'Topsy Turvy', Echeveria Runyonii are great as houseplants or for outside landscaping.

‘Topsy Turvy’, Echeveria runyonii – Details, Growing Tips

'Topsy Turvy', Echeveria Runyonii are great as houseplants or for outside landscaping.
Topsy Turvy, Echeveria Runyonii succulents are often used in terrariums.

The ‘Topsy Turvy’, Echeveria runyonii is a cute and hardy succulent that has delighted gardeners for many years.  It is a great addition to your houseplant collection.

Common Names

‘Topsy Turvy’, ‘Mexican Hens and Chicks’, ‘Silver Spoons Echeveria’

Scientific Binomial Name

Echeveria runyonii

Description of ‘Topsy Turvy’, Echeveria runyonii

‘Topsy Turvy’ is a cultivar, actually a mutant form, of Echeveria runyonii.  Its name came about because the leaves look as if they are positioned upside-down.  It is a somewhat fast growing evergreen succulent. The waxy leaves have a powdery soft blue-grey color. The glaucous leaf has a pronounced v-shape with all the tips pointing to the center of the rosette.

A specimen was first collected from a private garden in 1922 but wild populations of Echeveria runyonii were not discovered until 1990.  In October 2010 it was named the “Plant of the Month” by The Garden Path.  Since then they have become so popular they are sold in many retail nurseries.

Mature Size:  Height 4-8 inches; Spread 6-10 inches.

Outside Spacing:  12 inches

Uses:  Used outside in beds, borders, ground covers, rock gardens, Mediterranean gardens and green roofs.  ‘Topsy Turvy’ plants are one of the best succulents for a terrarium. They are also ideal for dish gardens, and any small container.  They always look great combined with other succulents.

Growing Conditions for ‘Topsy Turvy’, Echeveria runyonii

Light:  ‘Topsy Turvy’ can grow in the full sun in the north.  In the south, it should be where it has some light shade at times. These plants work very well by a sunny window.

Temperature:  Summer 65ºF/18ºC – 70ºF/21ºC. In winter it can take cooler temperatures.

Soil:  Prefers well-drained alkaline soil pH >7.0.

Growing Season:  Spring and summer.

Flowers:  Gold-orange shades that bloom in late summer to early fall.  An arching stem shoots up about 8 inches tall with star-shaped flowers.

Hardiness Zones:  7b, 8, 9, 10

General Care for ‘Topsy Turvy’, Echeveria runyonii

Water:  Keep watered in the spring and summer. Low water needs. Let the soil dry completely between waterings.  Outside plants should not be watered in the winter.  Never let water sit in the rosette part of the plant or it may develop fungal diseases or rot that will soon kill the plant.

Fertilizer:  In the spring apply a diluted controlled release fertilizer.  Use a 20-20-20 diluted ¼ strength on mature plants.  Use a blend with less nitrogen on younger plants.

Care:  Regularly remove dead leaves from around the bottom of the plant.  Dead leaves will attract pests.

Pests and Diseases:  Deer and rabbit resistant.  Watch for vine weevil, aphids and mealy bugs.

Propagation:  Separate and propagate the offsets in the spring.  These plants profusely produce offsets that quickly surround the original rosette.  It is easy to gently pull them away and replant them.  It can also be propagated from seeds, leaf cuttings and stem cuttings.

Repotting:  Repotting is not often needed, but if you decide to repot; it is best done in the warmer seasons.

Medicinal and Other Uses




Native Distribution


Other Cultivars of Echeveria runyonii

‘Dr. Butterfield’

‘Tom Allen’

‘Texas Rose’


Other Hybrids of Echeveria runyonii

‘Glade Surprise’, E. derenbergii

‘Domingo’, E. cante

‘Green Star’, E. harmsii

‘Dagda’, or ‘Frosty’, E. pulvinata

‘Exotic’, E. laui

‘Swan Lake’, E. shaviana

Other Tips

These ‘Topsy Turvy’ succulent plants will attract hummingbirds.






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