Eazy Gardening

Topsy Turvy Succulent: A Unique and Adaptable Beauty

Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ is a unique succulent plant with many features that make it a standout among other species. This fascinating plant has garnered much attention from gardeners, plant enthusiasts, and nature lovers who appreciate its stunning appearance and resilience.

In this article, we will explore the features, cultivation, and care of Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy,’ a fascinating plant that exhibits exceptional beauty and easy cultivation. 1) Overview of the plant:

Common names, vernacular names:

Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ is a common name for this plant.

This species is also known by its scientific name, Echeveria gibbiflora’, ‘Echeveria ‘gibbiflora v. metallica’, and ‘Echeveria ‘gibbiflora var.


Description of the plant:

Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ is a type of succulent plant that belongs to the Crassulaceae family.

Unlike other Echeveria species, the leaves of E. runyonii grow upside down, giving it a unique appearance.

The plant has rosettes of fleshy, blue-green leaves that are up to 15 cm across, with the centers of the rosettes turning a beautiful shade of pink when exposed to sunlight. The flower stalks grow tall, reaching up to 30 cm high, and are covered with clusters of small, bell-shaped flowers that bloom from late spring through to summer.

Characteristics, including appearance, blooming habits, and benefits to wildlife:

Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ is a visually stunning plant that attracts pollinators and benefits wildlife. Its leaves are thick and fleshy, which aid in water storage, making it an ideal plant for drought-prone areas.

The stems of the plant are woody and sturdy, and they can grow up to 30-40cm long. The flowers attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies, making E.

runyonii a valuable addition to any garden that values wildlife. 2) Plant cultivation and care:

Preferred growing conditions:

Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ is a relatively easy plant to cultivate because of its hardiness and adaptability.

The plant thrives in a well-draining soil mix that is rich in nutrients and organic matter. E.

runyonii prefers relatively dry conditions, so it is essential to ensure that the soil is well-draining and not overly moist. Full sun is ideal for the plant, but it can tolerate some shade, making it a versatile plant for various garden conditions.

Potential pest and disease issues:

Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ can be affected by common succulent pests, such as mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects. It is essential to stay vigilant and treat any infestations immediately to prevent the spread of the infestation into other plants.

The plant is not susceptible to diseases, but if the soil is too wet, it can develop root rot. Planting and maintenance tips:

When planting Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’, the pot should have drainage holes to prevent water from pooling at the bottom of the pot, causing root rot.

The soil mix should be well-draining and, if necessary, amended with sand or gravel to ensure adequate drainage. The plant should be allowed to dry out between waterings, and overwatering should be avoided.

An application of balanced fertilizer during the growing season can help to promote flowering and growth. Pruning may be necessary to maintain the plant’s shape.


Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ is an excellent choice for gardeners looking for an easy-to-care-for, visually stunning plant that benefits wildlife. Its unique appearance and hardiness make it well-suited for a wide variety of garden conditions.

By following the above planting and maintenance tips, gardeners will ensure that their E. runyonii stays healthy and continues to thrive for years to come.

3) Plant propagation methods, including sexual and asexual reproduction:

Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ can be propagated through two primary methods, sexual and asexual reproduction. Sexual propagation involves using seeds, while asexual propagation involves producing new plants through vegetative propagation.

Sexual Propagation:

Seeds can be collected from mature plants during the summer months. Echevaria runyonii produces small, light-brown seeds that can be sown in seedling trays filled with a well-draining soil mix.

The seedlings should be kept moist but not overly wet, and kept in a warm location that receives bright, indirect sunlight. The seeds take approximately two to three weeks to germinate, but can take up to six weeks in cooler temperatures.

Once the seedlings have developed their first true leaves, they can be transplanted into individual pots with the same soil mix used for adult plants. Asexual Propagation:

Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ can be propagated through vegetative means.

The plant produces offsets, which are small plants that develop at the base of the mother plant. These offsets can be removed from the parent plant and transplanted into individual pots.

It is best to ensure that the offsets have a small root system before transplanting them. The transplanted offsets should be kept in a bright, indirect light; avoid direct sunlight.

