Echeveria Runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ Care Guide

Echeveria Runyonii Topsy Turvy in a garden

The succulent Echeveria Runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’, also known as Echeveria Topsy Turvy or Topsy Turvy plant, is a mutation generated through cultivation in California. The standard Echeveria Runyonii is native to Mexico.

It is known for the asymmetry of its leaves, which prevents a uniform distribution and size in them. Therefore, unlike other succulents, it is practically impossible to find a specimen of Topsy Turvy with perfectly aligned and distributed leaves.

In this guide you will learn all the information you need to know about the characteristics, care and propagation of Echeveria Runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’.


Main characteristics

  • Light: semi-shade or filtered light
  • Height: grows up to 30 cm tall and 50 cm wide
  • Soil: fast draining
  • Watering: normal
  • Minimum temperature: 0 °C
  • Propagation: by seeds, leaves, and shoots
  • Origin: mutation originated in cultivation
  • Common names: echeveria topsy turvy or topsy turvy plant
  • Price: $5-15 USD

Echeveria Runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ belongs to the Crassulaceae family. It grows in a rosette shape with thick, fleshy leaves like most echeverias. They are grayish-green in color and have an elongated, curved form with arched tips.

It is a medium to large-sized succulent as in its adult stage, its rosette can grow up to 30 cm tall and 50 cm wide.

Echeveria Runyonii Topsy Turvy in a clay pot
Photo by @suculentasduarte

During spring and summer, it produces bell-shaped reddish-orange flowers. The flowers emerge on long flower stalks that can measure up to 30 cm and extend from the rosette.

Echeveria Runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ Care


For Echeveria Runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ it is recommended to provide indirect or filtered sunlight as it is very sensitive to direct sun rays. It is common to see the leaf tips getting burnt due to this.

However, there is no general rule that applies to all cases. Each location has different temperatures and varied environmental conditions. Therefore, it's best to experiment with your succulent.

If you notice that your plant's leaves are not suffering any damage under the current lighting conditions, you can leave it as it is. On the other hand, if you see signs of burning, gradually reduce the amount of light exposure until your Topsy Turvy no longer experiences leaf burn.


As for watering, Echeveria Runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ retains a considerable amount of water in its leaves like most succulents with thick leaves.

Hence, you need to be very careful with the watering routine of this succulent, as it has very low tolerance to moisture and can quickly rot. You should wait until the soil is completely dry before watering again. Never water it if the soil is still damp as it could start to rot.

As a standard for places without extreme climates, a normal watering routine for the Echeveria Runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ would be every 7-10 days during spring and summer, and every 3-4 weeks during winter.

However, it is always important to check the moisture in the substrate with even greater priority than any routine. If the substrate were to be completely dry before then, it would be time to water it.

It's important to clarify that watering should be done on the soil and never on the leaves, as this could lead to fungal issues in the plant.

Echeveria Runyonii Topsy Turvy with grass in the background
Photo by @flor_de_itabo

If you want to intensify the color of its leaves, you can slightly reduce its water intake without allowing it to become dehydrated. For example, if you normally water it every 10 days, you can wait a couple of days between each watering, and this will intensify its color. This technique is called "stressing" the plant.


Echeveria Runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’, like most succulents, adapts relatively well to any soil as long as it has good drainage to prevent waterlogging.

In addition to potting soil, your soil mixture should include something looser or porous such as gravel, volcanic rock, or tree bark. This will prevent the plant from retaining too much water and help its roots grow easily.

In general, the ideal average soil mix should have the following approximate proportions:

  • 40% of universal soil with worm humus
  • 30% of gravel, volcanic rock, tree bark, or a mixture of all
  • 20% of peat or perlite
  • 10% of river sand
  • Optional: A little ground eggshell and activated aquarium charcoal to prevent fungal growth

Of course, the proportions of each material can vary depending on the temperature and humidity of the place where you live.

But if you cannot find all the materials, don't worry. The important thing is always to maintain a higher percentage of inorganic materials to have a well-ventilated, light, rapidly draining soil that is not too high in nutrients.

  • Organics: peat, coconut fiber, worm humus, compost, etc.
  • Inorganics: gravel, volcanic rock, perlite, vermiculite, sand, etc.

Additionally, having a pot with several holes will greatly help with even more drainage.

Echeveria Runyonii with succulents in the background
Photo by @suculentas.da.cris


The ideal temperature for good growth and flowering of the Echeveria Runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ is between 18°C and 26°C. However, it can tolerate higher and lower temperatures.

During winter, it can withstand temperatures around 10 °C for a few days without getting damaged, and I recommend not exposing it to lower temperatures. However, there are cases where it can tolerate drops down to 0 °C when the soil is dry, but not for an extended period (maximum 1 or 2 days).

If exposed to these temperatures for a longer period of time, it will most likely suffer irreversible damage and even die.

How to propagate Echeveria Runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’

Echeveria Runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ can be propagated by seeds, leaves, and offshoots. The most common and effective options are propagation through leaves and offshoots, although the latter occurs naturally and cannot be controlled beyond taking good care of your plant to encourage more offspring.

Some people reproduce it by seeds during spring and summer, but it is a less used method as it is more complicated and time consuming than the previous ones.

The advantage of reproducing it by seeds is that you can do it in large quantities, as you are not limited to the leaves or offsets that your succulent can produce.

