Echeveria ‘Setosa' Care

Echeveria setosa Care (Mexican Firecracker)

Echeveria Setosa Care (Mexican Firecracker)

The Echeveria Setosa is commonly known as the Mexican firecracker because of its bright blooms. In fact, it is such a beauty that it was awarded the Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society. 

Setosa is a stunning fuzzy succulent that produces stemless rosettes that are approximately 5 inches (12 cm) in diameter with tons of spoon-shaped leaves. The foliage is green and is covered with closely-cropped white hairs. 

Echeveria Setosa Quick Care Guide


Once established, water occasionally; more in extreme heat or containers.


Full sun to partial shade


9b to 11b


25 to 50 °F (-3.9 to 10 °C)


Well-draining soil, use a container with good drainage


May benefit from a balanced liquid fertilizer


4.8 inches (12 cm) in diameter

Scientific Name

Echeveria ‘Setosa’

Common Name

Mexican Firecracker, Firecracker Plant, Firecracker








Ech-eh-VER-ee-a Set-OH-suh


Mealybugs, aphids, vine weevils, rot


Orange-red flowers with yellow tips


Generally non-toxic to humans and animals

Echeveria Setosa – How To Care For Mexican Firecracker

Taking care of the Echeveria setosa is not exactly easy. You have to know the right temperature, light, fertilizer, soil, watering, and grooming requirements. Keep reading to learn more.

Echeveria Setosa Watering

Just like most succulents, Echeveria ‘setosa’ stores water in their plump leaves. Thus, helping them survive drought. As a result, this plant does not have very high watering needs.

Therefore, replicate its natural habitat by giving your Echeveria a deep watering. After that, let the soil dry out completely before watering again. 

Echeveria ‘setosa’ needs only minimal water during winter. Along with most succulents, less is more! If in doubt, be sure to use a moisture meter. Definitely inexpensive and helped me when I was new to succulents.

Echeveria Setosa Light

These succulents prefer full sun to partial shade. However, avoid drastic sunlight changes and full afternoon sun. Especially in summer.

If your echeveria is indoors, place it near the brightest window in your home or use a grow light. Setosa grows to be 4.8 inches (12 cm). Leaves are spoon-shaped, up to 2.8 inches (7 cm) long, and up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) wide. 

Mexican Firecracker
Echeveria Setosa (Mexican Firecracker)

Temperature for Echeveria Setosa

Echeveria setosa can withstand temperatures as low as 25 to 50 °F (-3.9 to 10 °C) and USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b. If you live in an area with a colder climate, grow Mexican Firecracker in a container. Definitely, move it indoors in cooler months.

Mexican Firecracker Soil and Repotting

Well-draining soil is essential for keeping Echeverias happy. If your succulent is left sitting in water, it is susceptible to rot and fungal diseases. Therefore, add pumice or perlite to the soil to help increase extra drainage. Be sure to pick a pot with a drainage hole. 

In addition to this, I also like adding coarse sand with perlite to commercial potting soil (2:1:1 ratio). Even when I use a commercial cactus soil mix, I still like to add perlite for increased drainage.

Echeverias need to be repotted every few years to avoid compacted soil. Additionally, to replenish nutrients. Repot during the summer when the soil is dry. 

To begin with, start by gently brushing the soil off the roots. Next, inspect the roots for rot or other problems that are usually underground. Finally, place in fresh well-draining soil and hold off on watering for a few days. This will allow the roots to get comfortable. And, also heal from any damage during the transfer.

Echeveria ‘setosa’ (Mexican Firecracker)
Mexican Firecracker (Echeveria ‘setosa’)

Echeveria Setosa Fertilizer

Fertilizer isn’t a priority with Echeveria Setosa. In fact, many Echeverias grow well without fertilizer. However, they may benefit from the extra nutrients. If you want to give it a try though, do so during the summer months. Generally speaking, a liquid and balanced cactus or succulent fertilizer is best.

Echeveria Setosa Toxicity

Mexican Firecracker is generally non-toxic to humans and animals. Furthermore, visit ASPCA for more detailed information or call ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Echeveria Setosa Propagation

Mexican Firecracker naturally propagates via offsets. To speed up the propagation process, try leaf or stem cuttings. Moreover, once you have the process down, you can easily multiply your Echeveria collection. In any case, it is easy to do.

Propagation via Leaf Cuttings

Leaf cuttings are taken by carefully removing the leaf off of the stem. First, gently twist the leaf to ensure that you remove the entire leaf. Specifically, do not leave any parts of the leaf  behind. This will increase the chances of successful propagation. In addition, the section in between the leaf and stem is what enables the cutting to grow roots.

After that, allow the leaf to dry out for a few days so that the ends can callous over. Once dry, set it on top of well-draining soil and mist it with water. Next, keep the soil damp until new roots have grown in. Finally, as the leaves begin to take root, return to a regular watering schedule.

Propagation via Stem Cuttings

Stem cuttings follow almost the exact same process as leaf cuttings. To begin with, take a sharp pair of scissors and cut off the top of the plant. Obviously leaving a few inches at the base. 

This may be a frightening experience at first. However, you will be happy with the results. In addition, allow the stems to dry for three to five days before planting in soil or propagating in water. Of course this can vary depending on your climate.

