in spring and early summer with small bell-shaped flowers on thin stems above the foliage. The flower stems grow from between the leaves. The flowers are typically pink with a yellow center. However, the plant is usually kept for its attractive shape and leaves rather than its blooms.
Echeveria plants are commonly known as Hens and Chicks for their ability for the mother plant (the Hen) to produce many offsets (Chicks). Violet Queen is no exception, and a healthy, mature plant can produce several offsets. If the offsets are allowed to grow without being removed for propagation, the plant will eventually form a large clump of rosettes, as in the photo below.
Violet Queen is not related in any way to the popular Purple Queen plant, Tradescantia pallida, which is also known as the Purple Heart plant.
Best Light Conditions For Violet Queen Succulent
The Violet Queen Succulent likes a lot of bright light. It can tolerate full sun in milder climates. If you live in an area where the sun is very intense, your succulent will prefer bright, filtered light. Too much direct, intense sun can scorch and burn the leaves.
If grown indoors, place in a bright, sunny window and rotate the pot often to ensure the plant grows evenly.
If the plant does not receive enough light, the leaves will lose their characteristic violet tips, and your plant may grow stretched-out and leggy as it searches for more light. You can use a grow light if you don’t have a spot with sufficient light levels for your Violet Queen.
Watering Violet Queen Succulent
Violet Queen Succulent prefers dry conditions and should be watered sparingly. If in doubt, it is best to err on the side of underwatering rather than overwatering for this plant.
It needs to be in a soil mix that is quick drying and, ideally, in a container (if potted) with at least one drainage hole so the roots do not sit in damp soil. Echeveria Violet Queen is very susceptible to root rot.
You should only water your succulent when the soil is completely dry. Water thoroughly and soak the soil. Allow excess water to drain away through the drainage holes before putting the pot back in its saucer, as standing water can also cause problems for the plant. Do not water again until the soil is completely dry.
If you need to water your plant from above, ensure you water thoroughly, but do not swamp the pot. Wait until the soil is completely dry before watering again. Try to avoid getting water in the rosette. The tightly packed leaves make it hard for the water to escape, and this can lead to fungal growth.
It will need more water during spring, when it is growing, and in summer when the heat will evaporate moisture more quickly. It will also need watering more often when flowering. In winter, keep your Violet Queen dry and only water if the leaves start to show signs of shriveling and browning at the tips.
The leaves are the best indicator of whether your plant is overwatered or underwatered. Shriveling of the tips or the upper leaves indicates underwatering. Yellowing of the lower leaves close to the stem indicates overwatering.
Temperature And Humidity
Being native to Mexico, Echeveria Violet Queen prefers hot, dry conditions with mild winters. The ideal temperature range during the spring and summer growing season is 65 – 86 degrees Fahrenheit (18 – 30 degrees Celsius).
They are not cold-hardy and do not like frost. If you are growing your plant outdoors, try to bring it inside during winter. If that is not possible, try to protect it with a frost cloth.
Violet Queens have been observed to have a more pronounced violet color when the temperature drops in winter.
Violet Queen succulent does not like humid conditions. It will cope with average indoor humidity of around 50%, but don’t mist this plant. It likes plenty of airflow to keep moisture away from the leaves and soil, but beware of cold drafts (don’t place it underneath an air-conditioning unit, for example).
Violet Queen succulent thrives in light, gritty, rapidly draining soil. It will not do well in compact, peaty soil that is high in organic material. Echeverias have evolved to survive in low-nutrient, rocky environments where the roots are well-aerated and dry.
Like most succulents, Echeveria Violet Queen is prone to root rot if left in damp soil.
Use a succulent-specific potting mix and stir through additional sand or perlite to further increase the drainage speed of the soil.
For more in-depth information, read our article on the best types of soil for succulents.
Echeverias have evolved in areas with low-nutrient soils and they can be perfectly happy without any fertilizer.
If you do wish to give your Violet Queen succulent a little boost, apply a succulent-specific fertilizer sparingly and only during the spring and summer growing phases. Do not apply fertilizer during a heatwave when your plant may be stressed. Fertilizer shouldn’t be used during the colder winter months when the plant is in a rest phase.
Make sure you use a fertilizer that is specifically formulated for succulents. This type of fertilizer will typically have a lower concentration of nutrients than those meant for other types of plants.
