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Pachyphytum Care Guide

Pachyphytum Care Guide

Pachyphytum is a genus of succulent plants in the Crassulaceae family, and they are native to Mexico. As the name "Pachyphytum" suggests (with "pachy" meaning thick and "phytum" referring to plants), these plants are characterized by their thick, fleshy leaves. This feature is not only visually appealing but also makes them highly resilient.

The leaves can display a variety of colours, ranging from blue-green to pinkish and purplish shades, often with a waxy or powdery coating that gives them a frosted appearance. This coating helps protect the plant from sunburn and insect pests. The colours of Pachyphytum can become even more vibrant when the plant is stressed by factors such as drought or cold temperatures.

Pachyphytum tends to have a compact, low-growing habit, making them ideal for small gardens, pots, or even indoor windowsills. These plants are low maintenance and can thrive with minimal care, making them suitable for novice gardeners. Pachyphytum have the ability to store water in their thick leaves, allowing them to withstand periods of drought.

Like many succulents, Pachyphytum can be propagated relatively easily from leaves or stem cuttings, making them a joy for those who like to expand their collections. 

 General Care

1. Light

Pachyphytum requires plenty of sunlight to thrive. They should receive at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. They can tolerate some shade, but insufficient light can cause the plant to become leggy and lose its compact shape. 

Pachyphytum prefers bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight for prolonged periods can scorch the leaves, so filtered or morning sunlight is best. If grown indoors, placing them near a south or east-facing window is ideal. Rotate the plant occasionally to ensure even growth.

2. Water

Pachyphytum does not like to remain wet for prolonged periods. Water thoroughly, ensuring that excess water drains out, then allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. In winter or dormant periods, reduce the frequency of watering.

3. Soil

Pachyphytum requires a well-draining soil mix. You can use a commercial cactus or succulent mix combined with perlite, sand or other gritty mixes. The common ratio is 50% soil, and 50% gritty mix.

4. Temperature

Pachyphytum prefers temperatures between 10-29°C (50-85°F). While they can handle brief cold spells, it's best to protect them from frost. Pachyphytums will not survive temperatures below -6°C (20°F). They do not require high humidity and can thrive in typical household conditions.

5. Fertilizing

Feed Pachyphytum with a diluted cactus or succulent fertilizer during the active growing season. Pachyphytum tend to actively grow in the cold seasons. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to leggy growth.

6. Pruning

Pruning is generally not necessary. However, you can remove any dead or damaged leaves to maintain the plant's appearance.

7. Propagation

Pachyphytum can be propagated from leaves or stem cuttings. Gently twist off a leaf, let it callous over for a few days, and then place on well-draining soil. In time, roots and a new plantlet will emerge. Stem cuttings can be left to callous for a few days and then planted in soil.


Pachyphytum plants are not listed as toxic to humans, cats, or dogs. However, like with any other plants, it is recommended to keep them out of reach of pets and small children to avoid any potential issues such as choking or mild stomach upset that can occur from ingesting plant material. And if you suspect an ingestion has occurred, monitor for any signs of distress and consult with a veterinarian or healthcare professional.


Pachyphytum produce beautiful bell-shaped flowers on tall, slender stems. The flowers often contrast with their leaf colour, offering an additional visual delight.

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