Echeverias from Korea? Why? Well, if you want to grow the latest and greatest from the world of orchids and plumeria, you order out of Thailand. If you want a crazy new aloe hybrid, South Africa has them. The latest palm trees available, you purchase from Hawaii. If you want the newest echeverias, right now they come out of South Korea. As strange as that may seem, the most amazing echeverias you will find available on eBay are indeed coming out of South Korea. Ones that you simply won’t find at any local source. Looking to add a few unique varieties to my echeveria beds outside, I clicked over to eBay to see what the South Korean sellers had to offer.
There is a risk when buying echeverias from Korea. Sometimes you will see the purposeful plant fraud that is found on eBay out of Korea as well. The kind of fraud wherein a dealer posts a photo of a plant for sale, but when it arrives you get a plant that looks nothing like what was in the eBay photo. How disappointed would you be ordering one of the echeverias below only to be sent something that is unremarkably different? It happens. A lot.
I have never been burned that bad because if something looks too good to be true, of course it is—especially in the plant world. Now I do say you “roll the dice” when buying echeverias from Korea because I have heard many stories of people receiving a plant that over time loses the color the photos showed on eBay. These types of plants were usually grown under artificial lighting, given specialty fertilizers, or worse yet, given dyes to achieve false coloration. So while the plant that arrives may temporarily match the photo, over time grown under your conditions and away form the same lighting, fertilizer or dyes, the echeveria reverts to its true color. By that time it is too late to get your money back from eBay, so you can only write it off as a caveat emptor learning experience.
The only real protection you have from being disappointed is to buy from long-time sellers that have great reviews. I was lucky to find one such seller that put many of their different plants up for auction the night I was looking to buy. I would end up winning these 10 echeverias from Korea.
Rolling the dice… Would they all arrive like shown above or would I find disappointment?
The first good sign was the the seller was quick to ship and the package only took five days to get to me from South Korea. I love getting boxes in the mail that I know have plants in them. It’s Christmas for an adult.
When ordering these echeverias from Korea, I knew the sizes posted on eBay were in centimeters and not inches. So I was prepared for the plants to be small, just not this small. A few were no larger than the tip of my thumb!
Once I got my echeverias out of the wrapping and observed the color, I quickly forgot about how small the plants were. I was actually extremely happy, as all but one plant matched what I saw on the eBay listing photos I posted earlier.
The plants were dry by the time they arrived and a few were starting to lose some older leaves. So I made sure to get them hydrated and potted up quickly. Look at all those colors. Will they stay like this as they grow in my garden?
Looking at each individually, really the only plant that I was somewhat disappointed with, as it didn’t match the picture on eBay, was this Echeveria longissima ‘Salsa Verde.’ It was supposed to look like the bottom right plant in the third photo of this post.
I was excited to finally be able to find an Echeveria xichuensis for purchase. I have been looking for this plant for a while now.
Echeveria agavoides ‘Ebony.’ I have a few Echeveria agavoides ‘Ebony’, but this one looked like a unique clone. Time will tell if it keeps this color or not.
Two different Echeveria agavoides ‘Giant Purple.’ This variety is like a more purpley version of the rare and popular Echeveria agavoides ‘Romeo.’
Echeveria agavoides ‘Aioigasa.’
Echeveria agavoides ‘Shining Pearl.’ This plant really does have a shine to it. I hope it keeps the shine as it grows.
I also picked up a few hybrids. Below is Echeveria ‘Rozo.’
The last of the 10 new Echeveria I purchased was Echeveria ‘Margaret.’ This is a small, clumping hybrid and was already planting size. So it went into the ground instead of a pot like the others.
I already had the perfect location picked out for it. It will share real estate between some boulders with a variegated Echeveria subsessilis.
Well, so far, so good. The nine potted up echeverias will remain in their containers for a year to root and grow, and then will be placed outside to harden up before finally being planted in the ground. However, it won’t take that long to find out if the colors shown will fade or lose their luster. That should happen pretty quickly. I plan on writing a follow-up post once they are all planted in the ground to show how things turned out and if my rolling the dice on these new varieties out of Korea paid off.