Cuttings can also be taken from mature leaves. Remove a leaf from the mother plant and let it dry for a few days to two weeks in a cool, dry location.

Once the leaf has a calloused wound, plant the cutting in a well-draining soil mix and water sparingly until roots develop. 4) Plant adaptations to different environments:

Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ exhibit several key adaptations that enable them to thrive in different environments.

These adaptations relate to their dermal tissue, stomatal openings, and efficient water use. Dermal Tissue:

Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ plants have thick and fleshy leaves that store large amounts of water.

The dermal tissue of the plant is coated with a waxy substance known as a cuticle, which reduces water loss through transpiration. This adaptation helps the plant to conserve moisture, even in arid environments.

Stomatal Openings:

Like most succulent plants, Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ has stomatal openings on its leaves which allow for gas exchange and water vapor control. The stomata are sunk deep into the surface of the leaves, reducing the surface area exposed to the atmosphere, which in turn limits water loss.

Additionally, the stomatal openings are typically closed during the hottest parts of the day as further water-retention strategy. Efficient Water Use:

Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ conserves water through a process known as CAM (Crassulacean Acid Metabolism).

During the day, the plant’s stomata remain closed, and thus the plant does not undergo traditional photosynthesis processes. Instead, E.

runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ keeps its stomata open at night, taking in CO2, which is then stored for later use during the day. CAM plants, such as succulents, are better equipped to survive in arid conditions as they can use their stored carbon to undergo photosynthesis during the day without opening their stomata, minimizing the loss of water due to transpiration.


Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ is a beautiful, adaptable plant with many features that make them unique. With proper care and attention, both during propagation and as an adult plant, this species will provide many years of effortless enjoyment.

Its features, from its unique shape to its resilience and adaptations to different environments, make it a valuable addition to both indoor and outdoor gardens. With an expanding knowledge of the plant’s reproductive and adaptive strategies, those who seek to cultivate this species will be well-informed and well-positioned to grow fascinating specimens that will delight and inspire for years to come.

5) Usage of the plant in indoor setting:

Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ is a great choice for indoor gardening as it is well-suited for the bright, indirect light found in most households. Its unique appearance and minimal care requirements make it an ideal plant to add to a collection.

Here are some tips for growing E. runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ indoors:

Light Requirements:

Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ requires bright, indirect sunlight to thrive indoors.

Place the plant near a south or east-facing window that provides at least 4-6 hours of bright but indirect light, ideally supplemented by grow lights, if necessary. Be careful not to expose the plant to direct sunlight, which can cause leaf burn.

Soil Requirements:

Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ prefers well-draining, sandy soil. A typical cactus or succulent soil mix is ideal.

This type of soil mix allows for adequate water drainage, so water does not accumulate around the roots, which can cause root rot and kill the plant. Water Requirements:

One of the essential aspects of growing E.

runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ indoors is watering. Its best to water sparingly and allow the soil to dry out between waterings as over-watering is a typical cause of failure.

The plant’s thick, fleshy leaves store water, enabling it to tolerate periods of drought. Be cautious not to allow water to accumulate in the cup-like formation of the plant’s leaves, which can cause rot.

Temperature and Humidity:

Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ is a hot-weather plant and adaptable to minor fluctuations in temperature. However, they suffer when exposed to extreme temperatures.

Indoor temperatures between 18-25C with occasional temperature changes, are perfect for its growth requirements. E.

runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ thrives in dry environments, so avoid humidifiers in the same room as the plant. Fertilizing:


runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ will benefit from a liquid cactus/succulent fertilizer every three to four months. Use a slow-release fertilizer, working into the soil, which will release the nutrients over time.

6) Usage of the plant in an outdoor setting:

Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ is a durable, easy to care for, and visually appealing plant that performs exceptionally well in outdoor settings. Here are some guidelines for growing Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ outdoors.

Ideal Outdoor Conditions:

Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ prefers full sun and a well-draining, nutrient-rich soil. It will thrive in areas with hot summers and mild winters since it is tolerant of both cold and a wide range of temperature fluctuations.

