Topsy Turvy Succulent (Echeveria runyonii) Care And Propagation Tips

Topsy turvy succulent is a beautiful little succulent native to Mexican region. This  succulent belongs to the Echeveria succulent group and It’s scientific name is Echeveria runyonii.

This plant is an award winning plant and it is very  famous as an easy growing plant. They call  Topsy turvy as Mexican ‘Hens and Chicks’, Silver Spoons Echeveria, and Upside-Down Echeveria as well. 

Topsy Turvy Succulent

These are not fuzzy plants and they are tolerant of any environmental conditions. This will be one graceful plant once it grows in a small container or in a dish garden. 

It is a very common sight to see at least one topsy turvy plant in a succulent garden. They are deer resistant and they hardly contact any disease too.

Awards received

Echeveria runyonii succulent plant won the award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society from the UK. Not only that but also it was the  “Plant of the Month” in October 2010, organized  by The Garden Path magazine.

How do I identify a topsy turvy ?

We could identify a Topsy turvy plant simply by looking at the base of the plant cautiously. If you see a plant with just one main stem where leaves have grown in such a way which resembles a flower formation along with curled downwards leaves, it is a topsy turvy . 

Their leaves are soft blue-gray in color. If you see orange – yellow colors on that plant that should be due to the flowering season.

Topsy Turvy Succulent

How do you take care of a topsy turvy ?

We can take care of this succulent simply by providing the fundamental necessities, such as sunlight, watering appropriately , providing the correct soil type etc. 


Topsy Turvy’ , Echeveria Runyonii  is well known as a graceful succulent  among the succulent plant lovers.  Once it comes to the mature size, it will rise  to around 25 cm ( 8-12 inches ) and the width could also be around 25 cm(8 and 12 inches).


Dark and soggy environments are two factors which are unhealthy  for  topsy turvy succulents as they really don’t like them. Hence, plant them in a dry and sunny place.

It is obvious as they are native to Mexico. Bright sunlight for around 5 hours would be great for  them since that will help to maintain  their rosette’s  color and shape.  

Simultaneously, it will withstand the partial sunlight as well, especially during summer.  They are generally are healthy plants. You should do Watering also  as appropriate despite the fact that they will thrive in heat conditions.

This is a plant which we can grow indoors , however we have to make sure that they get sufficient light though. The plants tend to grow offsets during spring time.  You have a choice of separating those tiny rosettes if you wish to create new plants.

Topsy Turvy Succulent

Light Requirement 

Echeveria runyonii succulents are sun preferred plants. Daily bright sunlight for a duration of 6 hours would be very essential for their survival. If you observe the plant much closer, you will spot that they are covered with a chalky powder. That is their natural sunscreen.

Both powder and their waxy texture safeguard it from the damages occurring by the sun. It is better to refrain in touching the plant unless it is very essential  since they cannot reproduce this substance. Scarring and uneven pigments are some of the repercussions which could occur due to sun damages. 

During extreme heat conditions, the best recommended thing  to do is to relocate them to a shady place just like with the other succulents.

Temperature and humidity

Keep in mind that these succulents are not cold hardy. Leaving them ignored under frosty and rainy seasons and exposing them for too much for those conditions could be fatal for them.  They will require more attention especially during the winter season which is their dormant season. 

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Best temperature for these succulents would be from 18°C to 21°C (65°F and 70°F). They cannot bear the hard frost.

Nevertheless, they could tolerate an insignificant amount of frost  without too much damage for the plants.

Fluctuating temperature will not make any effects on the plants permanently, however their growth rate will be slower.

Is It cold hardy

No they are not, . They cannot resist the hard frost.


They usually prefer USDA Hardiness Zones 9b-11b from 25 degrees Fahrenheit ( -3.9 degrees Celsius +10 degrees Celsius )   to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Watering Requirement 

Watering is  a prominent fact when we consider succulents in general and if we consider Echeveria runyonii , this doesn’t get fuzzy in case we forget to water them on and off.  

This is  a water sensitive succulent hence why we need to use soak and dry technique .These plants can withstand heat for longer periods. 

