You need skills to grow healthy, attractive echeveria. Some knowledge of the plant’s story gives you something to say in a conversation about it.
Blue rose is one of the most common varieties of echeveria. Due to this variant’s popularity, succulent aficionados adopted the name for the entire species. Echeveria is also referred to as “hen and chicks.”
This exotic plant is a native of Central and South America, but it grows indoors and outdoors worldwide.
Echeveria imbricata is characterized by its flat leaves in its early stages, but as the plant develops further, the leaves band to form rosettes. Its surface typically has a blueish-grey-powdery look.
The plant can grow as big as eight inches in diameter, and its rosettes can offset to form clumps with a height of up to six inches. Blue rose produces flowers in the spring or early summer. They bloom annually.
Each plant produces flowers that are carried by shoots from the rosette. The flowers are orange and red. They come in clusters, and they are small bell-shaped, and unscented.
Blue echeveria is non-toxic, and it isn’t prickly, which makes it safe to have even in a house where there are children and pets.
This plant itself is a beautiful hybrid. However, like with other plants in the same genus, you can produce other hybrids by combining its genes with other plants, especially in the same genus.
Echeveria Imbricata Care
#1. Sunlight and Temperature
The Echeveria imbricata ‘blue rose’ needs sunlight to grow and maintain its beautiful appearance. If the light isn’t enough, the plant tries to make the most of what is available by growing longer stems between its leaves. This growth pattern causes your echeveria to lose its compactness which is a crucial aspect of its attraction.
You should bring the plants to the windows to enjoy the morning sun, which is the best for them. Although the morning sun is effective, the plant is hardy enough to endure the hot afternoon sun. The waxy coating on leaves prevents excessive transpiration when the plant is exposed to the hot sun.
It is advisable to acclimatize a plant before moving it from indoors to outdoors. Sudden exposure may lead to sunburns that adversely affect the health of the plant. You can acclimatize the plant by controlling its exposure to the sun for the first few days of the transfer. In the unfortunate event that your succulents have been sunburned, you can revive them by beheading them and then allowing their stems to sprout new leaves.
The plant has different varieties that do well in a wide range of temperatures. Some thrive in a warm climate with a difference of up to ten degrees between day and night temperatures. Echeveria can also survive outdoors in winters of four to six degrees Celsius.
Your plant will survive and do well in different seasons on average, but it is not particularly cold-hardy. It is advisable to keep your echeveria indoors if temperatures in your location go below -1 degrees Celsius (30.2 Fahrenheit).
#2. Soil and Watering
Echeveria’s roots and stem rot if the soil is waterlogged. On the other hand, you need to water the plant regularly for it to do well. The ground on which you grow the plant needs to be easy to drain to balance the need for water and root and stem vulnerability.
You can use a commercial mix with extra aggregate for potting as the mixture enhances drainage. A peat-based commercial mix is especially preferable.
How much water you give echeveria depends on the temperature of the day. The plant will need more water in summer and less of it in cool and rainy seasons.
Avoid using tap water because it may contain some minerals and chemicals that can keep the leaves from forming as they should naturally. You should also avoid highly alkaline water altogether as it kills echeveria. The easiest way to ensure your water is safe is to use harvested rainwater.
Newly potted plants require more water, but the need reduces as the plants become more established. Be careful to put water directly into the soil. You risk exposing the plant to fungal rot if water is trapped in the rosettes.
Humidity is best at 50%; anything below damages the plant, and you may need to mist it. Too much humidity, on the other hand, may damage the plant. Its natural habitat in Mexico is arid and adapted for the same conditions. It doesn’t do well in high humidity areas. High humidity creates perfect conditions for fungi growth, which are detrimental to the plant’s health. In light of the above, you should keep the plant healthy.
Imbricata isn’t labor-intensive because almost everything in it has aesthetic value. Its grooming regime comprises removing the shriveled leaves at the bottom of the stem to make room for fresh ones to sprout.
The plant is disease-free, but it can be attacked by aphids, mealybugs, and vine weevils. People use various methods to control these bugs. One of them is spraying the plants with a mixture of water and insecticidal soap, and the other is spraying rosettes with plain water under high pressure.
These two methods can have adverse effects on your plants.
Soap degrades the bloom, which is the waxy protective coating on the plant. Its degradation causes echeveria to suffer excessive transpiration. This trapped water causes fungal rot, which may end up killing your plant.
With this in mind, the safest course of action is to keep the bugs away from echeveria. Or to dub the rosettes with neem insecticide if you notice an infestation.
Pests and Diseases
When well taken care of, the plant can remain healthy with little disturbance from pests and diseases. However, looking for mealy bugs, spider mites, and scale insects is essential. You can quickly remedy this by using organic pesticides.
