How to Keep the Plush Plant Echeveria Harmsii

Known as the Plush Plant or the Ruby Slippers, Echeveria Harmsii is a native of Hidalgo and Oaxaca states in Mexico. The plant’s name Harmsii is in honor of a German botanist Hermann Harms.

Description of Echeveria Harmsii

Echeveria Harmsii is rosette-shaped and quite attractive. It is a short plant about 30 centimeters tall and 30 centimeters wide. This plant branches variously, and the rosettes of the leaves form at the edge of these branches. The progress of these branches from the stem causes the plant to attain a width similar to its height. The following are some of the plant’s physical features.

Leaves

This plant’s leaves are green but have reddish-pink tips. The entire leaf margin can be this color under certain conditions. The leaves are thin and narrow and have abundant ciliate hairs, which help them absorb moisture from the atmosphere. The adaptation helps it survive the arid places where it grows. One of the consequences of having these hairs is that the leaf is velvety to the touch. Also, the hairs are silvery, giving the plant a silvery appearance on top of the green foliage.

Echeveria harmsii’s leaves usually turn bright red when subjected to intense sunlight. This coloration is a sign of stress, but you can use it to enhance the appearance of your plant. This combination of features makes this plant’s leaves one of the most defining features, which is why Echeveria Harmsii is a favorite of collectors.

Flowers

The plush plant has beautiful, showy flowers, which are part of its main attraction; this Echeveria is the giant flower in the entire genus. The flowers, like in wide other Echeveria varieties, are bell-shaped. These flowers are usually attractive bright red and have yellow tips on the various petals.

Each flower is about three centimeters long and grows on woody stalks (Cyme), usually about four inches long. The woody stalks on which the flowers grow have some scattered leaves.

The flowering process is intensive for the plant, and it needs to have attained sufficient maturity and stamina to withstand the rigors of the process. Therefore, removing the cyme that appears before the plant acquires sufficient strength is advisable. Doing that keeps the plant from flowering before it is strong enough.

It usually flowers in spring but can bloom in various seasons if you deadhead. Deadheading means removing the woody flowering stalks as soon as the flowers wither. Doing so gets your plant ready to bloom again fast.

Toxicity

Echeveria harmsii is not toxic. This lack of toxicity cuts across all plants in this genus, and it is an excellent plant to keep as a plant parent because your pets and children will be safe.

Echeveria Harmsii Hybrids

Echeveria harmsii has been used to produce several hybrids, usually because of its flowers. It has the most significant, showiest flowers in the genus, and many growers use it to enhance the appearance of other varieties.

Echeveria Harmsii Care

This plant is not fussy but needs to be adequately cared for within the required range. Giving it adequate care keeps it from pests and diseases and enables you to get the best from it.

Sunlight

The plant does well under direct sunlight, requiring at least six hours for best results. It generally requires a lot of light, even six hours of direct sunlight. You can grow the plant outdoors if the temperature in your area is suitable for its growth. If, however, you grow it indoors, ensure you position it so that it gets the sunlight it requires.

One way of ensuring your plant gets adequate sunlight is placing it next to a window from which it can get direct sunlight. Keep it near the window, preferably within one foot, as this will ensure it soaks in as much sunlight as it needs. It is advisable to keep the plant in a room painted in bright colors because such painting in the room intensifies light through reflection.

Echeveria Harmsii can withstand tremendously intense sunlight. The plant reacts to the high intensity of the sun’s rays by deepening the red on its leaves, making the plant even more beautiful. You should, however, give it some relief from the sunlight from time to time. Keeping the plant in the dark or somewhere it doesn’t get as much sunlight as needed usually causes the leaves to be yellow. Sometimes the leaves can drop, and the plant will be much more susceptible to diseases since it is generally weak.

Temperature and Humidity

The plant’s tolerance to intense sunlight also means it can withstand high temperatures, but it is not cold hardy; it can’t survive temperatures below 40oF (4.4oC). Avoid planting it outdoors if your area experiences temperatures below these. If, however, you decide to grow it outdoors in such an environment, ensure you do it in a pot so that you can move it indoors whenever the temperature demands that you do so.

