Topsy Turvy Echeveria Echeveria runyonii 'Topsy Turvy'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
echeveria 'Topsy Turvy'


The Topsy Turvy, a distinct variety of the succulent family, is known for its unique rosette pattern. The leaves are a silvery-grey to powdery blue-green and are dramatically curved inwards, creating an inverted spoon shape, which is quite rare even among other succulents. This inward curvature is more pronounced than in other Echeveria species or varieties. Each leaf is smooth and fleshy, reminiscent of many succulents, and the edges may appear slightly pinkish when the plant is under stress, such as due to sun exposure or water scarcity. The overall appearance of Topsy Turvy is striking and attractive, with its foliage forming spiraling patterns that seem to twist, which is where it gets its whimsical name. Over time, the plant creates offsets or 'pups' that cluster around the base, leading to a dense collection of rosettes that can add to the aesthetics of the plant's display. The Topsy Turvy blooms with arching spikes of lantern-shaped flowers that are usually bright orange or yellow, providing a vibrant contrast to the cool-toned leaves.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Mexican Hen And Chicks, Topsy Turvy, Runyon's Echeveria, Silver Spoons Echeveria.

    • Common names

      Echeveria runyonii 'Topsy Turvy'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Topsy Turvy plant is generally considered non-toxic to humans. While it is not poisonous, it is not edible either and should not be ingested. If ingested, it could potentially cause mild gastrointestinal discomfort due to its non-food nature, but it typically does not cause any severe symptoms of poisoning.

    • To pets

      Similar to its effects on humans, Topsy Turvy is generally recognized as non-toxic to pets. Ingesting this plant is unlikely to cause poisoning in pets. However, consumption of non-food items such as plants can sometimes result in mild gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting or diarrhea, especially in animals with sensitive stomachs. It is always recommended to monitor your pet and consult with a veterinarian if any unusual behavior or symptoms are observed after ingestion of any plant.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      0.5 feet (15 cm)

    • Spread

      1 foot (30 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Low Maintenance: Echeveria runyonii 'Topsy Turvy' requires minimal care, making it ideal for busy plant owners or beginners.
    • Drought Tolerant: As a succulent, it is highly tolerant of drought conditions and does not require frequent watering.
    • Decorative Appeal: With its distinctive twisted leaves, this plant adds an interesting and unique aesthetic to indoor and outdoor spaces.
    • Suitable for Containers: It is perfectly suited for growing in pots and containers which makes it versatile for various garden designs and indoor settings.
    • Growth Habit: Echeveria runyonii 'Topsy Turvy' remains compact, which makes it excellent for small spaces or as part of a succulent collection.
    • Propagation Ease: It can be easily propagated from leaf cuttings or offsets, allowing gardeners to expand their collection without additional cost.
    • Long-Living: As a perennial, it has the potential to live for many years with proper care, providing long-term enjoyment.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Photography Subject: Its unique spiral form and blue-green leaves make Topsy Turvy a favorite subject for photographers and plant enthusiasts looking to add an artistic touch to their portfolios.
    • Education and Research: Because of its atypical growth pattern, Topsy Turvy is often used by educators and students to study genetic mutations and plant development in succulents.
    • Fairy Gardens: Topsy Turvy’s whimsical shape makes it an excellent choice for fairy gardens, helping create a miniature, magical landscape.
    • Wedding Decorations: The rosettes are used as sustainable table decorations or bridal bouquet additions for eco-friendly weddings.
    • Office Desk Plant: Its minimal watering needs and tolerance for indirect light make Topsy Turvy an ideal office desk plant to provide a green touch in workspaces.
    • Architectural Modeling: Small-scale models for architectural or landscape design projects often use Topsy Turvy as a stand-in for larger, spiral-shaped trees or plants.
    • Texture Contrast in Arrangements: Its unique leaf texture provides contrast when paired with smoother, fleshier succulents in plant arrangements.
    • Pet Photography Props: Pet owners use Topsy Turvy to add a playful element to pet portraits, as long as the pets don’t chew on the plant.
    • Jewelry Making: Dried or cast leaves of Topsy Turvy can be used in making botanical-themed jewelry, such as pendants or earrings.
    • Plant Swap Events: Due to its peculiar and appealing shape, Topsy Turvy is a popular plant for exchange at plant swap events amongst enthusiasts seeking unusual succulents.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Echeveria is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Echeveria is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Resilience: Topsy Turvy succulents have a strong ability to withstand drought and neglect, representing the capacity to endure and thrive in challenging circumstances.
    • Adaptability: As a plant that can adapt to various environments, Topsy Turvy symbolizes flexibility and the ability to thrive in diverse conditions.
    • Beauty in Simplicity: The geometric shapes and understated appearance of the Topsy Turvy plant suggest an appreciation for minimalism and the beauty found in simple forms.
    • Timelessness: Being a slow-growing plant that can live for many years, the Topsy Turvy represents longevity and the timeless nature of certain entities.
    • Self-reliance: Like many succulents, Topsy Turvy's ability to store water in its leaves signifies self-sufficiency and independence.