You need to inspect your plants regularly. This practice enables you to catch an infestation before it gets out of hand. Severe infestation by any of these pests causes your plant’s leaves to develop unhealthy brown spots. This is because these pests suck the sap from the leaves.
One way to handle them is by spraying the affected parts with pesticide soap. You can use the liquid dishwashing soap mixed with water at a ratio of 1:1 and spray. The soap irritates the insects, dislodging them from the plant. You can also use the following plant-based pesticides.
- Neem oil: Unlike the other pesticides listed below, neem oil is a systemic pesticide. It gets into the plant and poisons it against the bugs so that they don’t survive or reproduce when they attack the plant. Pure Neem Oil is made from the neem plant. Therefore, it is entirely natural and not harmful to humans.
- Hot pepper spray: Hot pepper is quite irritating when it gets on your skin and eyes, and it has the same effects on the bugs infesting your succulents. Spray it carefully on the affected parts to protect your skin and eyes.
- Garlic spray: A concentrated garlic spray can have the same effects on the bugs as pepper spray. You can manufacture the garlic spray by crushing garlic cloves and putting them in hot water. Put just a little hot water so the end product is enough to destroy the pests. Remove the garlic residue, put the pesticide in a sprayer, and spray away on the infected parts of the plant.
Always spray a small part of the plant with the pesticide you want to use before spraying on the whole plant. This precaution applies when using contact pesticides, i.e., hot pepper and garlic. You need to see the plant’s reaction before you spray it all. You can reduce concentration if the test shows the plant’s reacting adverse effects on the pesticide.
Rub the infected parts of the plant with rubbing alcohol with at least 70% concentration. It will help you dislodge the pests.
Root rot is the most complex disease; you can avoid it by keeping the soil well-drained. Root rot is often characterized by yellowing leaves that end up falling off. These are also the symptoms of a plant suffering from sunlight deficiency. If your soil has been dry, you see the leaves yellowing, especially in winter. Take the plant out in the sun for about six hours a day for a few days; it will recover.
There are other indications that your plant could be experiencing some problems, as below.
- Slow or No Growth: This plant’s growth is slow, but it should be steady. If you find that it is not growing, it is an indication that it needs more sunlight. Move it to more direct sunlight.
- Yellow leaves: if the leaves start yellowing from below and the soil is soggy, your plant is overwatered. Yellow leaves may also signal severe dehydration. Water the plant if the soil wetness test confirms the dehydration.
- Mushy stems: A mush stem shows that your plant has root rot. You can remedy this by repotting the plant. When the stem has become mushy, it is too late to salvage the plant. You can instead use the still healthy parts of the stem to propagate and get new plants.
Rotting leaves: This is a symptom of fungal infection on the leaves. The leaves will be slimy and crash easily to the touch. This may be a result of watering from the above.
Echeveria is usually propagated using cuttings of leaves, stems, or offsets. Offsets are the easiest to reproduce, but they are the hardest to obtain since they grow underground – you need to uproot the entire plant to get these underground suckers.
The following is how you do it.
– Water the mother plants soil a day before you are set to harvest offsets.
– Remove the mother plant from the ground carefully so as not to damage the offsets.
– Search the portion of the main stem beneath the soil for offsets.
– Cut the offsets at the base using a sharp tool.
– Leave the offsets for a few days for them to dry.
– Put together fresh potting soil and sand and place the offset in it.
Like offsets, you should allow stems and leaves a few days to dry before planting them.
When propagating using leaves, below are steps you can take
- Carefully pinch off a leaf from a mature plant
- Leave it in the open for about a week for it to dry out and for it to callous.
- Place the leaf in a pot with well-draining soil drainage holes.
- After a few weeks, roots will start to form.
- Continue watering and taking care of the plant as you would a mature plant
Please note that you can re-pot the mother plant after harvesting the offsets. The plant continues almost without missing a beat if you re-pot it well.
Echeveria imbricata is a relatively slow-growing plant; it only needs repotting about once every two years to accommodate the additional size. Repotting may also be made necessary by your substrate losing its porosity. The soil you plant can become less and less porous over time as it loses some of its grit through drainage holes and watering.
If you are potting for the first time, choose the pot carefully. It should have several draining holes at the bottom because the water that gets to the soil must get out to avoid waterlogging. You can also use a breathable pot to enhance the evaporation of water. Unglazed terracotta pots are the best option for growing these succulents.
Echeveria combines well with other succulents such as agave and sempervivum. It is safe to have in the house as it is neither prickly nor poisonous, and its husbandry is pretty simple owing to its resistance to diseases.
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