The plant’s natural habitat in Mexico is arid and adapted for the same conditions. It doesn’t do well in high humidity areas. High humidity creates perfect conditions for fungi growth, which are detrimental to the plant’s health. In light of the above, you should keep the plant healthy.

Watering Echeveria Harmsii

This plant is drought-resistant, like most other succulents. How you water it and the type of soil you plant it are the two most important considerations for the plant’s survival and health. Most of the most important diseases that affect this plant are caused by overwatering and general humidity in the plant’s environment. The diseases include root rot and fungal infections on the leaves.

Although the plant generally requires little water, you will need to water it more often in hotter seasons than in colder ones due to evaporation. How easily you manage this aspect of care for your plant will largely be determined by the type of soil on which you have grown your plant. Well-draining soil will make your watering immeasurably easier to manage. Since there is no one-size-fits-all approach for watering, you will need to determine the need for watering on a moment-by-moment basis.

How do you know your plant requires to be watered? The topsoil dryness test is always an effective method of knowing whether your plant requires some watering. Insert a finger into the plant’s soil or potting mix to feel whether or not the top two inches of the soil is dry. If dry, your soil needs more water since moisture from the previous drink has dried up.

When you notice the bottom leaves of the plant start to wrinkle and slightly wilt when the plant is severely dehydrated and needs urgent watering.

The best method to water the plush plant is the soak and dry it. Insert the plant into a large container filled with water and allow the plant to soak in the water for at least half an hour. After removing the plant, let the excess moisture drain from the drainage holes at the bottom of the container for another half an hour. Water again when the soil is dry. 

Dipping your plant in a tab is more applicable to this plant due to its structure. The stem is relatively short, and the branches cover the soil directly below the leaves. The leaf canopy above the soil makes it difficult from above without wetting the leaves; wet leaves make the plant susceptible to the growth of fungi.

We are always cautious about giving a definite watering schedule even for the various seasons because the environmental conditions are a significant factor in how well the soil can retain water. Ambient temperature, for example, determines how fast water in the soil evaporates. Even in the same seasons, this temperature varies from place to place.

Soil

This plant does well in well-draining soil; waterlogged soil can quickly kill it. If you are going for a commercial pottage, buy cactus or succulent soil commercially. That soil is already well-draining, but you will need to make it easier to drain. You should add fifty to seventy percent grit. Grit could be coarse sand, perlite, or pumice. The soil will always be moist, not dry, but not entirely wet either. The use of commercial pottage mix is best when growing your plant in a pot.

On the other hand, if you are growing the plant outdoors in a Mediterranean garden or as a hedge, you will need to ensure the soil is well-draining. The plant can handle rock ground, so that should not be a problem. If the soil in your area has more clay than grit, you can introduce soil in the planting holes to allow your water to drain quickly. Also, you may need to create French drains to allow any excess water to run off the roots.

If you are planting your Echeveria Harmsii in a pot (which is the most likely scenario), you must consider the pot type you use carefully. This is because the pot is critical in ensuring your soil will be well-drained. It should have several draining holes at the bottom because the water that gets to the soil must get out to avoid waterlogging. You can also use a breathable pot to enhance the evaporation of water. Unglazed terracotta pots are the best option for growing these succulents.

Feeding Echeveria Harmsii

The Ruby Slipper plant is exceptionally hardy and can survive without any fertilizer as long as other conditions are in place. You may, however, want to feed it during the flowering season to give it that extra push and cause it to blossom. Flowering is one of the most resource-intensive processes in any plant; giving it additional fertilizer can help it get its signature blooms. Please give it a succulent-suitable fertilizer in liquid form and dilute it to half strength. You can feed it at the beginning of spring and after deadheaded it to encourage blooming.

Pruning and Grooming

It is a beautiful plant, and any grooming is not necessarily meant to enhance its appearance but its health. You can remove the dead flower stalks after blooms from the previous blooming have dropped. Removing these stalks, known as deadheading, allows other flowers to grow. Also, you can remove some branches if you are growing the plant in a high humidity place to allow for air circulation, reducing the accumulation of water on the leaves. Removing dead leaves and branches, if there are any on the plant, increases its natural beauty.

Potting and Repotting

This plant is relatively slow-growing; it only needs repotting once every two years to accommodate the additional size. Repotting may also be made necessary by your substrate losing its porosity. The soil on which you plant it can become less and less porous over time as it loses some of its grit through drainage holes through watering. The pot you report should be at least 10% bigger than the previous one.