Every 2-3 weeks
10000 - 20000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    The Mexican Hens and Chicks should be watered once the soil has completely dried out, typically every one to two weeks during the active growing season, and less frequently in winter. It is crucial to water thoroughly, allowing water to run out of the drainage hole of the pot, which might equate to approximately 8-16 ounces for small to medium-sized pots every watering session. Avoid letting the plant sit in standing water as this can cause root rot. During the winter months, watering once every three to four weeks with a smaller amount, around 4-8 ounces, is sufficient, but always check the soil for dryness first.

  • sunLight

    For optimal growth, the Mexican Hens and Chicks should receive bright, indirect light for the majority of the day, and can tolerate direct morning sunlight. However, it should be shielded from the harsh midday and afternoon sun, especially in very hot climates, to prevent sunburn. A south or east-facing windowsill is often ideal indoors, or a shaded spot in a sunny garden if kept outdoors.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Mexican Hens and Chicks thrives in temperatures ranging from 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit but can withstand brief periods of colder weather, as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and higher temperatures, as long as they are not prolonged. To encourage flowering, a period of cooler temperatures (around 60 degrees Fahrenheit) during the winter months is beneficial.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning of the Mexican Hens and Chicks is typically done to remove any dead or damaged leaves and can be performed at any time of the year but is best during the growing season for the quickest recovery. Pruning helps maintain an attractive shape and promotes healthier growth. As this plant can produce offsets, you may also prune to thin these out or propagate them.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for Topsy Turvy is a well-draining cactus or succulent mix with added pumice or perlite for extra drainage. A suggested recipe could be three parts potting soil, two parts coarse sand, and one part perlite or pumice. The ideal soil pH for this succulent should be around 6.0 to 6.5, slightly acidic to neutral.

  • plantRepotting

    Topsy Turvy, like most succulents, prefers not to be repotted often and should be repotted every 2 to 3 years or when it has outgrown its container. It is best to repot in spring or early summer during the plant's active growth period.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Topsy Turvy thrives in a dry environment with low humidity levels, typical of its native desert habitat. Aim to keep humidity around 40% or lower to prevent rot and fungal diseases. Avoid misting the plant, as succulents prefer dry leaves.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Grow Topsy Turvy indoors with bright, indirect light and avoid overwatering.

    • Outdoor

      Place Topsy Turvy outdoors in full sun to partial shade in a well-draining area.

    • Hardiness zone

      9-11 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Echeveria runyonii 'Topsy Turvy', commonly known as Topsy Turvy, begins its life cycle as a seed, sprouting and growing into a rosette form with curved, silver-blue leaves. The plant eventually matures and may produce offsets or "pups" around its base, a form of vegetative reproduction. In optimal conditions, it sends up a flower stalk with bell-shaped, orangish-pink flowers, typically in the warmer seasons, which can attract pollinators and potentially lead to seed production if fertilized. After flowering, the plant redirects energy into growth and maintenance of the rosette and any offsets. Over many years, the central rosette may start to deteriorate, often after the plant has successfully produced several generations of offsets. Topsy Turvy is a perennial succulent, so its life cycle is generally marked by periods of growth, dormancy during the cold season, and blooming, with the potential to live for many years with proper care.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • For the Topsy Turvy, a popular succulent also scientifically known as Echeveria runyonii 'Topsy Turvy', propagation is best done during its growing season, which is typically spring and summer. One of the most popular methods is leaf-cutting. To propagate by this method, a healthy leaf is gently twisted off from the stem, ensuring that it's a clean pull without any part of the leaf left on the stem. After the leaf is removed, it is left to dry for a few days until the wound at the base of the leaf calluses over. Once the callus has formed, the leaf is placed on top of well-draining soil and given minimal water, just enough to moisten the soil without saturating it. Indirect sunlight aids in the growth of new roots and eventually a tiny rosette at the base of the leaf. Patience is key, as it may take several weeks to a few months for the new plant to show significant growth.