Echeveria Harmsii vs Pulvinata: Succulent Showdown

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Echeverias are eye-catching succulents known for their attractive rosette formations, providing vibrant colors and textures in gardens and indoor planters. Among the numerous echeveria species, two that often create confusion for plant lovers are Echeveria harmsii and Echeveria pulvinata. Although these plants share similarities in structure and coloration, they exhibit distinct differences that can help enthusiasts distinguish between the two. In this article, we will delve into the unique traits of these echeveria varieties to better understand their characteristics and care requirements.

Echeveria harmsii is an eye-catching succulent with fleshy, fuzzy leaves that display a distinctive red hue around their edges. This stemmed succulent can grow up to a foot tall and is known to produce vibrant orange blooms alongside its stalk during the springtime source. In contrast, Echeveria pulvinata, also known for its fuzzy foliage, exhibits more oval-shaped leaves with sharp tips. While this plant is part of the same Crassulaceae family as Echeveria harmsii, its growth habit differs as it forms a small, 12-inch-tall shrub with long, branching branches topped with rosettes .

As succulent growers learn to differentiate and appreciate the unique qualities of Echeveria harmsii and pulvinata, it becomes crucial to understand their specific care requirements. By diving into their distinct features and growth habits, enthusiasts can enjoy the mesmerizing colors and textures these plants bring to their gardens, planters, or indoor collections.

Echeveria Harmsii Overview

Origins and Characteristics

Echeveria Harmsii

Echeveria Harmsii, also known as Red Echeveria, is a vibrant succulent subshrub that forms small rosettes with fleshy, narrow, dark green leaves. The leaves display a velvet-like texture and are adorned with red or pink tips, giving the plant its distinctive appearance. Additionally, silver hairs cover the outer surface of the leaves. This evergreen succulent is native to Mexico and attracts hummingbirds with its showy orange flowers with golden throats in the spring.

Growth and Care

To ensure a healthy Echeveria Harmsii, proper attention should be given to its growing conditions. Bright light is essential for the plant, with four to six hours of morning sun exposure being ideal. While it can tolerate full sun, harsh sunlight may lead to leaf burns. When grown indoors, place the plant near a window that receives adequate light.

For proper watering techniques, it is important to water Echeveria Harmsii only when the soil is completely dry to the touch. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other issues. To avoid these problems, use a well-draining soil mixture that consists of coarse sand or perlite to improve drainage.

Echeveria Harmsii has relatively simple care requirements, which makes it an appealing choice for both novice and experienced gardeners. By following these guidelines on light exposure, watering, and soil composition, you can enjoy the stunning beauty of this succulent plant.

Echeveria Pulvinata Overview

Origins and Characteristics

Echeveria Pulvinata Ruby

Echeveria Pulvinata, commonly known as the plush plant, is a species of flowering plant within the Echeveria genus. Native to southwest and central Mexico, this succulent is admired for its appealing features and has been awarded the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.

One of its remarkable varieties is Echeveria pulvinata var. leucotricha, which is also known as Echeveria leucotricha. The plant boasts attractive plush-like leaves, giving it the popular name “plush plant.” Additionally, its leaves feature fine white hairs, which add to its appealing texture.

Growth and Care

Echeveria Pulvinata is a relatively easy-to-grow plant, thriving in well-draining soil and requiring minimal maintenance. Here are a few key points to consider when caring for this succulent:

  • Light: Provide your Echeveria Pulvinata with ample sunlight. It prefers bright, indirect light and can suffer from sunburn if exposed to harsh direct sunlight for extended periods.
  • Water: This succulent needs to be watered sparingly. It is advisable to wait until the soil has completely dried out before watering the plants again, as over-watering can lead to root rot and other issues. It’s essential to use well-draining soil to prevent excess moisture from harming the plant.
  • Temperature: Echeveria Pulvinata prefers a moderate temperature range. It can tolerate minor temperature fluctuations, but it’s best to avoid exposing it to extreme cold or heat for prolonged periods.
  • Fertilizing: Feed your plant by using a fertilizer that is balanced fertilizer during its active growing season, typically during the seasons of spring and summer. Be sure to dilute the fertilizer to half of the recommended strength, as too much can cause harm.

In summary, Echeveria Pulvinata is an attractive and rewarding succulent to grow, providing you with stunning visual appeal and minimal care requirements. Just ensure that it receives the appropriate light, water, temperature, and nutrients for it to flourish and brighten your space.

