Graptopetalum is a small genus of 12 species from Mexico and southwestern USA. They are similar looking to Echeveria, although they are generally considered closer to Sedum.
They are attractive rosette plants with thick subtly colored leaves, occasionally speckled. Graptopetalum leaves range in colour from waxy green to lovely pink and grey-green. These plants are fairly delicate. They are tricky primarily in their sensitivity to over-watering, even what seems like insignificant over-watering can be fatal. They are also sensitive to being handled, as skin oil can damage leaves, in particular those with a pearlescent colouration.
These plants produce five-petal flowers which range in colour from white to hot pink and can be speckled, and which grow on long inflorescences. They are long lasting and produced in profusion in summer and fall. They are followed by tiny seed pods.
Hardiness zone 9-11, (-5øC/25øF, 4øC/40øF). They will take a light frost but are sensitive to excess heat. Extended time in temperatures below freezing will kill the plant, and temperatures which may go below 40øF during extended period should be avoided. In winter, the plants will require less water, as reduced temperature and humidity will induce dormancy.
As with most Crassulaceae, Graptopetalum can tolerate poor soil conditions, so long as it is well draining. Use a commercial cactus and succulent soil mixture or 2 parts common houseplant soil mixed with one part sand. Although bright light is a requirement, heat is not. When grown in a hot environment, these plants should not be placed in full sun, or the plant will scorch and die. Allow the soil to completely dry out before watering, and be careful to avoid getting water on the leaves, this is of utmost importance.