Echeveria harmsii, commonly know as Plush Plant or Red Echeveria, is a succulent evergreen subshrub native to Mexico. It forms small rosettes of fleshy, narrow, dark green, velvet-plush leaves adorned with red edges. In spring, it sends up flowering stems bearing large, urn-shaped, bright orange flowers with golden throats which are highly attractive to hummingbirds. Grown for the beauty of its flowers rather than for its handsomely colored foliage, this Echeveria will occasionally offset and form a small colony. It is a great choice for sunny gardens or containers.
Growing Conditions and General Care
Plush Plant is quite tolerant of low winter temperatures, down to 40°F (5°C), 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 a fertilizer for cactus and other succulents, or one recommended for tomatoes at about half strength.
Grow this plant in a well-drained soil. Repot at least every 2 years.
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. Keep the prunings for cuttings. Shorten the cuttings so that the stems are about 2 inches (5 cm) long and remove any lower leaves to leave a bare stem.
During the winter, Plush Plant tends to drop most of its leaves, leaving a cluster of bare stems or a few short leaves at the ends of the stems. Be sure to keep those cleaned out of the pot since leaf debris invites bugs, especially mealy bugs. During the spring and early summer, the succulent leaves begin to develop again.
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