Red velvet echeveria care

How to Grow Echeveria

Slender, Chubby, Sleek, Carunculated, Fuzzy and Tough

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Here are a few tips on how to grow these unique beautiful succulents:

In many places in Canada and other northern climates, it’s too cold for the winter months to keep Echeveria outside, as they originate in Mexico and other places where it stays warm all year and there is no risk of frost.

However, you can keep Echeveria happy as houseplants for the winter, and then gradually move them outside for the summer once the weather settles and there won’t be any frost at night.

They make superb container plants for a warm deck or patio.

Light Requirements for Echeveria

Echeveria species were discovered growing naturally in warm climates with lots of sun, so they have adapted to a warm bright environment.

The species and the many beautiful Echeveria hybrids derived from them all require similar care.

However, even though Echeveria prefer bright light, putting them directly into full sun for the summer months can be stressful for them, as well as causing sunburn.

Gradually acclimatize them by putting them in an area that gets only morning sun for a few hours a day, and increase it over a week or so until they’re in full sun.

Avoid afternoon sun altogether as the foliage will burn and stress the plant out.

If the foliage gets sunburned, the best thing to do is behead the plant, and grow a new one, taking off the damaged leaves.

If it’s not too badly damaged, the leaves can be used for propagation.

In the winter, the brightest window you can supply will be fine, or grow them under fluorescent grow lights on a twelve to fourteen hour schedule.

Best Temperatures for Echeveria

Echeveria can survive quite a range of temperatures, although there is a lot of difference between varieties and species.

Most Echeveria and other succulent plants are happiest in a fairly warm, dry (not humid) climate, and prefer about ten degrees of difference between day and night temperatures.

In the winter, many are quite content in very cool conditions, down to about 4-6 degrees Celsius at night, and up to around 15 degrees Celsius during the day.

In summer, they can take quite high temperatures, especially in a greenhouse situation. However, it is best if they have some shade if the temperatures are over 30 degrees Celsius.

Most plants shut down and stop respiring above 30 degrees, to open their stomata to breathe again once night falls and temperatures drop.

Many succulent plants, including Echeveria have strategies such as a waxy coating on the leaves, or a covering of hairs to prevent too much water loss.

Watering Echeveria

Water according to the temperature, as Echeveria will need much more water in the full heat of summer, and lots less when it’s cool or rainy.

The best water to use is rainwater captured off a roof as it doesn’t have the minerals that can mar the bloom or pruinose on the leaves of Echeveria and other succulent plants.

Never use water from a water softening unit, as salt kills plants.

  • To water Echeveria properly, completely wet the soil all the way through by watering thoroughly a couple of times.
  • This ensures that the whole soil column gets wet.
  • Then allow it to dry completely before watering again for healthy roots.
  • Avoid keeping the soil damp, and always use fast draining soil.

I also recommend using tempered water for watering Echeveria. It makes sense that there is less potential for root rot if the water is warmed.

Never let the soil stay wet for long periods, or let the plant sit in a saucer of water.

Echeveria Soil

Soil for Echeveria has to be very well drained, as too much moisture accumulating in the lower levels of soil can cause root rot.

I use a peat based commercial mix with extra aggregate for more rapid draining. You can use a sterilized potting mix without additional fertilizer and add at least half turkey grit or other small gravel, or pumice.

Some growers have discovered that Echeveria don’t like an alkaline soil, but in most cases it’s not an issue unless your water is also very alkaline. If this is the case, collect your rainwater for watering – it’s best for plants anyway.

Avoid fine sand unless it’s graded out to take any silt or dust out as this can clog up the pores in the soil.

In some cases, Echeveria can sicken from the breaking down of the soil; to prevent losing your plant to this syndrome, propagate your plant while it’s still healthy so you have one to take its place.

Fertilizer for Echeveria

Echeveria rarely need fertilizer. If your plant seems a little pale and lethargic, use a water soluble fertilizer mixed about half strength, and less often than recommended.

I find worm castings sprinkled on the top of the soil gives them all the nutrients they need, and it slowly releases them over months and never burns.

Cultivation of Echeveria is challenging due to the steep learning curve – they are very different from other houseplants that you may be familiar with, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll have happy healthy Echeveria filling every window and your patio or deck in the summer with much less watering to do.

