Chalk Dudleya (Dudleya pulverulenta)

If youre looking for a unique succulent to add to your terrarium, the Dudleya pulverulenta might be the perfect fit.

Often referred to as a “Chalk Dudleya, this succulent is easily recognizable for its simplicity in color and texture.

Not only is it an eyecatching part of any living space, but its also incredibly easy to care for and can survive in a large variety of climates.

Keep reading to discover why this lowmaintenance succulent is the perfect addition to your terrarium.

Quick Stats:
Scientific Name Dudleya pulverulenta
Common Name Chalk Dudley, Chalk Lettuce, Powdery Live-Forever
Family Name Crassulaceae
Habitat Rocky, Desert
Temperature 65°F to 80°F
Height 2 to 4 inches
pH 6.1 to 7.8
Lighting Bright, indirect

What is Chalk Dudleya?

Dudleya pulverulenta is a succulent-like perennial, sometimes referred to as powdery live-forever.

It has chalky-green colored, fleshy leaves.

These leaves develop a purplish hue with maturity and are arranged in a rosette pattern.

It is a low-growing, succulent, creeping plant that can produce clumps of 10-20 individual plants over time.

Dudleya spp. "Chalk Lettuce" Care Guide | Terrarium Succulents

Chalk Dudleya Facts

Unlike many other succulents, Chalk Dudleya is a popular plant to have in vivariums because, unlike others, it enjoys the high humidity of a closed-off system.

Its extreme drought tolerance and ability to thrive in shaded, rocky habitats make it an easy choice for terrarium and vivarium-builders. 


Chalk Dudleya has chalky-green colored, fleshy leaves and purplish stems.

It produces small white star-shaped, fragrant flowers during the early summer that attract pollinators like bees and butterflies.

The leaves are long and narrow with points and are also slightly puckered and crinkled.

On the underside of the foliage clusters, there are small, hairlike filaments that give the leaves a powdery appearance. 


Chalk Dudleya is native to the southwestern United States, Mexico, and some parts of South America.

It grows in rocky, desert-like habitats in areas with extreme temperatures and drought.

It is often found in habitats near rock outcrops and on hillsides and slopes. 

pH Preference

Chalk Dudleya prefers soil with slightly higher pH levels between 6 and 8.

Lower values may prevent growth, as will soil with too much lime content.

Vivarium Type

The Chalk Dudleya is quite an easy-going species.

With that in mind, it will not be too complicated when it comes to choosing the type of enclosure it is grown in.

It is best to try and replicate the plant’s natural habitat as much as possible.

Doing so will make it easier to provide this succulent plant with its basic needs.

The proper setup and theme of the enclosure will make a big difference to the overall look and health of the plant.

Here are recommended vivariums it will do well in:

    • Terrariums – Fully terrain-based enclosures with little to no aquatic features.

Vivarium Placement

This plant would be best placed as an accent plant in a semi-arid or desert-style vivarium.

It is a great choice for those looking to achieve a natural look, as its texture and color are quite similar to the surrounding rocks.

It would look great in the foreground or background of an enclosure and could be arranged in any pattern or design.


The substrate used for Chalk Dudleya should be loose and light with a good drainage system so that water can quickly move through the medium.

Desert terrarium soil mixes or organic garden soils will work well.


Chalk Dudleya needs bright light conditions to do well in a vivarium system.

This plant should be used as an accent plant as it will only tolerate minimal sun exposure.

It may need to be shaded otherwise it can get severely burned or die.

This plant is not picky about the type of light used, so it will be fine with any type of terrarium lighting available.

Buy Chalk Dudleya

When it comes to buying a Chalk Dudleya plant, there are a few things to keep in mind. Making sure the plant is healthy when purchased is essential for its success in a vivarium.

Vegetation that is already in poor conditions will have a very hard time adjusting to new environments.

Click the image below to find out more about the current price and other relative info about this plant.

Chalk Dudleya Care and Propagation

This plant is a relatively easy species to care for and propagate.

It is not known for any major problems associated with its care and is considered a very low-maintenance plant.

The best way to propagate Chalk Dudleya is by taking stem cuttings.

Cut a stem from the mother plant and place it into damp soil.

The roots will form in a few days, after which they can be replanted in a new vivarium home. 


Chalk Dudleya should be watered only every few days or when the soil starts to dry out.

It doesn’t need a lot of water and will die if it’s overwatered.

If possible, this plant should be kept in a humid environment but it is important to allow the soil to dry out between waterings. 

Plants Similar to Chalk Dudleya

Adding diversity to an enclosure is key to an aesthetically pleasing setup.

Try mixing up the look of your vivarium with different flora that can easily co-exist in the same types of environment.

Furthermore, if for some reason you find the Chalk Dudleya hard to acquire or would like to consider something similar to this plant…

Here are other plants you might find will do well with or in the place of Dudleya pulverulenta:

Sempervivum tectorum "Hens and Chicks" Terrarium Care Guide
Sedum Spp. "Stonecrop" Care Guide | Terrarium Succulents
Kalanchoe tomentosa "Panda Plant" Care Guide | Terrarium Succulents


In conclusion, Chalk Dudleya is a great low-maintenance, drought-tolerant succulent for any vivarium looking for an interesting accent terrarium plant.

Its powdery appearance and purple-tinged foliage will give any habitat a little extra character.

Despite its short root system, Chalk Dudleya responds well to misting and thrives in its environment with minimal effort from the keeper.

Frequently Asked Questions

Chalk Dudleya is an attractive succulent that requires little maintenance. To care for Chalk Dudleya, provide bright indirect light, welldraining soil, and occasional water. Allow the soil to dry completely between waterings. Provide a winter dormancy period of 1014 weeks with no water and cooler temperatures. Chalk Dudleya also benefits from occasional fertilization in the spring and summer months.

Dudleya is a genus of succulent plants in the family Crassulaceae. They can be identified by their thick, fleshy leaves and rosette growth habit. The leaves may be green, reddish, or graygreen in color and some species have white markings. The flowers of Dudleya are usually small and yellow, but some species have pink or white flowers.

There are approximately 47 known species of Dudleya, with new species continually being discovered.

Yes, you can grow Dudleya indoors, provided you give it bright light, welldraining soil, and occasional water. Place it in an area with temperatures between 65-80°F and make sure to give it plenty of airflow.

Yes, you can propagate Dudleya by taking stem cuttings from the plant and rooting them in moist soil. To do this, take a stem cutting that is 46 inches in length and remove the lower leaves.

Dip the cut end in rooting hormone (or honey water) and plant it in a pot filled with moist potting soil. Place the pot in a bright spot and keep the soil moist. With proper care, the cutting should root in 46 weeks.

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