In regions with intense summer heat, afternoon shade is recommended. Soil Preparation:

Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ prefers well-draining soil.

Raise the soil beds around the plant to aid with water drainage. You can also add organic matter like well-rotted compost to improve soil nutrition and work some grit into the soil to enhance drainage.


E. runyonii plants are drought-tolerant and can withstand periods of droughts.

Ensure that the soil is dry to touch and has drained from previous watering before applying water. To discourage overwatering, water deeply and occasionally, making sure that there is no pooling around the roots.

Water early in the morning, allowing time for the soil to avoid evaporative loss. Pest and Disease Management:

Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ is generally resilient to pests and diseases.

However, ensure that you regularly inspect the plant and apply any pest or fungus treatment as soon as you see signs of infestation. Maintenance:

When grown outdoors, E.

runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ requires minimal maintenance beyond light pinching of spent flowers stems. You can also prune back overgrown or dead leaves, but this may deter from the plant’s beautiful rubbery texture and its rosette shape.


Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ is adaptable, making it an excellent plant to add to both indoor and outdoor settings. With proper care and attention, the plant will thrive, providing you with a beautiful and unique addition to your collection.

In summary, favourable conditions for E. runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ include bright but indirect indoor light, well-draining soil, and minimal watering and pruning.

Meanwhile, outdoor conditions should provide ample sun exposure with well-draining soil, occasional deep watering, and pest inspection and treatment. With these guidelines, both indoor and outdoor gardens can enjoy the beauty of the ever-elegant Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy.

7) Toxicity of the plant to pets and horses, humans:

Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ is a non-toxic plant and safe to use in households with pets and around horses. The plant does not contain any toxic substances that can cause severe health problems in animals or humans.

However, it is essential to note that some pets can still show signs of gastrointestinal upset or skin irritation after ingestion or contact with non-toxic plants. It is worth mentioning that while Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ is safe to use around pets and horses, there are other more toxic plants often used in gardening and landscaping.

Gardeners, pet owners, and horse owners should understand the dangers of many commonly used outdoor plants that can be toxic to pets. Some of the most toxic plants that are known to cause severe health issues in pets include Lily-of-the-Valley, Daffodils, Azaleas, and Rhododendrons.

It’s worth noting that humans can sometimes have an allergic reaction to succulent plants like Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy.’ In some cases, contact with the plant’s sap can cause skin irritation or a rash, while ingesting the plant can cause mild gastrointestinal upset. It is worth monitoring for any reactions, and if there are any adverse reactions, seek medical care as soon as possible.

In summary, Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ is a non-toxic plant that poses no significant health risks to pets, horses, or humans. However, it is essential to understand that other plants commonly used in landscaping could be dangerous to various animals.

Always stay vigilant to ensure that your pets and horses are not ingesting any poisonous plants and monitor human reactions to Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy.’

In conclusion, Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ is a beautiful and unique plant that is adaptable to a wide range of environments. Whether you are growing it indoors or outdoors, this plant is easy to care for and provides a great addition to your collection.

Some highlights of the article include propagation methods, adaptations to different environments, and usage in indoor and outdoor settings. This non-toxic plant is safe for pets and horses, making it an excellent addition to any garden.

Here are some frequently asked questions that may help clarify any outstanding questions about the plant and its care:

1. Is Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ toxic to pets or horses?

No, Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ is non-toxic to pets and horses. 2.

How do I propagate Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’? Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ can be propagated through sexual means using seeds or asexual through offsets and cuttings.

3. What are some ideal growing conditions for Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’?

Ideal growing conditions for Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ are bright, indirect light; well-draining soil mix; minimal watering; and a range of temperature fluctuations. 4.

Can Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ be grown indoors? Yes, Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ is well-suited for indoor growing conditions.

5. How long does it take for Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ seeds to germinate?

Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ seeds typically germinate within two to six weeks, depending on the temperature. 6.

What diseases or pests affect Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’? Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’ is generally resilient to pests and diseases, but spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects can affect the plant.

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