Echeveria Runyonii: Step-by-Step guide for topsy turvy success

Topsy Turvy

Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ Succulents: What You Need to Know.

Topsy Turvy is an aptly named succulent. The scientific name is Echeveria runyonii. Topsy Turvy is the common name. Powdery blue, green, and grey shades of this plant add mystique and luxury to your garden. This succulent has waxy-leafed rosettes.

The leaves curl downwards, and the tips of the leaves curl back toward the stem ever so slightly. Yellow or peachy flowers adorn the plant in full bloom in summer and autumn. 

This plant is commonly referred to as the Topsy Turvy, perhaps after the shape and growth of the leaves. The rosette starts from just above the soil, and there is no stem below the rosette. The rosette is about 4inches, with the plant growing to a width of about 8inches. The height is about 6inches. The flowers bloom on stems that grow out of this main plant.

Echeveria Runyonii Cultivation and History.

Echeveria runyonii is a member of the Crassulaceae family that hails from the state of Tamaulipas in Mexico. The plant has not been seen in the wild for some time and exists mostly as cultivars or hybrids in nurseries and gardens

Topsy Turvy is native to Mexico and often found in the wild. This plant does not require a strict maintenance routine. However, it will thrive if the conditions for its growth are constantly available. The plant is easy to grow and will also easily die off if the conditions are unavailable. It is cultivated in pots and sometimes directly on the ground. 

There are more than 10,000 species of succulents, and Topsy Turvy is undoubtedly a striking one for the garden or indoors. Being a member of the Echeveria family, the Topsy Turvy plant is an outdoor plant in its natural habitat. However, many people like to show off this small elegant succulent atop their desks or coffee tables. The best indoor place for the plant is somewhere that gets about 6 hours of direct sunlight per day, like a window sill or patio. 

If you choose to plant Topsy Turvy outdoors, take care to ensure conducive growing conditions. It should be protected from strong winds, scorching heat, and frosty climatic conditions. You can use shade cloths, greenhouses, or wind blocks to protect the plants. Planting it in a pot allows you to shift the plant as needed. This will enable you to move it indoors during inclement weather. 

Propagation of Topsy Turvy plant.

This plant can be propagated like any other succulent from offsets and leaf cuttings. The offsets can be clustered around the mother plant. These are pulled out carefully and allowed to dry out for three to four days to form callouses. Then they are ready to be replanted. 

Topsy Turvy takes root quickly in well-draining soil. The soil should be moist when planting and not too wet. Plants are also obtained by planting seeds though it is not very popular with gardeners since the methods mentioned above of propagation are easier and give quicker results. 

Echeveria Plant

How to Grow and care for a Topsy Turvy plant.

Growing this plants is very easy. The plant is known as a low-maintenance succulent that is ideally suited for your garden. The plant is not hardy enough to withstand frost, cold or excessive rain. The plant risks dying if these conditions continue for more than a week. The best way to deal with this situation is to remove the Topsy Turvy plant to a more succulent-friendly environment. 

Another common mistake gardeners make touching the plant leaves and removing the white powder that coats the leaf. The plant cannot reproduce this substance that helps to protect it from sun damage. The result will be an uneven pigment on the leaves and sometimes even scarring

Pruning and Maintenance  of Echeveria Runyonii.

This plants grows quite quickly and fast; bear in mind that the plant has to be kept clean and healthy. The bottom leaves will typically become brown and die off. These leaves should be pulled out, enhancing their healthy look. There is hardly any maintenance to talk of with these plants. A Topsy Turvy that is allowed to grow on its own will keep spreading and producing offsets at the base. Even if you don’t trim the plant, it will keep growing. 

Trimming the leaves, roots, and stems is done during pruning to maintain a healthy plant and keep the plant’s shape and size. This also helps to prevent rot from setting in and gives new life to the plant. In addition, trimming a succulent helps to develop strong stems and new growth that is luscious and deeper in color. 

Echeveria Runyonii Cultivars and Hybrids.

Echeveria runyonii has a few cultivars. The best-known cultivars are Texas Rose, Lucita, Tom Allen, Dr. Butterfield, and Topsy Turvy. Topsy Turvy originated in California and is a mutant of the original that gained popularity because of its upside-down look of the leaves.

The following are hybrids of this plant: 

  • Echeveria ‘Domingo’ (Echeveria cante)
  • Echeveria’ Glade Surprise’ (Echeveria derenbergii)
  • Echeveria’ Green Star’ (Echeveria harmsii)
  • Echeveria’ Swan Lake’ (Echeveria shaviana’)
  • Echeveria’ Exotic’ (Echeveria laui’)
  • Echeveria’ Dagda’ (Echeveria pulvinata’ Frosty)

Echeveria Runyonii Light Requirement.

Topsy Turvy plant naturally grows in full or partial sunlight. There should be at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day for the plant to thrive. Full sunlight brings out this evergreen succulent’s healthy colors. The chalky powder that is seen on the leaves of the rosette naturally protects the plant. The waxy texture also helps to safeguard the Topsy Turvy plant from sun damage. If the plant shows signs of stress, you can shift the plant to a partially shaded area allowing the plant to rejuvenate.