If we elaborate more on  Soak and dry technique, it  is literally we need to ensure that soil is dry enough before we start another session of watering. 

Once you water your succulent, let it soak well until the water circulates through soil and until it exists from the drainage holes. Give some time for the succulent to absorb more water from the draining tray and put out the unwanted water. 

To reiterate, be mindful to not over water as it will be an absolute disaster for the plant. Rotting and fungal disease are two main repercussions of overwatering. Make sure you water them adequately. When the heat arises particularly during spring and in summer you might need to increase watering frequency, which is known as their growing season.

You should not water the outdoors grown   plants  in the winter season   as they need some break. Don’t let water creep into rosette as it will undoubtedly cause fungal disease or rotting which will deteriorate the plant rapidly. 

Ensure that soil is completely dry between watering sessions.  It is not possible to state any schedule for watering as it will purely depend on the seasons and on the environmental conditions as well. spend a few minutes and observe the plant closely whether its moisture content is too much or adequate.

Read More : How Often Should I Water My Echeveria Succulent?

Soil Requirement Type / pH

Best soil type to use would be coarse , sandy, porous rocky etc.  Well draining soil is also a main necessity of these succulents  just like with the other succulents. There won’t be a big impact for the plant Although  the Ph of the soil varies from acidic to neutral or to alkaline whilst proving other suitable environmental conditions,   the most appropriate PH would be >7.0.

Flowering and Fragrance

One more interesting characteristic about this plant is that they  blossom. They will produce orange and yellow flowers on a tall inflorescence. They will form in a star shape way which will add more grace for the plant during the flowering season.

Echeveria runyonii

Pot size , potting and Repotting

This will go with small / medium pots of any style. You do not need to do repotting  often as we do for some other plants in general.  Because it does not  grow big. Nevertheless, if you think of repotting or transplanting it outdoors, make sure that the soil is dry enough.  Then  can remove the plant softly without any damage to the plant. Don’t forget to remove the excess oil also. Spring would be the best season for repotting

Where to Plant

As stated above, this is not a cold resistant plant hence, if you plant in an area where the temperature drops to 20° F (-6.7° C), the most suitable thing to do is to plant them in a container which you could move easily.

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Bright sun light for 6 hours and then partial shade would be ideal for them. Hence, when you place this, make sure that it gets the required sunlight,

Fertilizer and time of year

Refrain in planting topsy turvy plants in fertilized potting soil . Keep in mind that all types of fertilizers do not suit succulents.  pre-fertilized soil is inappropriate for your plant. Density of the potting soil which we buy from the shops is also very high for these succulents. 

Further you should  blend potting soil along with sandy and porous soil before going ahead with the potting of your succulent. During the spring, we can apply a fertilizer which consists of a diluted controlled release.

We recommend you to Use a 20-20-20 diluted ¼ strength on mature plants while you can use a mixture of  less nitrogen on the plants in youth.


These succulents are winter dormant as they hate hard frost and soggy conditions.

Other plants Pairs Well With

Kalanchoe tomentosa could pai well  with this succulent.

Can be toxic to pets

This is not a toxic plant for both humans and for animals as well. They are deer and rabbit resistant too.

Handling the plant 

We could handle topsy turvy simply by providing the fundamental necessities such as letting it gain  sunlight, watering appropriately, providing the correct soil type etc.

Echeveria runyonii

Common bugs and Illness issues

This is a disease free plant. Yet keep an eye on pests like mealy bags, vine weevil and aphids etc. chances are that we could spot aphids during the flowering season. They generally first harm the flower stalk and later on end up striking the plant as well.

Special Care tips

Topsy turvy does not require any special attention for them and will be fine with the basic requirements. However  , once you spot the bottom leaves are dead and in brown color, you should remove them then and there.

 It will help the plant to keep its good looks and most importantly healthiness as well.    If not  it will become a natural habitat for pets. . Ensure that you remove any dust also if there is any.

How do you propagate a topsy turvy ?