Comparing Echeveria Harmsii and Pulvinata

Visual Differences

Echeveria harmsii, also known as Red Echeveria, is a succulent evergreen subshrub that forms small rosettes of fleshy, narrow, dark green leaves with a velvet-plush texture and red edges. Its bright orange flowers have golden throats, and the plant is known for its showy flowering display.

On the other hand, Echeveria pulvinata, commonly called Red Velvet, is a hybrid plant sporting softly hairy stems and chubby leaves. This species originates from Mexico but has become popular worldwide due to its distinctive red-tipped cushion-like leaves.

Care Requirements

Both Echeveria harmsii and pulvinata require similar care to thrive. These succulents prefer:

  • Well-draining soil, such as a mixture of cactus soil and perlite
  • Bright, indirect sunlight; direct sunlight may cause leaf scorch
  • Watering only when the soil feels dry to the touch; overwatering can lead to root rot
  • A temperature range of 65-80°F (18-27°C) for optimal growth
  • Occasional fertilization with a diluted, balanced liquid fertilizer

Propagation Methods

Echeveria harmsii and pulvinata can be propagated similarly, using the following methods:

  1. Leaf cuttings: Gently remove a healthy, fully grown leaf from the mother plant. It is recommended to let the leaf form a callus for a few days before placing it onto a soil mix that has good drainage. The soil should be misted regularly, and in due time, roots will start to develop
  2. Offsets: Both species produce offsets or “pups” at the base of the mother plant. Carefully separate the pup from the mother plant, ensuring that it has ample roots. Then, plant it in well-draining soil.
  3. Stem cuttings: Cut a healthy stem from the mother plant and allow it to callus for a few days. Place the callused end into well-draining soil, and roots will begin to grow.

Remember to use clean, sterilized tools when handling and propagating both Echeveria harmsii and pulvinata to prevent the spread of diseases and pests.

Common Problems and Solutions

Pest Control

Echeveria harmsii and pulvinata may face issues with pests like mealybugs, aphids, and scale insects. To control these pests, be proactive by examining your plants regularly, particularly beneath the leaves and near the stem. If you notice any pests, you can remove them using a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or a gentle blast of water. For persistent infestations, use an insecticidal soap or horticultural oil for treatment.

Another preventive measure is avoiding overwatering, as wet conditions can attract pests. Ensure proper drainage and maintain a watering schedule that allows the soil to dry out between waterings.

Disease Prevention

Both E. harmsii and E. pulvinata can fall victim to various fungal and bacterial diseases. To keep your echeverias healthy and free from disease, here are some tips:

  • Use well-draining soil to prevent waterlogged conditions which can lead to root rot.
  • Keep a routine watering schedule, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.
  • Provide good air circulation around your plants.
  • Use clean and sterilized tools when pruning or propagating to avoid the spread of diseases.
  • Monitor the health of your plants and remove any dead or decaying leaves immediately.

By taking the time to address these common problems and employing preventative measures for both pest control and disease prevention, your E. harmsii and E. pulvinata will have a greater chance of thriving in your care.


Echeveria harmsii and Echeveria pulvinata are both popular succulents with some differences in their appearance and care requirements. The Echeveria harmsii “Red Velvet” is known for its red and fuzzy leaves, while Echeveria pulvinata “Ruby Slippers” has a similar appearance but with shorter, more rounded leaves.

When it comes to their care requirements, Echeveria harmsii requires a moderate amount of light, while Echeveria pulvinata can tolerate more direct sunlight, especially in the early morning and evening hours. Both plants need proper drainage and well-draining soil to avoid root rot. Watering should be done sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.

Propagation for both plants can be done through leaf cuttings, offsets, or seeds. Whichever method is chosen, it’s important to use proper techniques to ensure successful propagation for each type of Echeveria.

In terms of flowering, the Echeveria harmsii produces red flowers with yellow tips, while the Echeveria pulvinata has reddish flowers. Both species bloom in late winter, making them a colorful addition to a succulent garden during that time of the year.

In summary, knowing the differences between Echeveria harmsii and Echeveria pulvinata is essential for succulent enthusiasts who want to expand their collection. Considering the distinctions in appearance, care requirements, and flowering, gardeners can make informed choices when selecting these beautiful succulents for their indoor or outdoor gardens.

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