Echeveria Setosa Water Propagation

Propagating succulents in water is one of my favorite methods (and addictions). When placing stem cuttings in soil, make sure the rosette is upright and in well-draining soil. You can test if it has roots by gently pulling on it. 

If there is resistance, it has established some roots. Follow the above watering suggested watering instructions for leaf cutting.

Learn more about water propagation in our post here.

Echeveria Setosa Flowers

From late spring to summer, look for pretty orange-red flowers with yellow tips. Even more, they appear on up to 12 inches (30 cm) long stalks.

Echeveria Setosa Problems

Doris taylor succulents are generally pretty easy to care for. Although, they do have some problems that may harm or kill these beauties. Therefore, keep reading to learn about these problems.

Overwatered Echeveria

Be wary of overwatering your Echeveria. Indeed the number one killer of succulents. In fact, overwatering kills succulents much faster than underwatering. 

Symptoms of overwatering include yellow, mushy leaves, that easily fall off. More importantly, you can remedy this issue by removing your succulent from the overwatered soil. Then, place it in fresh well-draining soil. Finally, hold off on watering for a week or so.

Furthermore, if you still aren’t sure of when to water, a moisture meter will take out the guesswork. 

Underwatered Echeveria

An underwatered Echeveria is also at risk of harm or death. On the contrary, much easier to fix. Give your succulent a good drink and it will usually perk up. 

When echeverias are underwatered, leaves will shrivel up and the plant will wilt. In addition, they can also send out air roots. Read more about air roots here.

Etiolated Echeveria

An etiolated echeveria is more of an unsightly problem. Unfortunately, etiolation is a common problem with echeverias. Although, preventable. When the plant is not getting enough light, it stretches toward the sun. 

Consequently, if you don’t keep your echeveria in a bright location, it will grow stretched out. What’s more, is it will also appear less attractive than its typical compact rosette.

Once stretched out, it will not return to its tight rosette. Therefore, propagate the stem as mentioned above giving it a second chance. At any rate, you will increase your collection size. 

Echeveria Setosa Origin

Echeveria setosa is native to Mexico. It is common throughout Puebla. The specific epithet “setosa” means “bristly; shaggy” in reference to the fine white hairs on its leaves.

Varieties, Forms, and Hybrids of Echeveria setosa:

  • Echeveria setosa var. ciliata
  • Echeveria setosa var. deminuta
  • Echeveria setosa var. deminuta ‘Cristata’
  • Echeveria setosa var. minor
  • Echeveria ‘Dondo’
  • Echeveria ‘Doris Taylor’
  • Echeveria ‘Doris Taylor Cristata’
  • Echeveria ‘Set-Oliver’

Echeveria Setosa Pests

Succulents generally do not require a lot of maintenance. Bottom leaves will brown and die off as the Echeveria grows. Without a doubt, this is totally normal. Be sure to remove dead leaves to keep the plant healthy. More importantly, so that they do not attract pests like the evil mealybug! 

Mealybugs are the biggest pest threat to your succulents. They love to hide in crevices on your Echeverias. Therefore, be sure to inspect your plants regularly. Signs of mealybugs will appear in the form of a white cottony web or disfigured leaves. Be sure to eradicate them immediately. 

These insects drink the sap out of plants. In addition to secreting honeydew that attracts ants. A Q-tip dipped in alcohol or spraying with an organic pest killing soap will do the trick. Read my complete post on mealybugs eradication here

Aphids are less common but still a potential threat to Echeverias. Like mealybugs, they suck out the sap. If left untreated, they will eventually kill your succulent. Nevertheless, protect your echeveria by applying diatomaceous earth to the soil and neem oil to the succulent. Also, use an insecticidal soap to control existing infestations.

Vine weevil is a black beetle (flightless) that chews through leaves. Specifically causing leaves to turn yellow and wilt. Diatomaceous earth will prevent them. Unfortunately, vine weevils are resistant to most sprays. Removing them manually is the most effective remedy for infestations. Furthermore, since vine weevils are nocturnal, you’ll be able to find them easily at night.

Learn more about Mealybug and pest eradication here.

Echeveria Setosa Diseases 

Make sure you never let your Echeveria setosa stand in water. Otherwise, the chances of root rot and other fungal diseases will increase. Root rot is caused by consistent moisture. Subsequently leading to bacterial infections. In any event, the good news is that it is easy to prevent. Specifically, avoid overwatering and use a well-draining soil.

Root rot is best caught early. Therefore, routinely check for rot on your Echeveria setosa. Rotted sections will be brown or black and mushy. The rot usually starts in the roots. Then, it spreads up the stem. 

If you find an infected part, you’ll have to remove it. Otherwise, it will spread. 

Root rot remedy

First, cut away the rotted section. Second, leave your succulent out of the soil for a few days so it can dry out and callous over. Third, repot in fresh well-draining soil and keep an eye on watering.

Echeveria Setosa Sunburn

Brown spots may appear on your Echeveria setosa. These are most likely from sunburn. Therefore, move your plant out of direct heat to prevent further damage. Learn how to save your sunburned succulents in our post here.

Echeveria Setosa For Sale


In closing, Echeveria setosa is an attractive succulent.  You will not regret adding this easy-care beauty to your collection. If you have any further setosa care tips, please leave them in the comments below.

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Echeveria Setosa

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