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Also known as “Ruby Slippers” or “Red Devotion,” The Echeveria Harmsii is a beautiful succulent from the ever-popular Echeveria family. What makes this succulent stand out from its cousins, however, are its distinct, red-tipped, and fuzzy leaves. Like all Echeveria, the Echeveria Harmsii is quite hardy, and it doesn’t take much to help this beautiful succulent thrive in the right conditions.
Like most succulents in its family, the Echeveria Harmsii is relatively easy to care for and does not require much in terms of attention. A relatively “hands-off” plant, the Echeveria Harmsii does, however, have several conditions that must be met to help it thrive:
This succulent in particular loves bright, direct sunlight, and if you want to make those gorgeous red tips stand out, it’s best to provide your Ruby Slippers with roughly six hours of direct sunlight per day. The best time for this succulent to receive direct sunlight is in the morning when the sun’s rays aren’t yet harsh enough to damage the plant’s delicate leaves.
The Echeveria Harmsii doesn’t require much water, so it’s best to make sure you let any excess water drain from the pot completely before putting the succulent back in its designated spot. In addition, you’ll want to avoid watering this succulent unless the top two inches of soil are dry to the touch. When you water your Echeverias, it’s best to do so with a small watering bottle or via the bottom watering technique.
To help ensure your Ruby Slippers aren’t getting overwatered, we recommend a well-draining soil mixture. While most traditional cactus mixes are fine for an Echeveria, you can also modify any soil mixture using coarse sand or perlite to improve drainage.
Like all Echeverias, the Echeveria Harmsii cannot tolerate cold temperatures and will die if exposed to frost. Since it thrives in USDA zone 9a to 11a, it’s best to avoid letting this succulent stay outdoors in the winter. We recommend keeping your Echeverias as indoor plants, as most homes stay around 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.
Fertilizer isn’t entirely necessary for an Echeveria. These plants are incredibly hardy and don’t require much in terms of excess nutrients, but adding fertilizer during the Echeveria Harmsii’s growing season can help it flower, as well as help those signature red tips stand out. When you fertilize, use a few drops of water-soluble fertilizer when it’s time to water your succulent.
For the discerning pet parent, it’s good to know that all Echeverias are safe to keep around animals and children. While they may not be toxic, it’s still best to avoid letting anyone eat the leaves, as this will damage the plant.
When you choose a pot for your Ruby Slippers, always make sure to prioritize drainage. Pots made from porous materials like concrete, terracotta, and ceramic tend to be best. However, members of the Echeveria family work well in pots made of water-retaining materials like glass and metal. If you choose to use a pot without a drainage hole or one made of glass or metal, you may have to monitor your succulent’s soil moisture and how it reacts to watering more closely.
When you repot your succulent, always be sure to choose a pot that is at least 10% larger than the pot it was previously in. You should only have to repot your Echeveria Harmsii once every one or two years, during the growing season.
The Echeveria Harmsii boasts gorgeous orange, urn-shaped flowers during its springtime growing season, which sprout from the center of the succulent’s rosette on long, golden stems. This succulent, along with the rest of the Echeveria family, is not monocarpic, meaning their flowers don’t mean the plant is dying. Instead, flowers are a good sign! To encourage blooming in your Echeveria Harmsii, simply increase the amount of daylight it receives each day during the growing season and add a little bit of fertilizer to your watering routine.
As an added bonus, hummingbirds love this flower’s vibrant colors and sweet nectar. If you happen to keep your Ruby Slippers outdoors or near an open window, you may spot a hummingbird grabbing a drink!
If you want to make this succulent stand out above the rest with its vibrant colors, it will need some stress, similar to a natural desert environment. We recommend cutting back on water ever so slightly and increasing the amount of light your Ruby Slippers get each day. This routine is similar to how we encourage blooming in succulents, so you won’t have to make too many changes to your growing season care routine if you want your Ruby Slippers to bloom!
A common struggle with Echeveria are their delicate leaves, which may break off despite your succulent’s perfect health. If you spot some fallen, healthy leaves, don’t throw them out! Instead, use them to propagate new plants. To do so, take your fallen leaf or a leaf cutting from as close to the stem as possible, and let it callous over for a day. Then, place the leaf in a fresh pot with soil, and mist the area to keep the soil moist. After a couple weeks, you should see roots begin to form.
This succulent, like all other Echeveria, goes dormant in the winter. Similar to how trees go dormant, your Echeveria Harmsii will slow down their growth rate and utilize fewer resources to make it through the colder months. Your Ruby Slippers may appear discolored or droopy, and it won’t grow as fast as it usually would. Once temperatures begin to rise, the plant will leave its dormant stage and continue to grow as normal; until then, give it less water to avoid overwatering, and avoid repotting as well.
Aside from fallen leaves, the Ruby Slippers are also particularly susceptible to complications that surround watering. When overwatered, the Echeveria Harmsii may have bloated leaves that turn yellow or a lighter shade. In addition, overwatering can lead to mold growth and root rot, which will kill your plant if you aren’t careful. On the flip side, underwatered leaves will appear wrinkly and droop, and they may also appear brown. To avoid overwatering or underwatering your Echeveria, always check and double check your soil’s moisture content before you water. In some cases, a moisture meter may help provide a more accurate reading, but you can also stick your finger into the soil. When you do water, always watch to make sure all excess water drains from your pot and soil.
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