Echeveria West Rainbow
Echeveria West Rainbow or (Rainbow) is a variegated form of Echeveria Purple Pearl which is a darker coloured variation of Echeveria Perle von Nurnberg. Echeveria Perle von Nurnberg is a hybrid created by Alfred Graser in the 1930's from parents E gibbiflora metalica and E potosina (now E Elegans) it was distributed in Asia as “West Rainbow" signifying that its source was from the West.
Size and Colours
Echeveria West Rainbow is one of the more outstanding variegated plants available with vibrant pink to pale yellow flashes of colour against the pink violet leaves. This plant has a remarkable amount of colour variation through the winter season with vibrant pinks developing in the new leaves. In Spring, these colours fade to softer pinks and yellow tones which is set against the violet purple original leaf colour. Variegates are more difficult to grow than the parent plant. Most variegates are not as strong as their non-variegated parents owing to less chloroplasts (photosynthesising cells). They grow a little slower and are a bit more vulnerable to rot than the parent. There are several forms of variegated E Perle von Nurnburg but E West Rainbow is by far, the most outstanding.
Potting for most Echeveria's will need to be in well-drained soil mix but we recommend more gravel for a West Rainbow. Variegates benefit well from some more frequent fertilizing than you would give to other normal Echeveria. Dont forget to topdress with some nice gravel to enhance your plant,This also keeps the lower leaves from leaning on wet soil. And provides a well for water without washing out your soil when you water.
Growth is variable depending on the food and water given but they generally grow to be 70 to 120mm wide and potential for taller stems over time which elongate. The heads should be cut off, allowed to dry then replanted. As for most Echeveria's, the growing season is from Spring to Autumn, and will be slowing down over winter.
Threats and pests
Pests that may affect this plant are mainly mealy bugs and possibly aphids on flower shoots. This plant is a bit more vulnerable to rotting than some of the succulents that keep stems clear of old leaves for better airflow.
Be aware that variegated plants can be more vulnerable to strong sun over the summer months and the variegated leaves will burn more easily than usual. Morning sun is generally fine but it is wise to avoid that really hot Western sun.
Normally E Perle Von Nurnberg is easily propagated from leaf cuttings but as is well known to most variegates, they do not grow well or consistently from leaf cuttings as they are so rare. Head cuts are the best way to procreate this plant.
- Bridgette Fleming