See this page on Best Fertilizer for Succulents.

Best Pots for Echeveria

Terracotta clay pots and other pottery containers are among the best for Echeveria. The ‘tooth’ or unglazed interior gives the roots something to cling to, and the porous wall of the pot allows excess moisture to escape, leaving the soil dry as these xerophytes prefer. See more exciting ideas on the containers for succulents page.

For more Echeveria care tips visit this site (link opens in a new window).

How to Get an Echeveria to Flower

Or is it, how to prevent an Echeveria flowering.

The blooming cycle is built in, and any Echeveria that has the right conditions (light, both length and intensity, watering when dry, and soil that is well drained and porous) once it gets old enough, the flower stalks will emerge from the center of the plant, like clockwork, every year.

Most species bloom at the same time of year, usually at the end of the summer.

This varies though. I’ve had Echeveria shaviana blooming in August, and other species, like Echeveria ‘Black Knight’ that show their flowers in November.

The blooms last a few weeks, and open in succession on the spray. This is so that there is time for insects (or you) to pollinate them.

Once the flowers start to fade, this is how to deal with it.

Echeveria starting to flower – see the tiny flower buds at the top?

Echeveria ‘Bertha’ starting to flower – the stalk is long enough to start arching ×

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Echeveria Care Tips

Botanical Name: Echeveria species

This is a desert succulent from the Crassulaceae family. It’s sometimes called Hen and Chicks, although several species go by this common name and it can be difficult to tell these succulent plants apart.

All echeverias grow in a rosette 2-6 inches (5-15 cm) across on short stems. The rosette has fleshy, blue-green leaves that become tinged with red when exposed to sun. Handle it with care because the leaves break off easily.

Echeveria fimbriata (shown above) has an upright, rosette form with leaves that often turn purplish-green. You can expect it to bloom in late summer with red and orange flowers.

E. elegans (pictured at right) is a popular species. It has a beautiful rosette form with tall spikes of bell-shaped blooms on pink stems appearing in summer. Pinch them off when flowers have faded.

Countless varieties are available to choose from. Choose any you like — they’re all easy to grow.

Several species look spectacular in a dish garden growing together, or combined with other succulents.

Trying to identify echeveria? Start with this echeveria list of pictures with species names. You’ll discover lots of information about these beautiful plants, too.

This is a plant that grows quickly. In fact, this succulent house plant produces offsets — called chicks — in abundance. If they get too crowded in their pot, cut them off and propagate them.

Give it a rest in winter. Cut back on water and provide cooler temperatures — a cool, sunny room is ideal.

Echeveria Plant Care Tips

Origin: Southwestern U.S. and Mexico

Height: 2-4 inches (5-10 cm)

Light: Bright light with some direct sun. You can move this sun-loving succulent outdoors for the summer, be sure to bring it back indoors when nighttime temperatures drop to 55°F/13°C; it’s not cold-hardy.

Water: Keep the mix lightly moist spring through fall and water sparingly in winter. Water the potting mix and not the rosette because it can easily rot. Wrinkled leaves indicate the succulent needs more water.

Humidity: Average to dry room humidity (40-50% relative humidity or lower).

Temperature: In spring and summer, average to warm 65-80°F/18-27°C. Slightly cooler in fall and winter 55-75°F/13-24°C.

Soil: Cactus potting mix, or equal parts sharp sand with all-purpose potting mix.

Fertilizer: Feed every 2 weeks spring through fall with a 2-7-7 liquid fertilizer diluted by half.

Propagation: Offsets can be cut off and potted in their own containers. Leaf cuttings can be propagated in spring and summer. Allow leaf to dry for 24 hours to stop the oozing of its sap. Push the cut end into moist potting mix. Do not cover the pot with plastic because succulents are likely to rot with excessive moisture.

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Red Velvet Echeveria: Learn How To Grow Red Velvet Plants

One of the easiest to grow groups of plants are the succulents. Echeveria ‘Red Velvet’ is not only easy to grow but easy on the eyes with rosy pink tinted leaves and astounding fiery red blooms. The Red Velvet succulent plant is not freeze tolerant but makes a beautiful interior plant for the office or home. Try growing a Red Velvet plant with other small succulents in a container display, providing varied texture and color with little maintenance.