It’s also important to choose a fertilizer that has a slow-release formula. This means the nutrients will be released over time, which is ideal for succulents. Fast-release fertilizers can actually do more harm than good, as they can cause a chemical “burn” to the roots if they are not used correctly. A little fertilizer goes a long way with succulents, and you don’t want to overdo it. A general rule of thumb is to apply fertilizer about once a month during the growing season.
Your Echeveria Violet Queen should not need pruning other than to remove dead leaves from the underside as the plant grows, as these can be a cozy haven for pests.
You may wish to remove offsets (chicks) for propagation.
Like most echeverias, Violet Queen is not considered toxic to cats, dogs, other pets or humans.
Pest And Disease
Pests and diseases are common problems for violet queen succulents. If not treated properly, they can cause serious damage to the plant. Here are some common pests and diseases that can affect violet queen succulents:
Aphids: These small, soft-bodied insects feed on the sap of plants, which can weaken the plant and make it more susceptible to disease. Aphids can be controlled with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Mealybugs: Mealybugs are small, white insects that suck the sap from plants. They can cause leaf drops, yellowing of leaves, and stunted growth. Mealybugs can be controlled with rubbing alcohol, insecticidal soap or neem oil.
To read more about these pests and common solutions to get rid of them, check out our post on common succulent pests and effective solutions.
Powdery mildew: Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that appears as white powdery spots on the leaves of plants. It can cause the leaves to turn yellow and eventually drop off. Powdery mildew can be controlled with fungicidal soap or neem oil.
Root Rot: Violet Queen succulent is susceptible to root rot when the roots are left in damp or over-compact soil. This leads to fungal growth and soft, rotten roots. Keep your succulent in well-draining soil and water only when the soil is completely dry.
Repot your Violet Queen when roots start to appear from the drainage holes in the pot or if the plant has grown too large and is spilling over the edges of the container.
The best time to repot is in early spring at the start of the growth season.
This succulent likes its roots to be dry and grows best in a pot that is only just big enough for it. When repotting, choose a pot that is only one size larger than the current container. The ideal pot will be wide and shallow with at least one drainage hole and made from a porous material, like terracotta. All these factors help with moisture evaporation and keeping root rot at bay.
Violet Queen Succulent Propagation
Violet Queen succulents are easy to propagate from mature offsets. You could also propagate from leaves, but that will take longer for a full plant to form and has a lower chance of success than propagating from offsets.
Select a healthy offset that has a rosette that is at least 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter with enough stalk to enable you to cut it cleanly from the mother plant.
Use sharp, sterile scissors to cut the offset away. It’s important to use sterile implements to stop bacteria from getting into the wound.
Allow the cut end of the offset to dry and callous over for a couple of days. Then, plant it in well-draining succulent soil. Keep the soil moist but not soggy, and place the pot in a place with plenty of bright, indirect light. In time, roots will form, and new leaves will begin to grow, and you’ll have a brand new, healthy Violet Queen succulent.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Isn’t My Violet Queen Succulent Violet?
A Violet Queen that is not receiving enough bright light daily may start to lose the violet tinge from its leaves. If this happens, try to move your plant to a bright spot with more light or use a grow light. Avoid a spot with harsh afternoon sun if you live in a hot climate.
If you are making a big change in the light levels your succulent receives, acclimate your plant gradually by initially moving to the new, brighter spot for an hour or so and gradually increase the time. A drastic change can stress the plant and cause leaf drop.
Violet Queen will also develop a stronger violet hue when (gently) temperature-stressed during the winter when it gets cooler. We’re not suggesting freezing temperatures or frosts, but you may just notice your Violet Queen having less violet in the summer and more violet in the winter.
Why Is My Violet Queen Growing Tall And Leggy?
If your Echeveria Violet Queen is growing taller than you’d expect and losing its attractive compact shape, it may be that it is not receiving enough light. It will be putting all its energy into seeking out a brighter light source and will grow either upwards or towards the side seeking more light for its leaves.
To learn more about succulents that grow tall instead of wide, check out our in-depth article on stretched-out, leggy succulents and how to fix it.
Where Can I Buy A Violet Queen Succulent?
You may be lucky and find one of these delightful succulents in your local nursery. Otherwise, look for Echeveria Violet Queen in online nursery stores.