Echeveria pulvinata “Chenille Plant”

Echeveria pulvinata, belongs to the Crassulaceae family. It is native to Oaxaca (Mexico), Central America, and northern South America.

Its leaves are spatulate, pointed, and covered with hairs that give it a velvety appearance.

The flowers are small, less than 1cm in diameter, orange or red, and emerge from a flower stem approximately 8cm long.

With a height of 30cm, it is a perfect plant to have in a pot, either outdoors or inside the home, or in the rockery along with other succulents.

This is a small, shrubby and sparsely branched plant, whose discreet bearing allows it to be perfect for growing in a pot.

It forms small rosettes of velvety leaves that appear as caked, towards the top of the bush.

The leaves are thick, with grayish-green color, with a portion tinted red at the top edges.

The flowers are gorgeous and clustered in inflorescences, which are supported by long flower stems.

Each flower stem has smaller leaves than the natural leaves of the plant.

You may like: Echeveria minima

Echeveria pulvinata care:

Illumination

It needs a lot of light to grow and flourish. It loves growing in full sun but protecting it from the intense summer sun to avoid severe burns on the leaves.

I recommend growing it under filtered sunlight.

Temperature

It must grow in climates with temperatures above 20°C/68°F and remain stable over time. Temperatures below 10°C/50°F are deadly. Protect from strong winters in greenhouses.

Substratum

The best substrate is the one dedicated to succulents and cacti. If you do not have the possibility of acquiring this quality substrate, I recommend creating a mixture of pebbles, a little bit of macerated leaves, common soil, and some coarse sand. The drainage must be perfect.

Fertilizer

The fertilizer for succulent plants should be low in sulfur, to prevent them from creating an excessive amount of vegetation.

Use specific commercial fertilizer for cacti, diluted in water, according to the manufacturer, preferably in spring and early summer.

Use every 15 days, during spring and early summer.

Irrigation frequency

This species tolerates water better than other succulents. 

You must water when the substrate is dry. 

It can be watered up to 2 times a week. Avoid puddles and excess water.

Irrigation should be done at the height of the substrate to avoid wetting the leaves. 

The hairs retain the water that can cause the appearance of fungi.

Plagues and diseases

Echeveria pulvinata is hardy plants, but fungi can harm them if watering is excessive.

When the rainy or winter season arrives, it is good to start applying a fungicide (either homemade or purchased) to your Echeveria pulvinata to prevent fungi from forming in your succulent.

It is also frequently attacked by mealybugs and aphids, which we must eliminate quickly. These pests are usually housed at the base of the leaves.

It can also be severely attacked by slugs and snails that we can avoid if we locate the plant in higher places.

If the leaves become somewhat flabby, it is a symptom of lack of water. In this case, water urgently.

If any stem region is observed to be dark brown with softening of the area, it is a symptom of rot.

To recover the plant, you must cut the stem 2 cm above the damaged area, wait for the cut to heal, and re-sow.

Propagation

It is very easy to multiply. It is multiplied by cuttings of leaves or stems (ramifications), which must be located in a substrate with good drainage and something humid after the cuts heal.

Stem cuttings: In this case, the stem must be cut into pieces and left to dry for 2 or 3 days to heal the wound.

Then you have to sprinkle it with sulfur powder to avoid the appearance of fungi.

Choose a pot and make a hole with a toothpick in the soil.

Remember that the pot must have excellent drainage to avoid excess moisture. 

Enter the cut dry.

Try not to press excessively hard with the goal to keep the compost loose.

Leaf cuttings: is a simple method in which you only have to separate the leaves with your fingers and then make a hole in the substrate and place the small leaf.

Over time, roots will develop.

Pruning

It’s not necessary. We will only remove the withered flowers.

Rusticity

Withstands light frosts up to -2ºC/28°F. A lower temperature than that could kill the plant.

Transplant

It should be done once a year, in spring.

How to transplant the succulent?

To achieve this successfully, you will need to follow these steps, make sure to have a new container on hand.

Drop the plant from its current pot. 

If the pot is plastic, it will be very easy to do: just cut it or squeeze it.

If not, tap the sides of the pot lightly to loosen the soil and roots from its walls, and strain a pencil or stick through the unobstructed drain holes to loosen the soil slightly.

All this is done so that you never have to pull on the plant when removing it, which can cause severe injuries. 

Also, remember to wear thick gardening gloves if the plant has thorns.

Prepare the new pot, which is vital that it has drainage holes; if it doesn’t have it, I recommend you buy one; it will make your watering much easier. 

Cover the bottom with a bed of thick stones to help keep those holes free and improve drainage, and use substrate for succulents, to be enriched with a slow-release of fertilizer.

Transplant the succulent: if it is a complete plant, simply place it in its new container, a couple of centimeters below the pot’s edge, and add the necessary substrate.

If it is a sucker of a succulent plant, try to untangle its roots as much as possible, or carefully separate it by gently prying it with a fork.

In the case of children, it is sometimes advisable to wait a few days after separating them from the mother plant to close their possible wounds.

When is the best time to transplant succulents?

As a general rule, you should avoid carrying out any transplant in the winter months (if any root is damaged, the cold and humidity can rot the plant).

The best time for succulent transplants is spring and summer, which are the plant’s growing seasons (not in all succulent species).

When to water a freshly transplanted succulent?

Once your succulent is in a pot, let the plant sit for a day or two before watering.

This rest period will give the roots time to heal before they begin to absorb the water, preventing the root rot.

3 common mistakes that most people make when they start growing succulents.

Use a pot without a drain hole.

Although your succulents can survive in pots without drainage holes, you will have to do a lot more work to keep them happy.

That’s why I recommend starting with a pot that has a good drain hole.

Use of a poorly drained substrate.

A suitable substrate is crucial if you want to do well with watering your succulents.

Succulents prefer not to be in moist soil for a long time. So, in addition to providing them with a pot that allows the water to drain, you must use soil that does the same.

For example, a mixture in equal parts of peat, coarse vermiculite, and sand.

Use a sprayer to water.

Succulents have no problem soaking up, but they don’t like to be sprayed. 

Some people sprinkle the soil, thinking this way they won’t overwater. 

Later they will see why it is a terrible idea to water them with a sprayer.

It is best to water them with a watering can. Or directly with a hose that has an accessory that waters in the form of rain.

Avoid those three common mistakes, and you’re on your way to making your succulents look their best!