Graptoveria is a perennial succulent that is known for its eye-catching leaves and flowers. If you’re a fan of the rosette forms of either Echeveria or Graptopetalum succulents, you’ll certainly have an appreciation for this hybrid. Sun-loving and drought-tolerant, its cultivars are fairly low-maintenance and are suitable for beginner gardeners.
Generally, Graptoveria thrives best in dry climates. This hybrid favors well-draining soil and sparse watering sessions. When its leaves are sun-stressed, they tend to grow even closer to one another to form a compact rosette, and their colors become accentuated. To enlarge a collection, the numerous leaves are surprisingly easy to propagate once mature!
When conditions are optimal, mature Graptoveria succulents produce blooms that range in color from yellow to pink. The flowers, which are star-shaped, arise from specialized stalks. In some cases, the petals can be a subtle gradient of colors.
Listed below are some of the most popular flowering cultivars of graptoveria species.
Graptoveria ‘Fred Ives’
This cultivar is perhaps the most popular and low-maintenance of all Graptoveria hybrids. It is remarkably hardy provided its soil is allowed to dry out completely in between watering sessions. Under partial sun conditions, its leaves grow long and large and can sometimes reach a length of 4-5 inches (10-12.7 cm). Delicate orange to yellow flowers arise from mature individuals in the summer.
Graptoveria ‘Fred Ives’ can tower above the rest of your succulents as it grows to a height of 24 inches (61 cm). From shoot sections where its purple to pink leaves have fallen off, the plant can branch out to form additional rosettes. Moreover, its leaves are readily propagated and can even form crested or variegated varieties, depending on the unique features of the mother plant.
If you’re after a Graptoveria cultivar with pastel pink or lavender leaves, then look no further! ‘Debbie’ produces relatively low-growing rosettes with compact foliage. Leaves can be quite thin and narrow along the base, but grow plump and slightly wider towards their tips. Though markedly deeper under more sun, coloration remains quite even throughout the plant and tends to have a cool undertone.
In spring, the Graptoveria ‘Debbie’ produces star-shaped blooms that are peach or apricot colored. These are known for attracting an assortment of pollinators, such as hummingbirds and bees. Bloom stalks tend to die off before the summer, when this variety can grow dormant. Offsets are frequently produced just underneath the rosettes, particularly if older leaves have fallen off, and can eventually crowd out a small pot.
Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ is a hybrid between Echeveria colorata and Graptopetalum amethystinum. This cultivar forms extremely compact rosettes as its foliage often masks the stem completely. Its paddle-shaped leaves grow wider towards their tips, which taper quite obtusely. A generous coating of farina, or epicuticular wax, protects the plump foliage of this plant from excess moisture and extreme sun.
When cultivated under appropriate sunlight conditions, the leaves of Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ are mildly blue-green in color and light purple towards their exposed ends. They can even develop light pink endpoints at the peak of Spring, when yellow-colored blooms tend to arise. At maturity, this cultivar can reach a height of 8 inches (20 cm) and a spread of 6 inches (15 cm).
Graptoveria ‘Silver Star’
Graptoveria ‘Silver Star’ is another low-growing variety that is most notable for its delicately pointed foliage. Its elongated leaves are very tightly arranged around a hidden shoot. These are typically silver-green in color, with bristle-like tips that are increasingly red under more sun exposure.
This cultivar is a hybrid between Echeveria agavoides, which tends to have red edges, and Graptopetalum filiferum. Due to its clumping nature, it is highly sensitive to moisture retention in the soil. When provided with appropriate conditions, mature individuals produce attractive stalks of pink and white flowers in the Spring.
This rare and relatively slow-growing cultivar produces short stems with stub-like leaves. It is undoubtedly a collector’s item as rearing it to its maximum height of just 3 inches (7.5 cm) takes time and attention. To ensure that this cultivar’s rosettes grow properly, the pot height and width should be just right. Rosettes should be planted in increasingly larger pots as their spread increases.