Soil Requirements, Fertilizers, and Feeding.

The soil that is preferred for succulents is porous, well-draining potting soil. Sandy soil is thus better suited for Topsy Turvy plants. Avoid planting this succulent in fertilized potting soil. All fertilizers are not suitable for succulents. Commercially available potting soil can be too dense for succulents. This affects the drainage capabilities of the soil. 

The best way to overcome this problem is to mix the potting soil with sand and a generous amount of porous soil. You can also use cactus potting soil and cactus fertilizer for succulents

Echeveria Runyonii Watering.

Watering a Topsy Turvy is easy. When the soil shows signs of complete dryness is the correct time to water the plant. This plant is susceptible to overwatering. Watering once or twice a month should be sufficient. However, it also depends upon the climatic conditions and environmental changes at the time. For instance, during the winter, watering is done once a month. Watering methods for succulents are a good guide

Echeveria Runyonii Temperature and Humidity.

These succulent loves warm weather. During the winter season, the plant is dormant and does not require watering. Whether planted indoors or outdoors, it should be placed in a position that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. Humidity levels should also be on the lower side. In its natural habitat, the conditions are closer to an arid climate. As long as the plant is protected from cold weather, it will be unharmed.  

Echeveria Runyonii Common Pests & Plant Diseases.

Regularly checking the Topsy Turvy plant helps to keep it free of pests and diseases. Treating diseases and tackling pests should be done at the early stages to be successful. For example, the plant is susceptible to vine weevils, mealy bugs, and aphids. These can harm the plant’s growth and should be carefully eliminated using rubbing alcohol or a mild insecticide. The other common disease is root rot due to excess water.

Controlling the amount of water the plant gets is the best way to ensure it is not overwatered. Another tip when watering is to water only the soil very slightly and not cover the plant in water. There is a possibility of water retaining around the leaves leading to root rot.

Echeveria blooming


Echeveria Runyonii Best Uses.

This succulent is used widely as a ground cover and on green roofs. It stands out in rock gardens because of its misty blue-green-grey coloring. A Topsy Turvy border in your garden is undoubtedly an eye-catching feature. It is a deer-resistant plant and can easily survive outdoors. Indoors, the plant is valued for its specific shape and size, allowing it to be placed even in small areas. The plant is non-toxic to humans and pets and safe to be cultivated indoors. 


Echeveria runyonii’ Topsy Turvy’ is a beautiful succulent that can be grown indoors and outdoors. It is useful as ground cover or placed in a pot. The plants are easy to maintain and propagate. They will keep growing and need to be shifted only to protect them from frost or winter weather.

Additionally, topsy turvy succulents are a great way to decorate your home. They also have many health benefits, from reducing stress and anxiety to improving your mood.

Echeveria runyonii - Topsy Turvy

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

How do you care for a Topsy Turvy succulent?

Topsy Turvy succulents love the warmth of partial to full sunlight. The other important factor for the plant’s growth is the soil used for planting. The soil has to drain well, and it is best if it is coarse and sandy. Watering is required only during the growing season when the soil dries out completely

How often should I water my Topsy Turvy plant?

When the Topsy Turvy plant is growing, occasionally watering when the soil is parched is sufficient. However, no watering is necessary for winter as the plant is dormant during that time. 

Why is my Topsy Turvy succulent dying?

The most common cause of a Topsy Turvy plant dying is disease, bugs, or extreme lack of water. The bottom leaves will become shriveled and brown and die off. These should be cleaned out so that no water is retained. Very rarely will you find the plant dying due to an extreme lack of water. This can be avoided with regular watering. 

Can you propagate topsy turvy?

Yes, Topsy Turvy can be propagated easily using leaf cuttings and offsets. Propagating can also be done by planting seeds. Offsets, leaf cuttings, or even stems should be allowed to dry out before setting them down in the soil. At first, bright indirect light will be sufficient. The soil can be moist, not wet. 

How do you propagate succulents?

Succulents are propagated by leaf cuttings from the parent plant or stem cuttings obtained after pruning a succulent. They can also be propagated by offsets found at the base of the parent plant. Another less-used method is to grow plants from seeds. 

What is the meaning of Topsy Turvy?

The name and the meaning of Topsy Turvy allude to the plant’s leaf shape and growth. The leaves tend to curve downwards, and the tips bend back towards the stem. The plant looks upside-down, and therefore the name. 

How do you care for Echeveria Runyonii?

This plant is easy to care for; all you have to do is to ensure adequate water during the summer and autumn months and well-draining soil. In addition, full to partial sunlight is essential for this plant. If these conditions are taken care of, the plant will thrive for years, even in the same spot or pot. 

How do you care for a cubic forest?

Echeveria Cubic Forest is a succulent that can be grown as any other succulent. You have to ensure bright sunlight and sufficient water. The plant will do well in porous soil in the garden or pots. 

How do you take care of a Black Prince succulent?

Invest in a succulent potting mix that drains well to ensure the best growing conditions for your Black Prince Echeveria. You can then add coarse sand and pumice, as you would for succulents. Thirdly, you must ensure bright sunlight for at least 6 hours a day. Finally, watering is done only when the soil is completely dry.

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