ASK THE BOTANIST
As a trained environmental educator, with a specialty in marine biology, I find BOTANY - or the study of plants - to be an exciting yet at times unfamiliar endeavor for me. So when I have plant related questions (which is often) I have one friend I turn to most, the knowledgeable ZOEY MANSON!
Zoey and I often collaborate on botanical styling, art and plant care, and now I am thrilled to share her wisdom with you all! Every month we will feature a Plant of the Month that we will discuss in more depth. Scroll Down to see the this month's featured Plant of the Month!
We hope you find this page a helpful place to ask your plant related questions, request how-to tutorials, as well as, your favorite plants to feature. Zoey and I are excited to be offering this service to you all, sharing our love for plants and plant wisdoms!
ask us anything!
I began working with plants at Briggs Trees Company, in San Marcos, CA, where I was fully immersed in plant identification authenticating their entire inventory database. From there, I threw myself into planted art, landscape design and customer service working at the beautiful Barrels and Branches nursery in Encinitas, Ca. I am now studying and working full time as an ethnobotanist (someone who studies how people from different cultures use plants) at Mira Costa College in Oceanside, Ca.
PLANT(s) OF THE MONTH:
all about the echeveria lola!
July just happens to be my birth month so I felt it fitting to share a bit more information about one of my very favorite succulents to play and create with – the Echeveria Lola!
Lola is a beautiful, rosette shaped echeveria, that is actually a hybrid between the Echeveria lilacina and the Echeveria derenbergii , cultivated by the famous echeveria breeder Dick Wright. Lola can grow to be about 6” wide and about 4-6” tall, with beautiful mint green leaf so pale it almost appears white. The leaves will take on a pinkish hue around the margins when the plant is exposed to brighter conditions and in colder temperatures as well.
The pale color of the leaves is due to the thick layer of epicuticular wax which coats its leaves. You should be a bit more gentle when handling these beauties, as our fingerprints often smudge and mar the protective wax coating (this doesn’t damage the plants health, but just leaves a less attractive mark on the leaves).
Lola make gorgeous thriller options for any of your succulent gardens, arrangements and moss art pieces. The propagate readily through leaves, clippings and offshoots and are one of my of my favorite types to use for living art pieces.
caring for your lola:
Like with most echeveria, Lola will begin to stretch when not getting enough sunlight. Outdoors they thrive in dappled light, yet can be acclimated to withstand full sun conditions as well. While I do not advise these plants for use indoors, you can get away with an indoor location if you place your Lola near a very bright window, or under a grow light. If you are bringing your Lola in for winter – you will definitely want to use a grow-light to keep them happy and not stretching out.
In terms of temperature conditions, Lola can survive cold but not freezing conditions, and prefers mild as opposed to scorching conditions. They cannot survive in temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Lola’s are winter hardy into Zone 9 and above.
Being drought tolerant plants, Lola’s (like almost all echeverias) like a deep watering and then allowing their soil dry out completely in between waterings. I advise you plant your Lola’s in well-draining Succulent & Cactus blend soils, because they do not like their roots to remain in damp soil. Normal potting soil retains too much dampness for most succulents to thrive in. If you find you are having a hard time keeping your succulents alive it is most probably due to overwatering or damp soil.
Like with all other echeveria, you do want to avoid getting water stuck in between the leaves and within the center of the rosette while watering. Water droplets stuck between the leaves can lead to growth of unhealthy microbes and cause disease and damage to the plant. So when watering try to aim the water at the root area.
While I do not believe fertilizing these plants is necessary, if you like to I advise doing so at the start of Spring or Summer which is when these plants do most of their growing.
Thanks for reading and be sure to reach out with any questions or comments!
LOOKING TO ADD A LOLA OR TWO TO YOUR COLLECTION? PUSH THE BUTTON BELOW TO SEE THE GORGEOUS SUCCULENT VARIETIES AVAILABLE!