Echeveria Red Velvet Plants

Red Velvet Echeveria (Echeveria pulvinata) is a hybrid plant named for Athanasio Echeverria Godoy. The secondary name, pulvinata, refers to its cushion-like leaves. Red Velvet has softly hairy stems and chubby leaves. The species is from Mexico but this particular cultivar originated in California.

You will be charmed by Red Velvet. It is a small plant, growing only 12 inches (30 cm.) in height with a shrub-like form. The thickened leaves are oblong, coming to a point, and bear tracings of bright pink on the edges. In cool

weather, the reddish tint becomes more intense.

The leaves and stems have fine, reddish hairs giving a fuzzy appearance. Leaves are arranged in whorls, giving the clusters a flowery effect. These aren’t the flowers, however. The blooms of Red Velvet Echeveria are tubular with orange-red petals and yellow interiors with green bracts. Very ornamental and long lasting.

How to Grow Red Velvet

Red Velvet plants are hardy to United States Department of Agriculture zones 10 to 11 but even cool clime gardeners can enjoy them. As interior plants, they need full, indirect sun and well-draining soil.

Outdoor plants also enjoy sun but need protection from noon day heat. Most soils are tolerable, but a pH of 5.5 to 6.5 is preferred by the Red velvet succulent plant.

Young plants should be pinched early to promote thicker more sturdy stems. Once you have fallen in love with your plant, propagation is easy. Take stem cuttings in spring and allow them to callus on the ends for a few days. Insert the cut end into soil and keep dry for two weeks. Then water normally and you will have a whole new plant.

Red Velvet Care

While growing a Red Velvet plant is relatively easy, there are some care tips for these easy-going plants. Water regularly but don’t allow soil to remain soggy. Check manually and irrigate when soil is dry down to your second knuckle. You can also tell by the leaves when it is necessary to water. They will begin to pucker a bit if the plant needs moisture.

Once established, Red Velvet can tolerate brief periods of drought. Light feeding with a diluted plant food in early spring keeps even potted plants happy.

Root rots from excess moisture is the most common problem. Plants may also fall prey to mealybugs, aphids and slugs but, otherwise, this Echeveria is a very unbothered plant, even by deer.

The easy to grow plant is a member of the Crassulaceae family and like most succulents, this plant return year after year in areas where it is winter hardy.

Common names include:

  • Chenille Plant
  • Ruby Slippers
  • Plush Plant
  • Ruby Blush
  • Red Velvet

Echeveria Pulvinata Care

Size & Growth

This attractive small shrubby plant only grows about a foot high, with a spreading growth habit that can quickly sprawl many feet.

Flowering & Fragrance

The orange-red flowers appear late in the wintertime and continue into the spring.

First, a 1′ foot long flower spike appears. Next racemes of bell-shaped flowers grow.

As with all Echeveria plants, the flowers are attractive to pollinators and hummingbirds when planted outdoors.

Foliage

Succulent green leaves grow in small rosettes (no larger than 3″ or 4″ inches across) on long stems.

The green leaves are covered thickly with white hairs (similar to Echeveria setosa) which help protect them from the harsh rays of the sun.

Environmental stresses such as high heat, low heat or tremendous amounts of direct sunlight cause Ruby Blush to develop tinges of red along the leaf margins.

Light & Temperature

These hardy succulents like lots of sunlight (full sun) and warm temperatures. Plush Chenille plant echeveria is winter hardy in USDA hardiness zones 9b-11b.

In lower hardiness zones these are tender succulents better suited for life indoors on a bright sunny windowsill.

Watering & Feeding

As with most drought tolerant cactus and succulents, water seldom but deeply.

Allow the soil to dry completely before watering again.

Take care not to allow water to sit on the rosettes as so may cause fungal disease and rot.

Fertilize sparingly during the growing season using a standard cactus mix. Follow packaging instructions carefully. Do not fertilize during the winter months.

Soil & Transplanting

Use a standard well-draining cactus mix or create your own potting soil using one part peat moss, one part loam and two-parts sand.

