Red Velvet Echeveria: Beetles’ Favorite Plant

red velvet echeveria
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One of the most popular and beautiful plants in cultivation is Red Velvet Echeveria. They are native to Mexico, but there are many different varieties that grow all over the world. One of the most interesting things about this Red Velvet Echeveria is their susceptibility to beetles (sometimes called “Mexican Beetles”). These pests will often attack Red Velvet Echeveria plants while they’re still small and vulnerable.

The Red Velvet Echeveria is a beautiful plant that can grow in full sun or partial shade. It grows best in rich, well-drained soil and it’s one of the beetles’ favorite plants! This post will give you all the information you need to care for your plant properly so they can thrive indoors or outdoors.

Origin and description

red velvet echeveria

The origin of this succulent plant is in Mexico’s Sonora Desert, where it grows among the rock crevices. Its common name comes from its red-colored leaves that are covered with fine hairs which give them a velvety aspect. They form rosettes up to 20 cm (about eight inches) in diameter.

It has stems and branches with thick, fleshy leaves which are greenish-gray in color on top but have reddish-brown spots underneath. This unusual-looking plant grows to around six inches tall when mature and produces attractive red or yellow flowers.

Red velvet echeveria propagation

red velvet echeveria

 

This plant is easy to propagate. There are two main ways of doing this: crossing and cuttings. Crosses between different types can produce interesting colors not seen in the parents, although these plants don’t always come true from seeds if you save them for propagation (they sometimes revert back).

Cuttings are easier to make, with the added benefit of being able to choose exactly which stem you want to propagate. To do this, remove a leaf and let it dry for three days to form a callous over the cut before sticking it in soil (like succulents) or sand/rockwool mix (for other genera).

Red velvet echeveria care

red velvet echeveria

Light requirements

Echeverias are generally sun-loving plants, but the Red Velvet variety does well in medium light. You should give it bright indirect sunlight during late spring and summer months when days are longest. If you’re looking for an echeveria that can handle low lighting conditions, this may not be the one to plant!

Soil/potting mix

Red Velvet Echeveria’s native habitat is dry, rocky slopes in Northern Mexico. However, they can adapt well to almost any type of soil or potting mix as long as the drainage is good and you don’t overwater it.

Watering

Watering red velvet Echeverias is fairly easy and you don’t have to water them very often. They will do best with a good soaking every week or two, but they can take more or less depending on the time of year and your potting mix.

Make sure that it dries out between watering to prevent root rot from developing.

Fertilizer

Red Velvet Echeveria is not a heavy feeder and you don’t need to fertilize it very often. You can use some general-purpose fertilizer like Miracle-Gro about once per month, but make sure that if you are using organic fertilizer (which I recommend), that they do not contain “quick release” nutrients that will cause the plant to burn.

Temperature

Red Velvet Echeveria can handle relatively high temperatures as long as you keep them out of direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day. They should be able to survive in an area that stays above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but they will go dormant if it gets too hot and dry for too long.

They are actually fairly cold hardy and they can survive in areas that get down to around freezing, but if the cold persists for a long time, it will damage or kill them.

Make sure you keep this plant away from drafty windows and doors during the winter months.

Humidity

Red Velvet Echeverias don’t mind a little bit of humidity, but they can also survive in low-humidity conditions. If you are growing them indoors, I recommend using a terrarium with pebbles and water to help increase the humidity around the plant.

If you live somewhere that is humid naturally then it shouldn’t be too much of an issue, but most people will need to artificially increase the humidity around their plant.

If you keep your red velvet echeveria indoors you can mist them with a spray bottle every day or two and they should appreciate it.

The ideal humidity range is between 40% and 50%.

Pruning

Red Velvet Echeveria are very slow growing so you won’t need to prune them often, but they can get scraggly looking if they don’t have something to grow on. They will naturally send out “pups” at their base which is where the new plantlets form and that’s how they spread over time.

When to repot

Red Velvet Echeveria will need to be repotted about once per year or whenever it outgrows its pot. You can tell when you need to repot your plant because the potting mix will look compacted and dry.

You should also watch for signs of root rot if you are growing them in a clay or plastic container because it is more prone to developing root rot.

If you are concerned about the appearance of your plant, then you can repot them in spring or summer when they are most active, but if that’s not a concern for you, any time of the year will be fine.

Dormancy

red velvet echeveria

Red Velvet Echeveria go into a dormant state during the winter, but you don’t have to do anything special for them. They won’t grow very much from fall through spring and they may lose some of their leaves as well, but this is perfectly normal.

In fact, many people actually prefer seeing Red Velvet Echeveria in their dormancy period because it gives them a chance to rest.

They will begin growing again when the temperatures warm back up in spring and you can resume your normal watering schedule for them at that point.

If you want to force them into their winter rest early, then you should reduce the amount of water they get during fall, but only if you live in a place with mild winters.

You should also make sure that they are placed somewhere cool and out of direct sunlight to further reduce the amount of growth during their dormant period.

Flowers & Fragrance

Red Velvet Echeveria produces beautiful blooms that can last for weeks at a time. These flowers are usually bright red or pink and they have yellow accents around the center of the flower.

They will often bloom multiple times per year if you provide them with good conditions, but their flowering period lasts from spring through fall so there’s no reason to force them into their winter rest.

They are also fragrant plants that smell similar to cinnamon, but it can vary depending on the specific variety you have.

If they aren’t flowering, then there’s no reason to worry because your plant is doing just fine without any flowers.

Growth rate

Red Velvet Echeveria are slow-growing plants that only put on a few inches of height per year.

They sometimes live for decades if they get the right conditions, and other times, people will accidentally kill them because they water too much or don’t provide any bright light. You should feel lucky if you can keep this plant alive for more than a few months because it takes a lot of work to maintain this plant.

Toxicity

Red Velvet Echeveria are toxic to pets and humans because of the sap that oozes out when you cut into them. If your cat or dog eats any part of this plant, then they could become very ill, but it is perfectly safe if you don’t have animals in your house.

If a human ingests any Red Velvet Echeveria parts, then they will likely vomit and have diarrhea, but it is very hard for a human to eat this plant because of the way it looks.

If you get any sap on your skin, you should wash it immediately and avoid touching your eyes or mouth with that hand until everything has been cleaned away. Go out into direct sunlight so that the affected area can be dried because it will cause your skin to dry out.

Red Velvet Echeveria are not suitable for people who have asthma or allergies, but they are completely safe if you don’t get any sap on your hands when working on them.

USDA Hardiness Zones

Red Velvet Echeveria can survive in USDA Hardiness Zones 11 and above, but you should only try to grow them if your winter temperatures don’t fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pests and diseases

Red Velvet Echeveria are susceptible to beetles, mealybugs, aphids, fungus gnats, and spider mites.

If you have any of these, then the first thing that you should do is cut your watering schedule back so it doesn’t water as much which will cause them to grow more slowly. Then apply neem oil every ten days or so to kill off any insects that are still alive.

If you don’t have time to take care of these plants, then they aren’t suitable for your house, but if you can maintain them properly then they will reward you with many years of growth and beautiful flowers all throughout the year.

Conclusion

Red Velvet Echeveria are beautiful plants that will reward you with many years of growth and flowers if you can provide them with the right conditions.

They grow slowly so they won’t get in your way, but they require a lot of care because there are dangerous insects that will attack them without any warning. If you’re willing to put in the work, then you should feel lucky that there’s a plant out there like this because it is very unique and special.


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