This Rare Succulent Has the Prettiest Variegated Leaves

The cream-color and green foliage of Echeveria 'Compton Carousel' makes the whole plant look almost like a flower.

You've probably tried growing a succulent before, whether you picked up it as a cute desk plant or ended up with one as a gift. But while you might be familiar with the plump green leaves of common succulent species, there are a few rarer varieties that will stop you in your tracks (or stop your scrolling finger as you zip through Instagram). Echeveria 'Compton Carousel' (also known as 'Lenore Dean') is one such eye-catching plant; it has beautiful cream-color leaves with a stripe of green along the middle of each one (the leaves sometimes turn light pink around the edges). However, it's uncommon enough that you'll end up paying a pretty penny to add this beauty to your houseplant collection.

rows of echeveria compton carousel succulents in soil
Courtesy of TheAnxiousGardener/Etsy

Though most succulents and Echeveria varieties are easy to grow, 'Compton Carousel' can be a little finicky, so it's not a great choice for beginners. Like other succulents, it does best with bright light, but you need to be careful if you're moving it to a different spot. It can get sunburned if it's moved from an area with lower light into direct sun, so you'll have to gradually introduce it to brighter light if you want to move it outside for the summer.

'Compton Carousel' is also very sensitive to overwatering. It's best to let the soil dry out completely between waterings, because if your succulent ends up sitting in moist soil, it can develop root rot. Make sure it's potted in a container with good drainage, and use a potting mix specifically formulated for succulents and cacti ($6, Home Depot). When you do water it, water deeply and let the extra moisture drain out of the bottom of the pot.

Of course, all of this is assuming you can find one. This variegated succulent is so sought-after that it's usually priced at $40 or higher for a single plant. Some sellers even have it listed for over $60 for a plant that's just 3 inches wide (and it's still out of stock).

That being said, if you're able to get your hands on a 'Compton Carousel' it'll definitely be one of the most beautiful plants in your collection. The variegated leaves instantly catch the eye (even more so if it's showing a tinge of pink), and from a distance, this succulent looks like it has swirls and stripes of color. If you're taking really good care of it, 'Compton Carousel' can even bloom with orange and yellow flowers. At its largest, it'll only reach about 6 inches tall and wide, but the flowers bloom on stems that can rise up to 1 foot tall.

If 'Compton Carousel' is on your wish list, you'll probably have the best luck looking for this plant on Etsy, where a couple of sellers have it available. Or you can try reaching out to growers that have sold it in the past to see when they'll restock. It's probably not a good choice if you've never successfully kept a succulent alive before, but if you're a new plant parent, you can test your skills on other colorful varieties that are easier to grow, such as pink succulents or even one with clear leaves. Still, there's no harm in adding 'Compton Carousel' to your list of dream plants!

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