Graptoveria ‘Amethorum’ leaves are densely speckled with fine white spots. The tips and edges of the leaves tend to be more bright green or faintly red, depending on sun exposure. They take their shape and orientation after one of this cultivar’s mother plants, Echeveria purpusorum. In spring, mature plants may produce arching stems with pink to purple flowers.
Graptoveria ‘Lovely Rose’
Graptoveria ‘Lovely Rose’ is quite the spectacle as it produces rose-like leaf clusters. This cultivar is collected for its form rather than its leaf coloration. In spite of having predominantly pale green leaves, its rosettes are incredibly attractive, especially when arising next to one another in a small pot. These are often mistaken as the flowers themselves!
As the shoots increase in height, the lowermost leaves tend to die off and leave a bare stem. This contributes to the rose-like appearance of the rosettes. This particular cultivar is a Korean hybrid that is rarely encouraged to flower, as blooms can use up energy that is otherwise required to maintain the plump leaves of this plant.
Also referred to as ‘Fantome’, this cultivar is the most commonly grown of all Graptoveria hybrids in South Africa. It produces rosettes that are quite large compared to those of other hybrids. At maturity, these can reach a spread of 6 inches (15 cm) and a height of more than 15 inches (38 cm).
Graptoveria ‘Phantom’ takes its colors from one of its mother plants, Graptopetalum paraguayense (also known as ‘Ghost Plant’). Its leaves become increasingly powder-grey in color when the plant is exposed to full sun. This cultivar can be used as a border plant in dry climates, as it is extremely drought-resistant and low-maintenance. Tiny yellow flowers arise from tall stalks when late winter to summer conditions are favorable.
With leaves that are even whiter than those of the ‘Phantom’ cultivar, Graptoveria ‘Platinum’ is a highly sought-after plant that can stand out in every succulent collection. Its notable leaves have quite a ghostly pallor! Oftentimes, this hybrid’s life signs are afforded by its plumpness and its ever-so-subtle shades of blue-green. These occasionally appear towards the base of each leaf, and will sometimes be complemented by light pink edges.
The parentage of this hybrid has been kept a mystery by its creator, Renee O’Connell. Even its flowers are somewhat unusual relative to those of other Graptoveria hybrids. They possess the characteristic star-shape seen in other cultivars, but have a more complex combination of delicate tints.
Graptoveria ‘Moonglow’ is a vigorous low-growing cultivar that produces fairly wide rosettes. At maturity, these grow to a height of 6 inches (15 cm) and can spread to a greater width of 10 inches (25 cm)! This hybrid boasts enchanting blue-green leaves that develop light purple to pink tips and edges when exposed to sunlight.
From late winter to spring, Graptoveria ‘Moonglow’ may come into bloom. Its orange-yellow flowers are borne on tall arching stalks that are similar in color to the plant’s leaves. It readily produces a profusion of offsets that, when left to grow alongside the mother plants, can form an incredibly eye-catching carpet of rosettes.
This Graptoveria cultivar is named for its tendency to look as though it is blushing bashfully under full sun exposure. Its chubby leaves start off as bright lime green and eventually become a vivid shade of red when exposed to cool temperatures and ample sunlight. For this reason, it is also referred to as ‘Pinkle Ruby’ in Korea.
The rosettes of this hybrid are extremely compact, hiding all traces of a stem. They are remarkably low-growing and reach a maximum width of just 3 inches (8 cm). When provided with optimal conditions, mature plants may produce pink-colored flowers. Due to their small size, the bashful rosettes are a perfect addition to small container gardens and succulent bouquets.
Debra Lee Baldwin, “Succulents Simplified”
Nan Sterman, “Hot Color, Dry Garden”
Smith, Gideon et al., The cultivar xGraptoveria ‘Fantome’ Aubé ex Gideon F.Sm. & Bischofb. Is the most commonly cultivated representative of the Crassulaceae in Southern Africa, https://bioone.org/journals/bradleya/volume-2018/issue-36/brad.n36.2018.a6/The-cultivar-Graptoveria-Fantome-Aub%c3%a9-ex-Gideon-FSm–Bischofb/10.25223/brad.n36.2018.a6.short