It’s best to repot at the end of the flowering season but before cold weather arrives. Allow the soil to dry out before repotting.

Remove the plant from its pot and knock any old soil loose from the roots. If the cactus has any injuries, treat them with a fungicide.

Repot into a slightly larger container than the container the plant has come from.

Use fresh, clean cactus soil mix. Allow the plant to settle in for about a week before watering.

Grooming & Maintenance

As your Ruby Slippers grows, remember to remove any dead leaves from its base. Leaving them in place may cause fungal disease and rot.

Additionally, dead leaves create an excellent hiding place for pests.

How To Propagate Plush Plant Echeveria

As with all Echeveria, propagating new plants from leaf cuttings is simplest and the most successful.

Choose a healthy leaf and place it on a tray of fresh cactus mix.

You may wish to place some plastic wrap or clear cover over the dish to help retain moisture until the leaf sprouts.

You can also propagate echeveria plants from stem cuttings or by removing a complete rosette with an inch or so of stem attached.

Allow the rosette to dry in the open air for 3 to 5 days.

Plant it into a pot of slightly moist, well-draining cactus mix and simply treat it as an adult plant. It should take root and grow successfully within a week or so.

Plush Echeveria Plant Pests or Disease

As with most cactus and succulents, Echeverias are not subject to disease and pests as long as it is well cared for.

If you do not overwater and keep it in well-draining soil with ample sunlight and warm temperatures, it should stay healthy and hardy.

Overwatered plants are subject to problems with rot and fungal diseases.

Plants weakened by poor conditions are subject to attacks by spider mites, fungus gnats, mealybugs and scale.

Is Echeveria pulvinata considered toxic or poisonous to people, kids, pets?

Like all Echeveria, this plant is non-toxic and safe for pets and people.

Is the plant considered invasive?

According to invasive.org, no species of echeveria is invasive in North America.

Uses For Echeveria Plush Pulvinata Plants

For many who grow the succulent pulvinata it soon becomes one of their favorite echeverias.

Red Velvet plants make lovely potted plants year-round indoors.

In areas where they are winter hardy, this particular species makes a nice groundcover as it tends to ramble quickly.

Echeveria pulvinata also make nice container plants on the porch or patio and moved indoors for winter in areas where they are not winter hardy.

Because of its rambling tendencies, Echeveria pulvinata can be quite attractive growing as a succulent hanging basket plant.

Scientific Name

Echeveria harmsii J. F. Macbr.

Common Names

Plush Plant, Red Echeveria

Synonyms

Oliveranthus elegans, Oliverella elegans

Scientific Classification

Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Sedoideae
Tribe: Sedeae
Subtribe: Sedinae
Genus: Echeveria

Description

Echeveria harmsii is a branching, densely pubescent succulent, up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall, with rosettes of narrow, light green leaves with red edges. Flowers are bright red except the yellow tips, bell-shaped, up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long and appear in spring.

Photo via sedumphotos.net

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 10b to 11b: from 35 °F (+1.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Plush Plant is quite tolerant of low winter temperatures if kept fairly dry. It benefits from good ventilation, but not droughts.

This plant requires a bright situation at all times and will grow happily in most windows.

Water well during the spring and summer, then allow the soil to dry before watering again. Keep water droplets off the leaves, as in full sun they may cause burning and browning of the leaves. During the fall and winter, keep fairly dry, giving only enough water to prevent shriveling. Plush Plant will soon rot if kept wet at low temperatures.

Feed regularly every 1 to 2 weeks during the spring and summer, using fertilizer for succulents or one recommended for tomatoes at about half strength.

After flowering, the plant should be cut back hard, leaving about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of the current year’s growth. This will encourage it to branch well and make a compact plant.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for a Plush Plant (Echeveria harmsii).

Origin

Echeveria harmsii is native to Mexico (Hidalgo).

Cultivars and Hybrids

  • Echeveria harmsii ‘Ruby Slippers’
  • Echeveria ‘Haageana’
  • Echeveria ‘Pulv-Oliver’
  • Echeveria ‘Set-Oliver’

Links

  • Back to genus Echeveria
  • Succulentopedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus

Photo Gallery

Photo via echeveriasinoz.netPhoto by Jacquie Koutsoudis

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