If you are potting for the first time, choose the pot carefully. It should have several draining holes at the bottom because the water that gets to the soil must get out to avoid waterlogging. You can also use a breathable pot to enhance the evaporation of water. Unglazed terracotta pots are the best option for growing these succulents.

Pests and Diseases

This plant can withstand a majority of the pests that trouble other plants. However, it is susceptible to mealybugs, aphids, plant scale, and spider mites. You can protect the plant from these pests by keeping it clean and well aired. Removing drying leaves is one way of ensuring protection because these pests like to hide in them.

Always keep your Echeveria Harmsii healthy, healthy plants can repel the pests more effectively, but hungry plants are usually vulnerable to these pests. Isolate any plant in your Mediterranean garden infested by any pest to keep it from infecting others.

You can take a few measures to cure your Echeveria harmsii of pests. You can rub the infected parts with alcohol with 70% concentration. Take a piece of cotton wool, dip it into the alcohol, and dab the part of the plant with the said infestation. You can also use chemical pesticides, but it is better to use organic pesticides.

If you notice an infestation, you could apply the following organic pesticides.

  1. Neem oil: Unlike the other pesticides listed below, neem oil is a systemic pesticide. It gets into the plant and poisons it against the bugs so that they don’t survive or reproduce when they attack the plant. Pure Neem Oil is made from the neem plant. Therefore, it is entirely natural and not harmful to humans.
  2. Hot pepper spray: Hot pepper is quite irritating when it gets on your skin and eyes, and it has the same effects on the bugs infesting your succulents. Spray it directly on the affected parts carefully to protect your skin and eyes.
  3. Garlic spray: A concentrated garlic spray can have the same effects on the bugs as pepper spray. You can manufacture the garlic spray by crushing garlic cloves and putting them in hot water. Put just a little hot water, so the end product is concentrated enough to destroy the pests. Remove the garlic residue, put the pesticide in a sprayer, and spray away on the infected parts of the plant.

Always spray a small part of the plant with the pesticide you want to use before spraying on the whole plant. This precaution applies when using contact pesticides, i.e., hot pepper and garlic. You need to see the plant’s reaction before you spray it all. You can reduce concentration if the test shows the plant’s reacting adverse effects on the pesticide.

Echeveria Harmsii Propagation

The following are the different ways to propagate this plant as follows.

Leaves

  • Cut a healthy leaf during the spring and summer months.
  • Allow for the leaf to dry and callous
  • Dip it in rooting hormone.
  • Plant in the same potting mix as the mother plant
  • Cover the cutting with another layer of soil, which should always be slightly moist.
  • The leaf will root in 3-4 weeks.
  • When the new plant has grown to about 4 inches, transplant it into a larger pot.
  • After it has become well established in its new home, transplant it outside to its permanent location

Cuttings

  • Cut a healthy stem or branch from the plant.
  • Leave it to be dry and callous
  • Dip the end of the cutting in rooting hormone,
  • Put some potting mix in a container and plant the stem cutting just above ground level.
  • After 3-7 days, or when the stems would have rooted, transplant to larger containers.
  • Transplant them outside to your garden in the spring

Offsets

This plant produces offsets to offer us an opportunity for propagation. The offsets form when the mother plant sends roots into the soil, and other plants develop from the edges of these roots.

You can let the offset grow into an independent plant in the same pot with enough space or move it into a different pot for a new plant.

Allow it to grow until it takes the plant’s form and moves it when it has just a few branches. Put the baby plant in a pot of moist, well-drained soil and allow it to grow. An offset roots faster than a leaf, and it becomes a plant more quickly since it is already relatively well-formed.

Seeds

The plant blooms often, and the flower yields seeds. You can gather seeds from the plant and sow them in moist soil. The soil shouldn’t be waterlogged, just moist. Please keep them in the soil and then transplant them when the seedlings have sufficient strength to grow under normal conditions.

Final Words

Echeveria harmsii is a typical succulent. It is hardy, and it is, therefore, able to withstand most of the common problems that affect plants. Water it as per instruction after planting it on the correct type of soil, and you are well on the way to getting the desired outcome.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Posted in Succulents