You could do the Propagation of topsy turvy succulents mainly in three ways. They are using by stem cutting , leaf cuttings and by offsets as well. You could propagate them through seeds also. however , avoid doing this method. In fact  it is somewhat difficult when  compared to others.  

Yu should conduct the topsy turvy propagation in spring as this will be the start of their growth season.  Before proceeding with this, it is mandatory to see first whether the soil is dry enough. This fact applies for most of the succulents. 

It would be great if you could utilize a rooting hormone to provide some nutrients for the new plants once they come out. It will be useful for them since then they can handle the separation from their mother plant from that. 

Echeveria runyonii

How to Propagate Echeveria Runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ By Leaves

First you should  take a healthy leave from the mother plant. Make sure that it is one whole leaf and it has no parts left on the stems.

Then  wait for several  days to allow it to get  callous before proceeding with this. You should use a well-draining soil mix for them. Go ahead with watering when the soil is dry and when it is essential. 

How to Propagate Echeveria Runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ From stem Cuttings

When you are using this method to propagate , you could cut a leaf from the mother plant whilst using simple equipment  like knives and scissors with hygiene.

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Just like in the leaf method, it is better to wait for several  days to allow it to get callous before proceeding. Follow the rest of recommendations as above for stem cutting method as well. 

How to Propagate Echeveria Runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ From Offsets

 You could  propagate topsy turvy plants through offsets. It is  an easy method to propagate them. First and foremost , we can remove an offset from the mother plant whilst using a sharp knife with proper hygiene.

Just as in the other methods, remove the excess old soil which is around the root. Leave them for a couple of days  which will allow them to get callous. 

Make sure you use well draining soil for the new plant. Water them when the soil is dry and when it is essential . Topsy turvy generates many offsets which comes around the mother rosette.

Pulling them away and replanting them in new pots is  very convenient and easy. Place the pots with the newly planted offsets where they get direct sunlight for 6 hours daily. Best time to do this is spring.

Read More : Echeveria Seed Propagation | 8 Important Facts Consider

How do you repot a topsy turvy ?

You should do this  only in warm seasons. Furthermore , make sure that soil is dry enough before going ahead with repotting. In the meantime, don’t forget to take off whatever old soil is left around the roots. You could use Fungicide to treat any cuts.

Topsy turvy plant benefits

Topsy turvy succulents could be handy in using it as a gift despite how familiar they are . This is perfect for succulent gardening beginners also . Further you  could use these in outdoor beds, borders, ground covers, rock gardens, Mediterranean gardens and green roofs etc.  

This is one good selection for terrarium as well. In addition this will make one beautiful plant once it’s grown in a container indoors. Further  they attract hummingbirds as well.

Echeveria runyonii


Is topsy turvy an indoor plant

You could grow these plants indoors. However these succulents are generally known as outdoor plants. Having said that you have the option of growing them indoors as well if you can grow it in a sunny location. Succulents in general look very elegant and looking graceful once they are grown in a beautiful container or in a pot. 

There is no exception for topsy turvy as well. Hence we should  place them where they will get adequate sunlight for 6 hours ideally by a sunny  window.

If you are someone living in aforesaid zones, you should not hesitate in growing them outdoors. Most appropriate thing to do is to plant them in a pot so that you can move it indoors or around the garden as you wish depending on the environmental conditions.

Is topsy turvy toxic?

They are non toxic plants. Being not harmful for animals as well as for humans is one more interesting fact about this succulents type. Hence, if someone thinks to own a topsy turvy succulent in their garden who has domestic pets he should not have any second thoughts. This is not edible though.

Do topsy turvy need direct sunlight

It is nor mandatory to provide direct sunlight. However daily bright sunlight for a duration of 6 hours would be very essential for their survival. They will be fine with partial sunlight for the rest of the day.

Should I mist my topsy turvy

Misting them occasionally is fine especially after propagating them and if they are dry.

Credit to : Kalei Plants

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About author

I’m Dr. Chamika, As a hobby love talking about plants and showing you that taking care of indoor plants. My website is knowledge I’ve learned over the years and continue to learn about growing succulents. If you’re a succulent lover, then you have come to the correct place.