Below, I explain how to reproduce this succulent by each method:

Offshoots or pups propagation

When given the proper care and conditions, Echeveria Runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ occasionally produces shoots. These are small fully formed plants that grow at the base of the main plant or mother plant.

To propagate the Topsy Turvy plant by offshoots, follow these steps:

  1. Choose the shoots: Try to choose the most mature shoots, even if they already have some roots on the stem. These shoots are easier to detach and will grow faster.
  2. Remove the shoots: Carefully remove them from the mother plant using disinfected scissors or cutters. Some shoots may come off just by gently twisting them. In any case, always be careful not to damage the roots.
  3. Plant the shoots: Plant them in a small pot with common succulent soil, one pot for each sprout. For your soil mix, remember to follow the recommendations mentioned above.
  4. Water the substrate: You should water the substrate generously and wait until it is completely dry to water again. Some people recommend watering with a spray bottle during the first 2 or 3 weeks, especially for the shoots that do not have roots.

The ideal time to transplant offshoots is during spring, as it is the season when they grow and reproduce the fastest. However, transplanting can also be done in other seasons, but growth may be slower.

Offshoots propagation of Topsy Turvy plant
Photo by @seamos_cactus

This method, being small fully formed shoots, is very effective and enables the plant to quickly adapt to its new environment.

Leaf propagation

Although it is a slower option than using offsets, Echeveria Runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ can be successfully propagated through its leaves when the process is done correctly.

Here is a step-by-step explanation of how to propagate the Topsy Turvy plant from leaves:

  1. Detach the leaf: You must carefully remove the leaf, making sure to completely remove it from its base and leaving no fragments on the stem. It is best to use a lower leaf. Try to do it as if you were turning it - from left to right and vice versa - the margin of error is much lower than when you simply pull it with force and in one direction.
  2. Place it in a pot or container: Place the leaf in a pot or container that has been previously disinfected with alcohol. The substrate should be at least 4 centimeters deep. When you put the leaf, place it upside down to allow the roots to grow, they can penetrate under the substrate and avoid direct sunlight. Another option is to slightly bury the leaf in the substrate. If you do it this way, you would avoid covering the roots in step 4.
  3. Put the pot in a place with indirect light: Although in its normal state this succulent does not have problems with direct sunlight, when you are propagating it from leaves, it is not recommended to expose it, especially in the early stages of its growth.
  4. Cover the roots and water the substrate: When the roots begin to grow, they must be covered with substrate and given normal care: good lighting and watering every time the substrate is dry.
  5. If you propagated several, transplant to individual pots: Over time, the plant will grow more until it has a stem and the mother leaf will wither and drop away naturally. Once it has shed, if you propagated it with other leaves, it will be time to transplant it to a small individual pot for it to continue its growth with more space. If you propagated it alone, simply remove the mother leaf to avoid pests and continue giving it normal care recommended for this succulent.

Note: In case you made the wrong cut, and a portion of the leaf remains on the stem, the reproduction will not work. Therefore, you will have to cut another leaf to propagate and dispose of the one you cut wrongly.

Leaf propagation of Echeveria Runyonii Topsy Turvy
Photo by @sucunarqia

Seed propagation

Although they are not very common, you can get Echeveria Runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ seeds by buying them online or at a specialized store in your city. You can also get them naturally through the pollination of the plant's flowers.

The steps to follow to propagate this Topsy Turve plant by seeds are:

  1. Prepare the soil: You must prepare a draining soil and sterilize it by watering it with boiling water. This is to kill any fungi or bacteria that might be there.
  2. Place it in a container with a lid: Once the soil has cooled, place it inside a container, preferably transparent and with a lid. This is to simulate the greenhouse effect.
  3. Mix it with a less dense material: As a recommendation, mix the soil with small portions of a less dense material such as sawdust, coconut fiber or rice husk. This will make the soil a little looser and lighter, allowing the roots to penetrate and grow more easily, with less stress on the plant.
  4. Place the seeds and water the soil regularly: Once the soil is ready, drop (not bury) the seeds in it. To make them germinate, you should always keep them well hydrated and with abundant filtered light, such as near a window. It is important to avoid placing the seeds in direct sunlight during this process.

Note: The container must have holes to avoid waterlogging and watering should be done preferably with a spray bottle. Furthermore, it is important to ensure that the soil is at least 3-4 cm deep, this will provide enough room for the roots to grow and develop properly.

Seed propagation of succulents
Photo by @brodyplants

The seeds usually germinate after 1 to 2 weeks and are ready for transplanting after about 2 to 3 months.

What are your thoughts on the Echeveria Runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’?

As you have seen, Echeveria Runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ is a visually unique and peculiar succulent due to the curved and asymmetrical leaves of its rosette.

Although it may not be very easy to keep it free from imperfections and burns due to its low tolerance to direct sunlight, it is a good choice for both experts and beginners who want to venture into succulents that require a little more attention and care.

If you liked this article, please consider sharing it with other succulent enthusiasts on your social networks. We will be thrilled if it reaches a wider audience and provides more people with valuable insights on the care and propagation of the Echeveria Runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’.

All the best taking care of your plants!

Sources and cover image:

Luis Camacho

I'm passionate about traveling, trekking and gardening. In this blog i want to share everything I learn throughout my journey and help you get the best of your plants.

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