Graptosedum Bronze (Vera Higgins) - Care and Propagation

Graptosedum Bronze o Graptosedum Vera Higgins con retoños en campo abierto

Graptosedum Bronze, also known as Graptosedum Alpenglow or Graptosedum Vera Higgins, is a species without a natural origin as it is a hybrid between Graptopetalum Paraguayense and Sedum Stahlii.

It is popular for being one of the easiest succulents to care for due to its resistance, as it requires very little watering and adapts well to almost any substrate. This makes it an excellent option for beginner gardeners.

In this guide you will learn all the information you need to know about the characteristics, care and propagation of the Graptosedum Vera Higgins.

Table

Main characteristics

  • Light: full sun
  • Height: grows up to 15 cm tall and 8-10 cm wide
  • Soil: fast draining
  • Watering: normal to low due to its thick leaves
  • Minimum temperature: from -1°C to -4°C
  • Propagation: by seeds, shoots, and leaf or stem cuttings
  • Origin: hybrid, not applicable
  • Common names: Graptosedum Alpenglow and Graptosedum Vera Higgins
  • Price: $4-10 USD

The Graptosedum Bronze is part of the Crassulaceae family. It grows in a rosette shape with sturdy and sharp leaves that are a deep bronze red when exposed to full sun, and with green or pale red tones when there is a lack of light.

It is not a very large succulent as its rosette can grow up to 15 cm tall and 8-10 cm wide. Once grown and with shoots, it can spread around the entire pot.

During spring and summer, it produces star-shaped yellow flowers with occasional whitish tones.

Graptosedum Bronze in a hanging pot
Photo by @suculentasdajuuh

Graptosedum Bronze or Graptosedum Vera Higgins Care

Light

Like any succulent with intense colors, the Graptosedum Bronze needs at least 4 to 8 hours of direct sun per day. Although this particular species can be in full sun all day without any problem.

Always remember that if the nursery where you bought it they had it protected from the sun under a shade net or something similar, it is important that you do not expose it to this amount of sunlight when you put it in your home. You must allow it to acclimate gradually, little by little, until it gets used to it.

Once it is adapted to being in direct sun for a few hours, you can expose it to the normal number of hours. It can even endure direct noon sun without getting burned, especially in places where the heat is not very extreme.

Note: This succulent is trailing, so as it grows, it develops quite long stems. This does not mean that it is etiolated and needs more light, it is simply the way this species grows and is completely normal.

Watering

As for watering, due to its thick leaves, the Graptosedum Vera Higgins is a succulent that stores a significant amount of water both in its stems and leaves.

Therefore, and because it has very little resistance to moisture, you must be very careful with the watering this succulent to avoid drowning and rotting.

Always wait for the soil to be completely dry before watering it again. Never water it when the soil is still moist because it will probably start to rot.

Note: If the plant were to suffer rot from overwatering or several days under the rain, its leaves will start to fall off leaving only the stems. In this case, and as long as the roots have not rotted as well, do not give up on your plant. Simply give it time, water it correctly, and new leaves will sprout again.

Graptosedum Bronze in a clay pot receiving direct sunlight
Photo by @suculentasdajuuh

Soil

Graptosedum Bronze is a very resilient succulent that adapts well to any type of substrate as long as it has good drainage to avoid waterlogging.

This is because, as we have seen, it is a succulent with little resistance to moisture and rotting from overwatering is a very common problem due to the amount of water it retains in its leaves and stems.

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.

Temperature

The ideal temperature for good growth and flowering of the Graptosedum Bronze is between 18°C and 24°C. However, it can tolerate higher and lower temperatures.

This particular plant withstands high temperatures very well (up to 38-40°C), so you can grow it without problems even in very hot places.

In terms of its cold hardiness, it can withstand some days at temperatures close to 5°C without major problems. It even tolerates temperatures as low as -1°C but not for an extended period (not more than 2 or 3 days).

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

Graptosedum Bronze or Graptosedum Alpenglow propagation

The also known as Graptosedum Alpenglow can be propagated by seeds, shoots, leaves and stem cuttings. The most common and effective options are cuttings and shoots propagation.

It is also common to do so with its leaves, since this succulent propagates well through this method, only that growth is slower than with the cuttings and shoots method.

There are even people that choose to use seed propagation, but this method is not commonly used as it is it is more complicated and time consuming than the previous ones.

The advantage of seed propagation is that it can be done en masse since you are not limited to cuttings or shoots that your succulent can generate.

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

Leaf propagation

Graptosedum Bronze can be effectively propagated from leaves, although it is a slower process compared to stem cuttings and offshoots methods.

Here is a step-by-step explanation of how to propagate this Graptosedum Vera Higgins 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 Graptosedum Vera Higgins
Photo by @mis_plantitas1

Offshoots or pups propagation

When given the proper care and conditions, Graptosedum Bronze occasionally produces shoots. These are small fully formed plants that grow at the base of the main plant or mother plant.

To propagate the Graptosedum Alpenglow 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 Graptosedum Alpenglow
Photo by @d_green_decor

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

Stem cuttings propagation

This method is the most effective for propagating Graptosedum Alpenglow, excluding shoots propagation, which is a natural process, and we cannot do much to control it.

Stem cuttings, being pairs of leaves along with their stem, usually grow roots in a short period of time.

Follow these steps to propagate this succulent by stem cuttings:

  1. Choose the cutting: When selecting a cutting to propagate, it is advisable to choose one that is not too small, it is best to select a well-formed and mature cutting, this will promote easier and faster root development.
  2. Separate the cutting: Once chosen, separate the cutting very carefully using a knife, scissors or cutter previously sterilized with alcohol. It is important to ensure that the cut made on the cutting is as straight as possible, this facilitates the wound healing process and helps the cutting to generate roots faster once planted in the soil.
  3. Remove leaves from the stem’s base: Alternatively, once you cut the cutting, remove the lower leaves to leave the base of the stem free to facilitate root generation, with 1 or 2 cm will be enough.
  1. Let the wound dry: As the wound remains moist, it is advisable to let the cutting dry for 1 or 2 days until its callus forms. To promote healing, you can leave it in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight and in a vertical position, such as hanging or propped up.
  2. Place the cutting into a pot: Once the cutting has healed, place it into a pot filled with soil. Wait 5-7 days before watering to allow the cutting to develop stronger and healthier roots while continuing to heal.

After the first watering, continue to care for the plant as previously mentioned.

What are your thoughts on Graptosedum Vera Higgins?

Definitely, Graptosedum Vera Higgins is one of our favorite hybrid succulents, not only for its beauty but also for its great resistance in unfavorable situations, making it an excellent option for beginners.

Also, if you are looking for a succulent for a hanging pot, Vera Higgins will be perfect because of its trailing growth.

If you liked this article, 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 cultivation and propagation of Graptosedum Bronze, the famous Graptosedum Alpenglow and one of our favorite succulents.

A hug and the best taking care of your plants!

Sources and cover image:

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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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