Secrets from South Korea

Alright, it's for Secrets from South Korea (Part 1).  We're taking your most asked questions, drilling down a little and hopefully shedding some light on your most asked questions regarding specific cultivars and general succulent care.
Q: Any insights into how to stress for temperature indoors would be great!  And light and water stress insights are always welcome.  Maintenance tips for the shape they present in the growers pictures would be cool too.


CCF answer- After receiving newly imported plants we suggest you recover them for a period of time before attempting to restress the plant.  If the plant has a lot of water reserves and looks good you may not water and enjoy them for a few weeks before reintroducing the succulent to a watering schedule (we actually prefer this because as a plant gets thirsty it will start throwing out fresh root starts, which makes establishing the plant a little easier).

From there stressing indoors requires a significant investment in a quality light system.  You want about 1,500 lumens per square foot of shelf space for basic maintenance and then higher lumens with a plant specific spectrum will yield the best stress colors indoor.  Led are preferred as to not artifically raise the temperature.  Cold nights and adequate air flow are also crucial to shape and color in echeverias.  In the winter we suggest placing your set up near a drafty area to help and cutting the heat off to whatever room the succulents are in overnight.  Temperature really impacts the color of a succulent.  You want nights as cold as possible without humidity and warmer swings in the day.  When you achieve this your succulent will produce the best possible color.

The more 'sun' you expose the rosette to the tighter it will grow because it doesn't want to risk sunburn and it is receiving more than enough light for the photosynthesis process.  When the lighting is not adequate the rosette will open to expose more of the leaf surface in order to meet the plant's photosynthesis requirements. 

Once a plant is fully recovered and thriving you may start to starve her for water and mimic drought periods.  Water-related stress is tricky because you don't want wrinkling of the leaves, but it is a very easy way to get your succulents to show their sassy side. 


From Our Favorite Farm in South Korea-

"It's not easy to grow tight or compact, but anyone can do it if you know the basics.  Basically sunshine, ventilation (wind), water, temperature should be reasonable.  Most plants should have a lot of sunshine.  When the sun is low and you give it a lot of water, the plants grow [more open and less compact].  Of course, you should give half a shade in hot summer."




Q. I would love to know the secret to the Trumso red center.  Mine has faded significantly. 


CCF answer- Many plants change color over the course of the seasons and color change is expected with most of the vividly colored plants.  It's all part of it.  Succulents are living and breathing, not a product that we can just purchase in bulk and guarantee that no changes will happen.  We sincerely try to be honest with stress colors and inform our customers when we expect a plant to make dramatic shifts.

We are a new business and we're learning with you guys.  We'll only get better as time goes on and we get more experience under our belt, but for this particular question we have asked our farm for a more definitive answer to help you guys with this specific cultivar.  


From Our Favorite Farm in South Korea-

"To maintain the red center, a temperature difference is needed.  Cold stress is needed in the morning."


Additional Note from CCF- In other words when the mornings become colder and the plant is getting full sun in the cold the red centers should start to show back up again.  We trust this farm wholeheartedly.  I asked for a picture of this farm's Trumsos and this is what we got.  As you can see the intensity on the raspberry centers vary from plant to plant, even in perfect South Korean conditions.

We do hand-select our Trumsos in the winter for the best red centers, which may make our plants look different to what you see some other retailers offering.  We cannot guarantee the longevity of the red center in the Trumso, as it will naturally fade with warmer temps, but it should come back in the winter.

Thank you very much for the question! We learned a lot too!




Q: My Rainbow has lost its color, help!


CCF answer- Even the most experienced growers have trouble with Rainbows from time to time.  This plant is a diva.  You can generally expect a beautiful plant for a few months that will start to grow back like a Perle Von Nurnberg.  This happens to the best of us and as a result we rarely offer Rainbows and when we do it comes with a heavy disclaimer.  We have also wondered the secrets to the perfect Rainbow and we have decided to forward this one to our farm.

From Our Favorite Farm in South Korea-

"In summer, Rainbows turns from red to perles. Leaves fall and die easily. Most of the water goes missing.  Please keep in the shade (80% sunlight blocked) [and water more frequently than other echeverias, use a high draining non-organic blend to prevent rot].


Additional Note from CCF- Even if a Rainbow reverts to a Perle don't count her out, she can just as easily revert back when conditions are ideal.  This cultivar has a mind of her own. 




Q: What are the exact temperatures needed to produce the best stress in succulents?


CCF answer- Temperature swings are sooo important.  Our plants are grown indoors.  Again, please let me stress proper ventilation, air quality is just as important as light and water.  If you have a decent dehumidifier you can take night time temps very low.  Last winter we kept our cold stress room at 20 degrees at night and did not lose a single plant and the stress colors were incredible.  Day time temps we kept around 50-60 degrees.

Summer is nearly impossible to produce temperature-related stress colors without a dedicated cold stress set up.


From Our Favorite Farm in South Korea-

"Between 5 ° C and 25 ° C [41-77 ° F] in the winter.  For midsummer, I think 10 to 25 ° C [50-77 ° F] is good for good condition."




Q: Does the care change for variegated echeverias?  Just ordered my first one (variegated Mebina) and wondering if there’s any special tips to keep if anything special is done to maintain variegation.


CCF answer- This is an area of expertise that takes a lot of experience to answer correctly.  We have forwarded this question to our farm.


From Our Favorite Farm in South Korea-

"Usually variegation is weak in strong sunlight. Sunshine is a must, but avoid strong sunlight.

The temperature difference between the sun and the night creates a beautiful color.  However, the hot summer season is difficult to maintain color.  Please always keep water low.

If the sun is scarce or there is a lot of water, it becomes soft and not pretty."



And this has been our first session of Secrets from South Korea.  We've hoped you have learned a little something from this you didn't already know.  We will be doing this quarterly.  To submit your questions please ask them in the Community under the Thread titled 'Ask the Farm' and we will search the forum before posing our next round of questions to the growers in South Korea. 


  • Posted by Michelle Y. on

    Very helpful! Thank you.

  • Posted by Taylor on

    This has seriously been the most FANTASTIC bit of information I have come across during my succulent research! Thank you so very much for taking the time to put this together!

  • Posted by Sara Kling on

    I love love love this post! I have been looking for answers like this. Thank you so much, and please do more! 🥰

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