Do Echeverias produce pups every year or is it something that only happens once in your lifetime? The general answer is that no. They can pop many times but the frequency mostly depends on the species. Some species are more prolific puppers compared to the others. Many of the large, frilly types tend to be solitary and do not pup as often.

Behead Echeverias to produce.

One way to encourage them to produce offsets is to behead them. You can remove the main growing point at the top. With this removed, the other growing points along the sides are no longer suppressed.

What is Meristem?

For example there are generally two areas or two growing points. The technical term for this is Meristem so we have the Apical Meristem (A meristem at the tip of a plant shoot or root that produces auxin and causes the shoot or root to increase in length. Growth that originates in the apical meristem is called primary growth.) The Apical Meristem is responsible for getting a plant to go taller. When there is new growth and as it grows, the stem just goes longer. As it sheds leaves, all of these nodes where the leaves used to be connected and are what we call the lateral meristem (surrounding the stem).

Lateral Meristem

Lateral meristem is one of the two meristems in vascular plants (the cork cambium and the vascular cambium) in which secondary growth occurs, resulting in increase in stem girth. Also called secondary meristem. Lateral meristem happen in the side and there is this thing called Apical Dominance.

As long as the Apical Meristem exists, this would be dominant and the lateral meristems will be suppressed so most of that growing will be focused on this point. Sometimes, some of the lateral meristems would be active and grow new offsets. As long as this one is here, this also could be generally inactive where beheading enters. So if you chop off this head thus removing apical meristem, this activates all of the lateral meristems because there’s nowhere else for it to grow but from the sides.

Depending on which meristems are still active, you can expect lots of offsets to grow along the stem and pretty sure this technique has applied to other plants. They usually do this to trees, so they do not continue growing taller. Instead they just grow laterally.

Another thing to consider is that it takes a certain amount of maturity before they start pupping. Do not expect really young plants to start pupping. Give them a bit of time because they need mature a bit.