Echeveria ‘Black Prince’ a noble choice for the garden, patio, or a bright nook indoors
The small, dark, and handsome echeveria known as ‘Black Prince’ has to make any list of Halloween-appropriate succulents. It’s unusual for an echeveria in that its rosettes often appear to be nearly black. Combine that with its glowing green center and striking red flowers, and this dark hens-and-chicks succulent just might startle an unsuspecting trick-or-treater. (Of course, it helps to have some well-placed, oversized spiders and bloodshot monster eyes nearby.)
With a royalty-inspired name like ‘Black Prince’, it’s no shock that, upon closer inspection, the fleshy leaves betray a deep shade of purple. Hues vary, though. Your specimen may seem more like ‘Thoroughly Brown Prince’. Seasonal and environmental factors play a role. More sun exposure should promote darker foliage, although the plant appreciates bright shade in the toastiest climates.
‘Black Prince’ traces its parentage to Echeveria shaviana and Echeveria affinis. In this Altman Plants video, our succulent guru Tom Jesch says that a sunny windowsill serves as an excellent perch for the clumping hybrid. It also excels in rock gardens and dish gardens, the rosettes typically staying to four, five inches tall and wide, though some report double that size. Keep it nice and cozy(ish) during winter chills.
As there are always a certain number of undesirables dwelling in any given kingdom, so too can ‘Black Prince’ attract living things that we gardeners would rather it carry on without, namely mealybugs. After mathing for a bit, we determined that there are about a million different recipes for eradicating such pests. We favor a gentle approach, spraying infected areas with a 50/50 solution of isopropyl alcohol and water. Should your ‘Prince’ become a haven for those tiny rascals, check for signs of overwatering (such as leaf rot) and make sure it’s receiving good air circulation and enough light.
Like dirt on a black car, water spots on the leaves can be hard to miss or disregard. Just spray or gently wipe with mineral-free water. It’s royal treatment, sure, but this one deserves to be spoiled a little. Enduring some drama will be worth it when you see the dramatic effect Echeveria ‘Black Prince’ adds to just about any planter arrangement. Because, you know, black goes with everything. It’s going to earn that crown on contrast powers alone.